Vol.1 f.047 recto




Status: Incomplete

[??????] has been [??????] into all
my father’s dealings [??????] for more than two score years. You can set [??????]these doubts at rest, I[??????]think, if you
will really help me to discover the truth. Will you, mother?”
He stopped[??????] in the hope that she would speak [??????]. But her grey hair was
not more immovable in its two folds, than[??????] were her [??????]firm lips.
“If [??????] reparation can be made to any one, if restitution can be made to any one, [??????]let us know it and make it. Nay, mother, let
if within my means, let me make it. [??????] I have seen so [??????] little happiness come of money; it has brought so [??????]

within my knowledge so little peace to this house, or to

any one belonging to it, that it is worth less to me than to another. It can buy me nothing that will not be a reproach and misery to me, if I am haunted by a suspicion that

it darkened my father’s last hours with remorse, and that it is not honestly and justly mine.”

There was a bell-rope hanging on the panelled wall, some two or three yards from the cabinet. By a swift and sudden action of her foot, she drove her wheeled chair rapidly back to it and pulled it violently—still holding her arm up in its shield-like posture, as if he were striking at her, and she warding off the blow.

A girl came hurrying in, frightened.

“Send Flintwinch here!”

In a moment the girl had withdrawn, and the old man stood within the door. “What! You’re hammer and tongs, already, you two?” he said, coolly stroking his face. “I thought you would be. I was pretty sure of it.”

“Flintwinch!” said the mother, “look at my son. Look at him!”

“Well, I am looking at him,” said Flintwinch.

She stretched out the arm with which she had shielded herself, and as she went on, pointed at the object of her anger.

“In the very hour of his return almost—before the shoe upon his foot is dry—he asperses his father’s memory to his mother! Asks his mother to become, with him, a spy upon his father’s transactions through a lifetime! Has misgivings that the goods of this world which we have painfully got together early and late, with wear and tear and toil and self-denial, are so much plunder; and asks to whom they shall be given up, as reparation and restitution!”

Although she said this raging, she said it in a voice so far from being beyond her control that it was even lower than her usual tone. She also spoke with great distinctness.

“Reparation!” said she. “Yes, truly! It is easy for him to talk of reparation, fresh from journeying and junketing in foreign lands, and living a life of vanity and pleasure. But let him look at me, in prison, and in bonds here. I endure without murmuring, because it is appointed that I shall so make reparation for my sins. Reparation! Is there none in this room? Has there been none here this fifteen years?”

Thus was she always balancing her bargains with the Majesty of heaven, posting up the entries to her credit, strictly keeping her set-off, and claiming her due. She was only remarkable in this, for the force and emphasis with which she did it. Thousands upon thousands do it, according to their varying manner, every day.

“Flintwinch, give me that book!”

The old man handed it to her from the table She put two fingers between the

Notes and Questions

Nobody has written a note for this page yet

Please sign in to write a note for this page