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    uedbet登陆These unlooked-for children — the following year twin girls were born, thus rounding off a trio — came too late to form the bond between their parents they might once have done. For that, the attitudes adopted towards them by father and mother, themselves now branched so far apart, were too dissimilar. In Mahony’s case, once his children were there in the flesh before him, all his puny fears of personal upset and mental pother fell away. He had only to feel tiny soft fingers straying over his face, to become the tenderest of fathers, loving his babies wholeheartedly. Now he feared only for them, in their frailty and helplessness. Did he wake in the night and think he heard a cry, he was out of bed in an instant; and the nurse, entering from the next room to make sure of her charges, would find her master there before her — a tall, dressing-gowned figure, shading a candle with his hand. Often, too, when wakeful, he would rise and steal into the night-nursery to take a peep at his little ones, lying relaxed in sleep. Yes, he was passionately solicitous for them — and not for their bodily health alone. He would have wished to shield their little plastic minds from all impressions that might pain or harm; have had them look only at beautiful and pleasant things, hear soft voices and kind words; on no child of his might hand be laid in anger. The result was that the children, dimly conscious of his perpetual uneasiness, were rendered uneasy by it in their turn, and, for all the deep affection from which it sprang, never really warmed towards their father.


    And now for Simmonds.
    At the eagerly awaited cry of “Land ho!” from the foretop, an excited bunch of cuddy-passengers and their ladies, all markedly colonial in dress and bearing, swarmed to the side of the vessel, and set to raking and probing the distance. Telescopes and spy-glasses travelled from hand to hand, arms were silhouetted, exclamations flew, the female gaze, adrift in space, was gallantly piloted to the sober level of the horizon. And even the most sceptical convinced that the dusky shadow on the water’s rim was, in truth, the goal of their journeying, three cheers were called for and given, the gentlemen swung their hats with an “England for ever!” the ladies blew kisses and fluttered their kerchiefs. But, their feelings eased, they soon had their fill of staring at what might equally well have been a cloud or a trail of smoke; and having settled the wagers laid on this moment, and betted anew on the day and hour of casting anchor, they accepted the invitation of a colonial Croesus, and went below to drink a glass to the Old Country.


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