Kirkland Revels

Kirkland Revels by Victoria Holt Read Free Book Online

Book: Kirkland Revels by Victoria Holt Read Free Book Online
Authors: Victoria Holt
Tags: Fiction, Romance, Historical
of the family.

    ” Ruth, my sister, rules the household and will do so until I marry.

    Then of course my wife will do that, because I am the only son and the Revels will one day be mine. “

    ” When you speak of the Revels you do so in a tone of reverence.”

    ” It is my home.”

    ” And yet …” I was going to say, I believe you are glad to have escaped from it. ” You are not eager to return.”

    He did not notice my interruption. He murmured as though to himself: “
    It ought to have been Simon …”

    ” Who is Simon?”

    ” Simon Redvers. A sort of cousin. A Rockwell through his grandmother, who is my father’s sister. You won’t like him very much.
    But then you’ll rarely meet. There isn’t much communication between Kelly Grange and the Revels.”

    He was talking as though there was no doubt that I would marry him and that one day his house would be my home.

    Sometimes I wondered whether there was not some subtlety in Gabriel.

    He gradually built up pictures in my mind, so that his home and family somehow came alive for me, and as 32 the picture grew clearer in my mind it brought with it a fascination which was not altogether pleasant and yet no less impelling because of that—but rather more so.

    I wanted to see that pile of grey stones which had been made into a house three hundred years ago; I wanted to see those ruins which from a balcony of the house would have the appearance, not of a ruin but an ancient abbey because so much of the outer structure remained.

    I was caught up in Gabriel’s life. I knew that if he went away I should be desperately lonely and dissatisfied with my life. I should be continually regretful.

    And one sunny day, when I had walked out of the house with Friday at my heels, I met Gabriel on the moor; and we sat with our backs against a boulder while Friday crouched before us on the grass, his eyes going from one to the other, his head slightly cocked as though he listened to our conversation. This was complete happiness for him and we knew it was because we were together.

    ” There’s something I haven’t told you, Catherine,” said Gabriel.

    I felt relieved, because I knew that he was going to tell me something now which he had been trying to for a long time.

    ” I want you to say you’ll marry me,” he went on, ” but so far you haven’t said that. You don’t dislike me ; you’re happy in my company.

    That’s true, Catherine? “

    I looked at him and saw again those lines between his brows ; I saw the puzzled frustration there and I remembered those occasions when he had seemed to forget what it was that made him so melancholy, when he threw off his moodiness and became gay. I felt a great desire then to chase the gloom out of his life, to make him happy as I had made Friday healthy.

    ” Of course I don’t dislike you,” I said, ” and we’re happy together.

    If you go away . “

    ” You’d miss me, Catherine, but not as much as I should miss you. I want you to come back with me. I don’t want to go without you.”

    ” Why are you so eager for me to go back with you?”

    ” Why? Surely you know. It’s because I love you—because I never want to leave you again.”

    ” Yes, but … is there another reason?”

    “What other reason should there be?” he asked; but he did not meet my eyes as he said that, and I knew that there was a great deal about him and his home that I had to learn.

    ” You should tell me everything, Gabriel,” I said on impulse. k. r. 33 B He mewed closer to me and put his arm about me. ” You are right, Catherine. There are things you should know. I cannot be happy without you and … there cannot be long left to me.”

    I drew away from him. ” What do you mean?” I demanded sharply.

    He sat up and looking straight ahead said: ” I cannot live more than a few years. I have received my sentence of death.”

    I was angry with him because I could not bear to hear his talk of dying. ” Stop

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