An Isle of Surrey : A Novel by Richard Dowling

An Isle of Surrey : A Novel

byRichard Dowling

Kobo ebook | April 8, 2014

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An Isle of Surrey : A Novel

William Crawford was a man of very different mould; thick-set, good-looking, with bold brown eyes, clean-shaven face, close thick hair which curled all over a massive head, full lips that had few movements, and handsome well cut forehead too hollow for beauty in the upper central region. The face was singularly immobile, but it had a look of energy and resolution about it that caught the eye and held the attention, and ended in arousing something between curiosity and fear in the beholder. Plainly, a man with a will of his own, and plenty of energy to carry that will out. In all his movements, even those of courtesy, there was a suggestion of irrepressible vigour. His age was about five or six and thirty.


It was an odd procession. In front, the gay fair girl with azure eyes, golden-brown hair, and lithe form, ascending with elastic step. Behind her, the thick-set, firm, resolute figure of the elder man, with dark, impassive, immobile features, bold dark eyes, and firm lips, moving as though prepared to meet opposition and ready to overcome it. Last, the tall, lank angular form of the young widower, with plain, almost ugly, face, deep-set eyes, snub nose, dull complexion, and long melancholy dun beard, flowing like a widow's streamers in two thin scarves behind him. Here were three faces, one of which was always alight, a second which could never light, and a third usually dull and dead, but which could light at will.


"This is the sitting-room," said Hetty, standing at the threshold. "You said you would prefer having the back room furnished as the sitting-room, Alfred told me."


"Yes, certainly, the back for the sitting-room," said Crawford, as they entered. He looked round sharply with somewhat the same surprising quickness of glance which had greeted Red Jim's question at the door. It conveyed the idea of a man at once curious and on his guard.


His survey seemed to satisfy him, for he ceased to occupy himself with the room, and said, turning to the brother and sister, with a short laugh, "This, as you know, is my first visit to Crawford Street. I had no notion what kind of a place it was; and when I am here, two or three days in the month, and a week additional each quarter, I should like to be quiet and much to myself. I don't, of course, my dear Mr. Layard, mean with regard to your sister and you," he bowed, "but the people all round. They are not a very nice class of people, are they?" with a shrug of his shoulders at people who were not very nice.


"There are no people at all near us," answered Layard cheerfully. "No one else lives in the street, and we have the canal, or rather the Bay, at the back."


"Capital! capital!" cried Crawford in a spiritless voice, though he rubbed his hands as if enjoying himself immensely. "You, saving for the presence of Miss Layard and your little boy, whose acquaintance, by the way, I have not yet made, are a kind of Robinson Crusoe here."


"O!" cried Hetty, running to the window and pointing out, "the real Robinson Crusoe is here."


"Where? I hope he has Man Friday, parrot, and all; walking to the window, where they stood looking out, the girl, with her round arm, pointing into the gathering dusk. In the window-place, they were almost face to face. Instead of instantly following the direction of Hetty's arm, he followed the direction of his thoughts, and while her eyes were gazing out of the window, his were fixed upon her face.



Title:An Isle of Surrey : A NovelFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:April 8, 2014Publisher:WARD AND DOWNEYLanguage:English

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