金属 Poor Vic!—never in all her life had she been urged to such mad and merciless speed as on that ill-starred day. Protesting, at first, by various plunges and rearings, she finally fell in with her master's wild humor, and sped through the village at a pace that sent the foot-passengers to the fences in terror, and crowded the doors and windows with wondering gazers. Whether he were fleeing from destruction, or riding straight to it, was no affair of hers; in either case, she would do her best to meet his wishes. The village was quickly left behind; house after house, and field after field, slid by in a swift panorama; already they were turning the corner, toward the Hall, when Bergan's scattered senses were suddenly recalled by a stern "Halloo! what are you about?" mingled with a faint cry of alarm. To his horror, he saw himself to be on the point of riding down a young lady equestrian, who was on her way to the village, accompanied by her father. There was not an instant to lose, not a moment for reflection; the heads of the two horses were almost in contact. Putting his whole strength into one sudden, ill-considered jerk, Vic was thrown back on her haunches, and he and she rolled over in the mud together.
Not that the doctor was at all reticent in regard to the main facts of his outward life. In a desultory way he had furnished Bergan with a sufficiently distinct outline sketch of his somewhat eventful career, up to the present moment,—a career which, for shifts and turns, outdid that of Gil Blas. According to this, he was born in New Orleans, the posthumous son of a French refugee, by an American wife. When he was twelve years old, his mother had presented him with a stepfather. The gift proved so little to his taste that, two years later, he ran away from the pair, and flung himself into that El Dorado of boyish imagination—life at sea. In one capacity or another, during the next twelve years, he not only contrived to visit most of the countries of Europe, but also by dint of natural aptitude for study, to pick up a language or two, and to acquaint himself with the essential part of a college curriculum. It now occurred to him to return to New Orleans, and claim the modest patrimony awaiting him there, in the hands of his father's executors. He found that his stepfather had been dead for three or four years, and his mother, after having exhausted her own scanty resources, was sinking, with her two children, into the dreary depths of poverty. It cost her some effort to recognize the slender stripling of her memory in the brown, bearded, broad-shouldered man, who now presented himself before her as her son. However, his identity was satisfactorily established, both by certain indisputable personal marks, and by the presumptive evidence of his willingness to assume the burden of her support. 结你 "Not at all," answered Bergan, looking a little surprised. Doctor Gerrish, however, repelled the insinuation, as he had done before. "To my mind," said he, "everything points to the opposite conclusion. If Mr. Arling had anything to gain by poisoning his uncle, he must have gained it by staying here, and not by flight. Besides, he is too intelligent a man not to know that such flight would, in itself, arouse suspicion, and imply guilt. Having given the matter a good deal of thought, since morning, I have decided that the poisoning must have been accidental. However, we will, with your permission, call in that old 'Maumer' and examine her a little more minutely than we did before. I have thought of several questions that it would be well to ask."
A toast so perfectly in harmony with the corrupt atmosphere of the bar-room could but be received and drunk with acclamation. Bergan, perforce, lifted his glass to his lips, but the fiery draught, prepared with a single eye to the requirements of his uncle's sophisticated palate, was so little suited to his own purer taste, that he set it down with its contents very little diminished. Observing this, Major Bergan's face grew dark. 真如 "Why, Brick! how do you do? Is anything the matter at the Hall?" Scarcely were the insulting words spoken ere Bergan felt, with a thrill of dismay, a hot tingling sensation in all his veins, as if the blood in them had suddenly been turned to fire. Too well he knew what it meant. The "black Bergan temper," which had been the one, great sorrow and struggle of his life, thus far, and which he had believed to be completely tamed, was stirring within him in a way to show that, if it were not instantly controlled, it would carry him, in its headlong fury, he knew not whither. Every other feeling, every other thought, were, for the moment, swallowed up in the instinct of self-preservation. He would submit to his uncle's imperious dictation, not that he either prized his love or feared his anger, but because that treacherous demon within must at once feel a firm foot upon its neck, and be shown that it could expect no indulgence, and no quarter.
"Yes, he is a good deal like her, maumer; he has her eyes exactly. But he is even more like what I was forty years ago; it really makes me feel young again to look at him. He's a real Bergan, I can tell you that." 按照 "What am I to do, then?" asked Miss Thane, wonderingly. Given opportunity, social equality, and a fine, unremitting tact, and it would seem that any man can marry any woman, whose affections are free. Else, it would be hard to understand how Doctor Remy could have found his way into the heart of Astra Lyte; unless indeed, as is frequently the case, their very dissimilarity should have constituted a principle of attraction; character has its own laws of effective contrast. Astra was enthusiastic, generous, affectionate, with strong religious instincts and aspirations; Doctor Remy was cold, selfish, austere, without reverential sentiment, and, in matters of faith, an utter sceptic. But these traits need not be supposed to have exhibited themselves to Astra in their naked unloveliness. To her imagination, doubtless, they took the fairer form of a calm temperament, and great force and firmness of character, allied to a keen and critical intellect; which last must needs be allowed to take its own appropriate time and road to belief (except as it seemed willing to owe something to her loving guidance). And Astra was of the age and character which are most prone to fall down and worship human intellect; failing, as yet, to understand that it is, in itself, of the earth earthy, and really noble and admirable only as it is enlightened by the spirit of God. She was dazzled and fascinated by the extent and variety of Doctor Remy's attainments, and the range and freedom of his ideas. To talk with him was like drawing the curtain and opening wide the window on a wintry evening, admitting free, frosty air, and giving a far outlook over bleak, white hills and leafless forests. Nor did it alarm her that the air was much too fresh and chill to be breathed long with comfort or safety, and the landscape drearily bare and skeleton-like, since the doctor was always ready, at her slightest sign, to drop window and curtain, and turn back with her to warmer precincts and gentler themes. It was Doctor Remy's fate, therefore, to stand by many deathbeds,—where he comported himself much more like a baffled and beaten general than a sympathetic, sorrow-stricken friend. It was also his frequent privilege to see the life-forces rally and stand fast, under his generalship, to begin anew the fight that seemed wellnigh over, to win back, inch by inch, the ground that had been lost, and finally to stand a conqueror on the field. Even then, those most indebted to his skill were often chilled to see how little the cold triumph of his face had to do with their deep heart gladness. Nevertheless, this was the position wherein the doctor appeared at his best,—as now at Rue's bedside.”
Nevertheless, the pair did not separate at the gate. Their conversation had become too interesting, apparently, to both; and Dick Causton continued to walk on by the side of the doctor's horse. 走出 ”