Prodigal Daughters | Joseph Hocking | Literary Fiction | Sound Book | English | 8/8

Prodigal Daughters | Joseph Hocking | Literary Fiction | Sound Book | English | 8/8

chapter xxxii of prodigal daughters by Joseph Hawking this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Kate phallus chapter 32 Peggy pleads with Elinor they were seated alone in Elinor's room Peggy had thrown off her hat and jacket while Elinor looked at her again and again as if to assure herself that it was really her sister perhaps she had not yet recovered from the experiences of the day but she could not understand the look in Peggy's eyes she had feared that some awful calamity had befallen her even now she was afraid of the revelations which might be made to her that was why she wondered at the look of joy which she saw Peggy tell me she cried I don't know why it was but I went up to that awful place to see you this afternoon and the door was locked and the woman in the next house told me such a horrible story tell me where have you been what has happened what is the meaning of it all don't you know cried Peggy but of course you don't how could you I forgot and then the child poured out the miserable story of the past few months told of the things about which she had in the past been silent showed her sister her heart I didn't know anything could be so horrible she sobbed oh I was mad I did not understand I did not realize but I had not been married to him long before I I saw what he was knew what it was to be the wife of such you don't know Elinor you can't think but still I fought on I would not give in I would not confess that I had made a mistake I would be loyal to him and and all the time oh I can't tell you you know what it was like on that Sunday afternoon the kind of house the kind of people when I got back last night the place was empty and that horrid woman told me that mrs. Barnes and her daughters had gone away and then she gave me a letter here it is read it and you know no more than this asked Eleanor after she had read the child shook her head but what did you do how did you spend the night why didn't you come back here I didn't know what to do I think I was mad I remember wandering round the streets not knowing where I was going if I thought anything at all it was that I would find my way to the river and throw myself in I did not feel this so I could come to you somehow I didn't think you would understand but I kept on walking walking and then suddenly I found myself on Hampstead Heath and and yes cried Elinor eagerly I don't know how it was but I heard myself saying I will arise and go to my father and and I found myself at home and there was a light in the window and I rushed to the door and dad came out and brought me in Oh Eleanor Eleanor then he went home I couldn't help it do you know what he said to me when he came that morning I told you about the door will be always open to you peg and his words have remained in my memory ever since and they received you kindly Oh Eleanor you don't know you can't think how good dad is or how beautifully was of course in a way I expected that mother would but Oh dad was just lovely he took me on as Annie just as he did years ago and I found myself with my arms round his neck telling him everything for a moment a feeling of anger shot into Eleanor's heart a sense of pride rose up within her a horror of failure then you swallowed her pride she found herself saying Eleanor what pride had I what had I to be proud about why as you know I had been a bad wicked girl we both had and and I cannot help going home oh if you knew how splendid dad is why why in spite of everything I went to sleep feeling happy just the knowledge that I was in my own bed again and that I was home and do you know when dad came into the room and knelt down by me and said god bless you my little peg I felt as though oh I can't tell you what I felt it's all been so horrible and I've been so wicked but I'm glad I went home then you've gone home to stay where else could I go besides after all that calman tawdry shabby vulgarity to find myself at home where things were beautiful and and pure and clean it was just heaven I don't know how it was but last night when I read that letter something seemed to break and I saw things as they really were i I oh how could I have done it Eleanor and you've come from home now said her sister bewildered at what had taken place and hardly understanding Peggy's incoherent story yes the child replied and do you know I did not wake until midday today and it was all so beautiful and then Trev came home quite unexpectedly he isn't going back to Ireland again and of course it was also wonderful you see Trev so change and then he insisted on bringing Mary Penryn that's the girl he's engaged to and and I think I forgot everything except my own happiness all those horrible months seemed as though they never existed and they were all so good to me Eleanor Mary Penryn is just lovely no wonder Trump's fond of her no one had braided me and they've been so kind oh it has all been so wonderful so horrible and yet so beautiful I hardly know what I'm saying then Trevor mentioned your name and immediately I felt I must come and tell you dad wanted to come with me but I wouldn't let him then John insisted that he would come but I felt this so it wouldn't be right somehow I wanted to see you myself and I told them that I would come alone and when I got here you were gone but I wouldn't go away I knew you would be home sometime so I said I'd wait and a half wait did you see I could not help coming for you dear coming for me yes coming for you for of course you're coming back with me Eleanor shook her head no she replied we can't do that but why they're waiting for you how do you know did they tell you anything oh you really must come home with me you must and confess myself a failure no I won't you can't mean that yes I do the girls spoke defiantly now I know you are safe I shall be alright perhaps it was right for you to go home you you are different but I cannot do it in vain Peggy pleaded with her Elinor long to do what her sister asked her heart ached for a sight of her father and mother but something forbade her her pride rose in Revolt she could not go back and confess she had been wrong for she knew she had been wrong but to go back and confess it was too humiliating then I suppose I must go without you said Peggy sadly or they will be thinking that something has happened to me and I did hope you'd come with me at that moment there was a knock at the door and a man who was employed by the owner of the flat appeared a telephone message for you miss yes what is it it's from Miss Honey would miss she phoned to say that her friends at Enfield wanted her to stay the night and thinking you wouldn't mind she consented that's all miss there now cried Peggy when the man had gone you can't stay here after that Oh Elinor why be lonely and miserable I am not lonely and I am NOT miserable replied the girl I have my work to do and I am going to live my own life do you know peg I have got a splendid position and I shall have all sorts of opportunities for advancement but but it's no use talking I'm not going back Peggy made her way to the door good night dear is there any message you would like me to give them at home Eleanor shook her head shall I asked ruff to bring Mary Penryn here I know you'd like her again she shook her head there's nothing you'd like me to say to dad and mother is there no then goodnight there was something pathetic in the child's tone something which appealed to Elinor strongly a great weight had been lifted from her heart to know that Peggy was safe and yet as she realized that her sisters life had been ruined that the past few months had meant and must ever mean an irreparable tragedy in her life she felt a horrible remorse it was her fault Peggy had been great under her influence and had she acted differently her sister's life might have been saved but because she had been under the spell of such women as Tamsin Corrie and had listened to her unhealthy talk she had allowed Peggy to go her own way and this was the result of it still she steals her heart against her sisters pleading she could not know she simply could not go back to her home after all that had taken place she opened the door and Peggy passed out onto the landing as she did so a sense of utter desolation swept over her Peggy would go home while she would be left there in loneliness after all what had she to stay away for what did she gained by going away and and was not Peggy right hadn't she too been a bad girl her heart ached with a great hunger she longed for the life she had forsaken longed with an unutterable longing why should she stay there in loneliness and a misery besides it was her duty to go home at that moment she realized something of what her father and mother must have felt because of her action perhaps they had spent sleepless nights thinking about her and Peggy and she had been careless indifferent about them she had thought only of herself nothing of her duty honor thy father and thy mother the words came to her mind all the influences of her early years were at work all those things which she had learnt when her mother taught her to say her simple prayers her innermost soul was calling out for something which she had discarded forgotten and yet which was the great secret of life it all came like a flash and although it has taken me some time even to suggest her feelings Peggy had scarcely passed from door before the truth came to her Peggy she called and the word was like a gasp yes dear what is it oh I'll go with you wait no no don't say anything I can't bear it but wait almost feverishly she put on her hat and jacket and they left Saint Hildebrand's mansions and went into the street dad told me began Peggy no no don't speak interrupted Eleanor there there's a taxi almost frantically she stopped the driver who drew up at the curb neither of the two girls spoke a word as the taxi made its way towards Hampstead but Peggy who had nestled close to her sister's side sobbed quietly as for Eleanor she sat perfectly still gazing with unseeing eyes into the streets the taxi had barely reached the door of general Trelawney's house when it opened it might seem as though someone were waiting listening hello peg you've got back splendid it was the generals voice and you too Eleanor splendid run in will you I'll pay the man a minute later the general entered at the house and saw Eleanor standing in the hall alone he was an understanding man and knew that what might appeal to Peggy and for that matter was absolutely necessary to her would be repugnant to his other girl the two were entirely different Peggy was impulsive emotional easily moved quick to manifest her feelings Eleanor on the other hand was outwardly cold she dreaded scenes she was not given to evidence her feelings for a few seconds the two stood looking at each other as if trying to read the other's thoughts the father saw that his eldest daughter's eyes were hard and defiant even while we're yearning saw that she was fighting a great battle and that a wrong word on his part might do infinite harm Eleanor my dear he said I am glad to see you this is simply splendid you have just come in time for supper – not a word of reproach not a suggestion that she had come back as a disobedient child only a glad welcome just as though she had been away for a long holiday and had returned she did not speak she could not but she seemed to be waiting for something what neither of them could have told then the general scarcely knowing what he was doing held out his arms and the girl almost as unconsciously threw herself into them dad she said it's awfully hard for you but will you forgive me there there cried the father it's beautiful to see you home again my dear our Alice there you are Eleanor's come just in time for supper it was all so natural yep so wonderful instinctively she knew what her father felt knew of the thoughts which were surging through his mind at that moment realized the nightmare of the last few months and yet he never hinted at it he seemed to know by some wonderful wizardry what her feelings were knew that she could not bear the words which might seem natural under the circumstances and because she understood she felt as though a great healing power had passed over her it was as though the thought of his love although she felt more than ever her own wrongdoing brought joy instead of reproach in her homecoming yes Peggy was right her father was wonderful and she knew as she had never known before what a daughter's love meant somehow the crust which had encased her heart was broken and the cold pride in which she had rather glory duars melted how it was she could not tell but Eleanor felt like a new girl for the first time in years she wanted some manifestation of affection wanted to hear words of tenderness but dad she said you'll try to forgive me won't you and oh I do love you there was a captain her voice as she spoke and the general felt the tears well into his eyes but not as much as I love you dear not half but there it's blended to have you home a few minutes later Eleanor had recovered herself she wondered how she could have so given way to her feelings but she was not bit ashamed of them some strange alchemy had been at work that had changed everything then there was Eleanor's meeting with her brothers and Mary Penryn everything passed off in the most ordinary way it might seem as though everything had been arranged beforehand and the general had told his children what they were and were not to say but this was not so he simply knew how to lead the conversation into right channels knew by a kind of instinct and intuition what words ought to be said nevertheless the joy of it all was beyond words instinctively the generals mind swept back to that first Sunday night after those long years of absence and he realized what that night had meant in their lives realized the antagonism which existed and how it had embittered the whole of the succeeding months and must throw a dark shadow upon the future of all of them but he said no word about it words would be worse than useless at such a time what he felt may be guessed but cannot be described for what we are about to receive may the Lord make us truly thankful repeated the general as they sat down to supper old-time words repeated off times without meaning yet somehow each felt them to be something more than a mere matter of form as they passed his lips the whole atmosphere of the place was that of Thanksgiving and quiet joy what do you think of Mary asked to Trev who sat next to her at the supper table isn't she fine I tell you I'm the luckiest beggar in the world I shall be able to see her nearly every day now you do like Mary don't you of course I do Trev she's a dear sweet girl I knew you'd say so crying Trev with all the fervor of a young lover I can't get over it you know get over what what she should see in me and do you know things are turning out splendidly – I was made captain during the war and then afterwards I went down the scale and had to be contented with being lieutenant but they are putting me back again back again what do you mean I'm captain permanently now Mary's mightily pleased I can tell you and as for her father you must meet the squire he's just the bluff old chap that one reads about in stories but he's nothing to dad isn't dad great do you know when I first saw him I was awfully proud of him but but I no replied Elinor oh how beautiful it was to be among her own people again to breathe the atmosphere of refinement and understanding she had felt afraid all sorts of forebodings had filled her mind more than once on her way to the house she was on the point of telling the driver to stop but her father had made the difficult places easy with his old-fashioned courtesy and his wonderful knowledge he had made everything so easy for her she did not deserve it she knew she did not deserve it and while his kindness made her past disobedience harder for her to bear she felt thankful for it there are only two awkward situations during the whole evening one was when the clock was striking ten and she had declared that she must go back to st. Hildebrand's mansions back to that place my dear but why asked the general isn't your room ready Alice isn't Eleanor's room ready certainly it is then of course you'll not go back said the general as though he took the matter for granted but I must get to business tomorrow morning she urged then go to business from here my dear he took her position at Sperling and Kings as a matter of course and whatever he may have felt about it he offered at no opinion do you really want me to stay dad and she spoke to him in a husky voice wants you to stay white Eleanor that was all but it was enough and Eleanor although she felt everything differently from Peggy realized that she was at home and that the old foolish wicked past was as if it had never taken place the other awkward situation was when shortly after ten o'clock rod Ravenscroft was ushered into the room where the family were sitting Eleanor had expected nothing of the sort and so when without warning of any sort he stood before her she felt as though she could not speak Ravenscroft who had not seen her at first spoke to mrs. Trelawney then to the general after which his eyes swept quickly round the room seeing Peggy he moved towards her but no sooner did he catch sight of Eleanor than he stood still as if not knowing what to do for a moment an awkward silence prevailed but the general with that keen intuition which made him under and what ought to be done spoke as naturally as if nothing had taken place yes we're all glad to see you rod he cried it's the first time we have all met together since I left home years ago isn't it lucky that Trev should be able to come home and find Elinor and pay care I think you have met miss Penryn yes I see you have a good job for you that you approve of his engagement if you hadn't there would have been pistols for two and coffee for one tomorrow morning ah Trev is a lucky young beggar splendid isn't it this speech of the generals gave the two girls time to recover themselves and enabled Ravenscroft to act naturally for the next hour laughter and good feeling about it both the general and mrs. Trelawney seemed to be as light-hearted as children while from John's eyes a light shone which told how happy he was by the way John said Ravenscroft I really called Zin about that patent of yours it's alright nothing like it has been placed on the market and the patent is as sound as a bell splendid laughed the general what a good thing it is to have a friend who is a lawyer and especially as he happens to be specializing in patent tax it's going to be a great thing general said a Ravenscroft anyone to look at John wouldn't think he's got it in him would they at this there was general laughter especially as the boy looked shy and confused no use blushing John cried the general you can't keep it a secret any longer the engineering world will soon be shaken to its foundations while motorist everywhere will be talking of Trelawney's non gear changing invention yes John's going to be a millionaire laughed Ravenscroft on every hand there will be a demand for the thing and he's going to have a royalty on everyone that's old no John old chap I'm not going to tell you how much somebody will be telling secrets to the income tax people think of John having to pay super tax you have to get married little chap I hear there's going to be a big percentage taken off in the case of married men also reduction for each child shouted Trev look here John it isn't fair old man here shall I be a poor soldier with the captain's pay while you will be rolling in riches and where were the poor barrister come in asked Ravenscroft no need to trouble about lawyers retorted John quietly they always manage to annex a big share of the booty but although no apparent notice was taken of the return of Elinor and peg the influence of that return was felt by everyone and Ravenscroft who did not know of all the circumstances found himself wondering as to the meaning of what had taken place presently however just as he was leaving he had an opportunity to be with Elinor alone I want to see you very much he said to see you alone may I I am it business all through the day she managed to reply are you going to retain your post he stammered certainly was her reply but you leave Sperling and Kings at half past five you'll be free after that time how do you know never mind that I know you will be shall I find you here tomorrow at half past six perhaps and her reply was almost a whisper Oh Elinor cried Peggy as the two girls sat alone in the latter's room later if if I'd only known her sister was silent in a way I'm so happy sobbed the child and yet it's all so ghastly still Elinor did not reply she knew what was in the others heart to think that I ever became the wife of that man to think that Oh Elinor I can't bear it and I've my life all before me too isn't there some way out of it I wonder if there is dad we'll find it was Elinor's reply yes cried Peggy there's always dad isn't there and if if he only caught if he only could end of chapter 32 chapter 33 of prodigal daughters by Joseph Hawking this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Kate Wallace chapter 33 love wins out broad Ravenscroft had hurried to de l'eau immediately after his day's work was over and found his heart beating wildly as he was ushered into an empty room General Trelawney is not yet home sir the servant told him neither's mr. John mrs. Taurani has gone out for a ride with Captain Trelawney and Miss Peggy but mr. Lonnie is at home isn't she he asked yes sir she came in a few minutes ago will you ask her whether she will see me the servant left the room with the meaning smile on her lips perhaps she guessed what was in the young fellows heart when Elinor entered the room he saw that her face was very pale and that her eyes had a cold unnatural look for a few seconds they regarded each other in silence it seemed as though neither was able to speak I couldn't help coming Ravenscroft managed to say at length I I wanted to tell you how glad I am for you have come home for good now haven't you I don't know replied Elinor but of course you have and I'm so glad but why should you be she asked coldly she had difficulty in restraining her feelings her nerves seemed raw her whole being was wrought up to an unnatural pitch surely surely you know was his response I'm afraid you give me credit for more knowledge than I possess was her response but I forgot I want to congratulate you on your engagement on my engagement what engagement I was informed today that you were engaged to miss Unger the only daughter of mr. Fleming Unger KC the famous barrister did I see with her on the Heath here some time ago oh I see it was she well I congratulate you your congratulations are premature was his reply why isn't it settled yet she was able to speak calmly and coldly now as though nothing had passed between them no it's not settled replied ravenscraft have I spoken too soon I'm sorry I was told you were engaged I'm not he replied but but I want to be Eleanor don't you understand understand what there's only one girl in the world I can become engaged to and her name is not anger I want to be engaged to her I mean to be too if she'll have me that's why I am so glad you have come home don't you understand Eleanor was silent something rose up within her which seemed to destroy all power of speech but there was a glad look in her eyes I don't know who told you such a silly story went on Ravenscroft I never thought of Miss on Garen such a connection how could I there's only one girl in all of the world for me and her name is Eleanor Trelawney can't we begin again where we broke off nearly a year ago I I don't understand oh yes you do that's why I'm so glad and more than glad that you have come home it's been a nightmare hasn't it I was horribly pained but I couldn't help loving you all the same I say can't we begin again but how can we when when everything is possible now Eleanor if you love me pleaded the young fellow everything if you would stayed away nothing could have been possible but now now you've come home I say I know I'm a bungling fool I was months ago just before you left home but I do love you and and I say tell me I'm not mistaken tell me I haven't been thinking what can't be for I want you my dear I want you heaven only knows how much her heart was throbbing wildly throbbing with joy such as she had never felt before but but that awful night she began to stammer yes yes I know all about that that's nothing you can tell me as much or as little as you please about that I know that was only a part of the foolish business of your leaving home but that never really troubled me I always knew you were not that kind of girl did you you're sure of course I did oh I am ashamed cried the girl I must have been mad no no I'm not afraid to tell you everything about it thank Heaven you were in time to to see me back safely she ended tamely and and you cared for me dear there was a tremor in his voice she nodded her head yes yes but that way I want to hear you say so yes was her reply but oh I shall never forgive myself never for what for my madness for my disobedience to to my father it's made everything impossible no no laughed ravenscraft nothing is impossible now but it is know I've done nothing wrong and yet somehow I feel my life has been sullied as though I'm not worthy of anything beautiful and good but you love me tell me that again yes I I love you then you'll marry me no no I can't at least not for a long time I feel as though I am not worthy as though I must atone that tone be hanged almost shouted Ravenscroft there there I've got you now all that mad business is over it's all over we're going to begin anew you have come back home and we are engaged you see no it's no use you're trying to get away I've got you we're engaged you have promised to marry me and it will have to be soon but I couldn't I must keep my place at Sperling and Kings hang Sperling in king left Ravenscroft they will understand I know mr. Sperling well he's grand old chap and when I tell him he'll understand all about it I could not tell you before but I got you that place Eleanor and now I'm going to take you away from it you are going to be my wife do you see I've told the general all about it and and little by little Eleanor yielded to her heart's promptings and as one explanation followed another both the man and the girl entered into that joy which although it may be the lot of all is ever new ever wonderful yes said the general late that same night after Ravenscroft had gone back to his home and Trev had returned with Mary Penryn to Kensington it seems as though my heart is full Alice I never expected such joy to come to me his fairy wonderful isn't it said mrs. Trelawney Oh Lester it seems as though the last few months have been a ghastly nightmare and we have woken up to find it was only a dream in a way assented the general in a way yes we have a great deal to be thankful for and I trust I am thankful perhaps I needed all this to make me understand perhaps I too was forgetting the deep things of life but it's wonderful fancy John turning out a genius for I'm sure that invention of his will be a success blessed the boy I am proud of him he has been a world of comfort to me and to you too Alice he has indeed I don't know what I should have done without him during those dark days and trove to Trevor's become wonder if they changed hasn't he what a good girl will do very young fellow and he seemed so happy too who wouldn't be was such a girl as he's got left the general were you surprised said mrs. Trelawney about Eleanor and Ravenscroft surprised not a bit I knew it all along Oh at one time I was terribly afraid it's come out all right though he told me about it tonight Eleanor insists that shall go to Sperling and Kings for the remainder of the week but he tells me he has persuaded her to give notice at once I'm perfectly happy about her now I had a long talk with them both I had no idea she was really so affectionate Oh God has been very good to us if only little Peggy were were and mrs. Trelawney's words ended in a sob yes he has ein ho said the general sadly nothing can undo the past as far as Peggy is concerned and it's a terrible business her life will be frightfully saddened no matter what we may do I cannot save her from the results of her madness but Peggy's really a better girl now and in a way is much happier than she was before yes I believe she is assented the mother but oh my dear is awful to think about she's only 19 and and can't we do something Lester of course I've learnt all about him there will be no difficulty whatever in getting a divorce the fellow is not only a bounder and a poisonous crater but he has openly admitted to me today before witnesses but he has given Peggy the right to demand her complete freedom from him and didi wants it and boasted to me that within three days of his freedom he would marry the woman for whom he gave up Peggy just think of it I had difficulty in restraining myself difficulty to keep my hands from him but there will get rid of him with as little publicity as possible and then Peggy will be free perhaps perhaps who knows there may be a happy future for her after all I pray God there may be sobbed his wife oh yes and the general spoke cheerfully and please God there shall be if love can make it so my little pegs shall be happy and and thank God for it Alice none of the children were ever so near to us as they are now never did they love us so much no replied mrs. tree and knowing that I am happy in spite of everything end of chapter 33 end of prodigal daughters by Joseph Hawking

2 thoughts on “Prodigal Daughters | Joseph Hocking | Literary Fiction | Sound Book | English | 8/8

  1. Prodigal Daughters | Joseph Hocking | Literary Fiction | Sound Book | English | 8/8

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  2. Prodigal Daughters | Joseph Hocking | Literary Fiction | Sound Book | English | 8/8

    32: [00:00:00] – Peggy Pleads With Eleanor

    33: [00:29:33] – Love Wins Out

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