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2017年8月17日 (木)

.For the rest everything looked the same at usual

"That's what I think!" said he, with the air of Ajax defying the lightning. "We'll be cut off with a shilling by mother; but we shall marry all the same, and live on the bread and cheese and kisses provided by the Morning Planet." "Thank you," said Miss Paslow tartly, "I provide my own kisses." "No, darling heart!" gurgled the ardent Jerry, "I do that!" and was about to repeat his conduct when the ceremony was interrupted. "Yes, he was," she replied with an effort. "I never saw him come out." Durban wrinkled his dark brows. "Then how did he send the telegram, to which he has just now had an answer?" he demanded. "How do you know that this wire is an answer, Durban?" "The reply was prepaid, missy. How did master do it?" Beatrice was equally puzzled. Alpenny had not been away from The Camp all the afternoon, yet had contrived to send a telegram, and prepay the reply.After a few minutes' lying on the threshold of her carriage-bedroom with the rain beating upon her soaking dress, Beatrice rose with an effort and opened the door. It was never locked, as no one would be likely to enter. The matches and a candle were on a table by the bed, where she had left them, and soon she had a light. Beside the candlestick lay a folded piece of paper, and opening this, she read a line or two in Alpenny's crabbed handwriting. "I find you have gone out. I am going also, and will not be back for three days. Durban will return to-morrow and look after you." There was no signature, but of course she recognised the calligraphy easily, as it had a distinctive character of its own. The contents of the note rather surprised the girl. In the first place, Alpenny made no remark as to her having taken the key; and in the second, it was strange that he should depart thus unexpectedly, leaving The Camp absolutely unguarded, even by a dog. Beatrice knew well enough that her stepfather frequently went away on business, and at times very unexpectedly, but she had never known him to take so hasty a departure. When dressed, she said her prayers and felt more composed; then stepped out into the broad, bright sunshine. After the storm everything looked fresh and vividly green: the world had a newly washed look, and the air seemed to be filled with vital energy, as though it were indeed the breath of life. But Beatrice soon saw evidence of the storm's fury. Huge boughs were stripped from the trees round The Camp, the flower-beds presented a draggled appearance, and the sundial had been blown down. usual When she glanced at the dungeon, she saw that the door was closed and the blind was down, although this latter was a trifle askew. Beatrice could have gratified her curiosity by looking into the counting-house through the twisted blind; but she had seen sufficient of it on the previous day, and felt more inclined to eat than to waste her time peering into Alpenny's sanctum. With the idea of getting breakfast, she went to the kitchen, and speedily had the fire alight. Durban never locked the door of the kitchen carriage, so there was no difficulty in entering.

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