فصل 08

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فصل 08

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متن انگلیسی فصل

CHAPTER EIGHT

‘I’m a True Friend’

20th December 1825

Another year is ending. Thank God, Arthur has stayed away for several months. My son is now three years old. I try to help him. I want him to be better than his father.

One day in May, I was walking alone near a narrow stream. Suddenly I saw Walter Hargrave riding his horse towards me. He knew that Arthur was away, so he had come to see me.

‘Mrs Huntingdon, you’re alone,’ he said quietly. ‘May I walk with you?’

‘I was looking for a good place to sketch,’ I said. ‘I want to draw those trees by the stream. They’re very beautiful.’

Mr Hargrave got off his horse and stood beside me.

‘But they’re not as beautiful as you, Mrs Huntingdon!’ Mr Hargrave cried. ‘My dear Helen! Your husband is very unkind. You need a better man. Let me be that man!’

His eyes shone and he held my hand tightly.

‘I love your goodness, your strength and your beauty!’ he went on quickly. ‘I love you. Say that you love me too!’

‘Mr Hargrave! I’m a married woman,’ I said. I pulled my hand away. ‘You mustn’t say those things to me!’

‘But I’m your friend!’ he cried. ‘I’m a true friend who wishes to be your lover. You need to be loved, Helen. Don’t reject me!’

‘I do reject you, Mr Hargrave!’ I said. ‘Never speak to me like that again!’

He looked very surprised. But he got onto his horse and rode away quickly.

Mr Hargrave stayed in London for several weeks. When he returned, he brought his younger sister, Esther, to see me.

We sat together in the sitting-room. After a few minutes, Esther went to find my son. Mr Hargrave shut the door and turned towards me.

‘Huntingdon is staying with Lord and Lady Lowborough,’ he said. ‘Did you know that, Mrs Huntingdon?’

‘No, I didn’t,’ I replied. ‘But I don’t care.’

‘So you don’t love your husband?’ Hargrave said.

‘No. I do not,’ I replied coldly.

‘Ah! I thought that you didn’t love him anymore,’ Mr Hargrave said. ‘You’re too good for him. He’s hurt you. Don’t you want to hurt him?’

‘How would that help me?’ I asked.

‘It will make you happier, Mrs Huntingdon,’ Mr Hargrave replied. ‘And that will make me happy too!’

I walked away from him and looked out of the window. I wished that Esther and little Arthur would return.

‘Trust me, Mrs Huntingdon,’ Mr Hargrave went on. ‘You can’t live alone forever. Neither can I.’

‘I’m not alone. I have my son,’ I said. ‘And you have your mother and sister.’

‘Our love will be a secret. Nobody will know-‘ he began.

But at that moment, thank God, little Arthur ran into the room. Esther followed him. Very soon the Hargraves went home.

I did not want to be alone with Walter Hargrave again. With Rachel’s help, I did not meet him for some time. When he came to the house, Rachel sent him away.

Then, one afternoon, I was returning from the village alone. I heard a horse walking behind me. A few minutes later, Mr Hargrave was riding beside me. I walked on and he followed.

‘I first saw you more than three years ago,’ he said. ‘I loved you then, and I love you now. My love for you is making me unhappy, Mrs Huntingdon. Can’t you help me?’

‘How can I help you, Mr Hargrave?’ I asked.

‘Show me your true feelings!’ he said. ‘You’re lonely and unhappy. Your heart was made for love. Why are you so unkind, to yourself - and to me too?’

‘I’m married, Mr Hargrave,’ I replied. ‘I’ll be happy in heaven, but not before.’

He did not answer. I stopped walking and looked up at him.

‘Do you love me?’ I asked.

‘Yes, yes, I do!’ he said.

‘Then never speak to me about love again!’ I said.

Walter Hargrave’s face became very pale. ‘Then I must go away,’ he said. ‘Do you want me to do that?’

‘Yes, I do,’ I replied.

He held out his hand to say goodbye. I shook it quickly. Then he rode away and did not look back.

Not long after our meeting, Walter Hargrave went to Paris. I hope that he stays there for a very long time.

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