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x s min nam ngy 6 thng 7 nm 2021

Source global Wall Street Journal     time 2022-06-14 03:57:48
Typefacelarge in Small

x s min nam ngy 6 thng 7 nm 2021

Sergeant Cuff put that answer by him, as if no answer had been made. “You may save my time, sir, from being wasted on an inquiry at a distance,” he went on, “if you choose to understand me and speak out.” “I don’t understand you,” answered Mr. Franklin; “and I have nothing to say.” “One of the female servants (I won’t mention names) spoke to you privately, sir, last night.” Once more Mr. Franklin cut him short; once more Mr. Franklin answered, “I have nothing to say.” Standing by in silence, I thought of the movement in the swing-door on the previous evening, and of the coat-tails which I had seen disappearing down the passage. Sergeant Cuff had, no doubt, just heard enough, before I interrupted him, to make him suspect that Rosanna had relieved her mind by confessing something to Mr. Franklin Blake. This notion had barely struck me—when who should appear at the end of the shrubbery walk but Rosanna Spearman in her own proper person! She was followed by Penelope, who was evidently trying to make her retrace her steps to the house. Seeing that Mr. Franklin was not alone, Rosanna came to a standstill, evidently in great perplexity what to do next. Penelope waited behind her. Mr. Franklin saw the girls as soon as I saw them. The Sergeant, with his devilish cunning, took on not to have noticed them at all. All this happened in an instant. Before either Mr. Franklin or I could say a word, Sergeant Cuff struck in smoothly, with an appearance of continuing the previous conversation. “You needn’t be afraid of harming the girl, sir,” he said to Mr. Franklin, speaking in a loud voice, so that Rosanna might hear him. “On the contrary, I recommend you to honour me with your confidence, if you feel any interest in Rosanna Spearman.” Mr. Franklin instantly took on not to have noticed the girls either. He answered, speaking loudly on his side: “I take no interest whatever in Rosanna Spearman.” I looked towards the end of the walk. All I saw at the distance was that Rosanna suddenly turned round, the moment Mr. Franklin had spoken. Instead of resisting Penelope, as she had done the moment before, she now let my daughter take her by the arm and lead her back to the house. The breakfast-bell rang as the two girls disappeared—and even Sergeant Cuff was now obliged to give it up as a bad job! He said to me quietly, “I shall go to Frizinghall, Mr. Betteredge; and I shall be back before two.” He went his way without a word more—and for some few hours we were well rid of him. “You must make it right with Rosanna,” Mr. Franklin said to me, when we were alone. “I seem to be fated to say or do something awkward, before that unlucky girl. You must have seen yourself that Sergeant Cuff laid a trap for both of us. If he could confuse me, or irritate her into breaking out, either she or I might have said something which would answer his purpose. On the spur of the moment, I saw no better way out of it than the way I took. It stopped the girl from saying anything, and it showed the Sergeant that I saw through him. He was evidently listening, Betteredge, when I was speaking to you last night.” He had done worse than listen, as I privately thought to myself. He had remembered my telling him that the girl was in love with Mr. Franklin; and he had calculated on that, when he appealed to Mr. Franklin’s interest in Rosanna—in Rosanna’s hearing. “As to listening, sir,” I remarked (keeping the other point to myself), “we shall all be rowing in the same boat if this sort of thing goes on much longer. Prying, and peeping, and listening are the natural occupations of people situated as we are. In another day or two, Mr. Franklin, we shall all be struck dumb together—for this reason, that we shall all be listening to surprise each other’s secrets, and all know it. Excuse my breaking out, sir. The horrid mystery hanging over us in this house gets into my head like liquor, and makes me wild. I won’t forget what you have told me. I’ll take the first opportunity of making it right with Rosanna Spearman.” “You haven’t said anything to her yet about last night, have you?” Mr. Franklin asked. “No, sir.” “Then say nothing now. I had better not invite the girl’s confidence, with the Sergeant on the look-out to surprise us together. My conduct is not very consistent, Betteredge—is it? I see no way out of this business, which isn’t dreadful to think of, unless the Diamond is traced to Rosanna. And yet I can’t, and won’t, help Sergeant Cuff to find the girl out.” Unreasonable enough, no doubt. But it was my state of mind as well. I thoroughly understood him. If you will, for once in your life, remember that you are mortal, perhaps you will thoroughly understand him too. The state of things, indoors and out, while Sergeant Cuff was on his way to Frizinghall, was briefly this: Miss Rachel waited for the time when the carriage was to take her to her aunt’s, still obstinately shut up in her own room. My lady and Mr. Franklin breakfasted together. After breakfast, Mr. Franklin took one of his sudden resolutions, and went out precipitately to quiet his mind by a long walk. I was the only person who saw him go; and he told me he should be back before the Sergeant returned. The change in the weather, foreshadowed overnight, had come. Heavy rain had been followed soon after dawn, by high wind. It was blowing fresh, as the day got on. But though the clouds threatened more than once, the rain still held off. It was not a bad day for a walk, if you were young and strong, and could breast the great gusts of wind which came sweeping in from the sea. I attended my lady after breakfast, and assisted her in the settlement of our household accounts. She only once alluded to the matter of the Moonstone, and that was in the way of forbidding any present mention of it between us. “Wait till that man comes back,” she said, meaning the Sergeant. “We must speak of it then: we are not obliged to speak of it now.” After leaving my mistress, I found Penelope waiting for me in my room. “I wish, father, you would come and speak to Rosanna,” she said. “I am very uneasy about her.” I suspected what was the matter readily enough. But it is a maxim of mine that men (being superior creatures) are bound to improve women—if they can. When a woman wants me to do anything (my daughter, or not, it doesn’t matter), I always insist on knowing why. The oftener you make them rummage their own minds for a reason, the more manageable you will find them in all the relations of life. It isn’t their fault (poor wretches!) that they act first and think afterwards; it’s the fault of the fools who humour them.


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