Some one opened the door at the other end of the room, and Nancy felt that it was her husband. She turned from the window with gladness in her eyes, for the wifes chief dread was stilled.
Dear, Im so thankful youre come, she said, going towards him. I began to get
She paused abruptly, for Godfrey was laying down his hat with trembling hands, and turned towards her with a pale face and a strange unanswering glance, as if he saw her indeed, but saw her as part of a scene invisible to herself. She laid her hand on his arm, not daring to speak again; but he left the touch unnoticed, and threw himself into his chair.
Jane was already at the door with the hissing urn. Tell her to keep away, will you? said Godfrey; and when the door was closed again he exerted himself to speak more distinctly.
Sit down, Nancythere, he said, pointing to a chair opposite him. I came back as soon as I could, to hinder anybodys telling you but me. Ive had a great shockbut I care most about the shock itll be to you.
It isnt father and Priscilla? said Nancy with quivering lips, clasping her hands together tightly on her lap.
No, its nobody living, said Godfrey, unequal to the considerate skill with which he would have wished to make his revelation. Its Dunstanmy brother Dunstan, that we lost sight of sixteen years ago. Weve found himfound his bodyhis skeleton.
The deep dread Godfreys look had created in Nancy made her feel these words a relief. She sat in comparative calmness to hear what else he had to tell. He went on,
The Stone-pit has gone dry suddenlyfrom the draining, I suppose; and there he lieshas lain for sixteen years, wedged between two great stones. Theres his watch and seals, and theres my gold-handled hunting-whip, with my name on. He took it away, without my knowing, the day he went hunting on Wildfire, the last time he was seen.
Godfrey paused; it was not so easy to say what came next. Do you think he drowned himself? said Nancy, almost wondering that her husband should be so deeply shaken by what had happened all those years ago to an unloved brother, of whom worse things had been augured.
No, he fell in, said Godfrey, in a low but distinct voice, as if he felt some deep meaning in the fact. Presently he added, Dunstan was the man that robbed Silas Marner.
The blood rushed to Nancys face and neck at this surprise and shame, for she had been bred up to regard even a distant kinship with crime as a dishonour.
O Godfrey! she said with compassion in her tone, for she had immediately reflected that the dishonour must be felt still more keenly by her husband.
There was the money in the pit, he continuedall the weavers money. Everythings been gathered up, and theyre taking the skeleton to the Rainbow. But I came back to tell you: there was no hindering it; you must know.
He was silent, looking on the ground for two long minutes. Nancy would have said some words of comfort under this disgrace, but she refrained, from an instinctive sense that there was something behindthat Godfrey had something else to tell her. Presently he lifted his eyes to her face, and kept them fixed on her as he said,
Everything comes to light, Nancy, sooner or later. When God Almighty wills it, our secrets are found out. Ive lived with a secret on my mind, but Ill keep it from you no longer. I wouldnt have you know
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