Page:Gaskell - North and South, vol. I, 1855.djvu/183

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CHAPTER XV.

MASTERS AND MEN.

"Thought fights with thought ; out springs a spark of truth From the collision of the sword and shield." W. S. Landor.

  • ' Margaret," said her father, the next day, " we

must return Mrs. Thornton's call. Your mother is not very well, and thinks she cannot walk so far ; but you and I will go this afternoon." As they went, Mr. Hale began about his wife's health, with a kind of veiled anxiety, which Margaret was glad to see awakened at last.

  • ' Did you consult the doctor, Margaret ? Did you

send for him ? " " No, papa, you spoke of his coming to see me. Now I was well. But if I only knew of some good doctor, I would go this afternoon, and ask him to come, for I am sure mamma is seriously indisposed." She put the truth thus plainly and strongly because her father had so completely shut his mind against the idea, when she had last named her fears. But now the case was changed. He answered in a despondent tone : "Do you think she has any hidden complaint ? Do you think she is really very ill ? Has Dixon