All turned out as papa had hoped. The bishop, with his wife and daughter, came down to spend a week with us. The day after they arrived we had a perfect levee of visitors; and when the room was at its fullest, Mr. Harmer came in, being, of course, in complete ignorance that the visit had been principally brought about for his especial benefit. The bishop greeted him warmly, for they mutually esteemed and liked each other.
"You see, my dear," he said, "I must do as I am told now; but you will come again soon to see me, will you not?"
The other nodded.
"I am not very strong, Sarah, and the surprise has been almost too much for me, for I own I hardly expected that you ever would find it. Now tell me all about it, or stay, let me ask papa and my sister to come in to share in this wonderful news of yours." So saying, I ran down to the study where papa was busy writing.
"You have not found my brother's will?" Miss Harmer asked, as they came in.
On the following week papa again went up to London to see Sophy. He found her recovering from the blow; still pale and thin, but upon the whole as well as could have been expected. Papa again offered her a home with us, but she declined, gratefully but decidedly; she had, she said, even when it was supposed that she was an heiress, been looked down upon on account of the misfortune of her birth; and now, with the story of her elopement and Mr. Harmer's sudden death fresh on the memory, she would rather beg her bread in the streets than live there.
"Pooh, pooh, man!" Robert Harmer said; "there is no wind to speak of yet, although I think with you that it may come on to blow as the sun goes down. What then? It is nearly easterly, so if we sail straight out we can always turn and run back again before the sea gets up high enough to prevent us. You know we are always ready to return when you give the word."
Robert Gregory was certainly a very handsome man, of a powerful build, about twenty eight years old. But as I watched him, his face seemed to me, not to be a pleasant one, but to have a bold and defiant expression. It might be merely the effect of what I had just heard; but certainly the more I looked at the man the more I felt repelled by him. He was still watching Sophy, and as I mechanically followed the direction of his gaze, I distinctly observed her, to my intense surprise, glance two or three times in his direction, not mere ordinary glances, which might fall upon any one, but positive stolen looks, which rested upon him, and were unmistakably in answer to his. After this I could not help watching them whenever I was not dancing, and I observed her once or twice in the course of the evening, as she passed by where he stood, exchange a word or two with him, not naturally and openly, but speaking as she walked past, so that no one, not watching as I was doing, would have noticed it.
It would have been naturally supposed that as at the commencement of the reign of Elizabeth the Harmers were by no means a wealthy race, they would speedily have been shorn of all the little property they then possessed. But it was not so. The more they were persecuted so much the more they flourished, and from mere farmers they speedily rose to the rank of county families.下载
The last did not come till next morning, when, just as the grey light was breaking, he opened his eyes. For some time they wandered confusedly about the room, as if endeavouring to comprehend what had happened; then he tried to move, and a slight groan of pain broke from him, and by the change in his expression it was evident he remembered all. His eyes met those of his father, and fixed there with a look of deep affection, then a sudden recollection of pain seemed to occur to him, and he closed his eyes again and lay for sometime quite still.