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“‘Oh, but my mistress, my mistress!’ I cried; ‘and her time up, as nigh as may be, any day or night before new moon. ‘Oh, Mr. Constable, Mr. Rural Polishman, take it to the tool shed, if you ever had a wife, Sir.’ Now even this was turned against us as if I had expected it. They said that I must have known who it was, and to a certain length so I did, miss, but only by the dress and the manner of the corpse, and lying with an attitude there was no contradicting.
“Why?” asked Rose, with a wondering glance; and then, as there was a dead pause, which was awkward, she said, softly: “I hope you have news from—your son?”
“With the thought, I stood up, and taking the lamp from the table, began to go toward the door, which was open into the passage. It was then I got a sudden nasty sort of thrill; for it came to me, all at once, that my mother never knocked, when I sat up too late; she always called. You will understand I was not really frightened in any way; only vaguely uneasy, and pretty sure she must really be doing the thing in her sleep.
These tails, it may be said, are quite a delicacy. When boiled or prepared by cooking they suggest buffalo or beef tongue, and are nourishing and palatable. A meal on beaver tails is always welcome to the traveler through any region where the animals make their home.
But these were just so many pretexts put forward to herself by Mary for keeping silence; the real reason lay deeper. Eight years of married life had left her, where certain subjects were concerned, with all the modesty of her girlhood intact. There were things, indelicate things, which COULD not be spoken out, even between husband and wife. For her to have to step before Richard and say: some one else feels for me in the same way as you, my husband, do, would make her ever after unable frankly to meet his eyes. Besides giving the vague, cobwebby stuff a body it did not deserve.
“I feel how much this avowal must have cost you, it is the first great sacrifice that you have ever made for me, and, let me tell you, it is only from that moment that I have been cured of an ugly sentiment which I too scarcely dared confess to you. I imagine the worst. And so it seems to me that you need not make me a more detailed confession before a certain ceremony is performed. You will not have deceived me, I swear to you. God pardons the penitent, and I am sure that you are exaggerating your offence; were it as grave as it can be, I, who have seen your anxieties, forgive you. You will make me a full confession in a year from now, perhaps you will then be less afraid of me.... I cannot, however, promise to love you more dearly.”
Tendall of Lynn. The articles, however, did not bind him very fast,for as his master refused to send him to sea, John took leave of hismaster and did not see him again for eight years. These detailsexhibit in the boy the headstrong independence of the man.
21 Lotus Eaters
Now we did land at Kaolé, close to Bagamoyo, but the route from Kilwa to Nyassa was afterwards safely traversed by Dr Boscher, though, after that, Boscher was murdered by some thieves in Whiyow.10 Having said this much, which shows that Captain Burton was bent on going by the great caravan road to Ujiji, I shall first of all dwell on the nature of the men we took with us, what agreements they made, and what pays they received. I feel bound to state this, as I was called on by the Consul to witness the agreements, and much of the journey was performed by myself alone; added to which, the funds of the expedition fell short, and as soon as it did so, I made a compact with Captain Burton that, in the event of the Government not paying our excess of expenditure, I would pay him the half of all those expenses; and I did so to the extent of ￡600 after the journey was over.
“And did you not tell him to go back?” asked Gabriel.
It is, indeed, true that no man is sold in open market, he is leased instead; and, by a refined hypocrisy, the owner of slaves cannot sell them to another owner, but he can place them in the hands of the notary, presenting them with their freedom, so far as he is concerned. The notary, upon payment of a fine from the purchaser, transfers them to him, and the larger part of the fine goes to the prince. Debt alone under their laws must crowd the land with slaves, for, as wages are scarcely known, a child from its birth is often declared to be in debt. For its nourishment is drawn from its mother, and the wretched mother is the wife of a retainer who is fed by his lord. To such a degree is this tyranny carried! If any owe a penny, his doom is sealed; he becomes a bondsman, and thus the estates of the nobles are full of men who work during their whole lives for the profit of others. Thus, too, the woods are filled with banditti, for those who find an opportunity never fail to escape, notwithstanding the hunt that is invariably made for them, and the cruel punishment that awaits recapture. And numbers, foreseeing that they must become bondsmen, before they are proclaimed forfeit steal away by night, and live as they may in the forests.
“They meant to do the friendly thing,” Bessie surmised, “because we’re going to meet them.”详情 ➢
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