Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (Version 2) | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell | Soundbook | 8/9

chapter 30 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain Joe Lee's deception poor Susan moans poor Susan groans the clock gives warning 4:11 tis on the stroke he must be near quaff Betty and will soon be here as sure as there's a moon in heaven the clock is on the stroke of 12:00 and Johnny is not yet in sight the moons in heaven as Betty sees but Betty is not quite at ease and Susan has a dreadful night wordsworth job found mrs. Wilson pacing about in a restless way not speaking to the woman at whose house she was staying but occasionally heaving such deep oppressive sighs as quite startled those around her well said she turning sharp round in her tottering walk up and down as job came in well speak repeated she before he can make up his mind what to say for to tell the truth he was studying for some kind-hearted lie which might soothe her for a time but now the real state of the case came blurting forth in answer to her impatient questioning Will's not to the fore but he'll may turn up yet time enough she looked at him steadily for a minute as if almost doubting if such despair could be in store for her as his words seemed to imply then she slowly shook her head and said more quietly than might have been expected from her previous excited manner don't offer to say that there does not thinking that well now hopeless like me accede all along my lad would be home for what he never did and bettery were and was shut of this weary world where there's neither justice nor mercy left she looked up with tranced eyes as if praying to that throne where mercy ever abideth and then sat down nay no they're tough at a gallop said job will assail this morning for sure with that brave wench Marie Barton is after him and will bring him back I'll be bone if you can get butch speech on him she's not back yet come come hold up thy head it will all end right it will all end right echoed she but not as thou text it gem will be hung and will go to his father in the little lads where the Lord God wipes away all tears where the Lord Jesus speaks finally to the little ones who look about for the mothers they left upon earth a job yawns a blessed land and I longed to go to it and yet a fret because gem is hastening there and would not fret if he and I could lie down tonight to sleep our last sleep not a bit would a fret if fault would but know him to be innocent as I do they'll know it sooner or later and repents or if they've and him for what he never did replied job I that they will poor souls may God have mercy on them when they find out their mistake presently job grew tired of sitting waiting and got up and hung about the door and window like some animal wanting to go out it was pitch dark for the moon had not yet risen you just go to bed said he to the widow you'll want your strength for tomorrow Jim will be subtly off if he sees you soul cut up as you Luke tonight I'll step down again and find Murray she'll be back by this time I'll come and tell you everything never fear but no you go to bed there's a kind friend Joe bleah and I'll go as thou wishest me but o mine that comes straight off to me and bring marry as soon as those lit on her she spoke low but very calmly I I replied Jobe slipping out of the house he went first to mr. Brij nose where it had struck him that will and merely might be all this time waiting for him they were not there however mr. Bridgnorth had just come in and job went breathlessly upstairs to consult with him as to the state of the case it's a bad job said the lawyer looking very grave while he arranged his papers Johnson told me how he was the woman that Wilson lodged with told him I doubt it's but a wild goose chase of the girl Barton our case must rest on the certainty of circumstantial evidence and the goodness of the prisoners previous character very vague and weak defense however I've engaged mr. Clinton as counsel and he'll make the best of it and now my good fellow I must wish you good night and turn you out of doors as it is I shall have to sit up into the small hours did you see my clerk as you came upstairs you did there might trouble you to ask him to step up immediately after this job could not stay and making his humble bow he left the room then he went to mrs. Jones's she was in but Charlie had slipped off again there was no holding that boy nothing kept him but lock and key and they did not always the once she had him locked up in the garret and he had got off through the skylight perhaps now he was gone to see after the young woman down at the docks he never wanted an excuse to be there unasked job took a chair resolved to await charlie's reappearance mrs. jones ironed and folded her clothes talking all the time of Charlie and her husband who was a sailor in some ship bound for India and who in leaving her there boy had evidently left her rather more than she could manage she moaned and croaked over sailors and sea port towns and stormy weather and sleepless nights and trousers all over tar and pitch long after job had left off attending to her and was only trying to hearken to every step and every voice in the street at last Charlie came in but he came alone young Mary Barton is getting into some scrape or another said he addressing himself to job she's not to be heard of at any of the piers and borne says it with a bolt from the Cheshire side as she went aboard off so there's no air another till tomorrow mornin tomorrow morning she laughed to be in court at nine o'clock to bear witness on a trial said Jo sorrowfully so she said at least somewhat of the kind said Charlie looking desirous to hear more but Joe was silent he could not think of anything further that could be done so he rose up and thanking mrs. Jones for the shelter she'd given him he went out into the street and there he stood still to ponder all the probabilities and chances after some little time he slowly turned towards the lodging where he had left mrs. Wilson there was nothing else to be done but he lighted on the way fervently hoping that her weariness and her walls might have sent her to sleep before his return that he might be spared her questionings he went very gently into the house place where the sleepy landlady awaited his coming and his bringing the girl who she had been told was to share the old woman's bed but in her sleepy blindness she knocked things so about in lighting the ándale she could see to have a nap by firelight she said that the voice of mrs. Wilson was heard from the little back room where she was to pass the night who's there job gave no answer and kept down his breath that she might think herself mistaken the landlady having no such care dropped the snuffer's with a sharp metallic sound and then by her endless apologies convinced the listening woman that job had returned job Jolie she cried out nervously hey dear said job to himself going reluctantly to her bedroom door I wonder if one little lie would be a sin as things stand he would up and give her sleep and she won't have sleep for many and many a night not a call sleep if things goes wrong tomorrow I'll chance it anyway job are though there asked she again with a trembling impatience that told in every tone of her voice I sure I thought that her been asleep by this time asleep how could I sleep till I know DIF will were found no for it what a job to himself then in a louder voice never fear his phone and safe ready for tomorrow and he'll prove that thing for my poor lad Willie you'll bear witness that general with him Oh job speak tell me all in for a penny in for a pound for job upon Whomper will do for the sum total any rate I must go on there I I shouted he threw the door he can prove all and Jim will come off as clear as a newborn babe he could hear mrs. Wilson's rustling movements and in an instant guessed she was on her knees for he heard her trembling voice uplifted in Thanksgiving and praise to God stopped at times by sobs of gladness and relief and when he heard this his heart misgave him for he thought of the awful and lightning the terrible revulsion of feeling that awaited her in the morning he saw the shortsightedness of falsehood but what could he do now while he listened she ended her grateful prayers and Merry else found her at mrs. Jones's job said she continuing her inquiries he gave a great sigh yes she was there safe enough second time I'm going God forgive me muttered he who'd have thought of my turning out such an arrant liar in my old days bless the wench is she here why doesn't she not come to bed I'm sure she's need job coughed away his remains of conscience and made answer she was a bit weary and or dumb we were a sail and mrs. Jones axe deter stay there all night it was night unto the courts where she'll have to be in the morning it comes easy enough after a while groaned out job the father of lies helps one I suppose but know my speech comes as natural as truth she's done questioning though that's one good thing I'll be off before Satan and cheer at me again he went to the house place where the Lund lady stood wearily waiting her husband was in bed and asleep long ago but Joe had not yet made up his mind what to do he could not go to sleep with all his anxieties if he were put into the best bed in Liverpool though let me sit up in this armchair said he at length to the woman who stood expecting his departure he was an old friend so she let him do as he wished but indeed she was too sleepy to have opposed him she was too glad to be released and go to bed end of chapter 30 read by Tony Foster chapter 31 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain how Mary passed the night to think that all this long interminable night which I have passed in thinking on two words guilty not guilty like one happy moment or many ahead have flown unheeded by our happy sleepers dreaming in their bliss of bright tomorrow's or far happier still with deep breath buried in forgetfulness all the dismal esteem ages of death did swim before my eyes Wilson and now where was Mary how job's heart would have been relieved of one of its cares if he could have seen her but he was in a miserable state of anxiety about her and many and many a time through that long night he scolded her and himself her for her obstinacy and himself for his weakness in yielding to her obstinacy when she insisted on being the one to follow and find out will she did not pass that night in bed any more than job but she was under a respectable roof and among kind though rough people she had offered no resistance to the old boatman when he had clutched her arm in order to ensure her following him as he threaded the crowded dock ways and dived up strange by streets she came on meekly after him scarcely thinking in a stupor where she was going and glad in a dead heavy way that someone was deciding things for her he led her to an old-fashioned house almost as small as house could be which had been built long ago before all the other part of the street and had a country town look about it in the middle of that bustling backstreet he pulled her into the house place and relieved to a certain degree of his fear of losing her on the way he exclaimed there giving a great slap of one hand on her back the room was light and bright and roused Mary perhaps the slap on her back might help a little – and she felt the awkwardness of accounting for her presence – a little bustling old woman who had been moving about the fireplace on her entrance the Bultman took it very quietly never deigning to give any explanation but sitting down in his own particular chair and chewing tobacco while he looked at Mary with the most satisfied air imaginable half triumphantly as if she were the captive of his bow and spear and half defying Lee as if daring her to escape the old woman his wife stood still poker in hand waiting to be told who it was that her husband had brought home so unceremoniously but as she looked in amazement the girls cheek flushed and then blanched to a dead whiteness a film came over her eyes and catching at the dresser for support in that hot whirling room she fell in a heap on the floor both man and wife came quickly to her assistance they raised her up still insensible and he supported her on one knee while his wife patted away for some cold fresh water she threw it straight over Mary but though it caused a great sob the ice still remained closed and face as pale as ashes who is she Ben asked the woman as she rubbed her and resisting powerless hands how should I know answered her husband gruffly well aware in a soothing tone such as you used to irritated children and as if half to herself I only thought you might you know as you brought her home poor thing we must not ask out about her but that she needs help I wish I'd miss salts at home but I lent him to mrs. burden last Sunday in church but she could not keep awake through the sermon dear to me how white she is yeah you old her up a bit said her husband she did as he desired still crooning to herself not caring for his short sharp interruptions as she went on and indeed to her old loving heart his crossest words fell like pearls and diamonds for he had been the husband of her youth and even he rough and crabbed as he was was secretly soothed by the sound of her voice although not the world's if he could have helped it would he have shown any of the love that was hidden beneath his rough outside what's the old fellow after said she bending over Mary so as to accommodate the drooping head taking me pen as I've had better nor five-year bless us and save us he's burning it ah I see now he's his wits about him burnt feathers is always good for a faint but they don't bring her round poor wench now what's he after next well he is a bright one my old man that I never thought of that to be sure exclaimed she as he produced a square bottle of smuggled spirits labelled golden Vasa from a corner cupboard in their little room that'll do said she as the dose he poured into Mary's open mouth made her start and cough bless the man it's just like him to be so tender and thoughtful not a bit snotty as he was relieved by Mary's returning colour and opened eyes and wondering sensible gaze not a bit I never was such a fool of for his wife helped Mary to rise and placed her in a chair all's right now young woman asked the boatman anxiously yes sir and thank you I'm sure sir I don't rightly know how to thank you fault said Mary softly forth behind to you and your tanks and he shook himself took his pipe and went out without deigning another word leaving his wife sorely puzzled as to the character and history of the stranger within her doors merely watched the boatman leave the house and then turning her sorrowful eyes to the face of her hostess she attempted feebly to rise with the intention of going away where she knew not name a whoever beast they're not fit to go out into the street perhaps sinking her voice a little dirt a bad one I almost missed out leader it's so pretty Ella well it's the bad ones as a broken heart sure enough good folk never get utterly cast down they've always get the hope in the Lord it's the sinful as bear the bitter bitter grief in the crushed hearts poor souls it's them we ought most of all to pity in to help she shall leave the house tonight choose who she is worst woman in Liverpool Shoshana I wished I knew where the old man picked her up that I do marry had listened feebly to this soliloquy and now tried to satisfy her hostess in weak broken sentences I'm not a bad one missus indeed you must have took me out to sea after a ship as it sailed there was a man in it as might save a life at the child tomorrow the captain would not let him come but he says he'll come back in the pilot boat she felt a sobbing at the thought of her waning hopes and the old woman tried to comfort her beginning with her accustomed welly well and he'll come back I'm sure I know he will so keep up your heart don't fret about it he's sure to be back oh I'm afraid I'm sorry Freddy won't cry Mary consoled nevertheless by the woman's assertions all groundless as she knew them to be still talking half to herself and half to Mary the old woman prepared tea and urged her visitors to eat and refresh herself but Mary shook her head at the proffered food and only drank a cup of tea with thirsty eagerness for the spirits had thrown her into a burning heat and rendered each impression received through her senses of the most painful distinctness and intensity while her head ached in a terrible manner she disliked speaking her power over her words seemed so utterly gone she used quite different expressions to those she intended so she kept silent while mrs. Sturgess for that was the name of her hostess walked away and put her tea things by and moved about incessantly in a manner that increased the dizziness in Mary's head she felt as if she ought to take leave for the night and go but we're pleasantly the old man came back crosser and gruffer than when he went away he kicked aside the dry shoes his wife had prepared for him and snarled at all she said Mary attributed this to his finding her still there and gathered a purse strength or an effort to leave the house but she was mistaken by-and-by he said looking right into the fire as if addressing it wins right against them III and is it so said his wife who knowing him well knew that his surliness proceeded from some repressed sympathy Wella well the wind changes often at night time enough before morning I'd bet a penny it has changed since I looked she looked out of their little window at a weathercock near glittering in the moonlight and as she was a sailor's wife she instantly recognized the unfavorable point at which the indicator seemed stationary and giving a heavy sigh turned into the room and began to beat about in her own mind for some other mode of comfort this no one else who can prove what you wanted the trial tomorrow is there as she no one answered Mary and you've no clue to the one as is really guilty if t'other is not Mary did not answer but trembled all over Sturgis saw it don't bother her with that questions said he to his wife she won't go to bed but she's all in a shiver with the sea air I'll see after the wind hang it and the weathercock to tag will open when he turns Mary went upstairs murmuring thanks and blessings on those who took the stranger in mrs. Sturges led her into a little room redolent of the sea and foreign lands there was a small bed for one son bound for China and a hammock slung above for another who was now tossing in the Baltic the sheets looked made out of sail cloth but were fresh and clean in spite of their brownness against the wall were way furred too rough drawings of vessels with their names written underneath on which the mothers eyes caught and gazed until the filled with tears but she brushed the drops away with the back of her hand and in a cheerful tone went on to assure Mary the bed was well aired I cannot sleep thank you I will sit here if you please said Mary sinking down on the window-seat calm now said mrs. Sturgess my master told me to see you two beds in I Mun what's the use of watching a watched pot never boils and I see you are after watching that weathercock why now I try never to look at it and as I could do now tells my heart many a time go sick when the wind rises but I turn away and work away and try never to think on the wind but on what I had getting to do let me stay up a little pleaded Mary as her hostess seemed so resolute about seeing her to bed her looks won her suit well I suppose I'm on I shall catch it downstairs I know you'd be an affiliate till you get into bed I know so you might be quiet if you're so bent upon staying up and quietly noiselessly merely watch the unchanging weathercock through the night she sat on the little window seat her hand holding back the curtain which shaded the room from the bright moonlight without her head resting its weariness against the corner of the window frame her eyes burning and stiff with the intensity of her gaze the ruddy morning stole up the horizon casting a crimson glow into the Watchers room it was the morning of the day of trial end of chapter 31 read by Tony Foster chapter xxxii of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain the trial and verdict not guilty thou stand'st here arraigned that with presumption in pious and Ackerson thou hast deserved God's high prerogative making thy fellow mortals life and death wait on line moody and diseased passions that with a violent and untimely steel hast set abroach the blood that should have erred in calm and natural current to some all in one wild name a name the pale air freezes at and every cheek of man sinks in with horror thou art a cold and midnight murderer Millman's fat Co of all the restless people who found that night hours agonizing from excessive anxiety the poor father of the murdered man was perhaps the most restless he had slept but little since the blow had fallen his waking hours had been too full of agitated thought which seemed to haunt and pursue him through his unquiet slumbers and this night of all of us was the most sleepless he turned over and over again in his mind the wonder if everything had been done that could be done to ensure the conviction of Jim Wilson he almost regretted the haste with which he had urged forward the proceedings and yet until he he had obtained vengeance he felt as if there was no peace on earth to him I don't know that he exactly used the term vengeance in his thoughts he spoke of justice and probably thought of his desired end as such no peace either bodily or mental for he moved up and down his bedroom with the Restless incessant Tramp of a wild beast in a cage and if he compelled his aching limbs to cease for an instant the twitchings which ensued almost amounted to convulsions and he recommenced his walk as the lesser evil and the more bearable fatigue with daylight increased power of action came and he drove off to arouse his attorney and worried him with further directions and inquiries and when that was ended he sat watch in hand until the courts should be opened and the trial begin what were all the living wife or daughters what were they in comparison with the dead the murdered son who lay unburied still in compliance with his father's earnest wish and almost vowed purpose of having the Slayer of his child sentenced to death before he committed the body to the rest of the grave at nine o'clock they all met at their awful place of rendezvous the judge the jury the Avenger of blood the prisoner the witnesses all were gathered together within one building and besides these were many others personally interested in some part of the proceedings in which however they took no part Joe bleah Ben Sturgess and several others were there amongst whom was Charlie Jones job Lee had carefully avoided any questioning from mrs. Wilson that morning indeed he had not been much in her company for he had risen up early to go out once more to make inquiry for Mary and when he could hear nothing of her he had desperately resolved not to undeceive mrs. Wilson as sorrow never came too late and if the blow were inevitable it would be better to leave her in ignorance of the impending evil as long as possible she took her place in the witness room worn and dispirited but not anxious as job struggled through the crowd into the body of the court mr. Brijnath Clarke beckoned to him here's a letter for you from our client job sickened as he took it he did not know why but he dreaded a confession of guilt which would be an overthrow of all hope the letter ran as follows dear friend I thank you heartily for your goodness in finding me a lawyer but lawyers can do no good to me whatever they may do to other people but I am not the less obliged to you dear friend I foresee things will go against me and no wonder if I was a jury man I should say the man was guilty as had as much evidence brought against him as may be brought against me tomorrow so it's no blame to them if they do but job Lee I think I need not tell you I am as guiltless in this matter as the babe unborn although it is not in my power to prove it if I did not believe that you thought me innocent I could not write as I do now to tell you my wishes you'll not forget they are the wishes of a man shortly to die dear friend you must take care of my mother not in the money way but she will have enough for her and Aunt Alice but you must let her talk to you of me and show her that whatever others may do you think I died innocent idol reckons she will stay long behind when we are all gone be tender with a job for my sake and if she is a bit fractious at times remember what she's gone through I know mother will never doubt me god bless her there is one other whom I fear I have loved to daily and yet the loving her has made the happiness of my life she will think I have murdered her lover she will think I have caused the grief she must be feeling and she must go on thinking so it is hard upon me to say this but she must it will be best for her and that's all I ought to think on but their job you are a hearty fellow for your time of life and may liver many years to come and perhaps you could tell her when you felt sure you were drawing near your end that I solemnly told you as I do now that I was innocent of this thing you must not tell her for many years to come but I cannot well bear to think on her living through a long life and hating the thought of me as the murderer of him she loved and dying with that hatred to me in her heart it would hurt me saw in the other world to see the look of it in her face as it would be till she was told I must not let myself think on how she must be viewing me now so god bless you job Lee and no more from yours to command James Wilson job turned the letter over and over when he had read it sighed deeply and then wrapping it carefully up in a bit of newspaper he had about him he put it in his waistcoat pocket and went off to the door of the witness room to ask if Mary Barton were there as the door opened he saw her sitting within against a table on which her folded arms were resting and her head was hidden within them it was an attitude of hopelessness and would have served to strike job dumb in sickness of heart even without the sound of mrs. Wilson's voice in passionate sobbing and saw lamentations which told him as well as words could do but she was not within view of the door and he did not care to go in that she was at any rate partially undeceived as to the hopes he had given her last night sorrowfully did job return into the body of the court neither mrs. Wilson nor Mary having seen him as he had stood at the witness room door as soon as he could bring his destructed thoughts to bear upon the present scene he perceived that the trial of James Wilson for the murder of Henry Carson was just commencing the clerk was gobbling over the indictment and in a minute or two there was the accustomed question how say you guilty or not guilty although but one answer was expected was customary in all cases there was a pause of dead silence an interval of solemnity even in this hackneyed part of the proceeding while the prisoner at the bar stood with compressed lips looking at the judge with his outward eyes but with far other and different scenes presented to his mental vision a sort of rapid recapitulation of his life remembrances of his childhood his father so proud of him his firstborn child his sweet little playfellow Mary his hopes his love his despair yet still yet ever and ever his love the blank wide world it had been without her love his mother his childless mother but not long to be so not long to be away from all she loved nor during that time to be oppressed with doubt as to his innocence sure and secure of her darlings heart he started from his instance pause and said in a low firm voice not guilty my lord the circumstances of the murder the discovery of the body the causes of suspicion against Jem were as well-known to most of the audience as they are to you so there was some little buzz of conversation going on among the people while the leading counsel for the prosecution made his very effective speech that's mr. Carson the father sitting behind him Wilkinson what a noble looking old man he is so Stern and inflexible with such classical features does he not remind you of some of the busts of Jupiter I am more interested by watching the prisoner criminals always interest me I try to trace in the features common to humanity some expression of the crimes by which SIB distinguish themselves from their kind I've seen a good number of murderers in my day but I have seldom seen one with such marks of Cain on his countenance as the man at the bar well I'm no physiognomist but I don't think his face strikes me as bad it certainly is gloomy and depressed but not unnaturally so considering his situation only look at his low resolute brow his downcast eye his white compressed lips he never looks up just watch him and his foreign is not so low if he had that massive black air removed in his very square which some people say is a good sign if others are to be influenced by such trifles as you are would have been much better if the prison Barbara cut his hair a little previous to the trial and as for downcast eye and compressed lip it's all part and parcel of his inward agitation just now nothing to do with character my good fellow poor gem his raven hair his mother's pride and so often fondly caressed by her fingers was that too to have its influence against him the witnesses were called at first they consisted principally of policemen who being much accustomed to giving evidence knew what were the material points they were called on to prove and did not lose the time of the court in listening to anything unnecessary clear as day against the prisoner whispered one attorneys clerk to another black is now you mean replied his friend and they both smiled Jane Wilson who's she some relation I suppose from the name the mother the Chi that is to prove the gun part of the case why I remember rather hard on her too I think then both was silent as one of the officers of the court or should mrs. Wilson into the witness box I've often called her the old woman and an old woman because in truth her appearance was so much beyond her years which might not be many above 50 but partly owing to her accident in early life which left a stamp of pain upon her face partly owing to her anxious temper partly to her sorrows and partly to her limping gait she always gave me the idea of age but now she might have seemed more than 70 her lines were so set and deep her features so sharpened and her walk so feeble she was trying to check her sobs into composure and unconsciously was striving to behave as she thought would best please her poor boy whom she knew she had often grieved by her uncontrolled impatience he had buried his face in his arms which rested on the front of the dock an attitude he retained during the greater part of his trial and which prejudiced many against him the council began the examination your name is Jane Wilson I believe yes sir the mother of the prisoner at the bar yes sir with quivering voice ready to break out into weeping but earning respect by the strong effort at self-control prompted as I have said before by her earnest wish to please her son by her behavior the balusters now proceeded to the important part of the examination tending to prove that the gun found on the scene of the murder was the prisoners she had committed herself so fully to the policeman that she could not well retract so without much delay in bringing the question round to the desired point the gun was produced in court and the inquiry made that gun belongs to your son does it not she clenched the size of the witness box in her efforts to make her parts tongue utter words at last she moaned forth Oh Jemm what mana say everyone bent forward to hear the prisoners answer although in fact it was of little importance to the issue of the trial he lifted up his head and with the face brimming full of pity for his mother yet resolved into endurance said tell the truth mother and so she did with the fidelity of a little child everyone felt that she did and the little colloquy between mother and son did them some slight service in the opinion of the audience but the awful judge sat unmoved and the journeyman changed not a muscle of their countenances while the counsel for the prosecution went triumphantly through this part of the case including the fact of gems absence from home on the night of the murder and bringing every admission to bear right against the prisoner it was over she was told to go down but she could no longer compel her mother's heart to keep silence and suddenly turning towards the judge with whom she imagined the verdict arrest she dusted rest him with her choking voice and now sir I've tell you the truth and the whole truth as he bid me but don't you let what I have said golfer to hang him oh my lord judge take my word for it he's as innocent as the childhood has yet to be born for sure I who have miss mother have nursed him on my knee and been gladdened by the sight of him every day sins ought to know him better than yon pact of fellows indicating the jury while she strove against her heart to render her words distinct and clear for her dear son's sake who I'll go to bail never saw him before this morning in all their born days My Lord judge he's so good I often wondered what harm there was in him many is the time when I've been fretted but I'm through bit enough at times when I've sculpt myself and said you ungrateful thing the Lord God has given you gen and isn't that blessing enough for you but he has seen fit to punish me if gem is if Jimmy's taken from me I shall be a childless woman and very poor having no left to love on earth and I cannot say his will be done cannot my Lord judge oh I cannot while sobbing out these words she was led away by the Offices of the court but tenderly and reverently with the respect which great sorrow commands the stream of evidence went on and on gathering fresh force from every witness who was examined and threatening to overwhelm poor gem already they had proved that the gun was his but he had been heard not many days before the commission of the D to threaten the deceased indeed that the police had at that time been obliged to interfere to prevent some probable act of violence it only remained to bring forward a sufficient motive for the threat and the murder the clue to this had been furnished by the policeman who had overheard gems angry language to mr. Carson and his report in the first instance had occasioned the subpoena to Mary and now she was to be called on to bear witness the court was by this time almost as full as it could hold but fresh attempts were being made to squeeze in at all the entrances but many were anxious to see and hear this part of the trial old mr. Carson felt an additional beat at his heart at the thought of seeing the fatal Helen the cause of all a kind of interest in yet repugnance for was not she beloved by the dead nay perhaps in her way loving and mourning for the same being that he himself was so bitterly grieving 'over and yet he felt as if he abhorred her and her rumoured loveliness as if she were the curse against him and he grew jealous of the love with which she had inspired his son and would fain have deprived her of even her natural right of sorrowing over her lover's untimely end for you see it was a fixed idea in the minds of all that the handsome bright gay rich young gentleman must have been beloved in preference to the serious almost stern looking Smith who had to toil for his daily bread hitherto the effect of the trial had equalled mr. Carson's most sanguine hopes and a severe look of satisfaction came over the face of the Avenger over that countenance whence the smile had departed never more to return all eyes were directed to the door through which the witnesses entered even Jen looked up to catch one glimpse before he hid his face from her look of aversion the officer had gone to fetch her she was in exactly the same attitude as when Jolie had seen her two hours before through the half-open door not a finger had moved the officer summoned her but she did not stir she was so still he thought she had fallen asleep and he stepped forward and touched her she started open an instant and followed him with a kind of rushing rapid motion into the court into the witness box and amid all that sea of faces misty and swimming before her eyes she saw but two clear bright spots distinct and fixed the judge who might have to condemn and the prisoner who might have to die the mellow sunlight streamed down that high window on her head and fell on the rich treasure of her golden hair stuffed away in masses under her little bonnet cap and in those warm beams the molt's kept dancing up and down the wind had changed had changed almost as soon as she had given up her watching the wind had changed and she heeded it not many who were looking for mere flesh-and-blood beauty mere colouring were disappointed for her face was deadly white and almost set in its expression while a mournful bewildered soul looked out of the depths of those soft deep gray eyes but others recognized a higher and stranger kind of beauty one that would keep its hold on the memory for many after years I was not there myself but one who was told me that her look and indeed her whole face was more like the well-known engraving from Guido's picture of Beatriz chengjie than anything he could give me an idea of he added that her countenance haunted him like the remembrance of some wild sad melody heard in childhood that it would perpetually recur with its mute imploring agony with all the court reeling before her always save and accept those awful – she heard a voice speak and answered the simple inquiry something about her name mechanically as if in a dream so she went on for two or three more questions with a strange wonder in her brain as to the reality of the terrible circumstances in which she was placed suddenly she was roused she knew not how or by what she was conscious that all was real that hundreds were looking at her that true sounding words were being extracted from her that that figure so bowed down with the face concealed by both hands was really Jen her face flushed scarlet and then paler than before but in her dread of herself with the tremendous secret imprisoned within her she exerted every power she had to keep in the full understanding of what was going on of what she was asked and of what she answered with all her faculties preternaturally alive and sensitive she heard the next question from the purged young barrister who was delighted to have the examination of this witness and prey may I ask which was the favoured lover you say you knew both these young men which was the favored lover which did you prefer and who was he the questioner that he should dare so lightly to ask of her heart secrets that he should dare to ask her to tell before that multitude assembled there what woman usually whispers with blushes and tears and many hesitations to one ear alone so for an instant a look of indignation contracted Mary's brow as she steadily met the eyes of the impertinent counselor but in that instant she saw the hands removed from a face beyond behind and a countenance revealed of such intense love and woe such a deprecating dread of her answer and suddenly her resolution was taken the present was everything the future the vast shroud it was maddening to think upon but now she might own her fault but now she might even own her love now when the beloved stood thus a board of men there would be no feminine shame to stand between her and her a vowel so she also turned towards the judge partly to mark that her answer was not given to the monkey fide man who questioned her and likewise that her face might be averted from and her eyes not gaze upon the form that contracted with the dread of the words he anticipated he asks me which of them – I liked the best perhaps I liked mr. Harry Carson once I don't know I forgotten but I loved James Wilson that's now on trial above what tongue can tell above all else on earth put together and I love him now better than ever though he has never known a word of it till this minute for you see sir mother died before I was 13 before I could know right from wrong about some things and I was giddy in vain and ready to listen to any praise of my good looks and this poor young mr. Carson fell in with me and told me he loved me and I was foolish enough to think he meant me marriage a mother is a pitiful loss to a girl sir and so I used to fancy I could like to be a lady and rich and never no want anymore and ever found out how dearly I loved another till one day when James Wilson asked me to marry him and I was very hard and sharp in my answer but indeed sir I'd a deal to bear with just then and he took me at my word and left me and from that day to this I've never spoken a word to him or set eyes on him though I'd fain have done so to try and show him we've both been too hasty but he'd not been gone out of my sight above a minute before I knew I loved far above my life said she dropping her voice as she came to this second confession of the strength of her attachment but if the gentleman asks me which I loved the best I make answer I was flattered by mr. Carson and pleased with his flattery but James Wilson I she covered her face with her hands to hide the burning scarlet blushes which even dyed her fingers there was a little pause still though her speech might inspire pity for the prisoner it only strengthened the supposition of his guilt presently the counselor went on with his examination but you have seen young mr. Carson since your rejection of the prisoner yes often you have spoken to him I conclude at these times only once to call speaking and what was the substance of your conversation did you tell him you found you preferred his rival no sir I don't think as I've done wrong in saying now as things stand what my feelings are but I never would be so bold as to tell one young man I cared for another and having gained gems name to mr. Carson never then what did you say when you had this final conversation with mr. Carson you can give me the substance of it if you don't remember the words I'll try sir but I'm not very clear I told him I could not love him and wish to have nothing more to do with him he did his best to over persuade me but I kept steady and at last I ran off now young woman remember you are upon your oath did you ever tell the prisoner at the bar of mr. Henry Carson's attentions to you of your acquaintance in short did you ever try to excite his jealousy by boasting of a lover so far above you in station never I never did said she in so firm and distinct a manner as to leave no doubt where you were where that he knew of mr. Henry Carson's regard for you remember you are on your oath never sir I was not aware until I heard of the quarrel between them and what GEMA to say to the policeman and that was after the murder to this day I can't make out who told him oh so may I not go down for she felt the sense the composure the very bodily strength which she had compelled to her aid for a time suddenly giving way and was conscious that she was losing all command over herself there was no occasion to detain her longer she had done her part she might go down the evidence was still stronger against the prisoner but now he stood erect and firm with self-respect in his attitude and a look of determination on his face which almost made it appear Noble yet he seemed lost in thought Jolie had all this time been trying to soothe and comfort mrs. Wilson who would first be in the court in order to see her darling and then when her sobs became irrepressible had to be led out into the open air and sat there weeping on the steps of the courthouse who would have taken charge of Mary on her release from the witness box I do not know if mrs. Sturgess the Bolton's wife had not been there brought by her interest in Mary towards whom she now pressed in order to urge her to leave the scene of the trial no no said Mary to this proposition I must be here I must watch that they don't hang him you know I must oh they'll not hang him never fear besides the wind has changed and that's in his favour come away you're so hot and first white then red I'm sure you're ill just come away oh I don't know about anything but that I must stay replied Mary in a strange hurried manner catching hold of some rails as if she feared some bodily force would be employed to remove her so mrs. Sturgess just waited patiently by her every now and then peeping among the congregation of heads in the body of the court to see if her husband was still there and there he always was to be seen looking and listening with all his might his wife felt easy that he would not be wanting her at home until the trial was ended marry never let go her clutch hold on the rails she wanted them to steady her in that heaving whirling Court she thought the feeling of something hard compressed within her hand would help her to listen but it was such pain such weary pain in her head to strive to attend to what was being said they were all at sea sailing away on billowy waves and everyone speaking at once and no one heeding her father who was calling on them to be silent and listen to him then again for a brief second the court Stood Still and she could see the judge sitting up there like an idol with his trappings so rigid and stiff and jamb opposite looking at her as if to say am I to die for what you know your then she checked herself and by a great struggle brought herself round to an instant sanity but the round of thought never stood still and off she went again and every time her power of struggling against the growing delirium grew fainter and fainter she muttered low to herself but no one heard her except her neighbor mrs. Sturgess all were too closely attending to the case for the prosecution which was now being wound up the counsel for the prisoner had avoided much cross-examination reserving to himself the right of calling the witnesses forward again but he had received so little and such vague instructions and understanding that so much depended on the evidence of one who was not forthcoming that in fact he had little hope of establishing anything like a show of a defense and contented himself with watching the case and lying in wait for any legal objections that might offer themselves he lay back on the seat occasionally taking a pinch of snuff in a manner intended to be contemptuous now and then elevating his eyebrows and sometimes exchanging a little note with mr. Bridgnorth behind him the attorney had far more interest in the case than the barrister to which he was perhaps excited by his poor old friend Joe Lee who had edged and wedged himself through the crowd close to mr. Brij North's elbow sent thither by Sturgess to whom he had been introduced by Charlie Jones and who had accounted for Mary's disappearance on the preceding day and spoken of their Chase their fears their hopes all this was told in a few words to mr. Bridgnorth so few that they gave him but a confused idea that time was of value and this he named his counsel who now rose to speak for the defense job Lee looked about for Mary now he had gained and given some idea of the position of things at last he saw her standing by a decent looking woman looking flushed and anxious and moving her lips incessantly as if eagerly talking her eyes never resting on any object but wandering about as if in search of something job thought it was for him she was seeking and he struggled to get round to her when he had succeeded she took no notice of him although he spoke to her but still kept looking round and round in the same wild Restless manner he tried to hear the low quick mutterings of her voice as he caught the repetition of the same words over and over again I must not gone mad I must not indeed they say people tell the truth when they're mad but I don't I was always a liar I was indeed but I'm not mad I must not go mad I must not indeed suddenly she seemed to become aware how earnestly job was listening with mournful attention to her words and turning sharp round upon him with upbraiding for his eavesdropping on her lips she caught sight of something or someone who even in that state had power to arrest her attention and throwing up her arms with wild energy she shrieked aloud Oh Jem Jem you are saved and I am mad and was instantly seized with convulsions with much commiseration she was taken out of court while the attention of many was diverted from her by the fierce energy with which a sailor forced his way over rails and seats against turnkeys and policemen the officers of the court opposed this forcible manner of entrance but they could hardly induce the offender to adopt any quieter way of attaining his object and telling his tale in the witness box the legitimate place for will had dwelt so impatiently on the danger in which his absence would place his cousin that even yet he seemed to fear that he might see the prisoner carried off and hung before he could pour out the narrative which would exculpate him as for job Lee his feelings were all but uncontrollable as you may judge by the indifference with which he saw Mary born stiff and convulsed out of the court in the charge of the kind mrs. Sturgess who you will remember was an utter stranger to him she'll keep I'll not trouble myself about her said he to himself as he wrote with trembling hands a little note of information to mr. bridgnorth who had conjectured when will had first disturbed the awful tranquility of the life and death chord that the witness had arrived better late than never on whose evidence rested all the slight chance yet remaining to Jim Wilson of escaping death during the commotion in the court among all the cries and commands the dismay and the directions consequence upon wills entrance and poor Mary's fearful attack of illness mr. bridgnorth had kept his lawyer like presence of mind and long before jobless almost illegible note was poked at him he had recapitulated the facts on which will had to give evidence and the manner in which he had been pursued after his ship had taken her leave of the land the barrister who defended gem took new heart when he was put in possession of these striking points to be adduced not so much out of earnestness to save the prisoner of whose innocence he was still doubtful as because he saw the opportunities for the display a forensic eloquence which were presented by the facts a gallant tar brought back from the pathless ocean by a girl's noble daring the dangers of too hastily judging from circumstantial evidence etc etc while the councillor for the prosecution prepared himself by folding his arms elevating his eyebrows and putting his lips in the form in which they might best whistle down the wind such evidence as might be produced by a suborned witness who dared to perjure himself for of course it is etiquette to suppose that such evidence as may be given against the opinion which lawyers are paid to uphold is anything but based on truth and perjury conspiracy and peddle of your immortal soul are light expressions to throw at the heads of those who may prove not the speaker there would then be some excuse for the hasty words of personal anger but the hirer of the speaker to be wrong or mistaken but when once will had attained his end and felt that his tale or part of a tale would be heard by judge and jury when once he saw gem standing safe and well before him even though he saw him pale and careworn at the felons bar his courage took the shape of presence of mind and he awaited the examination with a calm unflinching intelligence which dictated the clearest and most pertinent answers he told the story you know so well how his leave of absence being nearly expired he had resolved to fulfill his promise and go to see an uncle residing in the Isle of Man how his money sailor-like was all expended in Manchester and how consequently it had been necessary for him to walk to Liverpool which he had accordingly done on the very night of the murder accompanied as far as Hollins grebe by his friend and cousin the prisoner at the bar he was clear and distinct in every corroborated circumstance and gave a short account of the singular way in which he had been recalled from his outward-bound voyage and the terrible anxiety he had felt as the pilot boat had struggled home against the wind the jury felt that their opinion so nearly decided half-an-hour ago was shaken and disturbed in a very uncomfortable and perplexing way and were almost grateful to the counsel for the prosecution when he got up with a brow of thunder to demolish the evidence which was so bewildering when taken in connection with everything previously adduced but if such without looking to the consequences was the first impulsive feeling of some among the jury how shall I describe the vehemence of passion which possessed the mind of poor mr. Carson as he saw the effect of the young sailors statement it never shook his belief in Jemez guilt in the least that attempt at an alibi his hatred his longing for vengeance having once defined an object to itself could no more bear to be frustrated and disappointed than the beast of prey can submit to have his victim taken from his hungry jaws no more likeness to the calm Stern power of Jupiter was there in that white eager face almost distorted by its fell anxiety of expression the counsel to whom etiquette assigned the cross-examination of will caught the look on mr. Carson's face and in his desire to further the intense wish there manifested he overshot his mark even in the first insulting question and now my man you've told the court of very good and very convincing story no reasonable man ought to doubt the unstained innocence of your relation at the bar still there is one circumstance you have forgotten to name and I feel that without it your evidence is rather incomplete will you have the kindness to inform the gentlemen of the jury what has been your charge for repeating this very plausible story how much good coin of Her Majesty's realm have you received or are you to receive for walking up from the docks or some less creditable place and uttering the tale you have just now repeated very much to the credit of your instructor I must say remember sir you are upon oath it took will the minutes to extract the meaning from the garb of unaccustomed words in which it was invested and during this time he looked a little confused but the instant the truth flashed upon him he fixed his bright clear eyes flaming with indignation a the counselor whose look fell at last before that Stern unflinching gaze then and not till then will made answer will you tell the judge and jury how much money you've been paid for your impedance towards one who has told God's blessed truth and who would store to tell a lie or blackguard anyone for the biggest fee as ever lawyer got for doing dirty work will you tell sir but I am ready my lord judge to take my oath as many times as your lordship or the jury would like to testify to things having happened just as I said there's old brain the pilot in court now would somebody with a wig on please to ask him how much he can save from it it was a good idea and caught up by the counsel for the defense O'Brien gave just such testimony as was required to clear will from all suspicion he had witnessed the pursuit he had heard the conversation which took place between the boat and the ship he had given will a Holmwood passage in his boat and the character of an accredited pilot appointed by Trinity House was known to be above suspicion mr. Carson sank back on his seat in sickening despair he knew enough of course to be aware of the extreme unwillingness of juries to convict even where the evidence is most clear when the penalty of such conviction his death at the period of the trial most Kandam natori to the prisoner he had repeated this factor himself in order to damp his to certain expectation of a conviction now it needed not repetition for it forced itself upon his consciousness and he seemed to know even before the jury retired to consult that by some trick some negligence some miserable hocus-pocus the murderer of his child his darling his Absalom who had never rebelled the Slayer of his unburied boy would slip through the fangs of justice and walk free and unscathed over that earth where his son would never more be seen it was even so the prisoner hid his face once more to shield the expression of an emotion he could not control from the notice of the over curious job Lee ceased his eager talking to mr. bridgnorth Charlie looked grave and earnest for the jury filed one-by-one back into their box and the question was asked to which such an awful answer might be given the verdict they had come to was unsatisfactory to themselves at last neither being convinced of his innocence nor yet quite willing to believe him guilty in the teeth of an alibi but the punishment that awaited him if guilty was so terrible and so unnatural a sentence for man to pronounce on man that the knowledge of it had weighed down the scale on the side of innocence and not guilty was the verdict that thrilled through the breathless Court one moment of silence and then the murmurs rose as the verdict was discussed by all with lowered voice gems stood motionless his head bowed poor fellow he was stunned with the rapid career of events during the last few hours he had assumed his place at the bar with little or no expectation of an acquittal and with scarcely any desire for life in the complication of occurrences tending to strengthen the idea of marries more than indifference to him she had loved another and in her mind gem believed that he himself must be regarded as the murderer of him she loved and suddenly a thought this gloom which made life seem such a blank expanse of desolation there flashed the exquisite delight of hearing mer is a vowel of love making the future all glorious if a future in this world he might hope to have he could not dwell on anything but her words telling of her passionate love all else was indistinct nor could he strive to make it otherwise she loved him and life now full of tender images suddenly bright with all exquisite promises hung on a breath the slenderest gossamer chance he tried to think that the knowledge of her love would soothe him even in his dying hours but the Phantom's of what life with her might be would obtrude and made him almost gasp and real under the uncertainty he was enduring wills appearance had only added to the intensity of this suspense the full meaning of the verdict could not at once penetrate his brain he stood dizzy and motionless someone pulled his coat he turned and saw Joe bleah the tears stealing down his brown furrowed cheeks while he tried in vain to command voice enough to speak he kept shaking gem by the hand as the best and necessary expression of his feeling here make yourself scarce I should think you'd be glad to get out of that exclaimed the jailer as he brought up another livid prisoner from out whose eyes came the anxiety which he would not allow any other feature to display Joe bleep rest out-of-court and gem followed unreasoning Lea the crowd made way and kept their garments tight about them as gem passed but about him there still hung the taint of the murderer he was in the open air and free once more although many looked on him with suspicion faithful friends closed round him his arm was unresistingly pumped up and down by his cousin and job when one was tired the other took up the wholesome exercise while Ben Sturgis was working off his interest in the scene by scolding Charlie for walking on his head round and round merry sweetheart for a sweetheart he was now satisfactorily ascertained to be in spite of her assertion to the contrary and all this time gem himself felt bewildered and dazzled he would have given anything for an hour's interrupted thought on the occurrences of the past week and the new visions raised up during the morning I even though that tranquil hour were to be passed in the Hermitage of his quiet prison cell the first question sobbed out by his choking voice oppressed with emotion where is she they led him to the room where his mother sat they had told her of her son's acquittal and now she was laughing and crying and talking and giving way to all those feelings which she had restrained with such effort during the last few days they brought her son to her and she threw herself upon his neck weeping there he returned her embrace but looked around beyond accepting his mother there was no one in the room but the friends who had entered with him Hey lacked said she when she found voice to speak see what it is to have b8 this cell I could put in a good word for thee and the jury could now go and hang thee in the face at the character I gave thee was not a good thing they didn't aqip me from Liverpool but I would come and knew I could do thee good bless thee my lad but that very white and all of a tremble he kissed her again and again but looking round as if searching for someone he could not find the first words he uttered was still where is she end of chapter 32 read by Tony Foster you chapter 33 of Mary Barton by Elizabeth Gaskell this LibriVox recording is in the public domain requiescat in parking fear no more the heat of the Sun nor the Furious winters rages thou thy worldly task has done home art gone and tame thy wages Cymbeline while day and night can bring delight or nature or pleasure give while Joy's above my mind can move for thee and thee alone I live when that grim foe of joy below comes in between to make us part the iron hand that breaks our band it breaks my bliss it breaks my heart burns she was where no words of peace no soothing hopeful tidings could reach her in the ghastly spectral world of delirium hour after hour day after day she started up with passionate cries on her father to save gem or rose wildly imploring the winds and waves the pitiless winds and waves to have mercy and over and over again she exhausted her feverish fitful strength in these agonized entreaties and fell back powerless uttering only the wailing moans of despair they told her gem was safe they brought him before her eyes but sight and hearing were no longer channels of information to that poor destructed brain nor could human voice penetrate to her understanding Jemm alone gathered the full meaning of some of her strange sentences and perceived that by some means or other she like himself had divined the truth of her father being the murderer long ago reckoning time by events and thoughts and not by clock or dial plate Jem had felt certain that Mary's father was Harry Carson's murderer and although the motive was in some measure a mystery yet a whole train of circumstances the principle of which was that John Barton had borrowed the fateful gun only two days before had left no doubt in Jemez mind sometimes he thought that John had discovered and thus bloody Lee resented the attentions which mr. Carson had paid to his daughter at others he believed the motive to exist in the bitter feuds between the Masters and their work people in which Barton was known to take so keen an interest but if he had felt himself pledged to preserve this secret even when his own life was the probable penalty and he believed he should fall execrated by Mary as the guilty destroyer of her lover how much more was he bound now to labour to prevent any word of hers from inkle painting her father now that she was his own now that she had braved so much to rescue him and now that her poor brain had lost all guiding and controlling power over her words all that night long Jem wandered up and down the narrow precincts of Ben sturgis's house in the little bedroom where mrs. Sturges alternately tended Mary and wept over the violence of her illness he listened to her ravings each sentence of which had its own peculiar meaning and reference intelligible to his mind till her words rose to the wild pitch of agony that no one could alleviate and he could bear it no longer and stole sick and miserable downstairs where Ben Sturgis thought it his duty to snore away in an armchair instead of his bed under the idea that he should thus be more ready for active service such as fetching the doctor to Reeve his patient before it was fairly light Jen wide awake and listening with an earnest attention he could not deaden however painful its results proved heard a gentle subdued knock at the house door it was no business of his to be sure to open it but as Ben slept on he thought he would see who the early visitor might be and ascertain if there was any occasion for disturbing either host or hostess it was job Lee who stood there distinct against the outer light of the street Oh is she a poor soul is that her no need to ask o stranger voice sounds screech screech and she solo sweet spoken when she's well that must keep apart old boy and not Luke so dismal verse L I can't help it job it's past a man's bearing to hear such a one as she is going on as she is doing even if I did not care for her it would cut me saw to see one so young and I can't speak of it job as a man should do said jem his sobs choking him Let Me In will you said job pushing past him for all this time jem had stood holding the door unwilling to admit job where he might hear so much that would be suggestive to one acquainted with the parties that mary named had more than one reason for coming betimes I wanted to hear o yon poor wench was that stood first late last night got a letter from Margaret very anxious like the doctor says the old lady yonder can't last many days longer and it seems and so lonesome for her to die with no one but Margaret and mrs. Davenport about her so I thought I'd just come and stay with Mary Barton see as she's well done too and you and your mother and we'll go and take leave of old Alice James countenance sad at best just now fell lower and lower but Jo went on with his speech she still wonders Margaret says and thinks she's with her mother at all but for all that she should have some kith and kin nearer to close her eyes to my thinking could not you and we'll take mother home I'd follow when Jem faltered out thus far when Jobe interrupted Lud if they knew what their mother has suffered for thee they would not speak of leaving her just when she's got me from the grave as it were why this very night she rose me up and job says she I ask your pardon for weakening you but tell me am I awake or dreaming is gem proved innocent or job Lee godsend I've not only been dreaming it for though ceased she can't rightly understand why there with Mary and not with her i I I know why but her mother only gives up her son's art inch by inch to his wife and then she gives it up we're grudge Noah Jen they must go with her my mother just know if ever though hope twists for God's blessing she's a widow and has none but thee never fear for Mary she's young and will struggle through their decent people these folks she's with and now watch over as though she was my own poor girl that lies calling off in London tone a grant ye it's hard enough for it to be left among strangers to my mind John Barton would be more in the way of his duty looking after his daughter than delegating it'll burn down the country looking after everyone's business but he's on a new idea and a new fear came into Jim's mind what if Mary should implicate her father she raves terribly said he all night long she's been speaking of her father and mixing up thoughts of him with the child she saw yesterday I should not wonder if she'll speak of him as being cool next thing I should know wonder either answer job foking her away say many and many a strange thing and the best way is never to mind them no you take your mother home Jim and stay by her till old Alice is gone and trust me for seeing after Mary Jemm felt how right job was and could not resist what he knew to be his duty but I cannot tell you how heavy and sick at heart he was as he stood at the door to take a last fond lingering look at Mary he saw her sitting up in bed her golden hair dimmed with her one day's illness floating behind her her head bound round with wetted cloths her features all agitated even to Distortion with the pangs of her anxiety her lover's eyes filled with tears he could not hope the hasta city of his heart had been crushed out of him by early sorrows and now especially the dark side of everything seemed to be presented to him what if she died just when he knew the treasure the untold treasure he possessed in her love what if worse than death she remained a poor gibbering maniac all her life long and mad people do live to be old sometimes even under all the pressure of their burden terror destructed as she was now and no one able to comfort her gem said job partly guessing the others feelings by his own gem repeated he arresting his attention before he spoke gem turned round the little motion causing the tears to overflow and trickle down his cheeks they'll most trust in God and leave her in his hands he spoke hushed and low but the words sank all the more into gems heart and gave him strength to tear himself away he found his mother notwithstanding that she had but just regained her child through Mary's instrumentality half inclined to resent his having passed the night in anxious devotion to the poor invalid she dwelt on the duties of children to their parents above all others so gem could hardly believe the relative positions they had held only yesterday when she was struggling with and controlling every instinct of her nature only because he wished it however the recollection of that yesterday with its hair's breadth between him and a felons death and the love that had lightened the dark shadow made him bear with the meekness and patience of a true hearted man all the worrying little acerbity zuv today and he had no small merit in so doing but in him as in his mother the reaction after intense excitement had produced its usual effect in increased irritability of the nervous system they found Alice alive and without pain and that was all a child of a few weeks old would have had more bodily strength a child of a very few months old more consciousness of what was passing before her but even in this state she diffused an atmosphere of peace around her true will at first wept passionate tears at the sight of her who had been as a mother to him so standing on the confines of life but even now as always loud passionate feeling could not long endure in the calm of her presence the firm faith which her mind had no longer power to grasp and left its trail of glory for by no other word can I call the bright happy look which he lumen the old earth worn face her talk it is true bore no more that constant earnest reference to God and his holy word which he had done in health and there were no deathbed words of exhortation from the lips of one so habitually pious for still she imagined herself once again in the happy happy realms of childhood and again dwelling in the lovely northern haunts where she had so often longed to be though earthly side was gone away she beheld again the scenes she had loved from long years ago she saw them without a change to dim the old radiant hues the long dead were with her fresh and blooming as in those bygone days and death came to her as a welcome blessing like as evening comes to the weary child a work here was finished and faithfully done what better sentence can an emperor wish to have said over his beer in second childhood that blessing clouded by a name she said her milk dimittis the sweetest canticle to the holy mother good night dear mother bless me once more I'm very tired and would fain go to sleep she never spoke again on this side heaven she died the day after their return from Liverpool from that time gem became aware that his mother was jealously watching for some word or sign which should be token his wish to return to Mary and yet go to Liverpool he must and would as soon as the funeral was over if but for a single glimpse of his darling for job had never written indeed any necessity for his so doing had never entered his head if Mary died he would announce it personally if she recovered he meant to bring her home with him writing was to him little more than an auxiliary to Natural History a way of ticketing specimens not of expressing thoughts the consequence of this want of intelligence as to Mary state was that gem was constantly anticipating that every person and every scrap of paper was to convey to him the news of her death he could not endure this stay long but he resolved not to disturb the house by announcing to his mother his purposed intention of returning to Liverpool until the dead had been carried forth on Sunday afternoon they laid her low with many tears will wept as one who would not be comforted the old childish feeling came over him the feeling of loneliness at being left among strangers by-and-by margaret timidly stole near him as if waiting to console and soon his passion sank down to grief and grief gave way to melancholy and though he felt as if he never could be joyful again he was all the while unconsciously approaching nearer to the full happiness of calling Margaret his own and a golden thread was into woven even now with the darkness of this sorrow yet it was on his arm that Jane Wilson leant on her return home woods gem took charge of Margaret Margaret and bound for Liverpool by the first train sir Maura I must set your grandfather at liberty I'm sure he likes nothing better than watching over poor Marie it loves her nearly as well as me but let me go I've been solved full of poor Alice I've never thought of it before I can't do so much as many Oh one but Mary will like to have a woman about her that she knows I'm sorry I waited to be reminded gem replied Margaret with some little self-reproach but Margaret's proposition did not at all agree with her companions wishes he found he had better speak out and put his intention at once to the right motive the subterfuge about setting jolie at liberty had done him harm instead of good to tell truth Margaret it's I that must go and that for my own sake not your grandfather's I can rest neither by night nor day for thinking on Mary whether she lives or dies I look on her as my wife before God as surely and solemnly as if we were married so being I have the greatest right to look after her and I cannot yield it even to her father said Margaret finishing his interrupted sentence it seems strange that a girl like her should be thrown on the bare world to struggle through so bad an illness no one seems to know where John Barton is else I thought to get him Morris to write him a letter telling him about Mary I wish she was on but I do Jem could not echo this wish Mary's not bad off for friends where she is said he I call them friends though a week ago we none of us knew there was such folks in the world but being anxious and sorrowful about the same thing makes people friends quicker than anything I think she's like a mother to Mary in her ways and he bears a good character as far as I could learn just in that array we're drawing near on and I've not said my say Margaret I want you to look after mother a bit she'll not like my going and I've got to break it to her yet if she takes it very badly I'll come back tomorrow night but if she's not against it very much I mean to stay till it settled about marry one way or the other will you know will be there Margaret to help a bit in doing for mother wills being their maid the only objection Margaret saw to this plan she disliked the idea of seeming to throw herself in his way and yet she did not like to say anything of this feeling to Jem who had all along seemed perfectly unconscious of any love affair besides his own in progress so Margaret gave a reluctant consent if you can just step up to her host a night Jem I'll put a few things as may be useful to Mary and then you can say when you'll likely be back if you come on tomorrow night and Will's there perhaps I need not step up yes Margaret do I shalt leave easy unless you go sometime in the day to see mother I'll come tonight though and now goodbye stay do you think you could just coax poor will to walk a bit on with you that I might speak to mother by myself know that Margaret could not do that was expecting too great a sacrifice of bashful feeling but the object was accomplished by wills going upstairs immediately on their return to the house to indulge his mournful thoughts alone as soon as Jem and his mother were left by themselves he began on the subject uppermost in his mind mother she put her handkerchief from her eyes and turned quickly round so as to face him where he stood thinking what best to say the little action annoyed him and he rushed at once into the subject mother I'm going back to Liverpool tomorrow morning to see how Mary Barney's and what's Mary Barton to thee that that should speed running after ring that away if she lives she shall be my wedded wife if she dies mother I can't speak of what I shall feel if she dies his voice was choked in his throat but an instant his mother was interested by his words and then came back the old jealousy of being supplanted in the affections of that son who had been as it were newly born to her by the escape he had so lately experienced from danger so she hardened her heart against entertaining any feeling of sympathy and turned away from the face which recalled the earnest look of his childhood when he had come to her in some trouble sure of help and comfort and coldly she spoke in those tones which Jem knew and dreaded even before the meaning they expressed was fully shaped I told enough to please the cell all mothers are cast aside and what they've borne forgotten as soon as a pretty face comes across I might have thought about last Tuesday when I felt as if they were tall my own and the judge was some wild animal trying to rendi from me I spoke up for thee then which it's all forgotten now I suppose mother you know all this while you know I could never forget any kindness you've ever done for me and they've been many why should you think I've only room for one love in my heart I can love you as dearly as ever and marry – as much as man ever loved woman he waited a reply nan was vouchsafed mother answer me said he at last what man I answer you asked me no question well I ask you this now tomorrow morning I go to Liverpool to see her who is as my wife dear mother will you bless me on my errand if it please God she recovers will you take her to you as you would a daughter she could neither refuse nor assent I need you go said Sheikh were you asleep at length you'll be getting in some mischief or another again cut you stop at home quiet with me Jem got up and walked about the room in despairing impatience she would not understand his feelings at last he stopped right before the place where she was sitting with an air of injured meekness on her face mother I often think what a good man father was I've often heard you tell of you courting days and of the accident that befell you and how will you were how long is it to go near upon five and 20 years said she with a sigh your little thought when you were so ill you should live to have such a fine strapping son as I am did you now she smiled a little and looked up at him which was just what he wanted though not so fine a man as their father was by a deal said she looking at him with much fondness notwithstanding her depreciate or e words he took another turn or two up and down the room he wanted to bend the subject round to his own case those were happy days when father was alive you may say so lad such days as will never come again to me at any rate she sighed sorrowfully mother said he at last stopping short and taking her hand in his with tender affection he'd like me to be as happy a man as my father was before me would not you you'd like me to have someone to make me as happy as you made father now would you not dear mother and did not make him as happy as a mite Adam murmured she in a low sad voice of self-reproach accident gave a jar temir temper it's never got the better of and now he's gone and I can never know how I grieve Travon frogged him as I did nay mother we don't know that said Jem with gentle soothing anyhow you and father got along with as few robes as most people but for his sake dear mother don't say me nay now that had come to you to ask your blessing before setting out to see her who is to be my wife if ever woman is for his sake if not for mine love who I shall bring home to be to me all you were to him a mother I do not ask for a truer or a tender a heart than yours is in the long run the hard look left her face though her eyes were still averted from gems gaze it was more because they were brimming over with tears called forth by his words than because any angry feeling yet remained and when his manly voice died away in low pleadings she lifted up her hands and bent down her son's head below the level of her own and then she solemnly uttered a blessing god bless thee gem my own dear lad and may bless Mary Barton for thy sake gems heart leaped up and from this time Hope took the place of fear in his anticipations with regard to Mary Mother you show your own true self to Mary and she'll love you as dearly as I do so with some few smiles and some few tears and much earnest talking the evening wore away I must be off to see Margaret why it's near 10 o'clock could you have thought it now don't you stop up for me mother you and we'll go to bed for you both need of it I shall be home in an hour Margaret had felt the evening long and lonely and was all but giving up the thoughts of gems coming that night when she heard his step at the door he told her of his progress with his mother he told her his hopes and was silent on the subject of his fears to think Oh sorrow and joy and mixed up together you'll get your start in life as Mary's acknowledged lover from poor Alice Wilson's burial day well the dead are soon forgotten dear Margaret but you're worn out with your long evening waiting for me I don't wonder but never you nor anyone else think because God sees fit to call up new interests perhaps right out of the grave that therefore the dead of forgotten Margaret you yourself can remember our looks and fancy what we're like yes but what has that to do with remembering Alice why just this you're not always trying to think on our faces and making a labor of remembering but often I'll be bound when you're sinking off to sleep or when you're very quiet and still the faces you knew so well when you could see come smiling before you with loving looks or you remember them without striving after it and without thinking it's your duty to keep recalling them and so it is with them that are ridden from our sight if they've been worthy to be heartily loved while alive they'll not be forgotten when dead it's against nature and we need no more be upbraiding ourselves for letting in God's rays of light upon our sorrow and no more be fearful of forgetting them because their memory is not always haunting and taking up our minds then you need to trouble yourself about remembering your grandfather's face or what the Stars were like you can't forget if you would quite such a pleasure to think about don't fear my forgetting Aunt Alice I'm not Jem not now at least only he seemed so full about Mary I've kept it down so long remember how glad Aunt Alice would have been to know that I'm I hope to have her from her wife that's to say if God spares her she would not have known it even if you could have told her this last fortnight ever since she went away she's been thinking always that she was a little child at her mother's apron string she must have been a happy little thing it was such a pleasure to her to think about those early days when she lay old gray on her deathbed I never knew anyone seemed more up here all a lifelong I know gentle and easier death was she thought her mother was nearer they fell into calm thought about those last peaceful happy hours it struck eleven Jem started up should have been gone long ago give me the bundle you'll not forget my mother good night Margaret she let him out and bolted the door behind him he stood on the steps to adjust some fastening about the bundle the court the street was deeply still long ago had all retired to rest on that quiet Sabbath evening the stars shone down on the silent deserted streets and the soft clear moonlight fell in bright masses leaving the steps on which gem stored in shadow a footfall was heard along the pavement slow and heavy was the sound before Jem had ended his little piece of business a form had glided into sight a one feeble figure bearing with evidence and painful labor a jug of water from the neighboring pump it went before Jem turned up the court at the corner of which he was standing passed into the broad calm light and there with bowed head sinking and shrunk body Jem recognized John Barton no haunting ghost could have had less of the energy of life in its involuntary motions than he who nevertheless went on with the same measured clockwork tread until the door of his own house was reached and then he disappeared and the latch fell feebly – and made a faint and wavering sound breaking the solemn silence of the night then all again was still for a minute or two Jem stood motionless stunned by the thoughts which the sight of Mary's father had called up Margaret did not know he was at home had he stolen like a fief by dead of night into his own dwelling depressed as Jem had often and long seen him this night there was something different about him still beaten down by some inward storm he seemed to grovel along all self-respect lost and gone must he be told of Mary stayed Jem felt he must not and this for many reasons he could not be informed of her illness without many other particulars being communicated at the same time of which it were better he should be kept in ignorance indeed of which Mary herself could alone give the full explanation no suspicion that he was the criminal seemed hitherto to have been excited in the mind of anyone added to these reasons was gems extreme unwillingness to face him with the belief in his breast that he and none other had done the fearful deed it was true that he was Mary's father and as such had every right to be told of all concerning her but supposing they were and that he followed the impulse so natural to her father and wished to go to her what might be the consequences among the mingled feelings she had revealed in her delirium I mingled even with the most tender expressions of love for her father was a sort of horror of him a dread of him as a bloodshed er which seemed to separate him into two persons one the father who had dandled her on his knee and loved her all her life long the other the assassin the cause of all her trouble and woe if he presented himself before her while this idea of his character was uppermost who might tell the consequence gem could not and would not expose her to any such fearful chance and to tell the truth I believe he looked upon her as more his own to guard from all shadow of injury with most loving care than as belonging to anyone else in this world though gird with the Reverend name of father and guiltless of all the might of lessened such reverence if you think this account of mine confused of the half feelings half reasons which passed through gems mind as he stood gazing at the empty space where that crushed form had so lately been seen if you are perplexed to disentangle the real motives I do assure you it was from just such an involved set of thoughts that gem drew the resolution to act as if he had not seen that phantom likeness of John Barton himself yet not himself end of chapter 33 read by Tony Foster you

1 thought on “Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (Version 2) | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell | Soundbook | 8/9

  1. Mary Barton: A Tale of Manchester Life (Version 2) | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell | Soundbook | 8/9
    30: [00:00:00] – CHAPTER XXX – JOB LEGH'S DECEPTION

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