Well, I reflected, if you wont talk, you may be still; Ill let you alone now, and return to my book.
So I snuffed the candle and resumed the perusal of Marmion. He soon stirred; my eye was instantly drawn to his movements; he only took out a morocco pocket-book, thence produced a letter, which he read in silence, folded it, put it back, relapsed into meditation. It was vain to try to read with such an inscrutable fixture before me; nor could I, in impatience, consent to be dumb; he might rebuff me if my he liked, but talk I would.
Have you heard from Diana and Mary lately?
Not since the letter I showed you a week ago.
There has not been any change made about your own arrangements? You will not be summoned to leave England sooner than you expected?
I fear not, indeed: such chance is too good to befall me. Baffled so far, I changed my ground. I bethought myself to talk about the school and my scholars.
Mary Garretts mother is better, and Mary came back to the school this morning, and I shall have four new girls next week from the Foundry Closethey would have come to-day but for the snow.
Mr. Oliver pays for two.
He means to give the whole school a treat at Christmas.
Was it your suggestion?
His daughters, I think.
It is like her: she is so good-natured.
Again came the blank of a pause: the clock struck eight strokes. It aroused him; he uncrossed his legs, sat erect, turned to me.
Leave your book a moment, and come a little nearer the fire, he said.
Wondering, and of my wonder finding no end, I complied.
Half-an-hour ago, he pursued, I spoke of my impatience to hear the sequel of a tale: on reflection, I find the matter will be better managed by my assuming the narrators part, and converting you into a listener. Before commencing, it is but fair to warn you that the story will sound somewhat hackneyed in your ears; but stale details often regain a degree of freshness when they pass through new lips. For the rest, whether trite or novel, it is short.
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