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   Chapter 13 NEWS OF CHARLES.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 4863

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


Ay-in love with Emily! Fiercely now did Julian pour his thoughts that way; if only hoping to forget murder in another strong excitement. Julian listened to his mother's counsels; and that silly, cheated woman playfully would lean upon his arm, like a huge, coy confidante, and fill his greedy ears (that heard her gladly for very holiday's sake from fearful apprehensions), with lover's hopes, lover's themes, his Emily's perfection. Delighted mother-how proud and pleased was she! quite in her own element, fanning dear Julian's most sentimental flame, and scheming for him interviews with Emily.

It required all her skill-for the girl clung closely to her guardian: he, unconscious Argus, never tired of her company; and she, remembering dear Charles's hint, and dreading to be left alone with Julian, would persist to sit day after day at her books, music, or needle-work in the study, charming General Tracy by her pretty Hindoo songs. With him she walked out, and with him she came in; she would read to him for hours, whether he snored or listened; and, really, both mother and son were several long weeks before their scheming could come to any thing. A tête-à-tête between Julian and Emily appeared as impossible to manage, as collision between Jupiter and Vesta.

However, after some six weeks of this sort of mining and counter-mining (for Emily divined their wishes), all on a sudden one morning the general received a letter that demanded his immediate presence for a day or two in town; something about prize-money at Puttymuddyfudgepoor. Emily was too high-spirited, too delicate in mind, to tell her guardian of fears which never might be realized; and so, with some forebodings, but a cheerful trust, too, in a Providence above her, she saw the general off without a word, though not without a tear; he too, that stern, close man, was moved: it was strange to see them love each other so.

The moment he was gone, she discreetly kept her chamber for the day, on plea of sickness; she had cried very heartily to see him leave her-he had never yet left her once since she could recollect-and thus she really had a head-ache, and a bad one.

Julian Tracy gave such a start, that he knocked off a cheffonier of rare china and glass standing at his elbow; and the smash of mandarins and porcelain gods would have been enough, at any other time, to have driven his mother crazy.

"Charles alive?" shouted he.

"Yes, Julian-why not? You saw him off, you know: cannot you remember?"

Now to that guilty wretch's mind the fearful notion instantaneously occurred, that Emily Warren was in some strange, wild way bantering him; she knew his dreadful secret-"he had seen him off." He trembled like an aspen as she looked on him.

"Oh yes, he remembered, certainly; but-but where was her letter?"

"Never mind that, Julian; you surely would not read another person's letters, Monsieur le Chevalier Bayard?"

Emily was as gay at heart that morning as a sky-lark, and her innocent pleasantry proved her strongest shield. Julian dared not ask to see the letter-scarcely dared to hope she had one, and yet did not know what to think. As to any love scene now, it was quite out of the question, notwithstanding all his mother's hints and management; a new exciting thought entirely filled him: was he a Cain, a fratricide, or not? was Charles alive after all? And, for once in his life, Julian had some repentant feelings; for thrilling hope was nigh to cheer his gloom.

It really seemed as if Emily, sweet innocent, could read his inmost thoughts. "At any rate," observed she, playfully, "Bayard may take the postman's privilege, and see the outside."

With that, she produced the ship-letter that had put her in such spirits, legibly dated some twenty-two days ago. Yes, Charles's hand, sure enough! Julian could swear to it among a thousand. And he fainted dead away.

What an astonishing event! how Mrs. Tracy praised her noble-spirited boy! How the bells rang! and hot water, and cold water, and salts, and rubbings, and eau de Cologne, and all manner of delicate attentions, long sustained, at length contributed to Julian's restoration. Moreover, even Emily was agreeably surprised; she had never seen him in so amiable a light before; this was all feeling, all affection for his brother-her dear-dear Charles. And when Mrs. Tracy heard what Emily said of Julian's feeling heart, she became positively triumphant; not half so much at Charles's safety, and all that, as at Julian's burst of feeling. She was quite right, after all; he was worthy to be her favourite, and she felt both flattered and obliged to him for fainting dead away. "Yes-yes, my dear Miss Warren, depend upon it Julian has fine feelings, and a good heart." And Emily began to condemn both Charles and herself for lack of charity, and to think so too.

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