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House of The Seven Gables - Chapter 11

 

House of The Seven Gables - Chapter 12

 

PART I
 
This is the story which Mr. Holgrave read to Phoebc:
 
One day, Gervayse Pyncheon, at that time head of tlul cheon family, sent for young Mathew Maule, the carpenln “And what does Mr. Pyncheon want with me?” asked yoım Maule of Scipio, Mr. Pyncheon’s black servant, who had i‘nm< to Maule’s house to speak with him. “Does the house nec fixing? I wouldn’t be surprised if it did. It has been thirty since my father built it. The roof no doubt needs so done on it.”
 
“I don’t know what Mı. Pyncheon w;ıııts,” said Scipio. “The house is a very good house. Old C'olonel Pyncheon nıust think so too—else why does he haunt thc placc so and frighten ali us black people as he does.”
 
“Well,” said Maule with a laugh, “teli Mr. Pynchcon I will come right away. And he’ll find me a good vvorkmaıı too. But it will take a better workman than I am to kcep thc spirits out of the House of the Seven Gables. Even if thc spirit of old Colonel Pyncheon stopped visiting you, my grandfather, the witch, would continue to haunt the house as long as it stands.” “What’s that you say?” said Scipio, very much afraid.
 
“No matter,” said the carpenter. “Just teli Mr. Pyncheon I’m coming. And also teli Miss Alice, if you see her, that I send my best wishes. She has just arrived from Italy and a beautiful girl she is beautiful, gentle, and proud.”
 
“He talks of Miss Alice,” said Scipio to himself as he went back to the House of the Seven Gables. “The low carpenter man. He has no business even to look at Miss Alice from a great way off.”
 
This young Mathew Maule, the carpenter, was a person little understood in the town. He was also not generally liked. No one could say anything against him as a workman. But his character was very strange. He was also the grandson of old Mathew Maule, one of the first men to live in the town. ,
 
That Mathew Maule had been hanged as a witch. Ideas about witches had changed greatly since that period, but people were stili afraid of the Maules. They said that Mathevv Maule rose every night from his grave and went to haunt the House of the Seven Gables.
 
The land on which this house stood once be-longed to Mathew Maule. It had been taken away from him— stolen, he said. If he were not paid for it, he would have his hand in everything that happened to the Pyncheon family, vvho now lived in the House of the Seven Gables.
 
He would cause everything to go bad for them. This was naturally a wild story —but many people stili believed it. They also believed strange things about young Mathevv Maule, the grandson.
 
They said he was able to influence people’s dreams. He had the look of the devil in his eye. He could draw people into his mind and make them do things they did not want to do. He could cause plants
 
to dic and children to grow sick. The fact that he never went to church gave people even more reason to believe these wild stories about him.
 
That same day the carpenter went to the House of the Seven Gables. As he came close to the house, he saw that it was in very good condition. The roof did not need fixing.
 
The garden and everything about the house seemed well takeri care of. Several servants could be seen working cheerfully here and there. It would have been natural for Maule, when calling at the house of a gentleman, to go to the back door—or perhaps to the side entrance. But he was a very proud man.
 
He was also angry at the thought that ali this land had been taken from his grand- father and really belonged to him. He therefore went directly to the front door and knocked loudly.
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
A. 1. Who was Gervayse Pyncheon? For whom did he send onc
day?
2. Who had come to Maule’s house to speak with him?
3. What did Scipio think that old Colonel Pyncheon was doing?
4. Who else, according to Maule, was haunting the house?
5. What did Maule say about Miss Alice?
6. Why did Scipio think that Maule had no business talking about Miss Alice?
7. What did people in the town say about young Mathew Maule?
8. Why were people afraid of the Maules?
9. What gave the people in the town more reasons to believe the stories about young Maule?
10. What did young Maule see when he went to the House of the Seven Gables?
11. Where would it have been natural for him to go?
12. Why did he go directly to the front door?
 
Mr. Pyncheon then went on to explain that many people bc-lieved that Maule’s father knew exactly where this lost document was. He also said that he had been a child at the time, but he remembered clearly that on the very day his grandfather died or perhaps the day before Maule’s father had had some work to do in Colonel Pyncheon’s private study.
 
Maule grew angry at once. “My father,” he said, “was a more honest man than Colonel Pyncheon. He would never have stolen anything even to get his land back.”
 
“We are not here to talk about that point,” said Mr. Pyncheon a little strongly. “Before asking you to come here, I knew that you would probably 'prove to be unpleasant. But circumstances happen to make this talk necessary.”
 
Mr. Pyncheon then made several offers of money if Maule would agree to help him find the lost document. For a long time Maule refused ali these ofîers. Then at last, with a strange kind of laugh, Maule said he would agree but, in place of money, he wanted the House of the Seven Gables in return for his help.
 
“Give up this house?” cried Mr. Pyncheon with great sur-prise. “If I were to do such a thing, my grandfather would not rest in his grave.”
 
“He never has ^ested quiet, if ali the stories about him are true,” said Maule. “But, in any case, that is the only offer I will accept.”
 
The whole idea seemed at first completely impossible. Yet, as Mr. Pyncheon thought it över, there were no good reasons why he should not give Maule the House of the Seven Gables. The house had had a very unpleasant history.
 
Even after thirty-seven years the spirit of old Colonel Pyncheon stili seemed to exist there. Also, Mr. Pyncheon had lived in Europe for many years. He preferred to return to England to live. If the docıı ment were found and he received ali the land to the east, he would be a very rich man. He could live in England like a rcal aristocrat.
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
A. 1. Where did Scipio show the carpenter?
 
2. What did the living room look like?
 
3. What maile he room?
 
4. Whose son was he?
 
5. Why did Mr. Pyncheon feri İlmi llu ıc wıı>. no necd to speak about who owncd Ihc land?
 
6. What was Colonel Pynchcon about?
 
7. What couldn’i be found vvhen Coloml ln İm m died?
 
8. Why did Mr., Pyncheon think thal Maul knew j where the missin document was?
 
9. What did Mr. Pyncheon want young Maul lo do hım?
 
10. What did Maule want in return for his help?
 
11. Why did Mr. Pyncheon think that it might be reasonuble to give Maule the House of the Seven Gables?
 
PART III
 
“I agree,” he said at last. “Find the document which will give me the rights to ali that land, and the House of the Seven Gables will be yours.”
 
Some people say that a legal paper was then drawn up and signed by the two men. Wine was also drunk to celebrate the happening. The tvvo men talked for some time. Then Maule said suddenly:
 
“There is one thing more, Mr. Pyncheon, that I must now ask. If you wish to find the document, I must first have a talk with your daughter Alice.”
 
“Impossible!” cried Mr. Pyncheon. His eyes showed his sud-den anger. “What can my daughter have to do with a business like this?”
 
There was some reason for Maule’s wanting the House of the Seven Gables. But there appeared to be no reason for his want-ing to talk with Alice Pyncheon.
 
The tvvo men talked angrily. Yet Maule said that only through the help of Miss Alice could he lıope to find the lost document. Mr. Pyncheon finally had to agree. He called Alice. She was upstairs playing the piano usual. Slıe came down at once. If ever there vvas a real Iady born, gentle, a little cold but beautiful in both face and manner, it vvas Alice Pyncheon. Any man would have fallen in love with her at once. She looked coldly at Maule. Despite his poor vvork-man’s clothes, Maule vvas a strong, good-looking man.
 
“Does this girl look at me as though I were some low ani-mal?” he said to himself angrily. “She shall soon know whether I have the spirit of a man. And it will be the worse for her, if I prove stronger than she.”
 
“My Father, you sent for me,” said Alice, in her soft pleasant voice. “But if you have business with this young man, then please let me leave.”
 
“Wait, if you please,” said Maule. “My business with your father is over. With you, it is now to begin.”
 
Alice’s father then told her the story of the lost document. He said that Maule vvas going to help him find it. But he needed her help. Therefore, she should ansvver any questions Maule vvanted to ask her.
 
“Miss Alice,” said Maule, “vvill you kindly sit dovvn and also fix your eyes on mine.”
 
Alice sat dovvn. She vvas very proud. She felt that this man vvould novv try to put her under his influence. But she vvas not afraid. She vvould shovv him that her character vvas stronger than his. Her father turned avvay from them. He appeared to be looking at some of the pictures hanging on the vvalls.
 
But his mind vvas on the many strange stories he had heard about the Maules. The first Mathevv Maule had been hanged as a vviteh. He had hated the vvhole Pyncheon family. This hate he had no doubt passed down to his son and grandson. Maule novv stood elose to Alice. He vvas moving his hands before her eyes in a strange manner, as though trying to put her to sleep.
 
“Stop, Maule!” cried Mr. Pyncheon suddenly. “I cannot let you continue.”
 
“Please, dear Father,” said Alice. “I am not afraid. Let him go on.”
 
Again Mr. Pyncheon turned avvay. If Alice so vvished it, then he vvould do nothing to stop Maule. It vvas more for Alice than for himself . that he vvanted to find the lost document. With this document in his hand, they vvould ali be rich. Alice Pyncheon
 
She did not movc.
 
“Alice! Alice! Wake up! I do not like to see you this way.” Mr. Pyncheon was now greatly frightened. He spoke loudly. Stili Alice did not seem to hear him.
 
“Touch her,” said Maule. “Shake her. My hands have be-come hard from the heavy work I do—else I would help you.” Mr. Pyncheon took Alice’s hands in his. He kissed her with deep affeetion. Then he shook her. But she did not answer him. “Devil,” he said, turning toward Maule. “You have stolen my daughter from me. Give her back or you shall be hanged just as your grandfather was hanged.”
 
“Softly, Mr. Pyncheon,” said the carpenter. “Softly, if you please. It is you, not I, who have done this thing. You were ready to seli anything you had, even your own daughter, to find the document you needed to make you rich. There sits Miss Alice, quietly asleep. Now let us see whether she is as proud as she appeared a short time ago.”
 
He spoke and Alice answered by leaning toward him. He moved his hand, and Alice rose from her chair. He moved his hand again, and she sat down.
 
“She is mine,” said Maule, “mine by the right of the stronger will.”
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Revievv
 
A. 1. What legal paper was drawn up and signed by the two men?
 
2. What additional thing did Maule ask of Mr. Pyncheon?
 
3. Why did Maule teli Mr. Pyncheon that he had to talk to Alice?
 
4. Where was Alice and what was she doing?
 
5. What kind of person was Alice Pyncheon?
 
PART IV
According to the story that people teli, Maule then tried, with Alice’s help, to find where the lost document was. Through her, he hoped to enter into conversation with spirits of the other world. In a way he was successful. It is said that Alice, while asleep in this way, spoke of seeing three difTerent persons of the spirit world. The first was an old man, very aristocratic in man- ner. The expression of his face was hard and unpleasant. There was blood on his beard and collar. The second was an old man dressed as a poor farmer.
 
He had a rope around his neck. The third was a younger man, perhaps forty years old, dressed as a carpenter. These three persons seemed to know ali about the lost document. The aristocratic looking old man with blood on his beard and collar wanted to explain where it could be found— but the other tvvo men stopped him each time he tried to speak.
 
They fought with him and held their hands över his mouth. There was even more blood now on his beard and collar. The two other men laughed at this loudly.
 
At this poiııt Mmılı' turııcd to Mı Pyncheon. “İt is not pos-sible,” he said. " I hey will not let youı gıandlathcr speak. He must keep secret. As to the lininse of (îablcs, yoıı can keep that too. I did not want it.’’
 
Mr. Pynchcon was too angry to speak. Only a low sound came from his tlıroat. Maule laughed at tlıis and said: “Ah, my dear Mr. Pyncheon, so you too have Maııle’s bkxxl to drink.” “Devil!” said Mr. Pyncheon at last. “Give me back my daughter. Then go away so that we may never meet again.” “Your daughter?” said Maule. “Now she is mine. But I will not take her with me. She can remain here. But you can be sure she will never forget Mathew Maule, the carpenter.”
 
Maule then moved his hand before Alice’s eyes. She woke up. She looked at Maule coldly—as before. Yet Alice was never the same again. An influence of which she had never dreamed had taken hold of her. It is said that Maule’s will was now able to direct everything that she did. If Maule sat at home and simply moved his hand, Alice followed his orders, no matter where she was. If he said, “Alice, stand up!”, she stood up. If she was in church or at home praying and he said, “Alice, laugh!”, she broke out in the wildest kind of laughing. If he said, “Alice, be sad!”, tears came to Alice’s eyes. Ali those with her at such times, seeing Alice so sad, became sad too.
 
One day Maule ordered Alice to come to wait upon his new wife whom he had that day married. Alice went to the carpen-ter’s home. She was no longer proud. She kissed his wife upon the cheek.
 
She did everything she was told to do. That night, on her way home, she became very cold. The night was bad. She became sick. The next day she was worse. Each day after this she became weaker. She no longer played upon her piano. Soon she died.
 
The Pyncheon famiiy gave Alice a great funeral. Everyone of importance came. Mathevv Maule also came. He walked far behind, as they carried poor Alice’s body to her grave. He was a sad and very angry man. He had wanted to show his influence över the beautiful, proud Alice. But he had not wanted to kili her.
 
So ended the story which Mr. Holgrave read to Phocbe
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
A. 1. How did Maule hope to try to find the lost document?
 
2. Who was the first of the three persons of the spirit world that Alice saw?
 
3. Who was the second of the three persons?
 
4. Who was the third of the three persons?
 
5. What did the second and third spirits do to the first one?
 
6. What did Maule finally say to Mr. Pyncheon?
 
7. Why did he say that Pyncheon had had Maule’s blood to drink?
 
8. What did Maule say about Alice Pyncheon?
 
9. How was Alice dıfferent after this time?
 
10. What did Maule order Alice to do one day?
 
11. What happened to Alice after that day?
 
12. Who attended Alice’s funeral?
 
13. What had Maule wanted to do?
.