aside’ and made this proposition. Lord George stated

time:2023-12-05 05:57:09 source:Tears down the net author:problem

‘Leave Helstone, papa! But why?’

aside’ and made this proposition. Lord George stated

Mr. Hale did not answer for a minute or two. He played with some papers on the table in a nervous and confused manner, opening his lips to speak several times, but closing them again without having the courage to utter a word. Margaret could not bear the sight of the suspense, which was even more distressing to her father than to herself.

aside’ and made this proposition. Lord George stated

‘But why, dear papa? Do tell me!’

aside’ and made this proposition. Lord George stated

He looked up at her suddenly, and then said with a slow and enforced calmness:

‘Because I must no longer be a minister in the Church of England.’

Margaret had imagined nothing less than that some of the preferments which her mother so much desired had befallen her father at last — something that would force him to leave beautiful, beloved Helstone, and perhaps compel him to go and live in some of the stately and silent Closes which Margaret had seen from time to time in cathedral towns. They were grand and imposing places, but if, to go there, it was necessary to leave Helstone as a home for ever, that would have been a sad, long, lingering pain. But nothing to the shock she received from Mr. Hale’s last speech. What could he mean? It was all the worse for being so mysterious. The aspect of piteous distress on his face, almost as imploring a merciful and kind judgment from his child, gave her a sudden sickening. Could he have become implicated in anything Frederick had done? Frederick was an outlaw. Had her father, out of a natural love for his son, connived at any —

‘Oh! what is it? do speak, papa! tell me all! Why can you no longer be a clergyman? Surely, if the bishop were told all we know about Frederick, and the hard, unjust —’

‘It is nothing about Frederick; the bishop would have nothing to do with that. It is all myself. Margaret, I will tell you about it. I will answer any questions this once, but after to-night let us never speak of it again. I can meet the consequences of my painful, miserable doubts; but it is an effort beyond me to speak of what has caused me so much suffering.’


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