The Argosy

The Argosy

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Excerpt: ... butler indicated a chair, and I sat down. Next moment Sister Agnes glided in through Pg 43 a side door, and took her place at the table, but considerably apart from Lady Chillington and me. I felt infinitely relieved by her presence. Her ladyship looked as elaborately youthful, with her pink cheeks, her black wig, and her large white teeth, as on the evening of my arrival at Deepley Walls. But her hands shook a little, making the diamonds on her fingers scintillate in the candlelight as she carried her food to her mouth, and this was a sign of age which not all the art in the world could obviate. The table was laid out with a quantity of old-fashioned plate; indeed, the plate was out of all proportion to the dinner, which consisted of nothing more elaborate than some mutton broth, a roast pullet and a custard. But there was a good deal of show, and we were waited on assiduously by a respectable but fatuous-looking butler. There was no wine brought out, but some old ale was poured into her ladyship's glass from a silver flagon. Sister Agnes had a small cover laid apart from ours. Her dinner consisted of herbs, fruit, bread and water. It pained me to see that the look of intense melancholy which had lightened so wonderfully during our forest walk had again overshadowed her face like a veil. She gave me one long, earnest look as she took her seat at the table, but after that she seemed scarcely to be aware of my presence. We had sat in grim silence for full five minutes, when Lady Chillington spoke. "Can you speak French, child?" she said, turning abruptly to me. "I can read it a little, but I cannot speak it," I replied. "Nor understand what is said when it is spoken in your presence?" "No, ma'am." "So much the better," she answered with a grating laugh. "Children have long ears, and there is no freedom of conversation when they are present." With that she addressed some remarks in French to Sister Agnes, who replied to her in the same language. more

Product details

  • Paperback | 42 pages
  • 189 x 246 x 2mm | 95g
  • United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations
  • 1236717759
  • 9781236717757