فصل 13

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فصل 13

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Chapter THIRTEEN

Final Destinies

Major Dobbin came as quickly as he could back to England. He met Jos on the journey, and they travelled together. Jos told Dobbin that Amelia had not mentioned any plan to marry, and this news cheered the Major up considerably.

Dobbin hurried to Amelia’s house as soon as he arrived in England. There he learned that Mrs Sedley had died, and that Georgy was now living with Mr Osborne. Georgy was happy in the old man’s house. He did not think often about his mother. He did not understand her pain.

Mr Sedley died soon after Dobbin’s arrival in the country, and Dobbin was now George’s guardian. He had to pay a visit to Mr Osborne to discuss the boy’s futures. Old Mr Osborne had looked through his son’s papers, and he now realised that Dobbin had been sending Amelia money for years. He asked Dobbin to explain what had happened.

‘Well, sir,’ Dobbin told him, ‘the marriage was very much my doing. I thought George had gone too far to let Amelia down. And so, when she was left without money, I did what I could to help her.’

Mr Osborne turned very red in the face.

‘You did me a great injury,’ he said. ‘But you’re an honest man, sir. Let me shake your hand.’

Dobbin did everything he could to make peace between the Sedley and the Osborne families.

‘It’s true that Amelia took your son away from you,’ he said once to Mr Osborne, ‘but you have also taken her son away from her.’

Finally Mr Osborne’s hatred for the Sedleys began to fade away. He made a new will, leaving some money to Amelia as well as Georgy. He never met Amelia again, however, because he died suddenly after a heart attack.

Dobbin, meanwhile, had told Amelia that he loved her, but all she offered him was her friendship and gratitude.

Jos, Amelia, Dobbin and Georgy now went on a tour of Europe together. They stopped at a large town in Germany, and Jos went off - to play roulette. He was very surprised to be greeted by the woman sitting next to him.

‘Mrs Crawley!’ he gasped in astonishment.

‘Call me Becky,’ she replied softly. ‘You always used to.’

Becky now used all her charm on the gullible Jos. She told him that she was very poor now, and that she had enemies who made her life miserable.

Jos told Dobbin that he had met Becky.

‘Her again!’ Dobbin exclaimed. ‘She causes trouble everywhere.’

Amelia did not want to see Becky at first, but at last Jos persuaded her. He told her that Becky was very unhappy. The meeting went well, and Jos and Amelia invited Becky to come and stay in their hotel. For once Dobbin was angry with Amelia.

‘Don’t let her come,’ he advised her. ‘She wasn’t always your friend, Amelia.’

Amelia was suddenly very angry with Dobbin. She remembered how unhappy she had been when her husband had abandoned her at the ball to dance with Becky.

‘That was cruel of you!’ she cried.

The next day Dobbin apologised for his remark. He said that he had heard bad things about Becky. Amelia did not forgive him.

‘I’ve loved you for many years,’ he told her bitterly. ‘Now I see that you were not worth the devotion I have spent on you. You can cherish memories, but you cannot love as I do. It’s not your fault, but I have decided: I’m going away. I shan’t ever come back.’

Becky overheard the argument between Amelia and Dobbin.

‘She’s a fool,’ she thought. ‘That man loves her.’

Dobbin left the town and returned to England.

The days went by, and Jos and Becky spent more time together.

Amelia and Georgy missed Dobbin terribly. Amelia wrote to him, but she did not tell anyone that she had done so.

‘You must go away from here,’ Becky told Amelia. ‘You must go away and marry again. You must accept your faithful friend.’

‘I shall never marry again,’ Amelia told her. ‘I have tried, but I can’t forget George. He was the only man in my life.’

Becky gave her friend an old letter. Amelia was astonished to recognise George’s handwriting. It was the letter he had put among Becky’s flowers the night of the dance in Brussels. He had asked Becky to run away with him.

At first Amelia cried when she thought about her faithless husband. Then she began to remember Dobbin and his constant love for her. She realised that she was free to love Dobbin now!

Soon Amelia and Dobbin were happily married in England. At last Dobbin had married his true love. They went to live near Sir Pitt and Lady Jane. The two families became great friends.

Jos remained in Europe with Becky. There were rumours that Jos was ill, and that he had taken out a huge insurance policy on his life. Amelia was worried about her brother, and asked Dobbin to find out what was happening.

Dobbin discovered that Jos and Becky were in Brussels. He managed to see Jos without Becky knowing about his visit. Jos looked unwell and he seemed frightened.

‘Don’t let Becky know you’ve been here,’ he begged Dobbin. ‘I’m afraid of her.’

‘Come away with me now,’ Dobbin suggested.

But it was no good. Jos could not bring himself to leave Becky.

Three months later Jos was dead. The circumstances were suspicious, and at first the insurance company refused to pay the sum due on his life policy. The company had no evidence that Jos’s death was due to unnatural causes, however. In the end they paid the money.

Becky, who now called herself ‘Lady Crawley’, settled in England once more. Her husband Rawdon died of yellow fever on Coventry Island, six weeks before the death of his older brother Sir Pitt Crawley. The whole Crawley estate thus came to Becky’s son who became Sir Rawdon Crawley. He always refused to see his mother, but he made her a generous allowance.

Amelia and Dobbin saw Becky once again when they were in London with their children. Becky smiled as Dobbin and Amelia grabbed their children and walked quickly away from her.

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