Page:Gaskell - North and South, vol. I, 1855.djvu/206

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CHAPTER XVI.

THE SHADOW OF DEATH.

"Trust in that veiled hand, which, leads None by the path that he would go ; And always be for change prepared, For the world's law is ebb and flow." From the Arabic.

The next afternoon Dr. Donaldson came to pay liis first visit to Mrs. Hale. The mystery that Margaret hoped their late habits of intimacy had broken through, was resumed. She was excluded from the room, while Dixon was admitted. Mar- garet was not a ready lover, but where she loved she loved passionately, and with no small degree of jealousy. She went into her mother's bed-room, just behind the drawing-room, and paced it up and down, while awaiting the doctor's coming out. Every now and then she stopped to listen ; she fancied she heard a moan. She clenched her hands tight, and held her breath. She was sure she heard a moan. Then all was still for a few minutes more ; and then there was the moving of chairs, the raised voices, all the little disturbances of leave-taking. "When she heard the door open, she went quickly out of the bed-room.