时间:2019-12-14 21:23:57 作者:韩式三点 浏览量:63855

I should have known better than to protest. Once started in the track of duty nothing short of a disastrous collision would stop her. She did pause, but merely to make a remark to me that led to a sharp altercation. We forgot our rule never to give way to our angry passions before Paul; indeed, he was so unusually silent that we didn't remember his presence until we were suddenly struck dumb by a shrill exclamation of impatient wrath that arose from the other side of the well.

It was at this point that I came to my senses. Marion had fled from the room with her hands over her ears.一彻 亿博娱乐是黑彩吗There could be but one answer to that question, and after I had fervently disclaimed the possibility of poverty ever making me so heartless, each of us remained buried in his own thoughts for a brief time. The chickens gathered around, and I fancied they regarded me with intuitive dread in their glistening eyes, as if they waited to hear my next attempt to seal their doom. An overgrown bully suddenly pecked a weaker brother, pulling out a bunch of[Pg 100] feathers viciously as he spurned the victim with his feet. Paul darted to the rescue and brought the brutal assailant back to the bench a prisoner.亿博娱乐是黑彩吗If anything could have made me more eager it was the knowledge that someone else wanted Waydean. The thought of Marion's dismay if our home should be sold over our heads filled me with the determination to settle the matter at once. I[Pg 182] told Brooks to go ahead to the extent of five thousand dollars.亿博娱乐是黑彩吗

亿博娱乐是黑彩吗Now my judgment was vindicated. A man could surely sell one hundred semaphores at five dollars each in one county; ten counties would enable me to buy Waydean; ten more would pay for a train load of implements, as in my day dream of long ago; another ten would stock the farm with domestic animals; tens of hundreds of counties still remained to furnish the means for nebulous philanthropic schemes.亿博娱乐是黑彩吗"Don't let Paul hear," I said in a low tone, "or he'll make the dickens of a row."亿博娱乐是黑彩吗

It was a garbled version of an argument I had used during a previous discussion on the propriety of second marriages. I had contended, with personal indifference, that[Pg 160] to an impersonal entity, left alone in this vale of tears with no embarrassing family ties, and feeling no dread of complications in a future state of existence, a second marriage might prove both expedient and happy. This suggestion I had offered in entire innocence, as I might have distended a paper bag for a child to burst, fancying it would please Marion, as it usually did, to worry a weak argument to tatters; an operation which I enjoyed for the sake of seeing her eyes flash and the becoming color that mounted to her cheeks. But when, amid a torrent of tears, she accused me of being just like other men, and of planning to marry another wife, I was struck dumb with horror. It was painful enough to be brought face to face with the thought of her dying first, but to be branded as a probably faithless wretch was agony. I can try to justify myself for wrong-doing; I can resent the injustice of being blamed for actions that I refrain from; but when I suffer for deeds that I wouldn't do in the distant future I am staggered by improbable possibilities. Given the opportunity,[Pg 161] might I not have caused the death of my great-great-grandfather? Consequently, I remained silent, guiltily silent, in appearance; and Marion no longer condemned second marriages鈥攁t least, she hadn't for some months鈥攁s a disgrace to civilization, her manner indicating sorrowful resignation to the inevitable.亿博娱乐是黑彩吗亿博娱乐是黑彩吗

It has been my lot to arouse anger, sorrow, despair, scorn, and various other sentiments consecutively, but never before had I seen them expressed in one composite glance.亿博娱乐是黑彩吗亿博娱乐是黑彩吗Had I been of a different mind from Marion, I could scarcely have resisted William Wedder's persuasive arguments, and when I had talked with him for a few minutes I did not wonder that she had succumbed to his fascinating eloquence. I knew his praise of my semaphore must be flattery, and yet鈥擨 liked it. I felt sure from his manner, his appearance and his conversation that he was merely masquerading as a hired man, but I wanted to see him play[Pg 141] the part, although he looked more like a well-to-do retired farmer taking a holiday than a man who needed to travel about looking for work. He did not present credentials, but I ignored the question of references, which seemed quite unnecessary in view of his obvious respectability. He knew how to do farm work, he assured me; he was handy with tools, understood gardening, and could churn and make butter as well as milk the cow. As to terms, he would not take money, but he would be more than satisfied if he had his board and plenty of reading matter. In the slack time in midsummer,鈥攈is smooth-shaven jolly face grew solemn as he spoke,鈥攑erhaps, if it wouldn't be too much to ask, and if he needed a new suit of clothes, I might let him have just a township right to sell my gate-closer.

"Don't repeat it," I snapped, squirming. "Of course I remember, but I don't see the application."情书微博 亿博娱乐是黑彩吗"You're better, my boy, far better!" I exclaimed, in quick remorse.亿博娱乐是黑彩吗

亿博娱乐是黑彩吗"I couldn't tell her anyway," she cried, with a peal of laughter, covering her face with her hands. "Oh, how funny!"



She laughed scornfully. "He had the bit between his teeth! Just what you told poor Mr. Fairman. May I ask where you would have liked his bit to be? Between[Pg 212] his eyes or his ears, perhaps. If you had a bit in your mouth wouldn't it have to be between your teeth?""Father says he cares more for me than for the whole crowd, and that he shouldn't be expected to bring up step-children."


I had a dim idea that I could find out indirectly during the drive what the butcher thought these terms meant, but I needed all my mental agility to make a creditable appearance of understanding his voluble allusions to grades, stockers, springers, shorthorns, yearlings, heifers, and numerous other varieties of cattle. My answers were brief and guarded, and when I tottered I was so swift to recover my balance that my errors were not apparent to my companion. On such occasions I may sometimes be suspected of not being familiar with a subject, but I would defy anyone to prove my ignorance. If Marion's reputation for veracity had not been at stake I might have been willing to act the part of a humble tyro asking for information, but since she had plainly said that I knew all about cattle it was my duty to try to make her statement appear credible.


Not once in years do I think of so apt an illustration within five minutes of the time I need it, and I was so wrapped up in conceit of my remark that I walked, open-eyed but unseeing, into the most transparent pitfall. Knowing, in my innocence, that I had nothing to conceal, I forgot for the time that I must be on my guard against Marion's digging up something that wasn't there.It was the prettiest bit of country that we had yet found in our search for our ideal farm, and the answer of the postmistress caused us keen disappointment. Paul's little hand, which had clutched mine with a tense expectant grip, suddenly relaxed. "Are we not going to live in the country?" he asked, in a trembling voice.


"A fresh cow," I said, struggling into my coat in jerks, "is one鈥攊n the prime鈥攐f life鈥攁nd鈥攁nd vigor; a stripper, on the contrary, is merely鈥攁鈥攁 middle-aged鈥攋uvenile."


"Must be a nice place for children. How many have you?"......"Five." (This was theoretically correct. Paul had invented two sisters and two brothers, all invisible, to play with. A man's family should be screened from publicity, and this reply seemed to make Paul strictly impersonal. He did not ask me how many wives I had.)