Wives and Daughters: An Every-Day Story (Chapter 5, page 1 of 18)


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Chapter 5

One day, for some reason or other, Mr. Gibson came home unexpectedly.
He was crossing the hall, having come in by the garden-door--the
garden communicated with the stable-yard, where he had left his
horse--when the kitchen door opened, and the girl who was underling
in the establishment, came quickly into the hall with a note in her
hand, and made as if she was taking it upstairs; but on seeing her
master she gave a little start, and turned back as if to hide herself
in the kitchen. If she had not made this movement, so conscious of
guilt, Mr. Gibson, who was anything but suspicious, would never have
taken any notice of her. As it was, he stepped quickly forwards,
opened the kitchen door, and called out "Bethia" so sharply that she
could not delay coming forwards.

"Give me that note," he said. She hesitated a little.

"It's for Miss Molly," she stammered out.

"Give it to me!" he repeated more quickly than before. She looked as
if she would cry; but still she kept the note tight held behind her
back.

"He said as I was to give it into her own hands; and I promised as I
would, faithful."

"Cook, go and find Miss Molly. Tell her to come here at once."

He fixed Bethia with his eyes. It was of no use trying to escape: she
might have thrown it into the fire, but she had not presence of mind
enough. She stood immovable, only her eyes looked any way rather than
encounter her master's steady gaze. "Molly, my dear!"

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