"Captain Creach," said he, turning to the gentleman who was looking on and laughing, but who, on being addressed, at once took an air of attention, "this is Ian—or, in English, John—McDonell of Scottos, of the mature age of twelve, the scion of an illustrious family, whose ancestors have ruled in Knoidart and parts adjacent from the days of Noah downwards.
"My God, Dundonald! What folly is this?" I cried, much distressed at his obstinacy. But there came no sound save the crackling of the thatch.
"No doubt such gentlemen will have their ruffles there. I will carry it in myself."
This was an invitation to begin at the start so as to tell him about Frank Turner, and how it happened he came to be turned out of his home some years back. Jack took it upon himself to be the spokesman, for Amos had insisted on this arrangement. He knew that Jack could gain more favors through his winning manner than he might ever expect to have come to him.
Between father and son there was not the smallest bond of sympathy; that, Mr. Creswell had brought himself to confess. How many score times had he looked into the boy's face, hoping to see there some gleam of filial love, and had turned away bitterly disappointed! How often had he tried to engage the lad in topics of conversation which he imagined would have been congenial to him, and on which he might have suffered himself to be drawn out, but without the slightest success! The jovial miller who lived upon the Dee was not one whit less careless than Tom Creswell about the opinion which other folks entertained of him, so long as you did not interfere with any of his plans. Even the intended visit of Mrs. Ashurst and Marian to Woolgreaves elicited very little remark from him, although the girls imagined it might not be quite acceptable to him, and consulted together as to how the news should be broken to the domestic bashaw. After a great deal of cogitation and suggestion, it was decided that the best plan would be to take the tyrant at a favourable opportunity--at meal-time, for instance--and to approach the subject in a light and airy manner, as though it were of no great consequence, and was only mentioned for the sake of something to say. The plot thus conceived was duly carried out two days afterwards, on an occasion when, from the promptitude and agility with which he wielded his knife and fork, and the stertorous grunts and lip-smackings which accompanied his performance, it was rightly judged that Master Tom was enjoying his dinner with an extra relish. Mr. Creswell was absent--he seldom attended at the luncheon-table--and the girls interchanged a nod of intelligence, and prepared to commence the play. They had had but little occasion or opportunity for acting, and were consequently nervous to a degree.
"Madam," said Father O'Rourke, "you have only done an act of Christian charity of which your own good heart must approve, and which has done much to comfort us in our own hard case. We have a right to look for kindness in woman, but we do not always look for sensibility such as you have evinced."
As best he could tell, he was in a sort of room no bigger than a prison cell. Perhaps it was a prison cell. Whatever it was, he had no business in it; for five minutes before he had been spaceborne, on the Long Jump from Earth to the thriving colonies circling Betelgeuse Nine. McCray was ship's navigator, plotting course corrections—not that there were any, ever; but the reason there were none was that the check-sightings were made every hour of the long flight. He had read off the azimuth angles from the computer sights, automatically locked on their beacon stars, and found them correct; then out of long habit confirmed the locking mechanism visually. It was only a personal quaintness; he had done it a thousand times. And while he was looking at Betelgeuse, Rigel and Saiph ... it happened.
"And you wish ...?" Mr Kenyon suggested, without the least sign of displeasure.
He nodded excitedly. “That chap I’ve often told you about—yes!” I shall never forget the way his smile flew out and reached the dimple. There seemed a network of them spangling his happy face. His eyes had grown absent, as if gazing down invisible vistas. At length they travelled back to me.详情 ➢
Copyright © 2020