The Bride

The Bride

by M P Shiel
     
 

"He shall not see the rivers, the floods,
the brooks of honey and butter"--Job.

They met at Krupp and Mason's, musical-instrument-makers, of Little
Britain, E.C., where Walter had been employed two years, and then came
Annie to typewrite, and be serviceable.

They began to "go out" together after six o'clock; and when Mrs.
Evans, Annie… See more details below

Overview

"He shall not see the rivers, the floods,
the brooks of honey and butter"--Job.

They met at Krupp and Mason's, musical-instrument-makers, of Little
Britain, E.C., where Walter had been employed two years, and then came
Annie to typewrite, and be serviceable.

They began to "go out" together after six o'clock; and when Mrs.
Evans, Annie's mamma, lost her lodger, Annie mentioned it, and Walter
went to live with them at No. 13 Culford Road, N.; by which time Annie
and Walter might almost be said to have been engaged. His salary,
however, was only thirty shillings a week.

He was the thorough Cockney, Walter; a well-set-up person of thirty,
strong-shouldered, with a square brow, a moustache, and black acne-
specks in his nose and pale face.

It was on the night of his arrival at No. 13, that he for the first
time saw Rachel, Annie's younger sister. Both girls, in fact, were
named "Rachel"--after a much-mourned mother of Mrs.
Evans'; but Annie Rachel was called "Annie," and Mary Rachel was
called "Rachel." Rachel helped Walter at the handle of his box to the
top-back room, and here, in the lamplight he was able to see that she
was a tallish girl, with hair almost black, and with a sprinkling of
freckles on her very white, thin nose, on the tip of which stood
collected, usually, some little sweats. She was thin-faced, and her
top teeth projected a little so that her lips only closed with effort,
she not so pretty as pink-and-white little Annie, though one could
guess, at a glance, that she was a person more to be respected.

"What do you think of him?" said Annie, meeting Rachel as she came
down.

"He seems a nice fellow," Rachel said: "rather goodlooking. And strong
in the back, you bet."

Walter spent that evening with them in the area front-room, smoking a
foul bulldog pipe, which slushed and gurgled to his suction; and at
once Mrs. Evans, a dark old lady without waist, all sighs and lack of
breath, decided that he was "a gentlemanly, decent fellow." When bed-
time came he made the proposal to lead them in prayer; and to this
they submitted, Annie having forewarned them that he was "a
Christian." As he climbed to his room, the devoted girl found an
excuse to slip out after him, and in the passage of the first floor
there was a little kiss.

"Only one," she said, with an uplifted finger.

"And what about his little brother, then?" he chuckled--a chuckle with
which all his jokes were accompanied: a kind of guttural chuckle,
which seemed to descend or stick straining in the throat, instead of
rising to the lips.

"You go on," she said playfully, tapped his cheek, and ran down. So
Walter slept for the first night at Mrs. Evans'.

On the whole, as time passed, he had a good deal of the society of the
women: for the theatre was a thing abominable to him, and in the
evenings he stayed in the underground parlour, sharing the bread-and-
cheese supper, and growing familiar with the sighs of Mrs. Evans over
her once estate in the world. Rachel, the silent, sewed; Annie, whose
relation with Walter was still unannounced, though perhaps guessed,
could play hymn-tunes on the old piano, and she played.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013768932
Publisher:
WDS Publishing
Publication date:
01/07/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
0 MB

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