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   Chapter 20 ENLIGHTENMENT.

The Twins By Martin Farquhar Tupper Characters: 3464

Updated: 2017-12-06 00:03


The general could not now be kept in ignorance of Charles's expedition; in fact, he had found his heart, and began resolutely to use it. So, the very day on which he had lost Julian, he intended very eagerly to seek out Charles; for the Oxford search had failed, and no wonder. Now, though Emily had told, as we well know, to both mother and son her secret, the father was not likely to be any the wiser; for he now never spoke to his wife, and could not well speak to his son. However, one day, an hour after an overland letter, a very exhilarating one, dated Madras, whereof we shall hear anon, fair Emily, in the fullness of her heart, could not help saying,

"Dearest sir, you are often thinking of poor lost Charles, I know; and you are very anxious about him too, though nobody but myself, who am always with you, can perceive it: what if you heard he was safe and well?"

"Have you heard any tidings of my poor boy, Emmy?"

She looked up archly, and said, "Why not?" her beautiful eyes adding, as plainly as eyes could speak, "I love him, and you know it; of course I have heard frequently from dear, dear Charles."

But the guardian met her looks with a keen and chilling answer: "Why not! why not! Does he dare to write to you, and you to love him? Oh, that I had told them both a year ago! But where is he now, child? Don't cry, I will not speak so angrily again, my Emmy."

"I hardly dare to tell you, dearest sir: you have always been as a father to me, and I never knew any other; but there are things I cannot explain to myself, and I was very wretched; and so, kind guardian, Charles-Charles was so good-"

"What has he done?-where has he gone?" hastily asked his father.

"Oh, don't, don't be angry wit

h us; in a word, he is gone to Madras, to find out Nurse Mackie, and to tell me who I am."

The poor old man, who had treasured up so long some mystery, probably a very diaphanous one, for Emily's own dear sake in the world's esteem, and from the long bad habit of reserve, fell back into his chair as if he had been shot; but he did not faint, nor gasp, nor utter a sound; he only looked at her so long and sorrowfully, that she ran to him, and covered his pale face with her own brown curls, kissing him, and wiping from his cheek her starting tears.

"Emmy, dear-I can tell you-and I-no, no, not now, not now; if he comes back-then-then; poor children! Oh, the sin of secresy!"

"But, dearest sir, do not be so sad; Charles has happy news, he says."

"Happy, child? Good Heaven! would it could be so!"

"Indeed, indeed, a week ago he was as miserable as any could be, and so was I; for he heard something terrible about me-I don't know what-but I feared I was a-Pariah! However, now he is all joy, and coming home again as soon as possible."

The general shook, his head mournfully, as physicians do when hope is gone; but still he looked perplexed and thoughtful.

"You will show me the letters, dear, I dare say: but I do not command you, Emmy; do as you like."

"Certainly, my own kindest guardian-all, all, and instantly."

And flying up to her room, she returned with as much closely-written manuscript as would have taken any but a lover's eye a full week to decipher. The general, not much given to literary matters, looked quite scared at such a prospect.

"Wait, Emmy; not all, not all; show me the last."

I dare say Emily will forgive me if I get it set up legibly in print. May I, dear?

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