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Though losses and crosses
Be lessons right severe,
There’s wit there, ye’ll get there,
Ye’ll find nae ither where.
Robert Burns.
“Early on the next morning Joseph Wyvil brought his young sister to the prison cell to see her husband.
“But notwithstanding the promise that the big brother had extorted1 from each of the unhappy little pair, that they would control their feelings and behave themselves, no sooner had Lil passed the grated door, entered the cell, and caught sight of her poor Joe, than she flew towards him, and the two fell into each other’s arms and sobbed2 aloud.
“Joseph Wyvil withdrew from the cell and left them together, taking his seat on a bench in the corridor beside the turnkey.
“After the first paroxysm of sobbing3, crying, caressing4 and pitying each other had exhausted5 itself and them, they sat down on the edge of the bed and began to talk and compare notes.
“And their conversation was something like this:
“‘When did you first hear of my trouble, Lil?’ inquired Joe.
“‘Oh, not until next day. Do you think if I had known it that night I wouldn’t have walked all the way to the lock-up house and made them let me in to stay with you?’
“‘Yes; but they wouldn’t have done it, Lil.’
“‘But I would have made them let me. I would have screamed and cried so they would have been obliged to do it.’
288“‘Poor little Lil!’
“‘But, you see, a man came and told me a passel of lies.’
“‘How was that, Lil?’
“‘Why, you see, we all at the farm sat up ever so late, waiting for you to come home, and never thinking any harm, and never feeling uneasy, because Mrs. Claxton said she reckoned as the old squire6 had died so sudden, and everybody had been taken so by surprise, and everything must be so upside down at the Hall, that maybe you had been called on to give some assistance, like going of a message, or something.’
“‘Yes. Well, Lil?’
“‘So we were not anxious about you. But just about an hour after midnight a man come to the house with a message from you, as you had been detained by business, but would come to me as soon as you could, and that I mustn’t wait up, but must go to bed. And I thought you were at the Hall, as they said; and though I felt disappointed, and very lonesome, I went to bed.’
“‘Poor little Lil!’
“‘And it was all lies, Joe—all lies!’
“‘No, it wasn’t, dear Lil; it was the truth. I was detained on business (detained in the lock-up house, on charge of felony), and I did mean to come to you as soon as ever I could. And it was I who sent that message to you. I did it so you could get some sleep that night, dear Lil!’
“‘Oh, Joe!’
“‘But how did you hear the truth at last, my poor Lil?’
“‘From Joseph.’
“‘From Joseph!’
“‘Yes. You see, Mr. Claxton heard the whole truth from the man who came the night before, though he never let on to me that he had heard it. And he 289sent a telegram to Joseph that same night. How lucky we had told him all about our brother, and where he lived! Well, I think Joseph must have taken the very first train after receiving the telegram, for he arrived the next afternoon.’
“‘Ah! after I had been committed for trial, and had set out for this place.’
“Yes; I suppose so. Well, he reached the farm about five o’clock; and he had so much self-control that I did not see that anything was wrong, but only thought that he had taken pity on us at last, and had forgiven us and come to say so. So, after he had kissed me a good many kisses, I told him I was sorry Joe wasn’t home, but that Joe was over at the Hall, where the old squire lay dead. That was what I thought, you know.’
“‘Well, then he told me that you had gone to Carlisle on business connected with the death of the old squire that would keep you there some time; he thought it best to take me on there, too. Oh, how cunning he was, Joe!’
“‘How wise and merciful, you mean, Lil.’
“‘Well, anyhow, I thanked him with all my heart. There wasn’t another train that stopped at Orton that night, so we had to wait and take the early one the next morning; and that we did. And oh, Joe! I heard the people at the station, and on the train, too, talking about the highway robbery and murder, and saying such a thing had not occurred in that neighborhood within the memory of the oldest inhabitant; and talking about a stranger by the name of John Weston, who was the ringleader of it, and saying that he had been committed to prison the day before to stand his trial at the next assizes. And oh, Joe! while I listened with the greatest curiosity and 290interest to all that, I had not the least idea that John Weston was you!’
“Here Lil lost her self-control again, threw herself into Joe’s arms, and burst into a storm of sobs7 and tears, in which her boy-husband joined her with all his might.
“When this tempest subsided8, Lil, between gasps9, resumed her discourse10 by asking a question:
“‘What made you call yourself John Weston?’
“‘To save the family credit, and because I had as much right to that name, or to any other, as to the one I wear.’
“‘Well, then, we got to this city yesterday noon, and went to a quiet inn. And I wanted to be taken at once to see you, never dreaming of where you were. But Joseph said you were engaged in business at the time, and that we could have some luncheon11 first and then go to you. I was half angry, but as I was hungry I agreed to take some coffee and sandwiches. And after that, when I insisted on going to you, Joseph told me you were in a little trouble. He didn’t mean to tell me how bad it was, but just to prepare me to see you in prison; but somehow I seemed to guess all at once that you were the John Weston they had been talking about on the train, and though I never could believe anything bad of you for one single minute, and didn’t then, Joe, yet somehow or other it floored me quite and left me for dead like, for when I came to myself it was dark, and there was a doctor and a nurse sitting by me. That was night before last. I believe they gave me something to make me stupid and sleepy, for I know I slept almost constantly day and night until this morning, when they let me get up to come to you—oh, Joe!’
“‘Lil! Lil! Don’t cry any more! You will make yourself ill,’ pleaded Joe.
291“And Lil gasped12, recovered and warded13 off a third attack.
“‘They all knew all about it before I knew a word. Mr. and Mrs. Claxton, and afterwards Joseph, as well as everybody else, I reckon, heard of your arrest and of your explanation of your presence with the party that stopped the coach that night, and they all believed you told the truth, Joe! Every one of them did, and of course I knew you did when Joseph told me about it.’
“‘Oh, it is so comforting to think my own friends and neighbors believe me,’ sighed Joe.
“The two would have talked much longer, no doubt, but Joseph Wyvil spoke14 through the grating and told Joe that Mr. Rocke, his counsel, was waiting in the corridor to speak to him.
“Then Lil took leave of Joe, promising15 to come back as often and to stay as long as prison rules would allow.
“Joseph Wyvil showed Mr. Rocke into the cell and led Lil out, and took her home to the quiet lodgings16 he had provided for her.
“After this, Lil went every morning to see her boy-husband, and was permitted by the kindness of the governor to spend most of the day with him.
“Mr. Rocke, the counsel, and Joseph Wyvil, the brother, did all they could to keep up the spirits of the young pair, and succeeded better than any outsider could have believed.


1 extorted 067a410e7b6359c130b95772a4b83d0b     
v.敲诈( extort的过去式和过去分词 );曲解
  • The gang extorted money from over 30 local businesses. 这帮歹徒向当地30多户商家勒索过钱财。
  • He extorted a promise from me. 他硬要我答应。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
2 sobbed 4a153e2bbe39eef90bf6a4beb2dba759     
哭泣,啜泣( sob的过去式和过去分词 ); 哭诉,呜咽地说
  • She sobbed out the story of her son's death. 她哭诉着她儿子的死。
  • She sobbed out the sad story of her son's death. 她哽咽着诉说她儿子死去的悲惨经过。
3 sobbing df75b14f92e64fc9e1d7eaf6dcfc083a     
<主方>Ⅰ adj.湿透的
  • I heard a child sobbing loudly. 我听见有个孩子在呜呜地哭。
  • Her eyes were red with recent sobbing. 她的眼睛因刚哭过而发红。
4 caressing 00dd0b56b758fda4fac8b5d136d391f3     
  • The spring wind is gentle and caressing. 春风和畅。
  • He sat silent still caressing Tartar, who slobbered with exceeding affection. 他不声不响地坐在那里,不断抚摸着鞑靼,它由于获得超常的爱抚而不淌口水。
5 exhausted 7taz4r     
  • It was a long haul home and we arrived exhausted.搬运回家的这段路程特别长,到家时我们已筋疲力尽。
  • Jenny was exhausted by the hustle of city life.珍妮被城市生活的忙乱弄得筋疲力尽。
6 squire 0htzjV     
n.护卫, 侍从, 乡绅
  • I told him the squire was the most liberal of men.我告诉他乡绅是世界上最宽宏大量的人。
  • The squire was hard at work at Bristol.乡绅在布里斯托尔热衷于他的工作。
7 sobs d4349f86cad43cb1a5579b1ef269d0cb     
啜泣(声),呜咽(声)( sob的名词复数 )
  • She was struggling to suppress her sobs. 她拼命不让自己哭出来。
  • She burst into a convulsive sobs. 她突然抽泣起来。
8 subsided 1bda21cef31764468020a8c83598cc0d     
v.(土地)下陷(因在地下采矿)( subside的过去式和过去分词 );减弱;下降至较低或正常水平;一下子坐在椅子等上
  • After the heavy rains part of the road subsided. 大雨过后,部分公路塌陷了。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • By evening the storm had subsided and all was quiet again. 傍晚, 暴风雨已经过去,四周开始沉寂下来。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
9 gasps 3c56dd6bfe73becb6277f1550eaac478     
v.喘气( gasp的第三人称单数 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • He leant against the railing, his breath coming in short gasps. 他倚着栏杆,急促地喘气。 来自《简明英汉词典》
  • My breaths were coming in gasps. 我急促地喘起气来。 来自《简明英汉词典》
10 discourse 2lGz0     
  • We'll discourse on the subject tonight.我们今晚要谈论这个问题。
  • He fell into discourse with the customers who were drinking at the counter.他和站在柜台旁的酒客谈了起来。
11 luncheon V8az4     
  • We have luncheon at twelve o'clock.我们十二点钟用午餐。
  • I have a luncheon engagement.我午饭有约。
12 gasped e6af294d8a7477229d6749fa9e8f5b80     
v.喘气( gasp的过去式和过去分词 );喘息;倒抽气;很想要
  • She gasped at the wonderful view. 如此美景使她惊讶得屏住了呼吸。
  • People gasped with admiration at the superb skill of the gymnasts. 体操运动员的高超技艺令人赞叹。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
13 warded bd81f9d02595a46c7a54f0dca9a5023b     
  • The soldiers warded over the city. 士兵们守护着这座城市。
  • He warded off a danger. 他避开了危险。
14 spoke XryyC     
n.(车轮的)辐条;轮辐;破坏某人的计划;阻挠某人的行动 v.讲,谈(speak的过去式);说;演说;从某种观点来说
  • They sourced the spoke nuts from our company.他们的轮辐螺帽是从我们公司获得的。
  • The spokes of a wheel are the bars that connect the outer ring to the centre.辐条是轮子上连接外圈与中心的条棒。
15 promising BkQzsk     
  • The results of the experiments are very promising.实验的结果充满了希望。
  • We're trying to bring along one or two promising young swimmers.我们正设法培养出一两名有前途的年轻游泳选手。
16 lodgings f12f6c99e9a4f01e5e08b1197f095e6e     
n. 出租的房舍, 寄宿舍
  • When he reached his lodgings the sun had set. 他到达公寓房间时,太阳已下山了。
  • I'm on the hunt for lodgings. 我正在寻找住所。


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