The voices were muffled. William could no longer decipher their words.
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A tunnel of sound whirred around him. Then the ground beneath him trembled as he heard the horses' hooves thunder off. William lay still on the icy ground and groaned. The voices in his head were taunting him louder than his attackers and were impossible to ignore. Then all was still, quiet, save for the whistle of the wind through barren branches. William assessed his condition, limb by limb. Nothing appeared to be broken, but one eye was swelling shut and salty blood covered his lips.
The Headmistress of Rosemere
After several attempts, William managed to roll over onto his knees. Fresh snow had begun to fall and had accumulated on his coat. He shook his arms and it scattered. He attempted a whistle, hoping that by a miracle Angus would hear, but his upper lip was beyond such a task. So he waited and listened for any indication that his horse had not abandoned him.
Head throbbing, ribs aching, he winced at the pain of simply breathing. He scanned his surroundings, disoriented.
The Headmistress of Rosemere
Had he been a more attentive estate master, he would know exactly how far he was from home. He'd be familiar with every tree.
Every stump. Every vale. But in his confusion, he wasn't sure. As he turned, he noticed the black outline of chimneys rising above snow-covered trees. Heavy snow had ridden in on the sharp easterly wind. William reached for his hat, which had fallen in the attack, and slapped it against his leg. His left eye was now swollen shut. Something warm trickled down his cheek, but his muscles ached too severely to try to wipe it away. Panic seized him.
He scrambled under the shelter of a low bush, then turned and saw not Rafertee's men but Angus enter the clearing and toss his head.
But when he stood, the ground beneath him spun and he staggered. He managed to put one foot in front of the other, but after two attempts to mount the horse, it became clear he'd never be able to ride the animal, not in his state. He looked back down to Rosemere, barely able to make out the tiny stable that sat just inside the courtyard wall.
Did he have any other choice? Patience Creighton clutched her loosely woven shawl tightly around her neck with one hand and lifted her lantern above her head with the other. Not waiting for her manservant, George, to respond, Patience knelt next to the stranger's battered form and winced at the sight of his swollen, purple eyelid and the dried blood on his lips. With a trembling hand, Patience reached out to touch the man's chest, hesitant, as if with one touch he would spring to life and grab her. But her shivering fingertips landed on the damp, rough wool of his caped greatcoat, and he did not so much as wince.
Her landlord's name was the last name she expected to hear. Shocked, Patience lifted the lantern higher and leaned down, squinting to make out his features in the flickering light. Sterling's hatless head rested against the dirt floor. A deep gash marred his forehead, and stubble darkened his square jaw. Came down to do my morning duties, like I always do, and here he was, sprawled out on the stable floor, looking just as you see him now.
Charlie is tending to him. A sharp gust of wind curled in through the half-open door, slamming the door against the side of the wooden stable wall and pelting them with stinging sleet. Patience gave Mr. Sterling's shoulder a gentle push, hoping for a response, but none came. His breath appeared so shallow that she wondered if he was still breathing. Mary has a fire started in the kitchen. Quickly now. George nudged her aside and leaned down to loop his arms under William Sterling and called to the stable boy.
She cast an anxious glance over her shoulder to the dark house. The last thing she needed was for Rosemere's twenty-nine impressionable young students to wake and see a half-dead man being carried from the stable. Leaving George and Charlie to carry their visitor, Patience scurried from the stable and took the path to the kitchen entrance at the back of the house, the harsh wind nearly pinching the breath from her lungs. Patience burst through the door. Mary, the aging housekeeper, looked up expectantly, her face already flushed from tending the fire.
What is it? Patience hung her shawl on a hook, her pulse still racing from the morning's disruption. Sterling from Eastmore Hall. He's unconscious. Must have been thrown from his horse. It will be better if you read the book alone. So,you can really feel content of the book deeply. From the lesson, you will know about the meaning of life and human around you. You will be smart in choosing the best option for your life. So, you will never do same mistakes again andagain.
The Headmistress of Rosemere | Woodland Public Library
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