Learn English Through Story | My Cousin Rachel Pre Intermediate Level

chapter one I begin my story my father and mother died before I was two years old I cannot remember them my father died first fighting in the war against a French in 1815 my mother died a few months afterwards my cousin Ambrose who was 20 years older than me became my guardian he looked after me as if I was his son from the beginning I loved Ambrose more than anyone else in the world Ambrose Ashley was a rich unmarried man he lived in a beautiful old house in the West of England the house was near the sea and there was farmland all round it the house the land and the farms around it had all belonged to the Ashley family for many years the house was full of pictures books and many beautiful things Ambrose was a gentleman of leisure he was not a businessman but he took good care of all the people who worked on his land he knew them all by name everyone on the estate loved Ambrose as much as I did Ambrose was a shy man with many unusual ideas he looked after me himself and would not have a woman in the house to help him but he was friendly with the people who lived in the other big houses in the district some of his neighbors did not understand Ambrose but they all liked him as I grew older Ambrose and I became more like brothers we were both tall shy men with long arms and legs and big feet we both had thick curly hair although Ambrose's hair was darker than mine we enjoyed doing the same things we often rode our horses through the beautiful woods and fields near the house when the weather was good we sailed our boat on the sea fished swam there were no female servants in the Ashley house Ambrose said he did not want women in the house and as I grew older I agreed more and more with his ideas the big house was not very clean or tidy but it was comfortable and we both loved it the servants looked after as well and the food and wine were always good Ambrose and I often sat together after dinner drinking wine in the light of our candles then we sat in the library beside a bright fire the walls of the library were covered with shelves full of beautiful books on Sundays we always went to church after breakfast the carriage took Ambrose and me to the church in the village all the servants came to church to on Sunday evenings we had an early dinner usually some of our neighbors would eat with us when I was old enough Ambrose taught me how to look after his land and his people I was his heir the house and the land were going to be mine when Ambrose died but I never thought that Ambrose would die we both expected that he would live for many years our days together passed in a calm happiness but sometimes changes come into people's lives that they do not expect things happen to us that we can do nothing about my dear cousin Ambrose is dead that is why I am writing this story my cousin Rachel is dead too and who was my cousin Rachel you must read my story to find the answer to that question I know who killed Rachel but I do not know how my dear Ambrose died was he killed too I shall never be able to answer that question I shall never know the answer perhaps you who are reading this can decide you must be my cousin Rachel's judge and mine too I Philip Ashley I'm only 25 now most of my life is in front of me but the only people I shall ever love are dead I cannot live with my thoughts any longer I must write down everything that happened everything about Ambrose my cousin Rachel and myself you chapter 2 news from Italy Ambrose and I lived in Cornwall it is often cold and damp in winter there rain falls nearly every day and the sea looks rough and gray this weather was bad for Ambrose by the time he was 40 years old he was walking with a stick and his hair was turning gray his doctors told him that he must go abroad every winter to a drier country if he did this he would become stronger and he would live to be a healthy old man I was 22 when Ambrose went abroad for the third winter I had left University and I was old enough to look after the estate by myself this time Ambrose was going to Italy he wanted to see the beautiful gardens of Rome and Florence Ambrose loved his own gardens and everything he planted grew well there now he was planning to bring back many unusual plants and trees from Italy the evening before Ambrose left for Italy we sat together in the library as usual we were both smoking our pipes and our long legs were stretched out in front of us we were wearing old comfortable clothes and the fire was burning brightly the dogs were sleeping at our feet we sat in silence for a while and then Ambrose said I wish you were coming with me tomorrow Philip why not I replied quickly I could soon be ready yes Ambrose let me go with you Ambrose smiled no he said we can't both be away someone must look after the estate forget I asked you you are feeling well aren't you I asked you haven't any pain of course not Philip Ambrose replied the trouble is that I love my home too much I don't want to leave Ambrose to and walk towards the windows he pulled back the heavy curtains and looked out into the darkness you must promise to look after the gardens for me Philip he said what do you mean I asked you will be back here in the spring yes I will Ambrose answered slowly take care of things while I'm away Philip you are very young but I need your help you know that and everything I have will be yours suddenly I felt afraid Ambrose please let me go to Italy with you I said again no Philip that's enough abra said with a smile go to bed that was all we did not discuss the matter again early the following morning Ambrose left for Plymouth our nearest big port he was going by ship to the south of France from there he would travel by coach to Italy the weeks passed slowly for me they always did when Ambrose was away but I had plenty to do and if I was lonely I rode my horse into the nearest town or visited our neighbours the first letter from Ambrose arrived in the middle of November he was well and happy the journey by ship had gone well at Christmas Ambrose wrote to say that he had reached Florence it was in this letter that he wrote about his cousin Rachel for the first time he told me that our family and her family were related Rachel's father and mother were both dead Rachel's husband an Italian count had died too she lived alone near Florence in a big house called the villa sangaletti Rachel had planted the gardens of the villa herself and they were famous for their beauty I was glad when I read this letter Ambrose had found a friend who loved Gardens as much as he did the winter in Europe was very bad that year and snow covered the roads because of this the next letter did not arrive until the early spring in this letter Ambrose told me more about his cousin Rachel she had found him somewhere to stay near her villa my cousin rachel is a very intelligent woman Ambrose wrote but thank God she doesn't talk too much her gardens are beautiful the weather is getting warmer and I'm spending a lot of time in them my cousin rachel is pleased to have an english friend and i'm giving her advice about business matters she has very little money because i have helped her my cousin rachel has helped me find many beautiful plants i will bring them home with me i was surprised by this letter Ambrose had never shown any interest in a woman before but I was glad that he was well and happy there were a few more letters but Ambrose did not say anything about returning to Cornwall then at the end of April I received the letter that changed my whole life dear boy I don't know how to begin to tell you my cousin Rachel and I were married two weeks ago I do not know why she has chosen me but we are very happy together I love her Philip and I am sure you will love her too she is kind and good tell our friends about my marriage Philip and remember it will never change my feelings for you write soon and send some words of welcome to your cousin Rachel I could not believe it I took the letter out in the gardens and walked slowly down to the sea i sat there and read the letter again I felt lonely angry and very unhappy I was already jealous of this woman my cousin Rachel I knew that my life would never be the same again I told all the neighbors about Ambrose's marriage but I did not speak to anyone about my feelings to my surprise all our neighbors were very happy at the news it's the best thing that could have happened when are they coming home people said but I did not know Ambrose had not written anything about when he would come back our nearest friends were Nick Kendall and his daughter Louise Nick Kendall was nearly 60 years old he was my godfather his wife was dead Louise was a little younger than me and people said she was pretty we had known each other all our lives and she was like a sister to me the Kendall's were the first people I told about Ambrose's marriage Nick Kendall was a lawyer when he heard the news he looked at me carefully he will have to start looking for a house Phillip he said at first did not understand what do you mean I asked in surprise well Ambrose and his wife will want to be together Nick Kendall told me they may have children I am sure Ambrose will buy you a house of your own and you may get married yourself there are many pretty girls in the district he went on talking but I did not hear what he said I had never thought I would have to leave my home I hated my cousin Rachel what was she like this woman who was completely changing my life was she pretty or plain old or young in the middle of May I received another letter from Ambrose he said that he and my cousin Rachel was staying in Italy for the summer I was so happy thank God this woman was not going to come to the house yet I began to enjoy life again the summer passed and winter came Ambrose did not return he continued to write to me but his letters changed I began to feel that he was not happy the summer and autumn were very hot in Italy that year Ambrose was having terrible headaches he had never had headaches before but he said nothing about coming home the second winter passed and then the spring Ambrose had been married for more than a year now many weeks passed and I did not receive a letter I began to worry at last a letter came in July but it made me more worried than before I got on my horse at once and rode over to Nick Kendall's house to show him the letter the writing was so bad that we could hardly read it Ambrose wrote to say that he had a terrible illness he wrote about his fear of Italian doctors and of a man called Rinaldi he also seemed to be afraid of his wife Rachel these are the words of a very sick man Nick Kendall said slowly a man whose mind is very disturbed you do not know this Philip but Ambrose's father died of a tumor of the brain in the last weeks of his life he was sometimes like a madman I hope that Ambrose then Kendall looked at me and said I think you had better go to Italy Philip you must find out what is happening I knew immediately that I had to go to Italy I did not look forward to the long journey in a strange country I could not speak French or Italian but I knew I had to go I went home and got ready to leave cecum our head servant was going to look after the house while I was away I did not tell him about Ambrose's illness I was in the carriage ready to leave when a last letter arrived from Ambrose it was very short and almost impossible to read for God's sake come quickly Ambrose had written Rachel my torment as one I am dying come quickly or it will be too late I began my journey with a terrible fear in my heart it was the 10th of July I knew I could not reach Ambrose until the middle of August you Chapter three the villa sangaletti I had a terrible journey the roads were noisy and dirty the weather got hotter every day by the time I reached Florence it was the 15th of August I found a room in a hotel and washed and changed my clothes when I went out again the streets were full of people it was about 4 o'clock in the afternoon and still very hard I stopped a carriage villa sangaletti I said to the driver he nodded and pointed up the hill the horse pulled the carriage slowly up a long twisting road at last the driver stopped in front of a gate in a high wall I made signs to him to wait there was a bell beside the gate and I pulled it hard I waited a few moments but no one came I rang the bell again I heard the sounds of a dog barking and a child crying it was very hot then I heard footsteps and the gate slowly opened a servant woman stood in the Gateway there was a long wide path behind her it led to the villa villa sangaletti signore Ashley I asked the woman tried to shut the gate but I pushed past her a man appeared and the woman shouted him in Italian I heard the words Ashley in glazy the man stared at me I speak a little English signora he said can I help you I have come here mr. Ashley I said ah mr. and mrs. Ashley at the villa the man looked worried are you signore Ashley's sons in your knee he asked no I said I'm his cousin tell me quickly is he at home you are from England signora the man asks slowly you have not heard the news signore Ashley he died three weeks ago very sudden after the funeral the Contessa his wife shut up the villa and went away we do not know if she will come back again I did not say anything there was nothing I could say signore the man said kindly I will open the villa for you you can see where signore Ashley died I was not interested in where I went or what I did the man began to walk up the path taking some keys from his pocket I followed the villa was very beautiful all the windows were closed and shuttered the man opened the big door he and the woman began to open the shutters the rooms were large and the air was dry and dusty the villa sangaletti is beautiful signore a very old said the man the senior Ashley this is where he sat this was his chair I looked at the chair I could not think of Ambrose in this house in this room I went to the window outside there was a little courtyard it was open to the sky but shaded from the Sun in the middle of the courtyard there was a fountain and a little pool a laburnum tree stood beside the pool its golden flowers had died and its small green seeds lay on the ground signor Ashley he sat here every day the man said he'd like to listen to the water falling he sat there under the tree in summer they always sat here senior Ashley and the Contessa they drank their tea sauna here after dinner day after day always the same it was very cool there in the courtyard and very very quiet I thought of how Ambrose had lived at home walking riding always cheerful and busy I will show you the room where signor Ashley died the man said quietly I followed him upstairs into the plain bare room I looked at the small hard bed where Ambrose had died he died suddenly the man told me he was very weak from the fever but sometimes he shouts like a madman then one morning the Contessa called for me he was lying very still it was the sleep of death he had a peaceful face the pain and the madness had all gone madness what do you mean I said the madness of the fever the man replied he suffered much pain sometimes I had to hold him down in his bed then came the fever and the madness I tell you Senora it was terrible to see I turned away why was nothing done I said why didn't mrs. Ashley let him die what was this illness how long did it last at the end it was very sudden like I told you said the man but he had been very ill all winter and he was sad all winter he was sad we walked through another and out on to a long terrace in front of us were the most beautiful gardens I had ever seen I think the man said slowly that the Contessa will not come back again too sad for her signore Rainaldi told us that perhaps the villa will be sold who is signore Rainaldi I asked quickly he arranges things for the Contessa the man replied money business everything I give you his address he speaks English very well he closed the shutters we walked down stairs again and stood by the big door what happened to his clothes I asked where are his books his papers the Contessa took everything with her and you don't know where she went I asked the man shook his head she has left Florence that is all I know signor Ashley was buried here in Florence signora then the Contessa left the woman suddenly spoke to her husband and opened a chest near the wall she came back carrying a big straw hat Ambrose's had the hat that he had sometimes worn at home in the Sun the woman gave it to me and I stood there with it in my hands take it with you signora the man said softly it is yours now you Chapter four I meet Rinaldi on my journey back to Florence I thought of only one thing I had to speak to signore Rainaldi he must know more about Ambrose's death the servant of the villa had given me signor rainaldi's address I found the house at last in a quiet dark Street signore Rainaldi was at home and a servant took me to his room Rinaldi looked surprised when he saw me he was a thin man about 40 years old with a proud hard face my name is Ashley Philip Ashley I said yes signore Rainaldi answered will you sit down you are Ambrose Ashley's cousin and his heir you look very like him I did not expect to see you here when did you arrive in Florence this afternoon I replied I have been to the villa sangaletti signor rainaldi's smiled then you have not seen your cousin Rachel he said she left Florence very suddenly your cousin's death was a great shock to her it was a shock to me too signore Rainaldi I said why wasn't I told about Ambrose's illness mrs. Ashley always hoped he would get well right now the answered she did not want to worry him but I had these letters I said that is why I came to Florence and I handed right now d the last two letters from Ambrose when he had read them signor Rainaldi said slowly yes the doctors warned mrs. Ashley of this what do you mean they told her that cousin had a tumor on his brain that is why he brought those letters first each tumor destroyed his brain and then it killed him I shook my head I could not believe it right now they held out a paper this is a copy of the death certificate he said I sent another copy of it to you in Cornwall and one to mr. Kendall as your guardian he had to be told about Ambrose's death mr. Kendal is my guardian I asked in surprise Ambrose never told me that it is in your cousin's will right now dee replied mr. Kendal will explain when you return home but what about these letters I cried Ambrose wrote them to warn me he was not sick but in great danger you know cousin Ambrose was sick in his mind right now the answered his sickness gave him strange ideas because mrs. Ashley was with him all the time he suspected her a sick man often thinks that his dearest friends are his enemies if I had been here Ambrose would be alive now I said right now they shook his head no he said that is not true no one could do anything for him I turned and moved towards the door when mrs. Ashley returns tell her I know about the letters I said your cousin Rachel left Florence very suddenly by now they said I do not think she will come back I walked out of the cold house and into the dark streets I did not believe right now this story Ambrose had died in great pain and unhappiness and my cousin Rachel had been the cause of his pain I was sure of that I promised myself that one day I would bring pain and unhappiness to my cousin Rachel I would punish this woman who had killed my dear Ambrose far away from his home and his friends you Chapter five an argument and an arrival I arrived home in the first week of September I had sent letters and the servants were already dressed in black my journey to Italy seemed like a dream I was glad to be home I was responsible now for the house and estate I had to look after them as Ambrose had done I wanted to do my work well my godfather Nik Kendall visited me as soon as I got back he brought his daughter Louise with him Nik Kendall had come to explain Ambrose's will to me the house and the estate will be yours when you are 25 Filip he told me but for the next seven months I am your guardian if you want money you must come to me of course I hope one day you will marry this place needs a woman Phillip I want a no woman I said Ambrose married and it killed him my cousin Rachel left Florence the day after the funeral I went on senior right now they told me she took all Ambrose's things with her like a thief you must not call your cousin's wife a thief Nik Kendall said if Ambrose had changed his will when he married everything would now belong to her I am surprised that your cousin rachel has not made a claim a claim I cried but she was the cause of Ambrose's death nonsense Philip said Nick Kendall Ambrose died of a brain tumor that is why he wrote those terrible letters I don't believe it I said you don't want to believe it my godfather replied angrily keep those ideas to yourself Philip if you don't there will be trouble I said nothing I did not see the candles again for nearly two weeks then Nick Kendall asked me to go and see him I found him in his study a letter in his hand well he said slowly I have news for you Phillip this is a letter from your cousin Rachel she has come to England with Ambrose's things she asks for nothing she only wants to see the house that Ambrose lived in she is in a strange country without a friend you ought to see her Philip I smiled of course I'll see my cousin Rachel I said in a hard cold voice I want to see her very much tell her that when you write to her tell her that Philip Ashley invites his cousin Rachel to his home Nick Kendall understood my feelings he had become very hard Philip he said I hope you will not say anything stupid when mrs. Ashley is here she was your cousin's wife you must remember that I went out into the garden and saw Louise walking there when I told her about my cousin Rachel's visit she was very surprised no woman has stayed in that house for 20 years Dewey said think out dusty and untidy it is it was good enough for Ambrose I said she won't think about the house when I begin to question her she'll cry and I'll be pleased but when I got home I changed my mind I wanted to show my cousin Rachel that I was a gentleman I wanted her to know that I was a man who looked after his property I spoke to the head servant cecum he agreed that the whole house must be cleaned before mrs. Ashley arrived we must make mrs. Ashley welcome cecum said shall I prepare mr. Ambrose his room for her certainly not I said I am moving into mr. Ashley's room get the blue room ready for mrs. Ashley on the day my cousin Rachel arrived the house looked completely different everything was clean and tidy cecum her got out all the silver and cleaned it Tamlyn the head gardener had filled every room with flowers I looked around the house and then walked up slowly to the Blue Room the dogs followed me the rooms for my cousin Rachel were clean the windows were wide open there was a portrait of Ambrose on one wall it had been painted when he was a young man he had looked very much like me I smiled at the portrait and felt a little happier my cousin Rachel was going to arrive sometime in the afternoon I decided that I did not want to be in the house when she arrived although the day was cold and windy I went out alone not to lunch I walked until I was tired I did not return until after six o'clock there was a fire in the library but the room was empty I pulled the bell and rank for cecum madam has come cecum said she is tired and having some food in her room she will be pleased to see you after dinner where is her luggage I asked cecum Madame has very little luggage of her own answered cecum it has been taken upstairs to a room all of mr. Ambrose's boxes have arrived with her we have put them in your room as she asked so I had my dinner alone and drank a glass of brandy then I went upstairs and knocked at the door of my cousin Rachel's sitting-room a quiet voice answered my knock you Chapter six tea with my cousin I went into the room everything was neat and tidy the candles had been lit but the curtains were still open the dogs were in front of the fire a woman was sitting with her back to the door good evening I said she turned at once got up and walked towards me now at last I was face to face with my cousin Rachel she was a small woman dressed completely in black her dark hair was very neat as she looked at me her large dark eyes opened wide in surprise I hope you are rested I said awkwardly Thank You Philip yes she sat down by the fire and the old dog dawn laid his head on her knee Don is your dog isn't he she said is it true that he is almost 15 yes I said Ambrose gave him to me on my tenth birthday I know she answered softly then my cousin Rachel stood up and moved towards the window I want to thank you Philip for letting me come she said it can't have been easy for you it had started to rain she closed the curtains and we both sat down I felt so strange driving up to the house my cousin Rachel said Ambrose told me so much about it I was longing to be home here she hesitated on the last word I knew she had nearly said home I hope you'll be comfortable here I said there are no women servants in the house to look after you that doesn't matter I don't need anyone to look after me I have only two dresses and some strong shoes for walking she smiled and I smiled back then I suddenly felt angry why was I smiling at this woman who would cause my dear Ambrose's death at that moment cecum came into the room two years served Madame cecum said putting down the large silver tray on the tray was a large silver teapot that I had never seen before what about breakfast Madame Seaton went on mr. Philip has his at 8 o'clock I would like mine in my room my cousin Rachel answered would that be too much trouble certainly not madam come dogs downstairs good night Madame good night sir my cousin Rachel poured me some tea cecum had never served tea after dinner before but I said nothing if you want to smoke your pipe you can Philip my cousin Rachel said I stared at her I did not expect to smoke in a lady's room I had wanted to say a few hard words and then leave now here I was drinking tea and smoking my pipe but how could I be angry with this small neat woman or hate her the next thing I heard was a quiet voice saying you're nearly asleep Philip hadn't you better go to bed you walked a long way today didn't you I opened my eyes and moved my long legs was my cousin Rachel laughing at me did she know why I had stayed away from the house all afternoon I got up slowly and looked down at her wait a minute Philip my cousin Rachel said I have a present for you she went into her and came out with a stick Ambrose his walking stick it was the one he had always used I took it awkwardly now go she said please go quickly you remind me so much of Ambrose I stood outside the door for a moment holding the stick in my hands had this woman really killed Ambrose I had seen the look of deep unhappiness on her face already my ideas about her were changing you Chapter seven a strange conversation the following day was Saturday I paid the men their wages as Ambrose had always done but Tamland the head gardener was not there I was told that he was in the garden somewhere with the mistress I found them putting new plants into the ground I've been here since half-past ten my cousin Rachel said with a smile these are some of the plants Ambrose and I found in Italy I had to put them into the ground quickly Tamlyn has been helping me and I've learned a lot of things this morning mr. Filip Tamlyn said mrs. Ashley knows far more about these plants than I do after lunch I took my cousin Rachel around the estate she sat on a quiet horse and I walked beside her she wore a black dress and a black shawl around her head she looked very proud and very Italian not like an English woman at all to my surprise my cousin Rachel knew the name of every field and farm on the estate as I walked by her side we began to talk about the gardens of my cousin Rachel's villa when I was married to my first husband she said I was not happy so I spent my time planning the gardens of the villa sangaletti I would like you to see them Philip I looked up in surprise didn't my cousin Rachel know that I'd been to Florence and seen the villa I thought my godfather had told her in his letter I began to speak but the horse moved on and it was too late I was very quiet on the way home after dinner we sat down together by the library fire my cousin Rachel was sewing I smoked my pipe and watched her hands moving quickly they were small white hands and she wore two ring on her fingers something is the matter Philip she said at last what is worrying you did my godfather tell you I had been away no I didn't hear of Ambrose's death from signor rainaldi's letter I said slowly I found out about it in Florence from your servants my cousin Rachel gave me a long strange look you went to Florence she said when for how long I was in Florence for only one night the night of the 15th of August I said the sewing fell from my cousin Rachel's hands but I left Florence only the day before why didn't you tell me this last night I thought you knew I answered awkwardly I want you to tell me why you went to Italy Philip my cousin Rachel said I put my hand in my pocket and felt the letters there I had not heard from Ambrose for a long time I said as the week's went by I grew worried then in July a letter came a very strange letter I showed it to Nik Kendall he agreed that I should go to Florence at once as I was leaving there was another letter I have them both in my pocket do you want to see them not yet tell me what you did in Florence I went to the villa sangaletti when I asked for Ambrose the servants told me he was dead you had gone away they showed me the room where Ambrose had died and gave me his hat it was the only thing he would left behind my cousin Rachel sat very still go on she said quietly I went back to Florence to signore Rainaldi he told me about Ambrose's illness he did not know where you were I left for England the following day there was silence and then my cousin Rachel said may I see the letters now she read them over and over again at last she handed them back then my cousin Rachel looked deep into my eyes how you must have hated me Philip she said at that moment I felt that my cousin Rachel knew everything she knew everything I had been thinking about her all these months yes I have hated you I said slowly then why did you ask me here to accuse you of breaking his heart perhaps a kind of murder I wanted to make you suffer to watch you suffer you have your wish she said her face was very white and her dark eyes were full of tears I stood up and looked away I had never seen a woman cried before cousin Rachel go upstairs I said but she did not move I took the letter from her hands and threw them in the fire I can forget I said if you will to look the letters have burnt away we can both remember what Ambrose wrote my cousin Rachel replied but it's better if I say nothing more I cannot explain let me stay until Monday then I will go away then you can either forget me or go on hating me at least we were happy today Philip but I do not hate you now I said I hated someone I had never met even before those letters came I hated Ambrose's wife because I was jealous Ambrose is the only per and I have ever loved you took him away from me and I was jealous of you love can do strange things to people I know that my cousin Rachel answered love did strange things to Ambrose too he was 43 when we met and he fell in love he was like someone who had been asleep all his life his love was too strong it was too strong for me and too strong for him it changed him Philip what do you mean I asked something in me made Ambrose change she replied sometimes I made him happy sometimes I made him sad then he became ill you were right to hate me Philip if Ambrose hadn't met me he would be alive today she looked at me and smiled sadly perhaps I was jealous of you too Philip she said he was always talking about you sometimes I grew very tired of hearing your name she stopped talking and picked up her sewing if you wish we can talk again tomorrow my cousin Rachel said then on Monday I shall leave Nick kendall has invited me to stay in his house but I don't want you to go I said there are so many things to do together as I look down at her her eyes seemed to see through me and understand all my thoughts like me a candle she said I must go to bed then she stood above me on the stairs looking down at me you don't hate me anymore she asked No and are you still jealous of me or is that forgotten to my cousin Rachel laughed I was never jealous of Hugh she said I was jealous of a spoiled boy whom I had never met suddenly she bent down and kissed me your first kiss Philip she said I hope you like it I watched her she walked up the stairs away from me you chapter eight two letters on Sundays Ambrose and I had always gone to church this Sunday my cousin Rachel agreed to go with me our neighbors were able to see her for the first time and the church was full I heard people saying that my cousin Rachel was beautiful this surprised me very much as usual the Kendall's and the vicar and his family came to dinner I had never enjoyed these visits but to my surprise the afternoon was a great success the time passed quickly how I wished Ambrose had been with us everyone enjoyed themselves except I think Louise she said very little and did not smile once when our guests left at 6 o'clock my cousin Rachel and I went back into the library well Philip my cousin Rachel asked me have you enjoyed yourself yes but I don't know why I answered everyone seemed more interesting than usual when you marry Louise it would always be like that my cousin Rachel said with a smile a man needs a wife when he is entertaining I stared at her Mary Louise I repeated in surprise I'm not going to marry Louise or anyone aren't you my cousin Rachel replied your Godfather thinks you are and Louise does too she will make you a good wife when I am gone you will need a woman here but you are not going cousin Rachel I told her what is wrong with this house and with me nothing tomorrow you must begin visiting I went on then our neighbors will visit you you will have many things to do here I don't think I like that idea said my cousin Rachel standing up it would be better if I gave your neighbor's Italian lessons I am a poor widow and she'll need money soon I laughed then he must marry or sell your rings I knew at once that I had been very rude it was true that my cousin Rachel had nothing she could not live without money I called the dog and went out into the garden I felt very stupid and I stayed away from the house until it was dark as I was walking I had an idea some money must be given to my cousin Rachel but I would not tell her that it was my idea when I turned back to the house I saw that the windows of Rachel's bedroom were open why are you walking in the dark Philip a soft voice asked are you worried about anything why yes I answered I'm afraid you must find me very rude and stupid nonsense Philip go to bed something fell at my feet it was a flower the window was closed quietly that week more plants and small trees arrived from Italy on Thursday morning I rode over to Pelin my Godfather's house my cousin Rachel was in the garden with Tamlyn she told me that she and the gardeners would be busy until the afternoon I wasted no time and I was in my godfather study by 10 o'clock my cousin Rachel must have some money I said she is talking about giving Italian lessons that is impossible Nik Kendall looked pleased I'm glad you want to help mrs. Ashley he said the bank can pay some money to her every quarter how much do you suggest when I told my godfather looked surprised that maybe too much Philip he said slowly Ambrose would have wanted me to be generous I said write me a letter for her and write a letter to the bank you are as impulsive as Ambrose Nick kendall said but he wrote the letters I will take the letter to the bank I said but I don't want cousin Rachel to know that I have arranged this will you send a servant to my house with a letter for her dick Kendall agreed as I was leaving I saw Louise I can't stop I said at once I have come on business Louise looked at me coldly and how is mrs. Ashley she asked well and happy I answered she is very busy in the garden today I'm surprised that you are not helping her Louise said I'm sure mrs. Ashley can make you do exactly what she wants Louise made me feel very angry and I left the house without another word I rode to the bank and gave them the letter I didn't get home until nearly four o'clock I did not see my cousin Rachel I rang the bell for cecum he told me that mrs. Ashley had worked in the gardens until three o'clock then she had asked for water for a bath I decided to take a bath too and I asked for an early dinner later I went to my cousin Rachel's sitting-room I was feeling very happy she was sitting on a stool by the fire she had washed her hair and she was drying it come and sit down she said why are you staring at me have you never seen a woman brushing her hair before wait here while I go and change my dress for dinner my cousin Rachel was in her bedroom when cecum came in with a letter from my godfather I stood up feeling awkward there was no sound from the bedroom as my cousin Rachel read the letter then suddenly she came out of the room she looked very angry you made mr. Kendall write this letter she said did you think I was asking you for money I am angry and ashamed ashamed I repeated I would be ashamed if mrs. Ambrose Ashley had to give Italian lessons what would people think of Ambrose the money is yours take it I was angry now we stood staring at each other then my cousin Rachel's eyes filled with tears she turned went quickly into her bedroom and shut the door loudly that night I dinner alone is that how women behaved did he always cry when they were angry thank God I had no wife poor Ambrose no wonder he had been unhappy I knew I would never marry now after dinner I read and then fell asleep in my chair when I woke up it was time to go upstairs to my room on the table by my bed was a note from my cousin Rachel dear Philip please forgive me for my rudeness I have written to mr. Kendall thanking him for his letter I thank you to Rachel the door to her sitting-room was open I walked straight through and knocked on the bedroom door the room was in darkness but I could see my cousin Rachel in bed I want to thank you for your note and say goodnight I said I'm sorry I made you angry I didn't want you to cry I cried because of what you said about Ambrose she said I will take the money Philip but after this week I must go but I thought you liked it here I said you seemed so happy working in the garden you have a home here if Ambrose had made another will this would have been your home Oh God she cried why do you think I came I looked down at her she looked very young very alone I don't know why you came I said but I know Ambrose would have wished you to stay perhaps to plan the gardens very well I'll stay for a time she said then you aren't angry with me anymore I was never angry with you Philip but you are sometimes very stupid come closer as I bent down she took my face between her hands and kissed me now go to bed like a good boy and sleep well she said I moved to the door like a man in a dream when I was back in my room I wrote a short note to Nik Kendall I told him that my cousin Rachel would take the money then I walked down to the hall to put my letter in the post bag in the morning cecum would arrange for the letters to be delivered there were two letters in the bag both had been written by my cousin Rachel one was addressed to my godfather Nick Kendall the other was addressed to signor Rainaldi in Florence I stared at it before putting it back in the bag why had my cousin Rachel written to signor Rainaldi what did she have to tell him you chapter 9 we open Ambrose's boxes now it was October but the weather was fine and my cousin Rachel was able to work in the garden we also had time to visit the tenants on the estate they all loved my cousin Rachel when they were ill she gave them medicines made from herbs sometimes in the afternoons our neighbors came to the house sometimes my cousin Rachel went to visit them I enjoyed listening to her at dinner my cousin Rachel told me about the people she had seen during the day she always made me laugh but at the end of the month the weather changed rain fell every day there was no gardening and no visiting one morning my cousin Rachel and I was standing at the library window outside the rain was falling heavily then cecum reminded us about Ambrose's boxes they were still in my room and had never been emptied we began to open the boxes the first box we opened was full of Ambrose's clothes suddenly my cousin Rachel was crying then she was in my arms her head against my chest Oh Philip I'm so sorry she said but we both loved him so much I moved my lips against her hair don't worry Rachel I said I'll do this it was the first time I had called her by her name she stopped crying and we continued to unpack the boxes we decided to give Ambrose his clothes to the tenants on the estate then we began to look at the books as I opened a book on gardening a piece of paper fell out it looked like part of a letter written by Ambrose she cannot stop spending money I read it is like an illness if this goes on my dear Philips she will spend everything you must tell Kendall in case what have you there my cousin Rachel said suddenly that his Ambrose is writing it's nothing I said and threw the piece of paper on the fire we continued our work in silence that same morning some boxes had arrived for my cousin Rachel from London new dresses perhaps I remember the words in Ambrose's letter it is like an illness she will spend everything after dinner when we went to the library as usual the most beautiful blue and gold cloth lay over the chairs do you like it Philip my cousin Rachel asked it's Italian it will make beautiful curtains for your room isn't it very expensive I asked well yes but that isn't important if you like it take it as a present from me I thought unhappily about the letter but I could say nothing as we sat by the fire my cousin Rachel began talking about her life in Italy she spoke of the time before she had met Ambrose I was listening with the greatest interest when she suddenly said what was on that paper you threw in the fire Philipp it was from a letter I said Ambrose was worried about money I can't remember exactly the worried look went from Rachel's eyes was that all she said poor Ambrose he did not understand life in Italy he thought I spent too much money he was very generous until he became ill then he changed so much how did he change I asked when I wanted money for the house he became very angry in the end I had to ask Rinaldi for money to pay the servants when Ambrose doubt he refused to have Renaldi in the house it was a terrible time I did not want to tell you about it Filip Ambrose was so ill he trusted no one you wouldn't have known him that is all over now I said don't make yourself unhappy you cannot bring Ambrose back this is your home now my cousin Rachel looked into my eyes you are so like him she said sometimes I am afraid you must not change too I took her hands in mine I will never change I said and we must remember Ambrose as he used to be this house belongs to all three of us now you are very good to me Philip my cousin Rachel said as she moved to the door I hope that one day you will be as happy as I was with Ambrose at the beginning she went to bed and I sat alone by the library fire my terrible jealousy had returned but now I was jealous of Ambrose I was jealous because of the love that my cousin Rachel had given him you chapter 10 a Christmas present in the past I had always disliked the winter but with my cousin Rachel in the house things were very different when I was with my cousin Rachel I was happy when she was away from the house I was bored life was dull and uninteresting until she returned like everyone else I now thought that my cousin Rachel was beautiful whenever she came into a room she made it a happier more interesting place in the evenings we sat together in her small sitting room we drank tea Zhanna as she and Ambrose had done in Florence the evenings were the best times but when I went to my room I could not sleep any day perhaps my cousin Rachel would decide to go to London if she left me I would feel terribly alone when Ambrose had been at home he had always given dinner to the tenants on Christmas Eve this year I decided to do the same my cousin Rachel was very pleased at once she began to make preparations packages arrived from London presents perhaps she began to plan the Christmas meal one thing worried me what could I give my cousin Rachel for a present I thought about it for a long time at at last I had an idea I remembered the jewels that belonged to my family they were kept in the bank for safety in three months time on my birthday they would be mine but I did not want to wait that long and I remembered that Nick Kendall had gone to London I went to the bank that day and asked the manager to show me the Ashleigh jewels they were very beautiful blue green and red but my cousin Rachel always wore black she could not wear colored jewels with morning clothes then I saw the colour of pearls how beautiful the white pearls will look on my cousin Rachel's neck your mother was the last woman to wear this collar the manager said all the brides of the Ashley family wear it on their wedding day I put out my hand and took the collar I will take this with me I said the manager looked worried their pearls are not yours until the 1st of April he said I don't think mr. Kendall would like you to take them away I'll speak to mr. Kendall I said I put the collar in its box and stood up I knew the pearls with a right present for my cousin Rachel I felt very excited then at last it was Christmas Eve cecum had brought a tree into the house and had decorated it as usual dinner was to start at 5:00 after dinner everybody would have a present this year my cousin Rachel was going to give out the presents with me before I dressed for dinner I sent the collar of pearls to her room with it was a note my mother was the last woman to wear this now it belongs to you I want you to wear it tonight and always Philip when I was ready I went downstairs and waited for my cousin Rachel she came in slowly her dress was black but it was one I had not seen before the color of pearls was round her neck I had never seen her look so happy or so beautiful she put her arms around me and then she kissed me she kissed me not as a cousin but as a lover this is what Ambrose died for I thought and for this I would happily die too she gave me her hand and we walked into dinner at first I thought this was going to be the happiest evening of my life I remember the food the noise and the excitement my cousin Rachel had bought everyone a small present carefully chosen mine was a gold chain for my keys with our initials PA RA hanging from it our plates and glasses were filled emptied and filled again then we gave everyone a present from the tree when dinner was over I spoke to my godfather Nick Kendall for the first time that evening good evening sir and happy Christmas I said Nick Kendall looked angry and he said nothing he was staring at the color of pearls around my cousin's neck then at last the tenants had all left Louise and my cousin Rachel went upstairs and I found myself alone with my godfather I have some bad news from the bank he said the manager tells me that mrs. Ashley is already several hundred pounds overdrawn I don't understand it she must be sending money back to Italy she is very generous I said and there were debts in Florence I think you must give mrs. Ashley more money Nick Kendall looked unhappy there is something else Philip he said you should not have taken that collar of pearls it is not yours it will be mine in three months time I said quickly my cousin Rachel will take good care of it I am not so sure Nick Kendall said I have been hearing stories about mrs. Ashley and her first husband they were both well-known for their bad lives they spent money carelessly that can't be true I cried true or not my godfather replied I'm afraid that collar must go back to the bank but I gave it to my cousin Rachel as a present she has a right to wear the collar only if Ambrose had lived Nick Kendall said that collar of pearls is worn by the Ashley brides no one else if you do not ask mrs. Ashley to give it back I will then suddenly my cousin Rachel and Louise were in the room you are quite right mr. Kendall my cousin Rachel said I was very proud to wear the collar and now I shall give it back and she took off the collar and gave it to my godfather thank you mrs. Ashley he said and now Newey's and I must go we wish you both a happy Christmas when they had gone my cousin Rachel held out her arms I went up to her I'm so sorry I said everything has gone wrong my mother wore those pearls on her wedding day that is why I wanted you to have them don't you understand of course I do Philip dear she said if Ambrose and I had been married here he would have given them to me on my wedding day I said nothing my cousin Rachel had not understood I was thinking of another wedding day a wedding day in the future you Chapter eleven Renaldi again the new year began and my birthday on the 1st of April was three months away how I wanted to have control of my own money I was tired of Nick Kendall being my guardian however I could spend money on the house I decided to make it beautiful for Rachel there were many repairs to be done from January I had nearly 20 men working for me the bills for the work were sent to my godfather Rachel and I had many plans for the gardens to work had started on a sunken water garden we had found the design for the water garden in one of Rachel's books because there were so many workmen in the house we could not have visitors my cousin Rachel and I stayed quietly at home and I was very happy I love to watch Rachel move about the house I love to hear her voice when her hands touched me my heart beat faster the first days of spring came and the Sun shone then something happened which took all my happiness away again I had kept one of Ambrose's old coats to wear myself one day as I was walking in the woods I felt something in a pocket it was another letter from Ambrose I was pleased that I was alone I walked on until I reached the highest place on the estate Ambrose had always loved to sit there I sat down and held the letter in my hands I did not want to open it I was afraid that Ambrose had written something bad about Rachel we were so happy together now that I wanted to forget the past but at last I opened the letter it has been written three months before his death but he had never posted it my cousin Rachel Ambrose wrote had been expecting a child but it had died the doctors told her that she could never have another child at first Rachel was quiet and unhappy then she began to spend money carelessly Ambro suspected that Rinaldi was in love with her for these reasons Ambrose had not signed his new will in which he left everything to Rachel Ambrose also wrote about his terrible headaches he told me about the fever which had first made him violent then it made him very weak Ambrose was very unhappy and he had written you are the only person who can help me Philip our Rachel and right now they trying to poison me for my money I must know I hid the terrible letter under a large stone and walked slowly back to the house I could not forget Ambrose his words but I decided that Rachel must never know about the letter in three weeks time the estate and all the money would be mine but this was not right Ambrose had made a new will but he had not signed it because of his illness his money belonged to Rachel she must have it that night I asked Rachel about Ambrose's will she showed me a copy of it which I read carefully everything had been left to Rachel then if she had died without children everything was to be mine why did Ambrose not sign this will I asked tell me Rachel I don't know she answered quietly perhaps when he knew we could not have children his feelings changed perhaps it was only a mistake but when the headaches started Ambrose suspected me of terrible things I can't speak about that time please leave me alone Philip I can't answer any more questions I have reasons for my questions I said you will understand in three weeks time by the following morning I had made up my mind I rode into the town and with the help of a lawyer wrote out a document in three weeks time all my property would be given to mrs. Rachel Ashley the jewels would belong to her too but she would not be able to sell the house or the land I have one question the lawyer said mrs. Ashley is quite a young woman what will happen to the property if she marries again I thought for a moment the house and the estate must always belong to the Ashley's if she marries I said or if she dies the property becomes mine again that must be made clear I told the lawyer that the document must be kept secret he promised to send me a copy on the last day of March I felt very happy as I wrote home my dear Rachel would never leave me now we would live in perfect happiness forever when I reached the house I heard a voices in the library the door opened and Rachel came out laughing happily come and see my visitor Philip she cried he's come a long way to see us both the man stood up and held out his hand it was Rinaldi we stood there looking at each other then right now they began talking about his journey Rachel suggested that he should stay in the house for a few days I could say nothing during dinner Rachel and Rinaldi talked about people and places I knew nothing about often they spoke in Italian and I could not understand a word at last Rachel stood up and said you must excuse us Philip Rinaldi and I have some business to discuss he has brought papers I must sign they went upstairs and I walked alone in the gardens I felt cold and unhappy I stayed outside until the light went out in Rinaldi's room I had just reached my own room when there was a quiet knock on my door I came to wish you goodnight my cousin Rachel said why didn't you come and drink tisana with us Philip you must make Rinaldi welcome he is a very old friend of mine right now they stayed with us for seven days as he laughed and talked with Rachel I began to hate him when it was time for rye now D to leave he took my cousin Rachel's hand and kissed it right and tell me your plans he said I shall be in London for some time I'm making no plans until after the first of April Rachel replied with a laugh right now they smiled I hope Philip enjoys his birthday he said the first of April is all fools day isn't it but perhaps Philip doesn't want to remember that when right now they had gone Rachel smiled at me you have been a very good Philip she said are you glad we are alone again you chapter 12 all fools day at my birthday came nearer I became more and more excited Rachel laughed at me you are like a child she said what plans are you making for the day but I had made no plans all I wanted was that Rachel should know about the document and one more thing Rachel should have all the family jewels I went to the bank myself I brought them back to the house and hid them in my room on the last day of March I rode over to Nick Kendall first I handed him a copy of Ambrose's will my godfather looked at it carefully I don't understand why Ambrose didn't sign it he said but we have done all we can for mrs. Ashley I don't agree I said I want to make everything right and I handed him a copy of the document the lawyer had prepared read this I said and remember that my cousin Rachel knows nothing about it I wish signore Rainaldi had seen this Nick kendall said slowly he told me how careless mrs. Ashley is with money this document of yours gives her great power over the property I have to ask you one question Philip are you in love with mrs. Ashley my face went red I am only doing what Ambrose wanted I said perhaps nick kendall answered but people are talking mrs. Ashley should leave get married again she might marry you if you asked her I'm sure she would not I said Nick kendall watched me sadly as I signed my name on the document there are some women who brings sadness to all those who love them he said they cannot help it I think mrs. Ashley is one of those women the Sun was setting as I wrote home I bathed changed my clothes and went into the dining room Rachel wanted to know where I had been but I laughed and told her nothing after dinner I was too excited to sit still I walked down to the sea there was a moon and the night was warm I took off my clothes and for a few minutes I swam in the ice-cold water when I got back to the house it was five minutes to twelve I could not wait any longer I stood under Rachel's window and called her name when she looked out I said I have something for you Rachel then I ran to my room for the jewels I want you to have these now I said listen the clock is striking 12:00 and it is the first of April I am 25 and I can do what I like I put the document on her table and began to open the boxes of jewels Rachel's eyes opened wide in surprise and suddenly we were laughing together I put the pearl collar around her neck as I looked at her I remembered the other Ashley women who had worn it you have given me so much Rachel said at last I have only a small present for you what else can I give you tell me there is one thing I said I looked into her dark eyes they shone very brightly in the candle light she laughed softly and blew out the candle we were alone in the darkness I did not leave her room until sunrise happiness had come to me at last Rachel accepted me and my love she was the first woman I ever loved and she was the last I remember walking alone in the garden as the birds began to sing raged and I would be always together now day after day night after night for all our lives I went back to my room and slept after breakfast I went into the garden again I picked the most beautiful flowers I could find Rachel was in bed eating her breakfast I threw the flowers on the bed in front of her good morning again I said I have come to say one thing I love you Rachel looked up at me without smiling you should not come into my room so early she said the servants will talk I smiled but said nothing I went downstairs I wanted to tell the servants that Rachel and I were going to be married then I decided that we would tell them together later I walked in the gardens until it was time for Rachel to leave her room the day was fine and I decided we should go out riding but when I got back to the house Rachel had already left I waited for a long time but she did not return at last I walked along the road hoping to meet her when I saw the carriage I stopped it I got in and sat down beside Rachel she was wearing a veil and I could not see her face where have you been I asked her to see your Godfather you cannot change anything I told her I am 25 everything I have is yours yes I understand that now Rachel said but I wanted to be sure her voice was quiet I did not think she was smiling let me look at your face I said she lifted her veil there was no love in her eyes now I think Louise was a little more friendly today Rachel said she will make you a good wife we made plans to meet in London together I looked at her in surprise it was unkind of her to make jokes about Louise and why was Rachel talking about London we have made no plans to go there come into the woods Rachel I whispered I want to kiss you so much she did not answer but took something out of her bag here is your present she said and she gave me a small gold pin for my tie if I had known about the money I would have bought something larger as I dressed for dinner I could think of only one thing money is the one way to please her the one way to please her when we sat down together for my birthday dinner rachel was wearing the pearl collar we both drank wine and I started to feel happier time would soon pass when the morning time was over Rachel would be my wife while we were sitting at the table the Kendal's came into the room when they had wished me a happy birthday I stood up my glass in my hand from this morning I have been the happiest of men I said I want you to be the first to know rachel has promised to be my wife I smiled at them all but Rachel's face was hard and cold have you gone mad Philip she said she looked at the candles you must forgive him he has drunk too much wine I'm sure he will apologize Rachel got up and the others followed her out of the room I stood without moving until I heard them leave the house when Rachel came back we stared at each other without speaking then Rachel said you had better good – Philip before you say any more foolish things foolish I repeated but last night surely you love me Rachel last night you proved that you love me it was a promise of marriage no Philip I had no thought of marriage I was thanking you for the jewels that was all there was no love I looked at her hard cold face I began to understand what Ambrose have suffered she had everything what else could I do suddenly I wanted a frightened her to show her my strength I put my hands around her neck and I looked into her eyes will you marry me now I whispered her dark eyes were full of fear but she did not speak I loosened my fingers there were red marks on her white skin Rachel turned and went upstairs I followed her but she was too quick for me she closed her door and locked it as I stood there I saw myself in a mirror on the wall there I stood tall awkward white faced but wasn't myself or Ambrose standing there as I lay in bed I heard the clock strike midnight all fools day was over you chapter 13 Louise and laburnum trees when I went down to breakfast in the morning there was a note for me on the table it was not from Rachel but from Louise dear Philip I was sorry for you last night if you want a friend to talk to please let me know Louise at first I did not want to see Louise but I had not slept all night and I was very unhappy Louise knew me well I sent her a note asking her to meet me in the church that morning I had been worried about you for a long time Louise told me she has deceived you from the beginning I made a mistake I said but mrs. Ashley did not do his replied she came here to get the money she stayed until she got it that is all I don't believe you I cried she came on impulse she stayed because she was happy here no she had a plan Louise replied she has been sending money back to Italy all the winter she waited until you were 25 but then you made her a present of everything you made things easy for her I know you don't like Rachel I said that is why you are saying these things but I have asked her to marry me and I shall go on asking her but she will never marry you Louise said with a sad smile when you gave mrs. Ashley the document she went straight to my father she asked him if everything now belonged to her my father told her that that was true but he warned her that if she married again she would lose the money she told him she had no plans to marry again but if she marries me she will lose nothing I said she would not be able to go back to Italy or send money there Louise said quietly she looked me and said I will go now Philip I have upset you deeply I'm very sorry as I wrote home the rain began to fall heavily when I got back I was cold and wet there was a note from Rachel in my room I have asked married Pascoe to stay here with me after last night I cannot be alone with you again marry Pascoe the vicar's daughter marry Pascoe was a large plain girl Rachel and I had often laughed about her I could not believe it but it was true this was the punishment for my one moment of anger whenever I was with Rachel Mary Pascoe was there too oh god what had I done by dinnertime I was feeling very ill I went upstairs to my room I got into bed and the sheets felt very cold I hoped that Rachel would come to me but she did not in the morning I tried to dress but I was too weak my neck was stiff and there was a terrible pain in my head when I called for cecum he took one look at me and hurried out of the room then my cousin Rachel was there her face very white I will not hurt you Rachel I said please send Mary pass go home don't talk now lie still Rachel answered then the room was dark the doctor came I was hot then cold I called for Rachel and she held my hand I am with you she said I closed my eyes when I awoke the room was full of light and warmth how long had I be in asleep Rachel was sitting near my bed I put my hand to my face I have grown a beard I said I began to laugh at once Rachael was holding a glass to my lips she made me drink the bitter liquid have you sent Mary pass go away I asked Rachel looked surprised she went away five weeks ago she answered you have been so ill that you nearly died the doctors could not help you your strength and my medicines saved you I lay there with her hand in mine I could not speak five weeks had passed and I could remember nothing only that Rachel and I had been married on the day before my birthday we had kept our marriage a secret but in two months time Rachel would be out of mourning and we would be able to tell everyone I was very weak for a long time but the weather was good and I was soon able to go into the garden the workmen had been busy for many months they had dug out the ground to make the sunken water garden it was very deep but it was not yet finished yellow flowers hang on the laburnum trees that Rachel had planted I remembered the laburnum tree at the villa sangaletti and the green poisonous seeds lying under it that evening as Rachel and I were drinking our teas Anna I said I heard something strange today the cecum told me you were going back to Florence I thought you had sold the villa no I have enough money to keep it now I shall probably stay there for the winter perhaps you could visit me in the spring visit you I repeated but a husband should be with his wife always Rachel sat very still your wife oh god Philip she whispered what do you mean we are not married but we are I said I remember clearly but as I spoke the pain returned my head I suddenly knew that our marriage was a dream why didn't you let me die I cried I cannot live here alone I cannot I looked at her face give me a few weeks only a few weeks I said she did not reply you chapter 14 what is the truth the summer came but Rachel did not speak of leaving I became stronger but sometimes the terrible pain in my head came back and I could not think clearly but I told Rachel nothing about it then Rachel began to drive into the town two or three times a week when I asked her about these visits she told me that she had a lot of business to do one day when Rachel was busy at home I rode into the town alone it was Saturday and the streets were full of people as I walked slowly through the town a man came out of an inn he stood in the doorway for a moment looking up and down the street it was Rinaldi that evening as Rachel was going up to her room after dinner I stopped her how long has right now D been in the town I asked why is he here because he is my friend Rachel answered I know you hate him and do not want him here Ambrose was jealous of him are you – yes I said I hate Rinaldi because he is in love with you send him away certainly not she said I need him I will have him here if I wish the house is mine in my anger I took a step towards her don't touch me she cried that is how Ambrose behaved I can't suffer it again I turned away if you want to see Rinaldi ask him here I said don't go secretly into the town to meet him and so right now came to stay in the house he behaved politely but I could not bear to see them together they always spoke in Italian and she looked at him all the time food seemed to have no taste now the tisana I drank with him any evenings tasted bitter then the fever returned again I was sick and too weak to stand I had to stay in bed for a few days when I was better again Rachel told me that right now they had gone back to Italy when are you going there I asked Rachel did not reply a day or two later a letter arrived for Rachel in Rinaldi's handwriting as I drank tea Zhanna with Rachel that evening I saw the letter on her desk was it a love letter I had to know that night when Rachel was in bed I crept into her sitting-room and searched the desk the letter was not there but in one small drawer I found an envelope inside it were some small green seeds they will a Burnham seeds poisonous to animals and to men I put back the envelope and returned to my room there were two bottles of medicine on the table I poured the medicines out of the window then I went downstairs the cups from which we had drunk our teas Anna had not been washed did the liquid in my cup have a bitter taste I could not be sure I went to bed and lay there thinking I was not angry but I was very unhappy I remembered Ambrose's words are they trying to poison me Rachel has won I am dying the following day was Sunday Rachel and I went to church as usual as she sat beside me her face was calm and happy I wished I could hate her but I could not after church Rachel went to speak to Mary Pascoe a workman came out to me and said excuse me mister Ashley but I wanted to warn you don't walk on the new bridge over the sunken garden that is not finished yet anyone walking on it would fall and break their neck thank you I said I will remember at dinner Rachel was kinder than she had been for a long time she talked about Florence she said she would look for a stone statue there to make a fountain for the sunken garden she made tisana as usual that I refused to drink it I would never again drink anything she gave me but it is good for you Philip she said no I said you drink it I have drunk mine already Rachel said I will pour this away we talked together for half an hour or so and then Rachel said I think I shall walk for a little I want to look at the sunken garden will you come with me Philip I shook my head take care Rachel I said a fraud she answered with a smile there is no danger here Philip I sat by the window until it was almost dark Rachel had not returned at last I ran out of the house and down to the sunken garden the bridge was broken my cousin Rachel lay on the ground below I climbed down and held her hands in mine they were cold Rachel I said she opened her eyes and I thought she knew me but she called me Ambrose I held her hands until she died you know now who killed Rachel but how did Ambrose die did Rachel kill him I shall go on asking myself that question until the day I die I live alone I'm a young man but I think only of the past the two people I loved are dead I have an empty life in front of me that is my punishment and it is worse than death you

20 thoughts on “Learn English Through Story | My Cousin Rachel Pre Intermediate Level”

  1. Do you enjoy the audiobook?
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  2. Oh… por Philip. Rachel wasn't a good woman. It maked me fell very bad, but recognize it's an excellent and sad story. THANKS a lot! 🍀

  3. Now i understand why we say the love is blend. Thank you for sharing this outstanding audiobook, i enjoy it a lot. Keep doing it.

  4. Interesting and sad story! True love should be trusted, poor Phillip , he has loved a bad woman who loved just the money.

  5. I apreciate every things about this audiobook; level, scream, deeply voice and of course the storie. Thanks a lot… Well done !

  6. Thanks for upload the best video for ever I really appreciate your effort.so greatfull most respect from pakistan

  7. What an idiot is this Philipp,but I was happy that she couldn't kill him.I would say in Italian— che sronza sta donna e la sta bene morire cosi'

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