It sufficed him that the night was fair. He stretched himself on the shingle, thinking of the Manzanilla, and Annette, and the fine flavour given to tobacco by a dry still air in moonlight thinking of his work, too, in the background, as far as mental lassitude would allow of it. The idea of taking Annette to see his first play at the theatre when it should be performed was very soothing.
The parting clasp of the hand had a world of meaning in it, and Nuttie openly said that she hoped to tell him after matins at St. Michael's how the boy was. But she could not be there. When she went upstairs at night the half-delirious terrors had returned, and there was another difficult soothing and comforting before the child slept again.
"Then," she cried, with a sudden intensity, "why weren't you there on your side defending the jail? Why are you here?" Ben Sansome's knowledge of women was wide, and he therefore imagined it profound. Here he recognized the symptoms of hysteria; cause unknown. He adopted the lightly soothing. "I thought I was asked here!" he cried with quizzical mock pathos.
This, however, was a fact, for Mother Nature did step in to cure the Squire; and the draughty barn, with its lack of every ordinary comfort, was so soothing to his soul that it began to have an equally good effect upon his body.
As yet he had, of course, entertained no thought of ever making Mrs. Carter his wife; but her society was agreeable, her words and manner soothing, and when, on the day following the burial, she actually took her departure, bag, baggage, Lenora, and all, he felt how doubly lonely was the old homestead, and wondered why she could not stay.
"These things take it out of one, don't they? You've had a toughish time, no doubt, soothing Anatole," I proceeded, helping myself to anchovy paste on toast. "Everything pretty smooth now, I trust?" She gazed at me in a long, lingering sort of way, her brow wrinkled as if in thought. "Attila," she said at length. "That's the name. Attila, the Hun." "Eh?"
One could not desire a more tranquil scene of advent into life; and the wandering, broken-hearted author of "Jerusalem Delivered " never found at court or palace any retreat so soothing as that offered him here by his steadfast sister.
Servants and company would be a very great bore indeed. So even in smaller ways, you see, I have all that I can desire. I always try to remember that I may miss these things, and specially miss you if it should please God to send any heavy sickness upon me. I dare say I should be very impatient, and need kind soothing nurses. But I must hope for the best. 'Just now we have some anxiety.
The two Americans whispered together for a long time, Ephraim telling some long story about the cruise of the brig Industry, bound to Jamestown for sugar and molasses, but at last the soothing hum of a gentle breeze through the branches lulled them off also, and they slept.
The gentlemanly manner of Colonel Forrester, forming as it did so decided a contrast with the unpolished even rude frankness of his second in command, was not without soothing influence upon his mind, and to his last observation he replied, as he really felt, that any change in his views as to his disposal could in no way effect him, since it was a matter of total indifference whether he returned to Amherstburg, or was detained where he was.