The Heir of Redclyffe HTML version

Chapter 41
A stranger's roof to hold thy head,
A stranger's foot thy grave to tread;
Desert and rock, and Alp and sea,
Spreading between thy home and thee.--SEWELL
Mary Ross was eager for the first report from Hollywell the next morning, and had some
difficulty in keeping her attention fixed on her class at school. Laura and Charlotte came
in together in due time, and satisfied her so far as to tell her that Amy was very well.
'Is Captain Morville come?' thought Mary. 'No, I cannot guess by Laura's impressive
face. Never mind, Charles will tell me all between services.'
The first thing she saw on coming out of school was the pony carriage, with Charles and
Captain Morville himself. Charlotte, who was all excitement, had time to say, while her
sister was out of hearing,--
'It is all made up now, Mary, and I really am very sorry for Philip.'
It was fortunate that Mary understood the amiable meaning this speech was intended to
convey, and she began to enter into its grounds in the short conference after church, when
she saw the alteration in the whole expression of countenance.
'Yes,' said Charles, who as usual remained at the vicarage during the two services, and
who perceived what passed in her mind, 'if it is any satisfaction to you to have a good
opinion of your fellow-sponsor, I assure you that I am converted to Amy's opinion. I do
believe the black dog is off his back for good and all.'
'I never saw any one more changed,' said Mary.
'Regularly tamed,' said Charles. He is something more like his old self to-day than last
night, and yet not much. He was perfectly overpowered then--so knocked up that there
was no judging of him. To- day he has all his sedateness and scrupulous attention, but all
like a shadow of former time--not a morsel of sententiousness, and seeming positively
grateful to be treated in the old fashion.'
'He looks very thin and pale. Do you think him recovered?'
'A good way from it,' said Charles. 'He is pretty well to-day, comparatively, though that
obstinate headache hangs about him. If this change last longer than that and his white
looks, I shall not even grudge him the sponsorship Amy owed me.'
'Very magnanimous!' said Mary. 'Poor Laura! I am glad her suspense is over. I wondered
to see her at school.'