tldt arrow
Read on Terminal Reader
Read this story w/o Javascript

Too Long; Didn't Read

It seemed curious enough, after the storms of the night, to meet in smooth tranquillity at breakfast. Cynthia was pale; but she talked as quietly as usual about all manner of indifferent things, while Molly sate silent, watching and wondering, and becoming convinced that Cynthia must have gone through a long experience of concealing her real thoughts and secret troubles before she could have been able to put on such a semblance of composure. Among the letters that came in that morning was one from the London Kirkpatricks; but not from Helen, Cynthia's own particular correspondent. Her sister wrote to apologize for Helen, who was not well, she said: had had the influenza, which had left her very weak and poorly. "Let her come down here for change of air," said Mr. Gibson. "The country at this time of the year is better than London, except when the place is surrounded by trees. Now our house is well drained, high up, gravel-soil, and I'll undertake to doctor her for nothing." "It would be charming," said Mrs. Gibson, rapidly revolving in her mind the changes necessary in her household economy before receiving a young lady accustomed to such a household as Mr. Kirkpatrick's,—calculating the consequent inconveniences, and weighing them against the probable advantages, even while she spoke. "Should not you like it, Cynthia? and Molly too? You then, dear, would become acquainted with one of the girls, and I have no doubt you would be asked back again, which would be so very nice!" "And I shouldn't let her go," said Mr. Gibson, who had acquired an unfortunate facility of reading his wife's thoughts. "Dear Helen!" went on Mrs. Gibson, "I should so like to nurse her! We would make your consulting-room into her own private sitting-room, my dear."—(It is hardly necessary to say that the scales had been weighed down by the inconveniences of having a person behind the scenes for several weeks). "For with an invalid so much depends on tranquillity. In the drawing-room, for instance, she might constantly be disturbed by callers; and the dining-room is so—so what shall I call it? so dinnery,—the smell of meals never seems to leave it; it would have been different if dear papa had allowed me to throw out that window—" "Why can't she have the dressing-room for her bedroom, and the little room opening out of the drawing-room for her sitting-room?" asked Mr. Gibson.
featured image - MOLLY GIBSON TO THE RESCUE.
Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell  HackerNoon profile picture


Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell

Renowned English novelist, biographer and short story writer

Receive Stories from @elizabethgaskell

react to story with heart


. . . comments & more!