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Ships That Pass in the Night   By: (1864-1936)

Book cover

First Page:

SHIPS THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT.

CONTENTS.

PART I.

I. A NEW COMER

II. WHICH CONTAINS A FEW DETAILS

III. MRS. REFFOLD LEARNS HER LESSON

IV. CONCERNING WARLI AND MARIE

V. THE DISAGREEABLE MAN

VI. THE TRAVELLER AND THE TEMPLE OF KNOWLEDGE

VII. BERNARDINE

VIII. THE STORY MOVES ON AT LAST

IX. BERNARDINE PREACHES

X. THE DISAGREEABLE MAN IS SEEN IN A NEW LIGHT

XI. "IF ONE HAS MADE THE ONE GREAT SACRIFICE"

XII. THE DISAGREEABLE MAN MAKES A LOAN

XIII. A DOMESTIC SCENE

XIV. CONCERNING THE CARETAKERS

XV. WHICH CONTAINS NOTHING

XVI. WHEN THE SOUL KNOWS ITS OWN REMORSE

XVII. A RETURN TO OLD PASTURES

XVIII. A BETROTHAL

XIX. SHIPS THAT SPEAK EACH OTHER IN PASSING

XX. A LOVE LETTER

PART II.

I. THE DUSTING OF THE BOOKS

II. BERNARDINE BEGINS HER BOOK

III. FAILURE AND SUCCESS: A PROLOGUE

IV. THE DISAGREEABLE MAN GIVES UP HIS FREEDOM

V. THE BUILDING OF THE BRIDGE

SHIPS THAT PASS IN THE NIGHT.

PART I.

CHAPTER I.

A NEW COMER.

"YES, indeed," remarked one of the guests at the English table, "yes, indeed, we start life thinking that we shall build a great cathedral, a crowning glory to architecture, and we end by contriving a mud hut!"

"I am glad you think so well of human nature," said the Disagreeable Man, suddenly looking up from the newspaper which he always read during meal time. "I should be more inclined to say that we end by being content to dig a hole, and get into it, like the earth men."

A silence followed these words; the English community at that end of the table was struck with astonishment at hearing the Disagreeable Man speak. The few sentences he had spoken during the last four years at Petershof were on record; this was decidedly the longest of them all.

"He is going to speak again," whispered beautiful Mrs. Reffold to her neighbour.

The Disagreeable Man once more looked up from his newspaper.

"Please, pass me the Yorkshire relish," he said in his rough way to a girl sitting next to him.

The spell was broken, and the conversation started afresh. But the girl who had passed the Yorkshire relish sat silent and listless, her food untouched, and her wine untasted. She was small and thin; her face looked haggard. She was a new comer, and had, indeed, arrived at Petershof only two hours before the table d'hôte bell rang. But there did not seem to be any nervous shrinking in her manner, nor any shyness at having to face the two hundred and fifty guests of the Kurhaus. She seemed rather to be unaware of their presence; or, if aware of, certainly indifferent to the scrutiny under which she was being placed. She was recalled to reality by the voice of the Disagreeable Man. She did not hear what he said, but she mechanically stretched out her hand and passed him the mustard pot.

"Is that what you asked for?" she said half dreamily; "or was it the water bottle?"

"You are rather deaf, I should think," said the Disagreeable Man placidly. "I only remarked that it was a pity you were not eating your dinner. Perhaps the scrutiny of the two hundred and fifty guests in this civilized place is a vexation to you."

"I did not know they were scrutinizing," she answered; "and even if they are, what does it matter to me? I am sure I am quite too tired to care."

"Why have you come here?" asked the Disagreeable Man suddenly.

"Probably for the same reason as yourself," she said; "to get better or well."

"You won't get better," he answered cruelly; "I know your type well; you burn yourselves out quickly. And my God how I envy you!"

"So you have pronounced my doom," she said, looking at him intently. Then she laughed but there was no merriment in the laughter.

"Listen," she said, as she bent nearer to him; "because you are hopeless, it does not follow that you should try to make others hopeless too. You have drunk deep of the cup of poison; I can see that... Continue reading book >>




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