free ebooks
A Canadian Heroine, Volume 2 by Mrs. Harry Coghill

A CANADIAN HEROINE.

A Novel.

BY

THE AUTHOR OF "LEAVES FROM THE BACKWOODS."

"Questa chiese Lucia in suo dimando, E disse: Or ha bisogno il tuo fedele Di te, e io a te lo raccomando."--_Inferno. Canto II._

"Qu'elles sont belles, nos campagnes; En Canada qu'on vit content! Salut o sublimes montagnes, Bords du superbe St. Laurent! Habitant de cette contree Que nature veut embellir, Tu peux marcher tete levee, Ton pays doit t'enorgueillir."--_J. Bedard._

IN THREE VOLUMES. VOL. I.

LONDON: TINSLEY BROTHERS, 8, CATHERINE STREET. STRAND. 1873. [_All rights Reserved._]

PRINTED BY TAYLOR AND CO., LITTLE QUEEN STREET, LINCOLN'S INN FIELDS.

A CANADIAN HEROINE.

CHAPTER I.

Mrs. Costello had felt it a kind of reprieve when she heard from Mr. Strafford that they might delay their journey safely for a month. The sober middle age which had come upon her before its time, as her life rolled on out of the anguish and tumult of the past, made home and quietness the most desirable things on earth to her, and her health and spirits, neither yet absolutely broken, but both strained almost to the extent of their endurance, unfitted her for the changes and excitements of long travel. So she clung to the idea of delay with an unacknowledged hope that some cause might deliver them from their present terrors, and yet suffer them to remain at Cacouna.

In the meantime all went on outwardly as usual. The duties and courtesies of every-day life had to be kept up,--the more carefully because it was not desirable to attract attention. Besides, Mrs. Costello felt that an even flow of occupation was the best thing for Lucia, whom she watched, with the keenest and tenderest solicitude, passing through the shadow of that darkness which she herself knew so well. Doctor Morton brought his wife home most opportunely for her wishes. A variety of such small dissipations as Cacouna could produce, naturally celebrated the event; and Lucia as principal bridesmaid at the wedding could not, if she would, have shut herself out from them. She had, indeed, dreaded the first meeting with Bella, but it passed off without embarrassment. To all appearance Mrs. Morton had lost either the sharpness of observation or the readiness of tongue that had formerly belonged to her, for the change which Lucia felt in herself was allowed to remain unremarked.

Mrs. Bellairs had long ago got over her displeasure with Lucia. She had watched her narrowly at the time of Percy's leaving, and became satisfied that there was some trouble of a sterner kind than regret for him now weighing heavily upon her heart.

Although Mrs. Bellairs told her sister of the intended journey of Mrs. Costello and Lucia, the preparations for that journey were being made with as little stir as possible, and except herself, her husband, and Mr. Leigh, few persons dreamed of such an improbable event. Bella even received a hint to speak of it to no one but her husband, for Mrs. Costello was anxious to avoid gossip, and had taken much thought how to attain the _juste milieu_ between secrecy and publicity. In the meantime there was much to be done in prospect of a long, an indefinitely long, absence, and the needful exertion both of mind and body was good for Lucia. Under no circumstances, perhaps, could she have sat quietly down to bewail her misfortunes, or have allowed herself to sink under them, but, as it was, there was no temptation to indolent indulgence of any kind. Bitter hours came still--came especially with the silence and darkness of night, when her thoughts would go back to the sweet days of the past summer and linger over them, till some word, or look, or trifling incident coming to her memory more distinctly, would bring with it the sudden recollection of the barren, dreary present,--of the irreparable loss.


eBook Search
Social Sharing
Share Button
About us

freefictionbooks.org is a collection of free ebooks that can be read online. Ebooks are split into pages for easier reading and better bookmarking.

We have more than 35,000 free books in our collection and are adding new books daily.

We invite you to link to us, so as many people as possible can enjoy this wonderful free website.

© 2010-2013 freefictionbooks.org - All Rights Reserved.

Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Contact Us