BOOK THE FOURTH: A TURNING
Chapter 12: The Passing Shadow (continued)
'You know, John dear,' she said, cheerily reverting to their former
conversation, 'that I hope I may safely be trusted in great things.
And it surely cannot be a little thing that causes you so much
uneasiness. It's very considerate of you to try to hide from me that
you are uncomfortable about something, but it's quite impossible to
be done, John love.'
'I admit that I am rather uneasy, my own.'
'Then please to tell me what about, sir.'
But no, he evaded that. 'Never mind!' thought Bella, resolutely.
'John requires me to put perfect faith in him, and he shall not be
She went up to London one day, to meet him, in order that they
might make some purchases. She found him waiting for her at her
journey's end, and they walked away together through the streets.
He was in gay spirits, though still harping on that notion of their
being rich; and he said, now let them make believe that yonder fine
carriage was theirs, and that it was waiting to take them home to a
fine house they had; what would Bella, in that case, best like to
find in the house? Well! Bella didn't know: already having
everything she wanted, she couldn't say. But, by degrees she was
led on to confess that she would like to have for the inexhaustible
baby such a nursery as never was seen. It was to be 'a very
rainbow for colours', as she was quite sure baby noticed colours;
and the staircase was to be adorned with the most exquisite
flowers, as she was absolutely certain baby noticed flowers; and
there was to be an aviary somewhere, of the loveliest little birds, as
there was not the smallest doubt in the world that baby noticed
birds. Was there nothing else? No, John dear. The predilections
of the inexhaustible baby being provided for, Bella could think of
They were chatting on in this way, and John had suggested, 'No
jewels for your own wear, for instance?' and Bella had replied
laughing. O! if he came to that, yes, there might be a beautiful
ivory case of jewels on her dressing-table; when these pictures
were in a moment darkened and blotted out.