My Aunt makes up her Mind about me
On going down in the morning, I found my aunt musing so profoundly over the breakfast-table, with her elbow on the tray, that the contents of the urn had overflowed the teapot and were laying the whole table-cloth under water, when my entrance put her meditations to flight. I felt sure that I had been the subject of her reflections, and was more than ever anxious to know her intentions towards me. Yet I dared not express my anxiety, lest it should give her offence.
My eyes, however, not being so much under control as my tongue, were attracted towards my aunt very often during breakfast. I never could look at her for a few moments together but I found her looking at mein an odd thoughtful manner, as if I were an immense way off, instead of being on the other side of the small round table. When she had finished her breakfast, my aunt very deliberately leaned back in her chair, knitted her brows, folded her arms, and contemplated me at her leisure, with such a fixedness of attention that I was quite overpowered by embarrassment. Not having as yet finished my own breakfast, I attempted to hide my confusion by proceeding with it; but my knife tumbled over my fork, my fork tripped up my knife, I chipped bits of bacon a surprising height into the air instead of cutting them for my own eating, and choked myself with my tea, which persisted in going the wrong way instead of the right one, until I gave in altogether, and sat blushing under my aunts close scrutiny.
Hallo! said my aunt, after a long time.
I looked up, and met her sharp bright glance respectfully.
I have written to him, said my aunt.
To your father-in-law, said my aunt. I have sent him a letter that Ill trouble him to attend to, or he and I will fall out, I can tell him!
Does he know where I am, aunt? I inquired, alarmed.
I have told him, said my aunt, with a nod.
Shall Ibegiven up to him? I faltered.
I dont know, said my aunt. We shall see.
Oh! I cant think what I shall do, I exclaimed, if I have to go back to Mr. Murdstone!
I dont know anything about it, said my aunt, shaking her head. I cant say, I am sure. We shall see.
My spirits sank under these words, and I became very downcast and heavy of heart. My aunt, without appearing to take much heed of me, put on a coarse apron with a bib, which she took out of the press, washed up the tea-cups with her own hands, and when everything was washed and set in the tray again, and the cloth folded and put on the top of the whole, rang for Janet to remove it. She next swept up the crumbs with a little broom (putting on a pair of gloves first), until there did not appear to be one microscopic speck left on the carpet; next dusted and arranged the room, which was dusted and arranged to a hairs- breadth already. When all these tasks were performed to her satisfaction, she took off the gloves and apron, folded them up, put them in the particular corner of the press from which they had been taken, brought out her work-box to her own table in the open window, and sat down with the green fan between her and the light, to work.
I wish youd go up-stairs, said my aunt, as she threaded her needle, and give my compliments to Mr. Dick, and Ill be glad to know how he gets on with his Memorial.
I rose with all alacrity to acquit myself of this commission.
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