I observed the same frame of mind in my father

11-11-10

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I observed the same frame of mind in my father

Like rough iron his hard hand crushed Jane's. In it she felt the difference she saw in him. Wild, rugged, unshorn--yet how splendid! He had gone away a boy--he had returned a man. He appeared taller, wider of shoulder replica oakleys fuel cell sunglasses , deeper-chested, more powerfully built. But was that only her fancy--he had always been a young giant--was the change one of spirit? He might have been absent for years, proven by fire and steel, grown like Lassiter, strong and cool and sure. His eyes--were they keener, more flashing than before?--met hers with clear, frank, warm regard, in which perplexity was not, nor discontent, nor pain.



"Look at me long as you like," he said, with a laugh. "I'm not much to look at. And, Jane, neither you nor Lassiter, can brag. You're paler than I ever saw you. Lassiter, here, he wears a bloody bandage under his hat. That reminds me. Some one took a flying shot at me down in the sage. It made Wrangle run some....Well, perhaps you've more to tell me than I've got to tell you."



Briefly, in few words, Jane outlined the circumstances of her undoing in the weeks of his absence.



Under his beard and bronze she saw his face whiten in terrible wrath.



"Lassiter--what held you back?"



No time in the long period of fiery moments and sudden shocks had Jane Withersteen ever beheld Lassiter as calm and serene and cool as then.



"Jane had gloom enough without my addin' to it by shootin' up the village replica oakleys fuel cell sunglasses," he said.



As strange as Lassiter's coolness was Venters's curious, intent scrutiny of them both, and under it Jane felt a flaming tide wave from bosom to temples.



"Well--you're right," he said, with slow pause. "It surprises me a little, that's all."



Jane sensed then a slight alteration in Venters, and what it was replica oakleys fuel cell sunglasses, in her own confusion, she could not tell. It had always been her intention to acquaint him with the deceit she had fallen to in her zeal to move Lassiter. She did not mean to spare herself. Yet now, at the moment, before these riders, it was an impossibility to explain.



Venters was speaking somewhat haltingly, without his former frankness. "I found Oldring's hiding-place and your red herd. I learned--I know-- I'm sure there was a deal between Tull and Oldring." He paused and shifted his position and his gaze. He looked as if he wanted to say something that he found beyond him. Sorrow and pity and shame seemed to contend for mastery over him. Then he raised himself and spoke with effort. "Jane I've cost you too much. You've almost ruined yourself for me. It was wrong, for I'm not worth it. I never deserved such friendship. Well, maybe it's not too late. You must give me up. Mind, I haven't changed. I am just the same as ever. I'll see Tull while I'm here, and tell him to his face."



"Bern, it's too late," said Jane.



"I'll make him believe!" cried Venters, violently.



I observed the same frame of mind in my father.  He went about silent and woebegone, summoning all his strength to battle with his own sorrow; but I never heard him utter a murmur of a complaint, only words of tender emotion.  When the coffin was carried to the  church he changed his clothes and went with the cortege. When he reached the stone pillars he stopped us, said farewell to the departed, and walked home along the avenue.  I looked after him and watched him walk away across the wet, thawing snow with his short, quick old man's steps cheap oakley sunglasses, turning his toes out at a sharp angle, as he always did, and never once looking round.



My sister Masha had held a position of great importance in my father's life and in the life of the whole family.  Many a time in the last few years have we had occasion to think of her and to murmur sadly: "If only Masha had been with us!  If only Masha had not died!"



In order to explain the relations between Masha and my father I must turn back a considerable way.  There was one distinguishing and, at first sight, peculiar trait in my father's character, due perhaps to the fact that he grew up without a mother, and that was that all exhibitions of tenderness were entirely foreign to him.



I say "tenderness" in contradistinction to heartiness. Heartiness he had and in a very high degree.



His description of the death of my Uncle Nikolai is characteristic in this connection.  In a letter to his other brother, Sergei Nikolayevitch, in which he described the last day of his brother's life fake oakley sunglasses, my father tells how he helped him to undress.



"He submitted, and became a different man. . . .  He had a word of praise for everybody, and said to me, 'Thanks, my friend.' You understand the significance of the words as between us two."



It is evident that in the language of the Tolstoy brothers the phrase "my friend" was an expression of tenderness beyond which imagination could not go.  The words astonished my father even on the lips of his dying brother.



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