Mrs. Grose tried to keep up with me. You mean youre afraid of seeing her again?
Oh, no; thats nothingnow! Then I explained. Its of not seeing her.
But my companion only looked wan. I dont understand you.
Why, its that the child may keep it upand that the child assuredly willwithout my knowing it.
At the image of this possibility Mrs. Grose for a moment collapsed, yet presently to pull herself together again, as if from the positive force of the sense of what, should we yield an inch, there would really be to give way to. Dear, dearwe must keep our heads! And after all, if she doesnt mind it! She even tried a grim joke. Perhaps she likes it!
Likes such thingsa scrap of an infant!
Isnt it just a proof of her blessed innocence? my friend bravely inquired.
She brought me, for the instant, almost round. Oh, we must clutch at thatwe must cling to it! If it isnt a proof of what you say, its a proof ofGod knows what! For the womans a horror of horrors.
Mrs. Grose, at this, fixed her eyes a minute on the ground; then at last raising them, Tell me how you know, she said.
Then you admit its what she was? I cried.
Tell me how you know, my friend simply repeated.
Know? By seeing her! By the way she looked.
At you, do you meanso wickedly?
Dear me, noI could have borne that. She gave me never a glance. She only fixed the child.
Mrs. Grose tried to see it. Fixed her?
Ah, with such awful eyes!
She stared at mine as if they might really have resembled them. Do you mean of dislike?
God help us, no. Of something much worse.
Worse than dislike?this left her indeed at a loss.
With a determinationindescribable. With a kind of fury of intention.
I made her turn pale. Intention?
To get hold of her. Mrs. Groseher eyes just lingering on minegave a shudder and walked to the window; and while she stood there looking out I completed my statement. thats what Flora knows.
After a little she turned round. The person was in black, you say?
In mourningrather poor, almost shabby. Butyeswith extraordinary beauty. I now recognized to what I had at last, stroke by stroke, brought the victim of my confidence, for she quite visibly weighed this. Oh, handsomevery, very, I insisted; wonderfully handsome. But infamous.
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