Aunt Anne – A Novel by Lucy Clifford.
Aunt Anne published under the name Mrs. W. K. Clifford. Lucy Clifford’s two most successful and talked-about novels: Mrs. Keith’s Crime (1885) and Aunt Anne (1892).
IT was a long night that followed. A telegram had arrived from the Hibberts. They were on their way, and coming as fast as possible, they said; but through the dark hours, as Mrs. North sat beside Aunt Anne, she feared that death would come still faster.
Her bronchitis was worse at times; she could hardly breathe; it was only the almost summer-like warmth that saved her. She talked of strange people when she could find voice to do so—people of whom Mrs. North had never heard before; but it seemed somehow as if they had silently entered—as if they filled the house, and were waiting. At midnight and in the still small hours of the morning she could fancy that they were going softly up and down the stairs; that they peered into the room in which Aunt Anne lay—the one to the front that looked down on the long white road stretching from the city to the sea. “Oh, if the Hibberts would come,” Mrs. North said, a dozen times. “I want her to die with her own people. I love her, but I am a stranger.”
So the night passed.
“My dear,” Aunt Anne asked, opening her eyes, “is it morning yet?”
“Yes,” Mrs. North answered, tenderly, “and a lovely morning. The sun is shining, and a thrush is singing on the tree outside. We will open the window presently, and let the summer in.” An hour passed, and the postman came, but he brought no news of those who were expected. Later on the doctor looked in, and said her pulse was weaker.