Wives and Daughters: An Every-Day Story (Chapter 6, page 1 of 18)


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Chapter 6

Of course the news of Miss Gibson's approaching departure had spread
through the household before the one o'clock dinner-time came; and
Mr. Coxe's dismal countenance was a source of much inward irritation
to Mr. Gibson, who kept giving the youth sharp glances of savage
reproof for his melancholy face, and want of appetite; which he
trotted out, with a good deal of sad ostentation; all of which was
lost upon Molly, who was too full of her own personal concerns to
have any thought or observation to spare from them, excepting once or
twice when she thought of the many days that must pass over before
she should again sit down to dinner with her father.

When she named this to him after the meal was over, and they were
sitting together in the drawing-room, waiting for the sound of the
wheels of the Hamley carriage, he laughed, and said,--

"I'm coming over to-morrow to see Mrs. Hamley; and I daresay I shall
dine at their lunch; so you won't have to wait long before you've the
treat of seeing the wild beast feed."

Then they heard the approaching carriage.

"Oh, papa," said Molly, catching at his hand, "I do so wish I wasn't
going, now that the time is come."

"Nonsense; don't let us have any sentiment. Have you got your keys?
that's more to the purpose."

Yes; she had got her keys, and her purse; and her little box was
put up on the seat by the coachman; and her father handed her in;
the door was shut, and she drove away in solitary grandeur, looking
back and kissing her hand to her father, who stood at the gate, in
spite of his dislike of sentiment, as long as the carriage could
be seen. Then he turned into the surgery, and found Mr. Coxe had
had his watching too, and had, indeed, remained at the window
gazing, moonstruck, at the empty road, up which the young lady had
disappeared. Mr. Gibson startled him from his reverie by a sharp,
almost venomous, speech about some small neglect of duty a day or two
before. That night Mr. Gibson insisted on passing by the bedside of a
poor girl whose parents were worn-out by many wakeful anxious nights
succeeding to hard-working days.

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