Northanger Abbey. Part 57

Northanger Abbey. Being caught

Northanger Abbey 57c



This ill-timed intruder was Miss Tilney’s maid, sent

by her mistress to be of use to Miss Morland; and though

Catherine immediately dismissed her, it recalled her to the

sense of what she ought to be doing, and forced her, in spite

of her anxious desire to penetrate this mystery, to proceed

in her dressing without further delay.
Northanger Abbey 57a


 

Her progress was not quick, for her thoughts and her eyes were still bent on the object so well calculated to interest and alarm; and though she dared not waste a moment upon a second attempt, she could not remain many paces from the chest. Her resolute effort threw back the lid, and gave to her astonished eyes the view of a white cotton counterpane, properly folded, reposing at one end of the chest in undisputed possession!
Northanger Abbey 57b


 

She was gazing on it with the first blush of surprise when

Miss Tilney, anxious for her friend’s being ready, entered

the room, and to the rising shame of having harboured for

some minutes an absurd expectation, was then added the

shame of being caught in so idle a search. ‘That is a curious

old chest, is not it?’ said Miss Tilney, as Catherine hastily

closed it and turned away to the glass.
Northanger Abbey 57c


 

‘It is impossible to say how many generations it has been here. How it came to be first put in this room I know not, but I have not had it moved, because I thought it might sometimes be of use in holding hats and bonnets. The worst of it is that its weight makes it difficult to open. In that corner, however, it is at least out of the way.’
Northanger Abbey 57d


 

To be continued

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