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首页 » 儿童英文小说 » Wild Heather » CHAPTER XI
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I do not know how I parted with Vernon Carbury. I cannot recall even to this day whether I shook hands with him or not, or even whether he walked with me as far as the gates of the Park. What I do remember vividly1 is this: that I went home to Hanbury Square like one walking in a dream. The whole world seemed to me to be filled with a wonderful new light. In the midst of this radiance was one figure, one face; out of the brightness one voice seemed to speak, and one pair of eyes to shine. I was certain I did not in the least love Captain Carbury, but I did know that our meeting had been full of keen excitement, and that I was altogether lifted out of myself into a new and wonderful world. I wanted to be quite alone, to think over what had happened. I was puzzled, too, at the fact that I was trembling, and that my cheeks were hot one minute and that I felt cold all over the next.
Morris walked discreetly2 behind me, and the beautiful smell of the violets came in wafts3 now and then to my nostrils4. During our walk home Morris had not spoken to me. When I reached the house I went straight to my pretty bedroom; I wanted more badly than ever to be quite by myself, but Morris annoyed me. She followed me into my bedroom, carrying the violets.
"Shall I arrange these in your sitting-room5 for you, miss?" she asked.
"Please do," I answered; "and Morris, do not come near me for a time, for I wish to be quite alone."
"Certainly, miss. I was to say, please, that the Major and her ladyship have gone on the river, but that lunch will be ready for you whenever you wish for it in the smaller dining-room."
"I am not hungry, and I don't wish for lunch," I replied.
"Shall I bring you up some tea and a lightly boiled egg, miss?"
"Yes; that will do nicely," I answered.
She tripped away, and I shut and locked the door. I could not bear to encounter her face, for it was full of meaning. She treated me as though I were slightly ill, and as though she were my nurse. I hated beyond words the knowledge that she shared my secret with me; but then, of course, I had no secret, for although Vernon Carbury had said those wonderful, those amazing words, I did not love him back again. How was it possible that I, a girl who respected myself, could love a man who a few weeks before had been engaged to another?
I sat in my room, leaning back in my comfortable chair; then I started up and paced the floor impatiently; then I tried very hard to make myself angry with Captain Carbury—I wanted to force myself even to hate him a little bit—but I did not succeed. I could only remember the look in his eyes, and the smile on his lips, and the thrill in his voice, when he told me how he cared for me, and I could only recall the fact that I certainly would meet him at eleven o'clock on the following morning in Hyde Park.
Morris must share my secret. It was a terrible thing to reflect about, but I could not go to Hyde Park alone; she must, therefore, accompany me. Well, that would end the whole thing. I would tell dear, kind Vernon that all my life long I would remember his good words to me, and that I would ever and ever keep him in my gallery of heroes, but that, of course—and I knew that I must speak very steadily6 and firmly at this juncture7 of my conversation—I could never love him, nor, by any possibility, marry him. I should be quite pleased to be his friend, but beyond that anything else was impossible.
There came a tap at my door. It was Morris, bearing a tray with some delicately-prepared tea, some fragrant8 toast, some little pats of delicious butter, on a silver tray, and a nice, fresh, brown egg, lightly boiled. Morris carried the tray in one hand; in the other she held a great basket full of the most exquisite9 roses I had ever seen in my life.
"For you, Miss Dalrymple," she said, and she laid the basket of roses on the dressing-table.
"Oh! oh!" I said. I adored flowers, and I buried my face now in the fragrant blooms.
"Aren't they beautiful, miss?" remarked Morris. "They must have cost a small fortune."
My cheeks were very red indeed, nor did I look up from sniffing11 at the flowers until Morris had left the room, closing the door softly behind her. Then I rose slowly, and carrying the basket with me, laid it on the floor at my feet. I sat down by the table, where my small lunch awaited me, but I did not care to eat. I began carefully to take one beautiful blossom after another out of the basket. Of course, Vernon Carbury had sent these flowers to me; there was no doubt whatever on the subject. How reckless of him—how wrong of him! And yet, how splendidly nice and delightful12 of him! But I must speak to him on this very point to-morrow. He was, of course, far from rich, and he must on no account spend his money on me; I would not permit it for a moment. Still, it was delightful to sniff10 these roses, and to think of him, and to wonder, deep down in my heart, what he could find in a little, insignificant13 girl like me to love.
I had finished my tea and was standing14 by the window, when, to my amazement15, I heard a firm and determined16 knock at the door. Whoever the person was who waited without, she did not linger long; she turned the handle of the door and entered.
It was my stepmother. Her eyes lighted up with pleasure as they fell on the beautiful basket of hothouse roses.
"Ah!" she said, "I might have guessed as much. This explains everything, and how lovely!"
"I thought you were on the river," I said.
"A tiresome17 thing happened," she replied, "and I have come back. Aren't those flowers lovely?"
"Yes," I said. I felt quite pleased and surprised at her sympathy. Was it possible that I had been mistaken in her all the time? Was she really the sort of woman who would wish me to care about a man like Captain Carbury?
She came up to me and put her hand on my shoulder.
"Heather," she said, "you are one of the lucky people of the world. I knew that, from the moment I laid my eyes on you; I told your father so, and for some time we both have seen what was coming. Yes; you are of the fortunate ones of the earth. Remember, Heather, in your days of prosperity, that you will always have to thank me for this."
"But nothing is coming," I answered, for although I was surprised and liked her for her sympathy, I would not even pretend that I cared for Vernon Carbury. Then I continued:
"It was impossible for you to know it, whatever you mean by 'it,' for any length of time, for he has only just broken off——"
"He—he has only just broken off!" exclaimed my stepmother. "What are you talking of, child? Really, Heather, you are the most tiresome girl I ever met. What you want, my dear, is an early engagement, and a quick marriage."
"Oh, just what—what——"
"Now again you interrupt—I cannot understand you in the very least. What do you mean by 'just what—what'?"
"Nothing, mother," I said. It hurt me awfully18 to say the word, but I forced myself to do it, for father's sake.
"I don't believe you know yourself," remarked Lady Helen. "Now, get into your prettiest dress. We are going to motor in the Park, you and I, all by ourselves."
"But Where's Daddy?" I asked. "I want Daddy to come with us."
"Your father won't be in until dinner-time; he is very busy. By the way, two gentlemen, special friends of mine—and, indeed, I think one of them is a special friend of yours—are coming to dine here to-night."
"Oh!" I said. I felt myself changing colour.
My stepmother gazed at me, and a curious smile, which I did not like, flitted across her face.
"Come," she said; "you are a good girl; you are not quite as silly as you seem, and I perceive that you are taking kindly19 to my arrangements."
"Please tell me the names of the gentlemen who are dining here to-night?" I asked.
"I shall do nothing of the kind. I never give away my pet secrets. You will see them when they come, and I wish you to look your very sweetest and best. That new feathery sort of dress, with the silver embroidery20, will exactly suit you. You can wear a great bunch of these roses just here"—she indicated the front of my dress—"and Morris will arrange a few on the skirt. I assure you, with those additions to your white and silver dress, you will, my dear daughter, be irresistible21. It isn't every girl who does so well in her first season; but then, it isn't every girl who has the advantage of a mother like me. Now I mustn't waste any more time. Ring for Morris. Tell her that she is to put you into your dark blue costume, with the blue hat to match, and the silver fox fur. Get ready as fast as you can. Ah! here you are, Morris. Attend to Miss Dalrymple, please."


1 vividly tebzrE     
  • The speaker pictured the suffering of the poor vividly.演讲者很生动地描述了穷人的生活。
  • The characters in the book are vividly presented.这本书里的人物写得栩栩如生。
2 discreetly nuwz8C     
  • He had only known the perennial widow, the discreetly expensive Frenchwoman. 他只知道她是个永远那么年轻的寡妇,一个很会讲排场的法国女人。
  • Sensing that Lilian wanted to be alone with Celia, Andrew discreetly disappeared. 安德鲁觉得莉莲想同西莉亚单独谈些什么,有意避开了。
3 wafts cea8c86b5ca9cf55bc3caeed26b62437     
n.空中飘来的气味,一阵气味( waft的名词复数 );摇转风扇v.吹送,飘送,(使)浮动( waft的第三人称单数 )
  • A breeze wafts the sweet smell of roses. 微风吹来了玫瑰花的芬芳(香味)。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
  • A breeze wafts the smell of roses. 微风吹送玫瑰花香气。 来自《现代汉英综合大词典》
4 nostrils 23a65b62ec4d8a35d85125cdb1b4410e     
鼻孔( nostril的名词复数 )
  • Her nostrils flared with anger. 她气得两个鼻孔都鼓了起来。
  • The horse dilated its nostrils. 马张大鼻孔。
5 sitting-room sitting-room     
  • The sitting-room is clean.起居室很清洁。
  • Each villa has a separate sitting-room.每栋别墅都有一间独立的起居室。
6 steadily Qukw6     
  • The scope of man's use of natural resources will steadily grow.人类利用自然资源的广度将日益扩大。
  • Our educational reform was steadily led onto the correct path.我们的教学改革慢慢上轨道了。
7 juncture e3exI     
  • The project is situated at the juncture of the new and old urban districts.该项目位于新老城区交界处。
  • It is very difficult at this juncture to predict the company's future.此时很难预料公司的前景。
8 fragrant z6Yym     
  • The Fragrant Hills are exceptionally beautiful in late autumn.深秋的香山格外美丽。
  • The air was fragrant with lavender.空气中弥漫薰衣草香。
9 exquisite zhez1     
  • I was admiring the exquisite workmanship in the mosaic.我当时正在欣赏镶嵌画的精致做工。
  • I still remember the exquisite pleasure I experienced in Bali.我依然记得在巴厘岛所经历的那种剧烈的快感。
10 sniff PF7zs     
  • The police used dogs to sniff out the criminals in their hiding - place.警察使用警犬查出了罪犯的藏身地点。
  • When Munchie meets a dog on the beach, they sniff each other for a while.当麦奇在海滩上碰到另一条狗的时候,他们会彼此嗅一会儿。
11 sniffing 50b6416c50a7d3793e6172a8514a0576     
n.探查法v.以鼻吸气,嗅,闻( sniff的现在分词 );抽鼻子(尤指哭泣、患感冒等时出声地用鼻子吸气);抱怨,不以为然地说
  • We all had colds and couldn't stop sniffing and sneezing. 我们都感冒了,一个劲地抽鼻子,打喷嚏。
  • They all had colds and were sniffing and sneezing. 他们都伤风了,呼呼喘气而且打喷嚏。 来自《现代英汉综合大词典》
12 delightful 6xzxT     
  • We had a delightful time by the seashore last Sunday.上星期天我们在海滨玩得真痛快。
  • Peter played a delightful melody on his flute.彼得用笛子吹奏了一支欢快的曲子。
13 insignificant k6Mx1     
  • In winter the effect was found to be insignificant.在冬季,这种作用是不明显的。
  • This problem was insignificant compared to others she faced.这一问题与她面临的其他问题比较起来算不得什么。
14 standing 2hCzgo     
  • After the earthquake only a few houses were left standing.地震过后只有几幢房屋还立着。
  • They're standing out against any change in the law.他们坚决反对对法律做任何修改。
15 amazement 7zlzBK     
  • All those around him looked at him with amazement.周围的人都对他投射出惊异的眼光。
  • He looked at me in blank amazement.他带着迷茫惊诧的神情望着我。
16 determined duszmP     
  • I have determined on going to Tibet after graduation.我已决定毕业后去西藏。
  • He determined to view the rooms behind the office.他决定查看一下办公室后面的房间。
17 tiresome Kgty9     
  • His doubts and hesitations were tiresome.他的疑惑和犹豫令人厌烦。
  • He was tiresome in contending for the value of his own labors.他老为他自己劳动的价值而争强斗胜,令人生厌。
18 awfully MPkym     
  • Agriculture was awfully neglected in the past.过去农业遭到严重忽视。
  • I've been feeling awfully bad about it.对这我一直感到很难受。
19 kindly tpUzhQ     
  • Her neighbours spoke of her as kindly and hospitable.她的邻居都说她和蔼可亲、热情好客。
  • A shadow passed over the kindly face of the old woman.一道阴影掠过老太太慈祥的面孔。
20 embroidery Wjkz7     
  • This exquisite embroidery won people's great admiration.这件精美的绣品,使人惊叹不已。
  • This is Jane's first attempt at embroidery.这是简第一次试着绣花。
21 irresistible n4CxX     
  • The wheel of history rolls forward with an irresistible force.历史车轮滚滚向前,势不可挡。
  • She saw an irresistible skirt in the store window.她看见商店的橱窗里有一条叫人着迷的裙子。


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