The Valley of the Shadow

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Beschreibung des Verlags

For the twentieth time Hilda Garling asked herself the same question—Why had her husband asked Jack Denver to stay? Mechanically she helped herself to some dish which the footman was handing to her, hardly knowing what it was she took. Why had he asked Jack to stay?

Such a thing was so completely foreign to her husband’s habits of late. For the last year or so he had grown more and more of a recluse, shutting himself away for hours and even days at a time, and having his meals served in his own room, until the big house standing back from the Portsmouth road had seemed a veritable prison to his wife. Not that it was much better when her husband did come out of his seclusion, but at any rate he was a human being of her own class.

She had tried asking people to stay, but it wasn’t a success. When your host plainly shows you that your presence fails to amuse him, even the most thick-skinned guest begins to look up the trains for London. She had tried going away to stay with friends, but that was only a temporary panacea. And then a year ago even that relief had been denied her. Her husband had complained once or twice of a pain in the chest, and although he scouted the idea that it was anything but indigestion, he at length agreed to do as she wished and send for a doctor. And the doctor had spoken to her after his examination.

Mrs. Garling, he said, I am sorry to have to be the bearer of—I won’t say bad, but of serious news. It is no mere question of indigestion, I fear. It is heart trouble—and it is pronounced. Please understand me. There is no reason, if your husband lives a quiet life and avoids excitement or undue exertion of all sorts, why he shouldn’t live for another twenty or thirty years. But any sudden physical call on his system—and the chances are, I am afraid, it would kill him.

Belletristik und Literatur
3. April
Library of Alexandria

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