Returning home, after Florence had placed the shattering paper within his hand, Noble had changed his shoes and his tie. He was but a mechanism; he had no motive. The shoes he put on were no better than those he took off; the fresh tie was no lovelier than the one he had worn; nor had it even the lucidity to be a purple one, as the banner of grief.
Why," adds he, in a more gentle voice, as if moved by some inner feeling of affection and admiration, nodding towards Moll, "see how she has changed in this little while. I should not know her for the raw, half-starved spindle of a thing she was when I saw her first playing in the barn at Tottenham Cross."
He had been very kind to her ever since she had come to Aylingford as a little child, and if his manner towards her had changed recently she hardly noticed it. Under the circumstances she would not easily be ready to criticise. But in the case of the guests the change was not only very marked, but increasingly so, particularly with the women.
But I did not regret my changed plans, for in those three weeks I had raided a cinnamon bear's den and had wakened up a grizzly But I shall let the grizzly finish the tale; he probably sees more humor in it than I. The camp stood in a little clearing, and consisted of a group of three long, low shanties with smaller shacks near them, all built of heavy, unhewn logs, with door and window in each.
Mary was so changed in everything, except in the purity and beauty of her countenance, since he had seen her years before, that his feelings were completely borne down. But he soon recovered himself enough to speak to her of what was in his mind. He had an old aunt, who had been a friend of Mary's mother, and from her he brought a message and an offer of a home.
Again and again Hepsey led the conversation around to the point where it seemed as if he must break covert, but he remained oblivious, and changed the subject readily. Not a word on the subject passed his lips that afternoon. Then, from day to day the neighbors called and inquired of her if Jackson had gone off his head, or what was the matter.
'And if I endure to the end, said McClingan, 'I shall have excellent Christian discipline; I shall feel like opening my mouth and making a loud noise. McGlingan changed his garments and then came into my room and sat with us awhile after dinner. 'One needs ear lappers and a rubber coat at that table, said he. 'And a chest protector, I suggested, remembering the finger of Force.
But next day, when he woke, his mood changed, all his preconceived ideas, all his fears returned; he asked himself if his conversion were ripe enough to allow him to cut it separate, and carry it to La Trappe; the fear of a confessor, the dread of the unknown, assailed him afresh.
The ordeal of marriage had so changed my gay and gallant admirer of former times that I hardly knew him again. He had lost all his pretensions to youth: he had become, hopelessly and undisguisedly, an old man.
He had changed the last sovereign at Ringwood. The fact had come upon him suddenly. Now too late he was reflecting upon his resources. There was twenty pounds or more in the post office savings bank in Putney, but his book was locked up in his box at the Antrobus establishment.