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Full Online Book HomeLong StoriesHow It All Came Round - Chapter 35. Dan's Wife
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How It All Came Round - Chapter 35. Dan's Wife Post by :chensf Category :Long Stories Author :L. T. Meade Date :May 2012 Read :1041

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How It All Came Round - Chapter 35. Dan's Wife


Charlotte watched Wilson out of the square, then she slowly followed him. The numbness of that dead youth was still oppressing her heart and brain. But she remembered that the carriage must be waiting for her on the Embankment, also that her father--she gasped a little as the thought of her father came to her--that her father would have returned from the city; that he might ask for her, and would wonder and grow uneasy at her absence. She must go home, that was her first thought. She hurried her steps, anxious to take the first turning which would lead to the Embankment.

She had turned down a side street and was walking rapidly, when she heard her name called suddenly and eagerly, and a woman, very shabbily dressed, came up to her.

"Oh, Miss Harman--Miss Harman--don't you know me?"

Charlotte put her hand to her brow.

"Yes," she said, "I know you now; you are Hester Wright. Is your husband out of prison yet?"

"He is, Miss, and he's dying; he's dying 'ard, 'ard; he's allers saying as he wants to see either you or his master. We are told that the master is ill; but oh! miss, miss, ef you would come and see him, he's dreadful anxious--dreadful, dreadful anxious. I think it's jest some'ut on his mind; ef he could tell it, I believe as he'd die easy. Oh! my beautiful, dear young lady, every one has a good word for you. Oh! I was going to make bold to come to Prince's Gate, and ask you to come to see him. You'll never be sorry, miss, if you can help a poor soul to die easy."

"You say he is really dying?" said Charlotte.

"Yes, indeed, indeed, miss; he never held up his head since he saw the inside of the prison. He's dying now of a galloping waste, so the doctors say. Oh! Miss Harman, I'll bless you for ever if you'll come and see him."

"Yes, I will come," said Charlotte. "Where do you live?"

"Away over at Poplar, miss. Poor place enough, and unfit for one like you, but I'll come and fetch you my own self, and not a pin's worth of harm shall come to you; you need have no cause to fear. When shall I come for you, my dear, dear young lady?"

"The man is dying, you say," said Charlotte. "Death doesn't wait for our convenience; I will come with you now. My carriage is waiting quite near, I must go and give directions to the coachman: you can come with me: I will then get a cab and drive to see your husband."

After this the two women--the rich and the poor--walked on side by side, quickly and in silence. The heart of the one was dry and parched with the sudden fire of that anguish and shame, the heart of the other was so soothed, so thankful, that soft tears came, to be wiped stealthily away.

"Ain't she an angel?" she said to herself, knowing nothing, guessing less, of the storm which raged within her companion's soul; "and won't my poor Dan die easy now?"

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