en-fr  THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME - Chapter 39
Bonjour jour à tous. ;o)
CHAPITRE XXXIX - TOUT EST BIEN QUI FINIT BIEN.
— Bell ! Bell ! ne m'abandonne pas.
— Je le dois, Gabriel. C'est mon devoir.
— Comme tu es cruelle ! Ah, tu ne m'as jamais aimé comme moi je t'aime.
— C'est encore plus vrai que tu ne le crois, mon pauvre garçon. Je pensais t'aimer mais je me trompais. C'était ta situation qui m'incitait à t'épouser, c'était ta nature fragile qui me faisait pitié. Mais je ne t'aime pas, je ne t'ai jamais aimé, et il vaut mieux que tu le saches avant que nous nous séparions.
— Nous séparer ? Oh, Bell ! Bell !
— Nous séparer, répéta Bell avec vigueur, et pour toujours.
La tête de Gabriel retomba sur sa poitrine, et il soupira comme celui qui, par-delà ses pleurs, entend les mottes de terre s'abattre sur le cercueil de sa bien-aimée. Bell Mosk et lui étaient assis dans le petit salon derrière le bar, ils étaient seuls dans la maison, en dehors de la personne à l'étage qui, dans la chambre de Mme Mosk, veillait la défunte. En apprenant l'acte insensé de son mari, la pauvre femme, si misérable qu'ait été sa vie avec cet homme, sentit pourtant son ancien amour pour lui renaître au point de déclarer en avoir le cœur brisé. Elle gémit, pleura et refusa tout réconfort, jusqu'à ce qu'une nuit elle referme les yeux sur ce monde qui avait été si dur et amer envers elle. Ainsi Bell était une orpheline, sans père ni mère, anéantie par le chagrin et la honte. À sa façon elle avait aimé son père, et ses mauvaises actions et sa triste fin l'avaient touchée au cœur. Elle avait même été contente quand sa mère était morte car elle savait bien que cette femme sensible ne se serait jamais remise du déshonneur qui s'était abattu sur elle. Et Bell, pâle et l'œil sec, après avoir longtemps pleuré, était assise dans le petit salon miteux, refusant le seul réconfort qu'aurait pu apporter le monde à son cœur fatigué. Pauvre Bell ! Pauvre petite Bell !
— Réfléchis, Gabriel, continua-t-elle, d'une voix dure et sans larme, pense à la honte que je ferais tomber sur toi si j'avais la faiblesse d'accepter de devenir ta femme. Je n'avais pas grand chose à t'apporter ; j'en ai encore moins maintenant. Je n'ai jamais prétendu être une dame ; mais je pensais qu'en tant que ton épouse, je ne t'aurais jamais fait honte. Ce qui est fait n'est plus à faire. J'ai toujours su que tu étais quelqu'un de bien, honorable et gentil. Personne si ce n'est un homme de bien comme toi n'aurait tenu sa parole avec la fille d'un meurtrier. Mais tu l'as fait, mon amour, et je t'en sais gré et je te bénis pour ta bonté. La seule façon dont je peux te montrer ma reconnaissance est de te rendre ton alliance. Prends-la, Gabriel, et que Dieu te récompense de ta grande bonté.
Il y avait cela dans sa voix qui faisait sentir à Gabriel que sa décision était irrévocable. Il prit machinalement la bague qu'elle lui rendait et la glissa à son doigt. Jamais il ne la retirerait de l'endroit où il l'avait placé à ce moment-là ; et jour après jour, fréquemment, elle lui rappelerait le seul amour de sa vie. Avec un second soupir, désespéré et résigné, il se leva et regarda la silhouette sombre dans la pénombre de la pièce.
— Quels sont tes projets, Bell ? demanda-t-il d'une voix impassible, qu'il reconnaissait à peine comme étant la sienne.
— Je quitte Beorminster la semaine prochaine, répondit la jeune fille avec nonchalance. Sir Harry a tout organisé au sujet de cet hôtel, et a été très aimable à tous points de vue. J'ai un peu d'argent car Sir Harry m'a payé pour les meubles et le stock de marchandises. Je dois bien sûr payer les... les dettes de mon père — elle pouvait à peine dire les mots — aussi ne reste-t-il pas grand chose. Enfin, il me reste suffisamment pour me rendre à Londres et m'en sortir jusqu'à ce que je trouve une situation.
— Comme... comme serveuse? demanda Gabriel à voix basse.
— Comme serveuse répondit-elle froidement. Que pourrais-je faire d'autre ?
— Ne puis-je pas t'aider ?
— Non; tu m'as donné toute l'aide possible en me montrant combien tu me respectes.
— Je fais plus que te respecter, Bell ; je t'aime.
— Je m'en réjouis, répondit Bell avec douceur. C'est inestimable pour une pauvre fille comme moi d'être aimée.
— Bell ! Bell ! personne ne te jette la pierre.
— Je suis la fille d'un meurtrier, Gabriel; et je sais mieux que toi ce qu'est la charité du monde. Penses-tu que je resterais dans ce lieu, où les gens cruels me rappelleraient tous les jours et toutes les heures le péché de mon père ? Ah ! mon chéri, je sais ce que l'on dirait, et je ne veux pas l'entendre. — Je vais enterrer ma pauvre mère et partir pour ne plus jamais revenir.
— Ma pauvre Bell ! Dieu a en effet mis un lourd fardeau sur tes epaules.
— Ne... Sa voix se brisa et ses larmes si longtemps réfrénées emplirent ses yeux. Ne me parle pas gentiment, Gabriel, je ne puis supporter la gentillesse. Je me suis résolue à supporter le pire. Va-t-en, ta bonté ne fait que me rendre les choses encore plus difficiles. Après tout, je ne suis qu'une femme et suis donc censée pleurer. Elle éclata en sanglots et les larmes baignèrent son visage.
— Je vais y aller, dit Gabriel, se sentant impuissant car effectivement il n'y avait rien qu'il puisse faire. Au revoir, Bell ! souffla-t-il.
"Au revoir !" elle sanglotait. Dieu vous bénisse!
Gabriel avec un cour blessé, se dirigea lentement vers la porte. Au moment où il l'atteignit, Bell se leva vivement et, traversant la pièce, elle se jeta à son cou, pleurant comme si son cœur trop lourd se brisait. — Je ne t'embrasserai plus jamais, gémit-elle, jamais, jamais plus !
— Dieu te bénisse et te garde,ma pauvre chérie ! bablbutia Gabriel.
— Et que Dieu te bénisse ! pour l'homme bon que tu as été pour moi, sanglota-t-elle, puis ils se séparèrent pour ne plus se revoir en ce monde.
Et c'était la fin de la romance de Gabriel Pendle. Dans un premier temps, il songea à partir comme missionnaire dans les mers du Sud, mais les prières de son père afin de lui faire renoncer à un projet aussi extrême l'emportèrent, et finalement il se rendit à deux pas de Beorminster, au presbytère de Heathcroft. M. Leigh était décédé quelques jours après le départ de Bell loin de la petite ville de comté, et Gabriel s'en était vu confier la charge par l'évêque. C'était un travailleur consciencieux, un pasteur sérieux, un vicaire apprécié, mais son cœur saignait encore à l'évocation de Bell qui l'avait quitté avec une telle dignité afin de supporter seule sa disgrâce. Il ignorait où se trouvait Bell en ce moment, personne à Beorminster ne le savait... pas même Mme Pansey... car elle avait disparu telle une goutte d'eau dans le vaste et sauvage océan londonien. Et Gabriel travaillait au milieu des pauvres et des nécessiteux, arborant un visage souriant mais le cœur dévasté, car peu de temps s'était écoulé et son cœur meurtri saignait encore. Personne, en dehors de l'évêque, ne savait combien il aimait la pauvre Bell et souffrait de son départ, mais Mme Pendle, avec le double instinct de la femme et de la mère, devinait que son fils préféré vivait une histoire d'amour pathétique, et elle aurait bien voulu en savoir plus afin de pouvoir le consoler de ce chagrin. Mais Gabriel ne lui en avait jamais parlé et ne le ferait jamais, mais il continua à vivre, taiseux et célibataire, fidèle à la mémoire de cette femme simple et banale qui se montra si digne et si honorable dans l'adversité. Ainsi s'achève l'histoire de ces deux infortunés.
Il est plus agréable de parler de la guerre entre la Whichello et la Pansey. « Bella matronis detestata » dit le poète latin, qui devait bien mal connaître le sexe féminin pour faire une telle remarque. Certes, il parlait des vraies guerres et pas des petites batailles familiales ou sociales, mais il aurait dû être plus explicite. Les femmes sont des combattantes nées ... avec leurs langues ; et une illustration de cette vérité fut donnée à Beorminster lorsque Mlle Whichello jeta le gant à Mme Pansey. La petite vieille savait bien que lorsque George et Mab se marieraient, la veuve de l'archidiacre se servirait de sa fameuse mémoire pour rappeler les scandales qu'elle avait mis à jour près de trente ans auparavant. Par conséquent, pour vaincre Mme Pansey une fois pour toutes, elle rendit visite à cette bonne dame et lui défendit de dire qu'il y avait une disgrâce attachée à la filiation de Mab. Mme Pansey, anticipant une victoire facile, secoua ses jupes et fut furieuse immédiatement.
— Je sais pertinemment que votre sœur Ann n'ai pas mariée l'homme avec lequel elle s'est enfuie, s'écria Mme Pansey en secouant méchamment la tête.
— Qui vous a dit ça ? demanda Mme Whicello, avec indignation.
— Je... je ne me souviens pas pour l'instant, mais là n'est pas la question... c'est vrai.
— C'est faux, et vous savez que c'est une invention de votre propre esprit malveillant, Mme Pansey. Ma soeur était mariée le jour où elle quitta la maison, et j'ai son certificat de mariage pour le prouver. Je l'ai montré à l'évêque Pendle, car vous avez empoisonné son esprit avec vos mensonges malveillants, et il est tout à fait satisfait.
— Oh, n'importe quelle baliverne satisferait l'évêque, railla Mme Pansey ; nous savons tous comment il est !
— On le sait, oui ... un honorable chrétien ; et nous savons tous ce que vous êtes : une tigresse médisante, méchante et aigrie.
— Prétentieuse ! riche vocabulaire que cela.
— C'est le genre de vocabulaire que vous méritez, madame. Toute votre vie vous avez fait du mal avec votre langue de vipère !
— Madame, hurla Mme Pansey, blanche de colère, personne n'a jamais osé me parler ainsi.
— C'est bien dommage qu'ils ne l'aient pas fait, répliqua l'intrépide Miss Whichello ; 'cela aurait été bénéfique pour vous et pour Beorminster aussi.
- Serait-ce bien, madame ? haleta son adversaire, commençant à être enervée : — Oh vraiment ! avec un ricanement hystérique, — vous et votre certificat – je ne crois pas que vous l'ayez.
— Demandez à l'évêque si je ne l'ai pas. Il est satisfait, et c'est tout ce qui est nécessaire, vieille méchante.
— Vous ... vous quittez ma maison.
— Je ne ferai pas une telle chose. Je suis là, et je resterai là jusqu'à ce que je dise ce que je veux dire. Mlle Whichello frappa le sol avec son parapluie, tandis qu'elle reprenait son souffle pour continuer. — Je n'ai pas le certificat du mariage de ma sœur, n'est-ce pas ? Je vais vous le montrer au tribunal, Mme Pansey, quand vous serez sur le banc ... le banc des accusés, madame !
— Moi, sur le banc des accusés ? hurla Mme Pansey toute tremblante, mais plus de peur que de colère. — Comment ... comment osez-vous ?
Je suis prête à tout pour faire taire votre langue de vipère. Tout le monde vous déteste, il y a des gens qui sont assez fous pour vous craindre, mais pas moi, s'écria mademoiselle Whichello en redressant la tête, non, pas du tout. Un mot contre moi, ou contre Mab, et je porte plainte contre vous pour diffamation, aussi sûr que je m'appelle Selina Whichello.
— Je...je... je ne vais pas piper mot, marmonna Mme Pansey commençant à faire marche arrière à la manière des tyrans quand on les affronte courageusement.
— Vous feriez mieux de ne pas. J'ai l'évêque et tout Beorminster à mes côtés, et vous serez expulsée de la ville si vous ne voulez pas vous occuper de vos affaires. — Oh, je sais de quoi je parle, et Mlle Whichello lança un cri de triomphe, tel un coq victorieux.
— Je n'y suis pas habituée à... cette violence, renifla Mme Pansey, sortant son mouchoir. Si vous ne sortez pas, je vais appeler mes serviteurs.
— Faites-le et je leur dirai ce que je pense de vous. Je vais y aller maintenant. Mlle Whichello se leva rapidement. J'ai dit ce que j'avais à dire, et vous savez ce que j'ai l'intention de faire si vous vous mêlez de mes affaires. Bonne journée, Mme Pansey, et au revoir, car il se passera beaucoup de temps avant que je vous adresse à nouveau la parole, et la vieille petite dame sortit de la pièce avec un air de triomphe.
Mme Pansey était complètement anéantie. Elle savait très bien que Mlle Whichello disait la vérité sur le mariage, et qu'aucune de ses propres inventions ne pouvait s'opposer à la production du certificat. De plus, elle ne pouvait pas se battre contre l'évêque de Beorminster, ou risquer la concrétisation de la menace de Mlle Whichello de l'avoir devant le tribunal. Dans l'ensemble, la veuve de l'archidiacre a conclu qu'il serait mieux pour elle d'accepter sa défaite tranquillement et de tenir sa langue. C'est ce qu'elle a fait, et elle n'a jamais rien dit d'autre que de bon à propos de la jeune Mme Pendle et de sa tante. Elle envoya même un cadeau de mariage, qui fut accepté par la gagnante comme butin de guerre, et fut si indulgente dans ses propos concernant le jeune couple que tout Beorminster fut étonné, et se demanda si Mme Pansey s'apprêtait à rejoindre le défunt archidiacre. Jusque-là, la vieille dame avait fait irruption et intimidé dans un monde doux et terrifié ; mais maintenant elle avait rencontré et elle avait trouvé son maitre, vaincue et totalement retournée. Elle avait perdu son agressivité, et avec elle son influence. Plus jamais elle ne faisait usage de sa langue de vipère. Pour utiliser une expression vulgaire mais expressive, Mme Pansey était « anéantie ».
Peu de temps avant le mariage de George et Mab, la tribu des gitans sur laquelle régnait Mère Jaël se volatilisa dans le vide. Où étaient-ils allés, personne ne le savait, et personne ne s'enquérait, mais leur disparition était un soulagement à la fois pour Mlle Whichello et pour l'évêque. Celle-ci avait décidé que, pour ne courir aucun risque, il fallait que Mab fût mariée sous son vrai nom de Bosvile; et comme Mère Jaël savait que tel était le vrai nom de Jentham, Mlle Whichello crut peut-être qu'elle apprendrait que Mab était ainsi appelé, et ferait des recherches susceptibles de conduire à des désagréments. Mais Mère Jaël était partie au bon moment, alors Mlle Whichello expliqua à sa nièce et à George que le nom de la première n'était pas « Arden » mais « Bosvile ». Il faut que je te dise ceci, ma chérie, à l'occasion du mariage, dit la petite vieille ; tes parents, ma Mab chèrie, sont morts et disparus ; mais ton père était vivant quand je t'ai prise pour vivre avec moi, et je t'ai donné un autre nom afin qu'il ne puisse pas te réclamer. Ce n'était pas un homme de bien, mon amour.
Cela ne fait rien, tatie, s'écria Mab en embrassant la vieille dame. Je ne veux pas entendre parler de lui. Tu es à la fois mon père et ma mère, et je sais que ce que tu dis est juste. Je suppose, ajouta-t-elle en se tournant timidement vers George, que le capitaine Pendle aime autant Miss Bosvile que Mlle Arden!
Une rose sous un autre nom, et tout le reste, répondit George en souriant. — Qu'importe, ma chérie ? Vous serez bientôt Mab Pendle, alors ça va tout régler, même votre doux mari.
'George', dit solennellement Mlle Bosvile, s'il y a un mot dans la langue anglaise qui ne vous décrit pas, c'est "doux".
— Vraiment ! et s'il y a un nom dans la même langue qui vous va comme un gant, c'est ... devinez !
— Ange ! cria Mab, rapidement.
George rit. — Près de lui, dit-il, mais pas tout à fait ce que je veux dire. Le mot manquant sera dit quand nous sommes en lune de miel.
Ainsi donc, l'affaire fut arrangée, et Mab, en tant que Mlle Bosville épousa le capitaine Pendle, le même jour, à la même heure, où Lucy devenait madame Brace. Si quelques remarques avaient été faites au sujet du nom inscrit sur le registre de la cathédrale, peu de gens y prêtèrent attention, et ceux qui l'on fait ont reçu la même explication habile qu'elle avait donnée au jeune couple. De plus, comme Mère Jaël n'était pas présente pour s'informer, et que Mme Pansey n'avait pas le courage de faire allusion au scandale, l'affaire mourut naturellement. Mais quand la lune de miel déclinait, Mab rappela à George sa promesse de fournir le mot manquant.
Est-ce l'oie ? A-t-elle demandé en plaisantant.
— Non, ma douce, bien qu'elle aurait pu l'être ! répondit George en pinçant la jolie oreille de sa femme. — C'est Mab Pendle ! Et il l'embrassa.
Brisk Dr Graham était au double mariage, dans son humeur la plus aimable et la moins cynique. Il félicita l'évêque et Mme Pendle, il serra chaudement la main du marié, et tout aussi chaleureusement—sur la base d'une amitié pour la vie—il embrassa les mariées. Aussi, après le petit déjeuner de noces—auquel il fit le meilleur discours—il se disputa avec Baltic à propos de sa conception pénale du christianisme. L'ex-marin avait été très triste après le suicide de Mark, car l'acte irréfléchi avait prouvé à quel point la repentance de l'homme était superficielle.
— Mais à quoi pouviez-vous vous attendre ? lui dit Graham. On ne peut pas terroriser les gens dans une croyance légitime en la religion.
— Je ne veux pas faire cela, monsieur, répondit sobrement Baltic. Je veux les conduire au Trône avec amour et tendresse.
Je peux difficilement appeler votre méthode par de tels noms, mon ami. Vous ruinez simplement les gens dans cette vie pour les adapter, dans leur propre malgré, pour leur prochaine existence.
— Quand tout est perdu, docteur, les hommes cherchent Dieu.
— Peut-être ; mais c'est une piètre maière de le chercher. Si je ne pouvais pas être converti de mon propre gré, je ne devrais certainement pas me soucier d'être poussé à suivre un tel cours. Votre système, mon ami, est ingénieux, mais impossible.
— Je dois encore prouver que c'est impossible, docteur.
— Peuh ! Je crois que vous réussirez à gagner des disciples, dit Graham en haussant les épaules. — Il n'y a pas de croyance assez étrange pour que certains hommes doutent. Après le mormonisme et la déification de Joseph Smith, je suis prêt à croire que l'humanité ira loin dans sa recherche de l'invisible. Sans doute que vous formerez une secte à temps, M. Baltic. Si c'est le cas, appelez vos disciples Hobsonites.
— Pourquoi, Dr Graham ?
— Parce que l'essentiel de votre prédication, pour autant que je puisse le comprendre, est un choix de Hobson, rétorqua le docteur. Quand votre groupe de criminels perd tout par l'exposition de leurs crimes, ils n'ont plus que la religion.
— Il ne reste plus que Dieu, vous voulez dire, monsieur ; et Dieu est tout.
— Je suis sans doute d'accord avec la dernière partie de votre épigramme, la Baltique, bien que votre Dieu ne soit pas mon Dieu.
— Il n'y a qu'un seul Dieu, docteur.
— C'est vrai, mon ami; mais vous et moi le voyons sous des formes différentes, et Le cherchons de différentes manières.
— Notre objectif est le même !
— Précisément ; et ce fait indéniable élimine la nécessité de nouveaux arguments. Au revoir, M. Baltic. Je suis heureux de vous avoir rencontré ; les gens originaux m'attirent toujours, et avec une poignée de main et un hochement de tête bienveillant, le petit docteur s'ébranla.
Ainsi, à son tour, Baltic quitta Beorminster et se perdit dans les marées rugissantes de Londres. Il est encore trop tôt pour mesurer le résultat de son travail ; de pronostiquer si ses vues particulières rencontreront une réception susceptible d'encourager leur développement en une secte distincte. Mais il ne fait aucun doute que sa vérité et sa sincérité rencontreront un jour, et peut-être pas très éloigné, leur récompense. Chaque prophète convaincu de la vérité absolue de sa mission réussit à trouver ceux à qui sa vision particulière de l'autre vie est acceptable au-delà de toutes les autres. Ainsi, après tout, Baltic, le marin sans instruction, peut devenir le fondateur d'une secte. Ce qu'on appellera son «isme» particulier, c'est impossible à dire ; mais en prenant en considération la conception extraordinaire du christianisme de l'homme comme une religion punitive, la devise de sa nouvelle foi devrait certainement être «Cernit omnia Deus vindex !» Et Baltique peut trouver la remarque coupée et séchée pour sa citation dans les dernières pages du dictionnaire anglais.
Donc, l'histoire est racontée, le drame est joué, et l'évêque Pendle était ravi qu'il en soit ainsi. Il n'avait aucun goût pour l'excitation ou pour les surprises dramatiques, et il était content que les incidents qui s'agitaient durant ces dernières semaines doivent se terminer de cette façon. Il avait suffisamment souffert de corps et d'esprit ; il avait, selon l'expression du Dr Graham, payé sa déchéance aux dieux en expiation d'une fortune trop heureuse, par conséquent il pourrait maintenant espérer passer le restant de ses jours dans la paix et la tranquillité. George et Lucy étaient heureusement mariés. Gabriel était proche pour être un bâton sur lequel il pouvait s'appuyer dans sa vieillesse ; et sa femme bien-aimée, la compagne de tant d'années paisibles, était toujours sa femme, plus proche et plus chère que jamais.
Quand les fiancées furent parties avec leurs nombreux palefreniers, lorsque les invités du mariage se furent dispersés aux quatre vents du ciel, Évêque Pendle prit la main de sa femme dans la sienne et la conduisit dans la bibliothèque. Il s'assit là auprès d'elle, et ouvrit le Livre de tous les Livres l'âme remplie d'une reconnaissance respectueuse.
— J'ai appelé ton nom, Ô Seigneur, du bas donjon.
Tu t'es approché le jour où je t'ai appelé ; tu as dit : Ne crains pas !
Et les mots, pour ceux qui avaient été si durement éprouves auparavant, étaient comme la rosée à l'herbe assoiffée.
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For more info, please see "discussion tab" by clicking on the title of this chapter.
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CHAPTER XXXIX - ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
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'Bell!
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Bell!
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do not give me up.
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'I must, Gabriel; it is my duty.
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'It is your cruelty!
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Ah, you never loved me as I love you.
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'That is truer than you think, my poor boy.
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I thought that I loved you, but I was wrong.
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'Part?
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Oh, Bell!
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Bell!
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'Part,' repeated Bell, firmly, 'and for ever.
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Poor Bell!
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poor, pretty Bell!
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I had not much to give you before; I have less than nothing now.
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That's all past and done with now.
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I always knew you were a true gentleman—honourable and kind.
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But you have done so, dear, and I thank and bless you for your kindness.
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The only way in which I can show how grateful I am is to give you back your ring.
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Take it, Gabriel, and God be good to you for your upright kindness.
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There was that in her tone which made Gabriel feel that her decision was irrevocable.
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He mechanically took the ring she returned to him and slipped it on his finger.
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'What are your plans, Bell?'
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he asked in an unemotional voice, which he hardly recognised as his own.
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'I am going away from Beorminster next week,' answered the girl, listlessly.
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'Sir Harry has arranged all about this hotel, and has been most kind in every way.
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I have a little money, as Sir Harry paid me for the furniture and the stock-in-trade.
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'As—as a barmaid?'
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asked Gabriel, in a low voice.
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'As a barmaid,' she replied coldly.
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'What else am I fit for?
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'Can I not help you?
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unit 52
'No; you have given me all the help you could, by showing me how much you respect me.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 53
'I do more than respect you, Bell; I love you.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 55
'Bell!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 56
Bell!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 57
no one can cast a stone at you.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 60
Ah, my dear, I know what would be said, and I don't wish to hear it.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 61
I shall bury my poor mother, and go away, never to return.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 62
'My poor Bell!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 63
God has indeed laid a heavy burden upon you.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 64
'Don't!'
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 65
Her voice broke and the long-absent tears came into her eyes.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 66
'Don't speak kindly to me, Gabriel; I can't bear kindness.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 67
I have made up my mind to bear the worst.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 68
Go away; your goodness only makes things the harder for me.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 70
'I shall go,' said Gabriel, feeling helpless, for indeed he could do nothing.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 71
'Good-bye, Bell!'
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 72
he faltered.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 73
'Good-bye!'
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 74
she sobbed.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 75
'God bless you!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 1 week ago
unit 76
Gabriel, with a sick heart, moved slowly towards the door.
1 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months, 1 week ago
unit 78
'I shall never kiss you again,' she wailed,'never, never again!
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 79
'God bless and keep you, my poor darling!'
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 80
faltered Gabriel.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 81
'And God bless you!
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 83
And that was the end of Gabriel Pendle's romance.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 91
And so no more of these poor souls.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 92
It is more pleasant to talk of the Whichello-Pansey war.
2 Translations, 6 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 100
'Who told you this fact?'
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 101
demanded Miss Whichello, indignantly.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 102
'I—I can't remember at present, but that's no matter—it's true.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 103
unit 106
unit 108
'Hoity-toity!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 109
fine language this.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 110
'It is the kind of language you deserve, ma'am.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 111
All your life you have been making mischief with your vile tongue!
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 112
unit 114
'Would it indeed, ma'am?'
2 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 115
gasped her adversary, beginning to feel nervous; 'oh, really!'
3 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 116
with a hysterical titter, 'you and your certificate—I don't believe you have it.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 117
'Ask the bishop if I have not.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 118
He is satisfied, and that is all that is necessary, you wicked old woman.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 119
'You—you leave my house.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 120
'I shall do no such thing.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 122
'I haven't the certificate of my sister's marriage—haven't I?
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 124
'Me in the dock?'
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 125
screeched Mrs Pansey, shaking all over, but more from fear than wrath.
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 126
'How—how—dare you?
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 127
'I dare anything to stop your wicked tongue.
2 Translations, 6 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 131
'You had better not.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 135
'Do, and I'll tell them what I think of you.
3 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 136
I'm going now.'
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 137
Miss Whichello rose briskly.
1 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 138
'I've had my say out, and you know what I intend to do if you meddle with my affairs.
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 140
Mrs Pansey was completely crushed.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 147
Her nerve was gone, and with it went her influence.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 148
Never again did she exercise her venomous tongue.
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 149
To use a vulgar but expressive phrase, Mrs Pansey was 'wiped out'.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 155
He was not a good man, my love.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 156
'Never mind, aunty,' cried Mab, embracing the old lady.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 157
'I don't want to hear about him.
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unit 158
You are both my father and my mother, and I know that what you say is right.
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unit 160
'A rose by any other name, and all the rest of it,' replied George, smiling.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 161
'What does it matter, my darling?
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 162
You will be Mab Pendle soon, so that will settle everything, even your meek husband.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 164
'Really!
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unit 165
unit 166
'Angel!'
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 167
cried Mab, promptly.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 168
George laughed.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 169
'Near it,' said he, 'but not quite what I mean.
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unit 170
The missing word will be told when we are on our honeymoon.
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unit 175
'Is it goose?'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 176
she asked playfully.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 177
'No, my sweetest, although it ought to be!'
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 178
replied George, pinching his wife's pretty ear.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 179
'It is Mab Pendle!'
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 180
and he kissed her.
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unit 181
unit 185
'But what can you expect?'
3 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 186
said Graham, to him.
2 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 187
'It is impossible to terrify people into a legitimate belief in religion.
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unit 188
'I don't want to do that, sir,' replied Baltic, soberly.
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unit 189
'I wish to lead them to the Throne with love and tenderness.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 190
'I can hardly call your method by such names, my friend.
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unit 192
'When all is lost, doctor, men seek God.
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unit 193
'Perhaps; but that's a shabby way of seeking Him.
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unit 195
Your system, my friend, is ingenious, but impossible.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 196
'I have yet to prove that it is impossible, doctor.
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unit 197
'Humph!
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 198
I daresay you'll succeed in gaining disciples,' said Graham, with a shrug.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 199
'There is no belief strange enough for some men to doubt.
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unit 201
No doubt you'll form a sect in time, Mr Baltic.
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unit 202
If so, call your disciples Hobsonites.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 203
'Why, Dr Graham?
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 206
'Nothing left but God, you mean, sir; and God is everything.
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unit 208
'There is only one God, doctor.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 210
'Our goal is the same!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 211
unit 212
Good-bye, Mr Baltic.
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 218
So, after all, Baltic, the untutored sailor, may become the founder of a sect.
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unit 227
'I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 228
'Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not!
1 Translations, 1 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
unit 229
And the words, to these so sorely-tried of late, were as the dew to the thirsty herb.
2 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 6 months ago
tontonjl • 10898  commented on  unit 70  6 months, 1 week ago
Gabrielle • 13947  commented on  unit 56  6 months, 1 week ago
jukio • 19  translated  unit 73  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  translated  unit 64  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  commented on  unit 60  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  commented on  unit 56  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  commented on  unit 53  6 months, 1 week ago
Gabrielle • 13947  translated  unit 56  6 months, 1 week ago
Gabrielle • 13947  commented on  unit 22  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  translated  unit 15  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  translated  unit 4  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  translated  unit 3  6 months, 1 week ago
francevw • 14086  commented  6 months, 1 week ago

Petit résumé relatif à la question du vouvoiement-tutoiement. Nous pourrons toujours le modifier si nécessaire.
- La plupart des personnages se vouvoient comme sans doute on le faisait à cette époque.
- Les époux se vouvoient
- Les enfants vouvoient leurs parents
- Les parents tutoient leurs enfants
- Le docteur Graham tutoie Harry Brace et les enfants de l'évêque
- Les fiancés ? au début ils se vouvoyaient puis il me semble qu'on a glissé vers le tutoiement
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For those who are interested in listening to the novel: https://librivox.org/the-bishops-secret-by-fergus-hume/

THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME (1900)

This text will be uploaded on Translatihan, one chapter at a time, starting from chapter XVI, as the former chapters were translated on Duolingo before. Please follow each chapters’ link to the Translatihan text. Good translation.

List of the characters:
1. Miss Daisy Norsham, Belgravian spinster
2. Mrs. Pansey, an archdeacon's widow
3. Mr. George Pendle, Bishop, Dr. Pendle
4. Mrs. Amy Pendle, the bishop's wife, formerly Mrs. Creagth (widow)
5. Mr. George Pendle, bishop's son, officer, in love with Mab Arden
6. Mr. Gabriel Pendle, bishop's son, curate, allegedly chasing Miss Mosk
7. Miss Lucy Pendle, bishop's daughter
8. Sir Harry Brace, engaged to Lucy Pendle
9. Miss Mab Arden, most beautiful girl in Beorminster
10. Miss Whichello, Mab Arden's aunt
11. Mr. Michael Cargrim, bishop's chaplain, also likes Mab Arden
12. Dr. Graham, doctor, atheist, sceptic
13. Mr. William Mosk, the owner of the The Derby Winner pub
14. Mrs Mosk, his wife
15. Miss Bell Mosk, their daughter
16. Mr. Alder, dean, Dr. Alder
17. Miss Tancred, keeps telling the story about her lost purse
18. John, bishop's servant
19. Mr. Jentham, the man with the scar, the bearer of the bad news

Synopsis:
Bishop Pendle is the Church of England bishop in a small fictitious English cathedral town. Several years into his work, he receives a visit from a disreputable-looking visitor. The bishop is much upset. What transpired between them that has so upset the good churchman? And then there is the murder. Fergus Hume was one of the most prolific and most popular of 19th century novelists. "Mr. Hume won a reputation second to none for plot of the stirring, ingenious, misleading, and finally surprising kind, and for working out his plot in vigorous and picturesque English. In "The Bishop's Secret," while there is no falling off in plot and style, there is a welcome and marvelous broadening out as to the cast of characters, representing an unusually wide range of typical men and women. These are not laboriously described by the author, but are made to reveal themselves in action and speech in a way that has, for the reader, all the charm of personal intercourse with living people…."

TABLE OF CONTENTS https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Bishop%27s_Secret
PREFACE.
CHAPTER I. 'Enter Mrs Pansey As Chorus'
CHAPTER II. The Bishop Is Wanted
CHAPTER III. The Unforeseen Happens
CHAPTER IV. The Curiosity Of Mr Cargrim
CHAPTER V. The Derby Winner
CHAPTER VI. The Man With The Scar
CHAPTER VII. An Interesting Conversation
CHAPTER VIII. On Saturday Night
CHAPTER IX. An Exciting Adventure
CHAPTER X. Morning Service In The Minster
CHAPTER XI. Miss Whichello's Luncheon-party
CHAPTER XII. Bell Mosk Pays A Visit
CHAPTER XIII. A Stormy Night
CHAPTER XIV. 'Rumour Full Of Tongues'
CHAPTER XV. The Gipsy Ring
CHAPTER XVI. The Zeal Of Inspector Tinkler
CHAPTER XVII. A Clerical Detective
CHAPTER XVIII. The Chaplain On The Warpath
CHAPTER XIX. The Bishop's Request
CHAPTER XX. Mother Jael
CHAPTER XXI. Mrs Pansey's Festival
CHAPTER XXII. Mr Mosk Is Indiscreet
CHAPTER XXIII. In The Library
CHAPTER XXIV. The Bishop Asserts Himself
CHAPTER XXV. Mr Baltic, Missionary
CHAPTER XXVI. The Amazement Of Sir Harry Brace
CHAPTER XXVII. What Mother Jael Knew
CHAPTER XXVIII. The Return Of Gabriel
CHAPTER XXIX. The Confession Of Bishop Pendle
CHAPTER XXX. Blackmail
CHAPTER XXXI. Mr Baltic On The Trail
CHAPTER XXXII. The Initials
CHAPTER XXXIII. Mr Baltic Explains Himself
CHAPTER XXXIV. The Wages Of Sin
CHAPTER XXXV. The Honour Of Gabriel
CHAPTER XXXVI. The Rebellion Of Mrs Pendle
CHAPTER XXXVII. Dea Ex Machinâ
CHAPTER XXXVIII. Exit Mr Cargrim
CHAPTER XXXIX. All's Well That Ends Well

by francevw 6 months, 1 week ago

For more info, please see "discussion tab" by clicking on the title of this chapter.
CHAPTER XXXIX - ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL.
'Bell! Bell! do not give me up.
'I must, Gabriel; it is my duty.
'It is your cruelty! Ah, you never loved me as I love you.
'That is truer than you think, my poor boy. I thought that I loved you, but I was wrong. It was your position which made me anxious to marry you; it was your weak nature which made me pity you. But I do not love you; I never did love you; and it is better that you should know the truth before we part.
'Part? Oh, Bell! Bell!
'Part,' repeated Bell, firmly, 'and for ever.
Gabriel's head drooped on his breast, and he sighed as one, long past tears, who hears the clods falling on the coffin in which his beloved lies. He and Bell Mosk were seated in the little parlour at the back of the bar, and they were alone in the house, save for one upstairs, in the room of Mrs Mosk, who watched beside the dead. On hearing of her husband's rash act, the poor wife, miserable as she had been with the man, yet felt her earlier love for him so far revive as to declare that her heart was broken. She moaned and wept and refused all comfort, until one night she closed her eyes on the world which had been so harsh and bitter. So Bell was an orphan, bereft of father and mother, and crushed to the earth by sorrow and shame. In her own way she had loved her father, and his evil deed and evil end had struck her to the heart. She was even glad when her mother died, for she well knew that the sensitive woman would never have held up her head again, after the disgrace which had befallen her. And Bell, with a white face and dry eyes, long past weeping, sat in the dingy parlour, refusing the only comfort which the world could give her weary heart. Poor Bell! poor, pretty Bell!
'Think, Gabriel,' she continued, in a hard, tearless voice, 'think what shame I would bring upon you were I weak enough to consent to become your wife. I had not much to give you before; I have less than nothing now. I never pretended to be a lady; but I thought that, as your wife, I should never disgrace you. That's all past and done with now. I always knew you were a true gentleman—honourable and kind. No one but a gentleman like you would have kept his word with the daughter of a murderer. But you have done so, dear, and I thank and bless you for your kindness. The only way in which I can show how grateful I am is to give you back your ring. Take it, Gabriel, and God be good to you for your upright kindness.
There was that in her tone which made Gabriel feel that her decision was irrevocable. He mechanically took the ring she returned to him and slipped it on his finger. Never again was it removed from where he placed it at that moment; and in after days it often reminded him of the one love of his life. With a second sigh, hopeless and resigned, he rose to his feet, and looked at the dark figure in the twilight of the room.
'What are your plans, Bell?' he asked in an unemotional voice, which he hardly recognised as his own.
'I am going away from Beorminster next week,' answered the girl, listlessly. 'Sir Harry has arranged all about this hotel, and has been most kind in every way. I have a little money, as Sir Harry paid me for the furniture and the stock-in-trade. Of course I had to pay f—father's debts'—she could hardly speak the words—'so there is not much left. Still, I have sufficient to take me to London and keep me until I can get a situation.
'As—as a barmaid?' asked Gabriel, in a low voice.
'As a barmaid,' she replied coldly. 'What else am I fit for?
'Can I not help you?
'No; you have given me all the help you could, by showing me how much you respect me.
'I do more than respect you, Bell; I love you.
'I am glad of that,' replied Bell, softly; 'it is a great thing for a miserable girl like me to be loved.
'Bell! Bell! no one can cast a stone at you.
'I am the daughter of a murderer, Gabriel; and I know better than you what the world's charity is. Do you think I would stay in this place, where cruel people would remind me daily and hourly of my father's sin? Ah, my dear, I know what would be said, and I don't wish to hear it. I shall bury my poor mother, and go away, never to return.
'My poor Bell! God has indeed laid a heavy burden upon you.
'Don't!' Her voice broke and the long-absent tears came into her eyes. 'Don't speak kindly to me, Gabriel; I can't bear kindness. I have made up my mind to bear the worst. Go away; your goodness only makes things the harder for me. After all, I am only a woman, and as a woman I must w-e-e-p.' She broke down, and her tears flowed quickly.
'I shall go,' said Gabriel, feeling helpless, for indeed he could do nothing. 'Good-bye, Bell!' he faltered.
'Good-bye!' she sobbed. 'God bless you!
Gabriel, with a sick heart, moved slowly towards the door. Just as he reached it, Bell rose swiftly, and crossing the room threw her arms round his neck, weeping as though her overcharged heart would break. 'I shall never kiss you again,' she wailed,'never, never again!
'God bless and keep you, my poor darling!' faltered Gabriel.
'And God bless you! for a good man you have been to me,' she sobbed, and then they parted, never to meet again in this world.
And that was the end of Gabriel Pendle's romance. At first he thought of going to the South Seas as a missionary, but his father's entreaties that he should avoid so extreme a course prevailed, and in the end he went no further from Beorminster than Heathcroft Vicarage. Mr Leigh died a few days after Bell vanished from the little county town: and Gabriel was presented with the living by the bishop. He is a conscientious worker, an earnest priest, a popular vicar, but his heart is still sore for Bell, who so nobly gave him up to bear her own innocent disgrace alone. Where Bell is now he does not know; nobody in Beorminster knows—not even Mrs Pansey—for she has disappeared like a drop of water in the wild waste ocean of London town. And Gabriel works on amid the poor and needy with a cheerful face but a sore heart; for it is early days yet, and his heart-wounds are recent. No one save the bishop knows how he loved and lost poor Bell; but Mrs Pendle, with the double instinct of woman and mother, guesses that her favourite son has his own pitiful romance, and would fain know of it, that she might comfort him in his sorrow. But Gabriel has never told her; he will never tell her, but go silent and unmarried through life, true to the memory of the rough, commonplace woman who proved herself so noble and honourable in adversity. And so no more of these poor souls.
It is more pleasant to talk of the Whichello-Pansey war. 'Bella matronis detestata,' saith the Latin poet, who knew little of the sex to make such a remark. To be sure, he was talking of public wars, and not of domestic or social battles; but he should have been more explicit. Women are born fighters—with their tongues; and an illustration of this truth was given in Beorminster when Miss Whichello threw down the gage to Mrs Pansey. The little old lady knew well enough that when George and Mab were married, the archdeacon's widow would use her famous memory to recall the scandals she had set afloat nearly thirty years before. Therefore, to defeat Mrs Pansey once and for all, she called on that good lady and dared her to say that there was any disgrace attached to Mab's parentage. Mrs Pansey, anticipating an easy victory, shook out her skirts, and was up in arms at once.
'I know for a fact that your sister Ann did not marry the man she eloped with,' cried Mrs Pansey, shaking her head viciously.
'Who told you this fact?' demanded Miss Whichello, indignantly.
'I—I can't remember at present, but that's no matter—it's true.
'It is not true, and you know it is an invention of your own spiteful mind, Mrs Pansey. My sister was married on the day she left home, and I have her marriage certificate to prove it. I showed it to Bishop Pendle, because you poisoned his mind with your malicious lies, and he is quite satisfied.
'Oh, any story would satisfy the bishop,' sneered Mrs Pansey; 'we all know what he is!
'We do—an honourable Christian gentleman; and we all know what you are—a scandalmongering, spiteful, soured cat.
'Hoity-toity! fine language this.
'It is the kind of language you deserve, ma'am. All your life you have been making mischief with your vile tongue!
'Woman,' roared Mrs Pansey, white with wrath, 'no one ever dared to speak like this to me.
'It's a pity they didn't, then,' retorted the undaunted Miss Whichello; 'it would have been the better for you, and for Beorminster also.
'Would it indeed, ma'am?' gasped her adversary, beginning to feel nervous; 'oh, really!' with a hysterical titter, 'you and your certificate—I don't believe you have it.
'Ask the bishop if I have not. He is satisfied, and that is all that is necessary, you wicked old woman.
'You—you leave my house.
'I shall do no such thing. Here I am, and here I'll stay until I speak my mind,' and Miss Whichello thumped the floor with her umbrella, while she gathered breath to continue. 'I haven't the certificate of my sister's marriage—haven't I? I'll show it to you in a court of law, Mrs Pansey, when you are in the dock—the dock, ma'am!
'Me in the dock?' screeched Mrs Pansey, shaking all over, but more from fear than wrath. 'How—how—dare you?
'I dare anything to stop your wicked tongue. Everybody hates you; some people are fools enough to fear you, but I don't,' cried Miss Whichello, erecting her crest; 'no, not a bit. One word against me, or against Mab, and I'll have you up for defamation of character, as sure as my name's Selina Whichello.
'I—I—I don't want to say a word,' mumbled Mrs Pansey, beginning to give way, after the manner of bullies when bravely faced.
'You had better not. I have the bishop and all Beorminster on my side, and you'll be turned out of the town if you don't mind your own business. Oh, I know what I'm talking about,' and Miss Whichello gave a crow of triumph, like a victorious bantam.
'I am not accustomed to this—this violence,' sniffed Mrs Pansey, producing her handkerchief; 'if you—if you don't go, I'll call my servants.
'Do, and I'll tell them what I think of you. I'm going now.' Miss Whichello rose briskly. 'I've had my say out, and you know what I intend to do if you meddle with my affairs. Good-day, Mrs Pansey, and good-bye, for it's a long time before I'll ever cross words with you again, ma'am,' and the little old lady marched out of the room with all the honours of war.
Mrs Pansey was completely crushed. She knew quite well that Miss Whichello was speaking the truth about the marriage, and that none of her own inventions could stand against the production of the certificate. Moreover, she could not battle against the Bishop of Beorminster, or risk a realisation of Miss Whichello's threat to have her into court. On the whole, the archdeacon's widow concluded that it would be best for her to accept her defeat quietly and hold her tongue. This she did, and never afterwards spoke anything but good about young Mrs Pendle and her aunt. She even sent a wedding present, which was accepted by the victor as the spoils of war, and was so lenient in her speeches regarding the young couple that all Beorminster was amazed, and wished to know if Mrs Pansey was getting ready to join the late archdeacon. Hitherto the old lady had stormed and bullied her way through a meek and terrified world; but now she had been met and conquered and utterly overthrown. Her nerve was gone, and with it went her influence. Never again did she exercise her venomous tongue. To use a vulgar but expressive phrase, Mrs Pansey was 'wiped out'.
Shortly before the marriage of George and Mab, the tribe of gipsies over which Mother Jael ruled vanished into the nowhere. Whither they went nobody knew, and nobody inquired, but their disappearance was a relief both to Miss Whichello and the bishop. The latter had decided that, to run no risks, it was necessary Mab should be married under her true name of Bosvile; and as Mother Jael knew that such was Jentham's real name, Miss Whichello fancied she might come to hear that Mab was called so, and make inquiries likely to lead to unpleasantness. But Mother Jael went away in a happy moment, so Miss Whichello explained to her niece and George that the name of the former was not 'Arden' but 'Bosvile.' 'It is necessary that I should tell you this, dear, on account of the marriage,' said the little old lady; 'your parents, my dearest Mab, are dead and gone; but your father was alive when I took you to live with me, and I called you by another name so that he might not claim you. He was not a good man, my love.
'Never mind, aunty,' cried Mab, embracing the old lady. 'I don't want to hear about him. You are both my father and my mother, and I know that what you say is right. I suppose,' she added, turning shyly to George, 'that Captain Pendle loves Miss Bosvile as much as he did Miss Arden!
'A rose by any other name, and all the rest of it,' replied George, smiling. 'What does it matter, my darling? You will be Mab Pendle soon, so that will settle everything, even your meek husband.
'George,' said Miss Bosvile, solemnly, 'if there is one word in the English language which does not describe you, it is "meek".
'Really! and if there is one name in the same tongue which fits you like a glove, it is—guess!
'Angel!' cried Mab, promptly.
George laughed. 'Near it,' said he, 'but not quite what I mean. The missing word will be told when we are on our honeymoon.
In this way the matter was arranged, and Mab, as Miss Bosvile, was married to Captain Pendle on the self-same day, at the self-same hour, that Lucy became Lady Brace. If some remarks were made on the name inscribed in the register of the cathedral, few people paid any attention to them, and those who did received from Miss Whichello the same skilful explanation as she had given the young couple. Moreover, as Mother Jael was not present to make inquiries, and as Mrs Pansey had not the courage to hint at scandal, the matter died a natural death. But when the honeymoon was waning, Mab reminded George of his promise to supply the missing word.
'Is it goose?' she asked playfully.
'No, my sweetest, although it ought to be!' replied George, pinching his wife's pretty ear. 'It is Mab Pendle!' and he kissed her.
Brisk Dr Graham was at the double wedding, in his most amiable and least cynical mood. He congratulated the bishop and Mrs Pendle, shook hands warmly with the bridegroom, and just as warmly—on the basis of a life-long friendship—kissed the brides. Also, after the wedding breakfast—at which he made the best speech—he had an argument with Baltic about his penal conception of Christianity. The ex-sailor had been very mournful after the suicide of Mark, as the rash act had proved how shallow had been the man's repentance.
'But what can you expect?' said Graham, to him. 'It is impossible to terrify people into a legitimate belief in religion.
'I don't want to do that, sir,' replied Baltic, soberly. 'I wish to lead them to the Throne with love and tenderness.
'I can hardly call your method by such names, my friend. You simply ruin people in this life to fit them, in their own despite, for their next existence.
'When all is lost, doctor, men seek God.
'Perhaps; but that's a shabby way of seeking Him. If I could not be converted of my own free will, I certainly shouldn't care about being driven to take such a course. Your system, my friend, is ingenious, but impossible.
'I have yet to prove that it is impossible, doctor.
'Humph! I daresay you'll succeed in gaining disciples,' said Graham, with a shrug. 'There is no belief strange enough for some men to doubt. After Mormonism and Joseph Smith's deification, I am prepared to believe that humanity will go to any length in its search after the unseen. No doubt you'll form a sect in time, Mr Baltic. If so, call your disciples Hobsonites.
'Why, Dr Graham?
'Because the gist of your preaching, so far as I can understand, is a Hobson's choice,' retorted the doctor. 'When your flock of criminals lose everything through your exposure of their crimes, they have nothing left but religion.
'Nothing left but God, you mean, sir; and God is everything.
'No doubt I agree with the latter part of your epigram, Baltic, although your God is not my God.
'There is only one God, doctor.
'True, my friend; but you and I see Him under different forms, and seek Him in different ways.
'Our goal is the same!
'Precisely; and that undeniable fact does away with the necessity of further argument. Good-bye, Mr Baltic. I am glad to have met you; original people always attract me,' and with a handshake and a kindly nod the little doctor bustled off.
So, in his turn, Baltic departed from Beorminster, and lost himself in the roaring tides of London. It is yet too early to measure the result of his work; to prognosticate if his peculiar views will meet with a reception likely to encourage their development into a distinct sect. But there can be no doubt that his truth and earnestness will, some day—and perhaps at no very distant date—meet with their reward. Every prophet convinced of the absolute truth of his mission succeeds in finding those to whom his particular view of the hereafter is acceptable beyond all others. So, after all, Baltic, the untutored sailor, may become the founder of a sect. What his particular 'ism' will be called it is impossible to say; but taking into consideration the man's extraordinary conception of Christianity as a punishing religion, the motto of his new faith should certainly be 'Cernit omnia Deus vindex!' And Baltic can find the remark cut and dried for his quotation in the last pages of the English dictionary.
So the story is told, the drama is played, and Bishop Pendle was well pleased that it should be so. He had no taste for excitement or for dramatic surprises, and was content that the moving incidents of the last few weeks should thus end. He had been tortured sufficiently in mind and body; he had, in Dr Graham's phrase, paid his forfeit to the gods in expiation of a too-happy fortune, therefore he might now hope to pass his remaining days in peace and quiet. George and Lucy were happily married; Gabriel was close at hand to be a staff upon which he could lean in his old age; and his beloved wife, the companion of so many peaceful years, was still his wife, nearer and dearer than ever.
When the brides had departed with their several grooms, when the wedding guests had scattered to the four winds of heaven, Bishop Pendle took his wife's hand within his own, and led her into the library. Here he sat him down by her side, and opened the Book of all books with reverential thankfulness of soul.
'I called upon thy name, O Lord, out of the low dungeon.
'Thou drewest near in the day that I called upon thee: thou saidst, Fear not!
And the words, to these so sorely-tried of late, were as the dew to the thirsty herb.