‘I suppose I mayn’t know where she is?’ said I, as I dismounted, and relinquished my horse to the gardener, who, being the only servant within call, had been summoned by his master, from his employment of raking up the dead leaves on the lawn, to take him to the stables.
The justice of the peace smiled and was vexed with himself at once for having smiled. ‘I’ll complain to your masters of you, so that for the future you mayn’t waste your time on such general propositions, instead of sitting at your books and learning your lessons.’ He didn’t complain to the masters, that was a joke, but the matter was noised abroad and came to the ears of the masters.
“Oh, we have seen no signs of natives!” the mate said impatiently, “and there mayn’t be any within miles and miles of us, probably not nearer than those hills; for I believe it is there that they principally do what cultivation there is—in the first place, because it is cooler, and in the next place because there are, we know, tremendous swamps in the low land of Sumatra, though whether this is Sumatra or not I cannot say.”
He held his eyes on Westby, who made a slow, grunting progress up three rungs and then stopped. “Mr. Upton, Mr. Upton, sir!” Westby’s voice was ingratiating. “Mayn’t Allison sing for us, sir?” Allison grinned again foolishly and sent a sprawling foot out towards his persecutor; the others laughed. “Keep on climbing,” said Irving.
She might have far worse to suffer than I, for I am really contented, Helen, though you mayn’t think it: I speak the solemn truth in saying that I would not exchange my husband for any man on earth, if I might do it by the plucking of this leaf.’
When I got down to the shore, and found you were missing, it was as much as they could do to keep Tom here and me from going back. You mayn’t believe me, Mr. Gilmore, but we both cried like children as we rowed to the Tartar.” “I am indeed glad to see you again, and you too, Tom. I guessed that if I ever came across the one I should meet the other also. What are you doing in those togs?”
Take my word for it, you will.’ ‘Well, mother, do be quiet!—I hate to be lectured!—I’m not going to marry yet, I tell you; but—dear me! mayn’t I enjoy myself at all?’ ‘Yes, my dear boy, but not in that way. Indeed, you shouldn’t do such things.
‘I wish to goodness it mayn’t,’ murmured she, with a sigh, as she returned to her own apartment, while I threw myself on the bed, feeling most undutifully disaffected towards her for having deprived me of what seemed the only shadow of a consolation that remained, and chained me to that wretched couch of thorns. Never did I endure so long, so miserable a night as that.
“Case,” said I, “here’s a queer thing. I’m tabooed.” “O, fudge!” says he; “’tain’t the practice in these islands.” “That may be, or it mayn’t,” said I. “It’s the practice where I was before. You can bet I know what it’s like; and I tell it you for a fact, I’m tabooed.” “Well,” said he, “what have you been doing?” “That’s what I want to find out,” said I.
Formerly,’ said she timidly, ‘I could have ventured to ask you what it was, and what I could do to comfort you: I dare not do it now.’ ‘You’re very kind, Miss Eliza. When I think you can do anything to comfort me, I’ll make bold to tell you.’ ‘Pray do!—I suppose I mayn’t guess what it is that troubles you?’ ‘There’s no necessity, for I’ll tell you plainly.