BEGINNER
ELEMENTARY
  •  
INTERMEDIATE
  •  
UPPER INTERMEDIATE
  •  
Ders Konuları

The Rise of Silas Lapham Chapter-10

 

The Rise of Silas Lapham Chapter-10
PART I
The next morning neither Penelope nor Irene appeared for breakfast. Mr. and Mrs. Lapham breakfasted alone and Lap- ham spoke about Tom Corey’s visit of the night before and his curious behavior. Mrs. Lapham was under the impression that Tom had come to speak with her husband about Irene but had lost his courage. After breakfast, when Lapham had left for his office, Mrs. Lapham went to Penelope’s room to discuss the matter. The girl sat by the window; her eyes and cheeks were wet with tears. She had not slept all night long. Her mother re­mained looking at her, silent with surprise and concern.
 
“Oh, I’m not a ghost! I wish I were,” said Penelope. “You had better sit down, Mother. You’ve got to hear all about it.”
Mrs. Lapham dropped into a chair at the other window and, while the girl went slowly on, touching upon each of the many points of the story, her mother sat as if without the power to speak or move. She was as greatly confused as her daughter by the whole affair. At one moment it seemed obvious to her that Penelope, if she cared for Tom, should accept his proposal and marry him. At the next, she had serious doubts as to what the effect of this might be upon Irene.
At last Penelope concluded her story. “Well, that’s all, Moth­er,” she said. “I should say I had dreamed it, if I had slept any last night.” She paused, waiting for her mother to make some comment and, when her mother said nothing, demanded sud­denly, “Why don’t you blame me, Mother? Why don’t you say I led him on, and tried to get him away from her? Don’t you believe I did?”
 
“No, I don’t, Pen. I can only say that you have been good and faithful all through,” said Mrs. Lapham. It seemed obvious to her at this point that Penelope had all the justice on her side; her course was clear. “There ain’t anyone to blame. He’s acted like a gentleman, and I can see now that he never thought of her, and that it was you all the while. Well, marry him, then! He’s got the right, and so have you.”
 
“What about Irene? I don’t want you to talk about me. I can take care of myself.”
 
‘"She’s nothing but a child. It’s only a fancy with her. She’ll get over it. She hasn’t really got her heart set on him.”
 
“She’s got her heart set on him, Mother. She’s got her whole life set on him. You know that.”
 
“Yes, that’s so,” said Mrs. Lapham and hesitated. Now grave doubts stirred in her mind again. “Do you think,” she asked simply, “that Tom got the idea that you cared for him?” “He knew it. How could I keep it from him? I tried not to show it I really did. I always tried to help her with him, even when I ”
 
“Yes, I know. But she never was equal to him. I saw that from the start; but I tried to blind myself to it. And when he kept coming ” Mrs. Lapham walked toward the door. “I want to talk this over with your father; perhaps he’ll know what to do.”
 
Penelope ran to her. “You are not going to tell Irene?” “Not until after I speak with your father—there’ll be time enough later to let her know.”
 
Mrs. Lapham went downstairs and immediately sent a mes­sage to her husband saying she wished him to call for her at home as soon as he could get away from the office. Shortly after lunch he appeared before the house in his carriage, and Mrs. Lapham, who had been sitting waiting for him, ran out and got into the carriage with him.
“Drive on, Silas, I want to talk with you alone,” she ex­plained.
 
He, too, was excited. “I also want to talk to you, Persis,” he said, as he laid the whip across the horse’s back. “Rogers was in the office again this morning. I had to give him more money. I don’t like it. Those stocks of his aren’t worth anything. If business doesn’t pick up soon, I don’t know where I’ll be ” “Oh, don’t talk to me about Rogers!” his wife broke in. “There’s something a good deal more important than Rpgers in the world, and more important than your business. Did you suppose I wanted to ride so as to talk about Rogers with you?” A little abruptly, she then told him about what had hap­pened between young Corey and Penelope. “Did you suppose,” she asked at last, “that he had been coming to see Irene?”
 
“I don’t know what I supposed,” answered Lapham, trying to gathe^ his thoughts. 
“You always said so.”
 
“Well, he hasn’t,” she said and then went on to describe the interview that had taken place between Corey and Penelope. There was a slight suggestion in her voice, all through this, that her husband was somehow to blame for their trouble. Yet when she saw the strong emotions working in his face as he began to understand the situation, she took pity on him and suddenly felt the need of comforting him as well. Her tone changed, and she added: “Oh, Silas! What are we going to do about it? I’m afraid it’ll kill Irene. I don’t say but what it won’t come out all right in the end. All I can say is I don’t see our way clear yet.” “Does Irene know?”
 
“No, I left her getting ready to go out shopping. She wants to get a pin like the one she saw one of the Corey girls wearing at the dinner party the other night.”
 
“Oh, my Lord!” groaned Lapham.
 
“It’s been Penelope from the start, or almost from the start. I don’t say that he wasn’t attracted some by Irene at the very first; but I guess it’s been Pen ever since he saw her.”
 
As his wife continued to add one unpleasant fact to another, Lapham seemed to be completely beaten down in spirit. His huge head hung forward, and the reins lay loose in his hands. Suddenly, however, he lifted his face and shut his heavy jaws. “Well, if Tom wants her,” he said, “and she wants him, I don’t see what’s to stop them from going ahead and doing as they wish.”
 
Mrs. Lapham laid her hands on the reins. “Now, you stop right there, Silas Lapham. If I thought that I really believed you could be willing to break Irene’s heart, and let Penelope disgrace herself by marrying a man that has as good as killed her sister, just because you wanted Bromfield Corey’s son for a son-in-law”
 
Lapham turned his face and gave her a look. “You had bet­ter not believe that, Persis! Get up!” he called to the horse, and the horse moved suddenly forward. “I see you’ve got past being of any use to yourself on this subject.”
They were then both silent for a time, but so heavily did their problem weigh upon their minds that they had not driven far before they began to argue about it again. During the next hour they stopped jtalking about it perhaps a dozen times only to come back to it. Finally, not wishing to return home without having reached some conclusion, they agreed to take their trou­ble to a third party for consideration. They talked about going to see the minister of their own church, the Reverend Lang­worthy, but Mrs. Lapham did not know him very well. They finally decided to visit the Reverend Sewell, the minister whom they had met at the Corey dinner and who had impressed them both so favorably as being a very sympathetic person.
 
They drove to the street where he lived and then passed by his house several times without finding the courage to enter. But at last they went in. They acted as though they had suf-. fered some great disgrace, but finally, in a simple and digni­fied way, Lapham laid their whole problem before the friendly minister. Lapham did not mention Tom Corey’s name, but neither did he pretend that it was not himself or his wife or their daughters who were concerned. The Reverend Sewell re­spected their confidence and their embarrassment. He listened to them carefully, assuring them that many people came to him with problems which were far more serious. This made them feel better. Then, when he had heard them out, the minister turned to Mrs. Lapham and said, “Tell me, Mrs. Lapham, didn’t it come into your mind, when you first learned how mat­ters stood, that it would be better to let your daughter marry the young man, since they both seem to be in love with each other?”
 
“Well, yes, it flashed across me. But I didn’t think it would be right.”
 
“And how is it with you, Mr. Lapham?”
 
“Why, that’s what I thought, of course. But I didn’t see my way”
 
“No,” cried the minister, “we are all blinded, we are weak­ened by a false ideal of self-sacrifice. It wraps us round and we can’t fight our way out of it. Mrs. Lapham, what made you think it might be better for three to suffer than one?”
 
“Why, Penelope did herself. I know she would die sooner than take him away from her.”
 
“I suppose so!” cried the minister, a little bitterly. “And yet she is a sensible girl, your daughter?”
 
“She has more common sense”
 
“Of course! But in such a case we somehow think it must be wrong to use our common sense. I don’t know where this false V ideal comes from it does not come from Christian teachings. Your daughter believes, in spite of her common sense, that she ought to make herself and the man who loves her unhappy, in order to save her sister, whom he doesn’t love, simply because her sister saw him and fancied him first. And I’m sorry to say that there are many people who would think the gesture of giv­ing him up noble and beautiful; but we know at the bottom of our hearts it would be foolish and cruel. You know what mar­riage is and what it must be without love on both sides.” The minister had grown red and heated. “I lose my patience some­times,” he went on. “This poor child of yours has been made to believe that it will kill her sister if her sister does not have what does not belong to her and what is not in the power of anyone to give her. Her sister will suffer in heart and pride; but she will not die. You will suffer too, in your feeling for her; but you must do your duty! You would be guilty if you did less. Keep clearly in mind that you are doing right. And God be with you!”
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
A. 1. Why did the Laphams think that Tom had called the pre­vious evening?
2.What did Penelope tell her mother?
3.What did Mrs. Lapham finally say to her?
4.How had Penelope behaved with Tom?
5.What did Lapham have to tell his wife when she got into the carriage?
6.What was Lapham’s first reaction to the news about Tom and Penelope?
7.What did they finally decide to do about the problem?
8.How did they behave when they talked to the minister?
9.What advice did the minister give them?
B. Use the following words and expressions in sentences of your own:
 
PART II
 
“He talked sense, Persis,” said Lapham gently, as he took his place alongside his wife in the carriage and they drove off.
 
“Yes, he talked sense,” she admitted. But she added bitterly, “I guess it wouldn’t be so easy for him if he had it to do. Oh, he’s right, there ain’t any other way and it’s got to be done.” They arrived home and walked up to the door. 
 
“I want you to send Irene up to our room as soon as we get in, Silas.”
 
“Why, aren’t you going to wait until we have supper first?” asked her husband.
 
“No, I can’t lose a minute. If I do, I won’t be able to do it at all. Send her right up.”
 
Her husband unlocked the door and she rushed past him and went straight up to her bedroom without waiting to speak to Irene, who had come into the hall at the sound of her fa­ther’s key in the door.
 
“Go and tell him, Mother,” said Penelope. “I would, if I could. If she can walk, let her. It’s the only thing for her.”
 
Lapham went out for a walk with the unhappy child and began to talk to her steadily, crazily. She soon stopped him. “Don’t talk, Papa,” she said. “I don’t want anyone to talk to me.
 
He obeyed, and they walked silently on and on. They fol­lowed no particular direction but somehow came to the new house, which they stood looking at in the darkness for some minutes. Irene said, “I shall never live in it,” and then began to walk on. Lapham’s heart felt even heavier as he followed her. He tried to argue with her but, as before, she silenced him. Lapham understood that she was trying to walk herself tired, and he was glad to hold his peace, and let her have her way. Finally, they went to a drugstore and bought some medicine to help Irene sleep. Then, quite late at night, they went home.
 
The next day was rather a repetition of the night before: Irene remained silent the whole day and busied herself fiercely in the house, dusting and putting things in order. It was Sun­day, but no one seemed to feel like going to church. Irene, how­ever, sent the two servants away as soon as they had finished breakfast, telling them she could do the dishes. The night be­fore she had expressed the wish to go away and visit relatives in Lapham, Vermont, the small town named for Mr. Lapham’s paint works, which were located there. This plan was readily agreed to by her parents, since it was felt the change would do her good. She therefore spent most of the afternoon packing, and in the evening went for a long walk again with her father. The following morning, which was Monday, she rose early and prepared breakfast for Penelope and then carried it to her sister’s room. She seemed to have softened somewhat toward Penelope, though little conversation passed between them. As Irene left the room, Penelope tried to throw her arms around her. Irene escaped, but said, “You haven’t done anything wrong, Pen. You helped me all you could. But I can’t yet.”
 
She left the room and went on putting the last things into her trunks. Mrs. Lapham was also busy packing because she had promised to make the trip with Irene and remain with her in Lapham for a few days. When it was time to leave, the colonel drove them to the station and put them on the train. He got them a little private room in the Pullman car and stood watch­ing them as they took their seats. He tried to say something pleasant and comforting: “I guess you’ll have an easy ride, Irene. I don’t believe it’ll be dusty any, after the rain last night.” “Don’t you stay till the train starts, Papa,” returned the girl. “Get off now.”
 
“Well, if you want me to,” he said, glad to be able to please her in anything. He remained on the platform until the car started. He saw Irene through one of the windows, busily mak­ing her mother comfortable for the trip but Mrs. Lapham did not lift her head. The train moved off, and he went heavily back to business.
 
From time to time during the day, when he caught sight of Lapham, Tom Corey tried to make out from his face whether he Jcpew what had taken place between him and Penelope. When Rogers came in about closing time and shut himself up with Lapham, Corey waited until they had finished and Rogers had left. Then he himself went into Lapham’s office, closing the door tightly behind him. “I only wish to speak to you, sir, in case you know of the matter already, for otherwise I’m bound by a promise.”
 
“I guess I know what you mean. It’s about Penelope,” said Mr. Lapham.
 
“I want you to believe,” said Tom, “that this isn’t a new thing or an unconsidered thing with me though it seemed so unex­pected to her.”
 
“It’s all right as far as her mother and I are concerned,” said Lapham. “We’ve both liked you from the first.”
“She referred to something I couldn’t make out what but I hoped, with your leave, I might find out what it was; some ob­stacle or whatever it was. Miss Lapham Penelope gave me the hope that she was wasn’t indifferent to me ”
 
“Sure you never made up to anyone else at the same time?” “Never! Who could imagine such a thing? It would have been so impossible for me that I couldn’t have thought of it. It’s so shocking to me now that I don’t know what to say.” “Well, don’t take it too much to heart,” said Lapham, drove them to the station and put them on the train. He got them a little private room in the Pullman car and stood watch­ing them as they took their seats. He tried to say something pleasant and comforting: “I guess you’ll have an easy ride, Irene. I don’t believe it’ll be dusty any, after the rain last night.” “Don’t you stay till the train starts, Papa,” returned the girl. “Get off now.”
 
“Well, if you want me to,” he said, glad to be able to please her in anything. He remained on the platform until the car started. He saw Irene through one of the windows, busily mak­ing her mother comfortable for the trip but Mrs. Lapham did not lift her head. The train moved off, and he went heavily back to business.
 
From time to time during the day, when he caught sight of Lapham, Tom Corey tried to make out from his face whether he Jcnew what had taken place between him and Penelope. When Rogers came in about closing time and shut himself up with Lapham, Corey waited until they had finished and Rogers had left. Then he himself went into Lapham’s office, closing the door tightly behind him. “I only wish to speak to you, sir, in case you know of the matter already, for otherwise I’m bound by a promise.”
 
“I guess I know what you mean. It’s about Penelope,” said Mr. Lapham.
 
“I want you to believe,” said Tom, “that this isn’t a new thing or an unconsidered thing with me—though it seemed so unex­pected to her.”
 
“It’s all right as far as her mother and I are concerned,” said Lapham. “We’ve both liked you from the first.”
 
“She referred to something I couldn’t make out what but I hoped, with your leave, I might find out what it was; some ob­stacle or whatever it was. Miss Lapham Penelope gave me the hope that she was wasn’t indifferent to me ”
 
“Sure you never made up to anyone else at the same time?” “Never! Who could imagine such a thing? It would have been so impossible for me that I couldn’t have thought of it. It’s so shocking to me now that I don’t know what to say.”
 
 “Well, don’t take it too much to heart,” said Lapham, alarmed at the feeling he had excited. “I don’t say she thought so. I was trying to guess”
 
“If there were only something I could do to convince her! I may see her again may I not?”
 
Corey stopped in embarrassment, and Lapham afterwards told his wife how he kept seeing the face of Irene as he parted with her in the train. At the same time he could not help feeling that Penelope had a right to what was her own, and the Rev­erend Sewell’s words came back to him. “You can come round tonight and see me, if you want to,” Lapham said, and then listened sympathetically as the young man poured out his thanks.
 
That night Corey went to the Lapham home. Lapham con­vinced Penelope that she should talk with him. She admitted to the young man that she had been shocked by his proposal because she, as well as everyone else, had supposed that he was interested in Irene. Tom explained that he had never knowing­ly said or done a thing from first to last to make anyone think that. “Why, last winter in Texas,” he said, “I told Stanton about meeting Irene in Canada, and we agreed I only tell you to show you how far I always was from what you thought that he must come north and get to know her and of course, it all sounds foolish now and he sent her a newspaper with an ac­count of his ranch in it.”
 
“She thought it came from you,” Penelope said.
 
“Oh, good heavens!”
 
They continued to talk, seeming to move around and around within the same unending circle. Tom insisted that they were innocent of any wrong: he loved her and would wait for her. Penelope assured him that time would make no difference, that the wall which stood between them would never be broken down. She also said that she could not possibly see him again, and on this sad note the two lovers parted.
 
Comprehension, Discussion, and Vocabulary Review
 
A. 1. Why did Mrs. Lapham want to talk to Irene right away?
2. How did Irene take the news about Tom?
3. What did Irene give to Penelope?What did Irene ask her father to do?
4. What did they do before they went home?
5. What did Irene do on the following day?
6. What was Irene’s attitude toward Penelope?
7. Who visited Lapham after he put the women on the train?
8. What was the conversation between Lapham and Tom?
9. What was Tom’s explanation of the newspaper from Texas?
10. On what note did Tom and Penelope part?
 
B. Use the following words and expressions in sentences of your own: