The Betrayal of John Fordham

The Betrayal of John Fordham
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Книга "The Betrayal of John Fordham", автором которой является Benjamin Farjeon, представляет собой захватывающую работу в жанре Зарубежная классика. В этом произведении автор рассказывает увлекательную историю, которая не оставит равнодушными читателей.

Автор мастерски воссоздает атмосферу напряженности и интриги, погружая читателя в мир загадок и тайн, который скрывается за хрупкой поверхностью обыденности. С прекрасным чувством языка и виртуозностью сюжетного развития, Benjamin Farjeon позволяет читателю погрузиться в сложные эмоциональные переживания героев и проникнуться их судьбами. Farjeon настолько живо и точно передает неповторимые нюансы человеческой психологии, что каждая страница книги становится путешествием в глубины человеческой души.

"The Betrayal of John Fordham" - это не только захватывающая история, но и искусство, проникнутое глубокими мыслями и философскими размышлениями. Это произведение призвано вызвать у читателя эмоциональные отклики, задуматься о важных жизненных вопросах и открыть новые горизонты восприятия мира.

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My name is John Fordham, and I am thirty-four years of age. So far as I can judge I am at present of sound mind, though sadly distraught, and my memory is fairly clear, except as to the occurrences of a certain terrible night in December two years ago, which are obscured by a black cloud which I have striven in vain to pierce. These occurrences, and the base use to which they have been turned by an enemy who has made my life a torture, have brought me to a pass which will cause me presently to stand before the world as a murderer. No man accuses me. It is I who accuse myself of the horrible crime, though I call God to witness that I know not how I came to do it, save that it must have been done in self-defense. But who will believe me in the face of the damning evidence which I afterwards found in my possession – and who will believe that when the fatal deed was done I did not see the features of the man I killed, and did not know who he was? My protestations will be regarded as weak inventions, and will be received with incredulity – as probably I should receive them were another man in my place, and I his judge. It is the guiltiest persons who most loudly proclaim their innocence, and I shall be classed among them.

Am I, then, weary of life that I deliberately place myself in deadly peril, and invite the last dread sentence of the law to be passed upon me? In one sense, yes. Not a day passes that my torturer does not present himself to sting and threaten me and aggravate my sufferings. My nights are sleepless; even when exhausted nature drives me into a brief stupor my fevered brain is crowded with frightful images and visions. So appalling are these fancies that there is a danger of my being driven mad. Death is preferable.

And yet, but a few moments before I committed the crime, I was looking forward hopefully to a life of peace and love with a dear and noble woman who sacrificed her good name for me, and whom I promised to marry when I was freed from a curse which had clung to me for years. The night was cold, the snow was falling, but there was joy in my heart, and I walked along singing. Great God! my heart throbs with anguish as I think of the heaven which might been mine had not cruel fate suddenly dashed the cup of happiness from my lips. But it is useless to repine; I yield because it is forced upon me. One consoling thought is mine. The dear woman I love with a love as true and sincere as ever beat in the heart of man, will turn to me with pity, will visit me in the prison to which I go of my own accord, and in the solemn farewell we shall bid one another will extend her hands and forgive me for the wrong I have done her and our child.

These last words cause me to waver in my purpose.

Our child! Hers – mine. I am the sweet little fellow's father. I saw him yesterday with his mother, though neither he nor my dear Ellen knew that I was near them, for I was careful they should not see my face. How he has grown! Yesterday was his fourth 'birthday, and to-day Ellen is wondering who left the toy horse and cart at her lodgings. His sturdy little limbs, his lovely hair, his large brown eyes with their wonderful lashes, the music of his voice! What bliss, what torture I endured as I followed and listened to his prattle.

"Oh, mother!" he cried, dragging at her hand. "Look – look! Do look!"

His excitement was caused by a display of toys in a window, and they stood together – Ellen and my boy – gazing at the treasures there displayed. He liked this, he liked that, and wasn't this grand, and wasn't that beautiful? and, oh! look here, mother, and here, and here! He was especially fascinated by the horse and cart. Very tenderly did Ellen coax his attention to a box of white lambs, which was to be obtained for sixpence, and they went into the shop, where it Was placed in his arms, for his little hands could not grasp it firmly, and he wanted to carry it home himself. As he and his mother walked away I observed him look longingly over his shoulder at the horse and cart, and doubtless there was in his young mind a hope that one of these fine days when he was a big, big man such a treasure might also be in his possession, and that he would be able to ride off in it straight to fairyland. I am sure Ellen would have given it to him could she have afforded it, but she is obliged to be economical and sparing with her pennies. She earns a trifle by needlework, and, through a solicitor, she receives a pound a week from me, whom she believes to be thousands of miles away. Upon this she lives in modest comfort, saving every penny she can, and looking forward cheerfully to the future. The future! Alas for her – for Reggie – for me!

Reggie's father hanged for murder! But he need never know. He does not bear my name, for Ellen would not have it so. "Not till the laws of God and man sanction it," she said, and I let her have her way. Spirit of truth and justice! Show me the path wherein my duty lies.

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