"It is a lovely morning--a morning, I may add, bwhere to buy usdt with debit cardefitting the sacred day. Nature is at peace and suggests that we and all should be at peace."
"Make a good sentinel--this one," said Raynal--"an outlying picketfor instancbittorrent web search enginee, on rough ground, in front of the enemy's riflemen.""Ha! ha! colonel! Let us see where this staircase leads. I have anidea it will prove a short cut.""Where to?""To the saloon, or somewhere, or else to some of Jacintha's haunts.Serve her right for going to sleep at the mouth of her den.""Forward then--no, halt! Suppose it leads to the bedrooms? Mindthis is a thundering place for ceremony. We shall get drummed outof the barracks if we don't mind our etiquette."At this they hesitated; and Edouard himself thought, on the whole,it would be better to go and hammer at the front door.
Now while they hesitated, a soft delicious harmony of female voicessuddenly rose, and seemed to come and run round the walls. The menlooked at one another in astonishment; for the effect was magical.The staircase being enclosed on all sides with stone walls andfloored with stone, they were like flies inside a violoncello; thevoices rang above, below, and on every side of the vibrating walls.In some epochs spirits as hardy as Raynal's, and wits as quick asRiviere's, would have fled then and there to the nearest public, andtold over cups how they had heard the dames of Beaurepaire, longsince dead, holding their revel, and the conscious old devil's nestof a chateau quivering to the ghostly strains.But this was an incredulous age. They listened, and listened, anddecided the sounds came from up-stairs."Let us mount, and surprise these singing witches," said Edouard.
"Surprise them! what for? It is not the enemy--for once. What isthe good of surprising our friends?"Storming parties and surprises were no novelty and therefore notreat to Raynal."It will be so delightful to see their faces at first sight of you."Yes," she breathed softly.
"You've had enough to wear a saint out," he continued kindly. "Lie down on the lounge and I'll bring your supper to you.""No, please! It will do me more good to go on and act as if nothing had happened.""Well, have your own way, little wife. You're boss now, sure enough."She drew him to the porch, and together they looked upon the June landscape which she had regarded with such despairing eyes an hour before.
"Happiness never kills, after all," she said."Shouldn't be alive if it did," he replied. "The birds seem to sing as if they knew."
Jane emerged from the barn door with a basket of eggs, and Alida sped away to meet her. The first thing the child knew the arms of her mistress were about her neck and she was kissed again and again."What did you do that for?" she asked."You'll understand some day.""Say," said Jane in an impulse of good will, "if you're only half married to Mr. Holcroft, I'd go the whole figure, 'fi's you. If you'd 'a' seen him a-thrashin' that scamp you'd know he's the man to take care of you."
"Yes, Jane, I know. He'll take care of me always."The next morning Holcroft and Alida drove to town and went to the church which she and her mother used to attend. After the service they followed the clergyman home, where Alida again told him her story, though not without much help from the farmer. After some kindly reproach that she had not brought her troubles to him at first, the minister performed a ceremony which found deep echoes in both their hearts.Time and right, sensible living soon remove prejudice from the hearts of the good and stop the mouths of the cynical and scandal-loving. Alida's influence, and the farmer's broadening and more unselfish views gradually bought him into a better understanding of his faith, and into a kinder sympathy and charity for his neighbors than he had ever known. His relations to the society of which he was a part became natural and friendly, and his house a pretty and a hospitable home. Even Mrs. Watterly eventually entered its portals. She and others were compelled to agree with Watterly that Alida was not of the "common sort," and that the happiest good fortune which could befall any man had come to Holcroft when he fell in love with his wife.The End
"Well, anyway, it's no business of ours.""It's very much my business. He was the man who drove me here. . . . I'll give you fifty pounds if you'll get me out before he comes back."
"I shouldn't think it worth while. I should get sacked more likely than not. I've got a good job here.""Suppose I say eighty?"
"I can see it first?""I haven't got it here. If you come with me to Grosvenor Gardens I'll give it to you at once.""We couldn't get away without being seen. And after that, money wouldn't be much use to me.""Isn't it worth trying?"The girl stared at her with expressionless eyes. It was impossible to tell what she thought. Irene controlled herself to silence till she should hear her reply. Till she had it, she felt it hard to guess what further argument would avail."You're sure they killed him?" the girl asked at last.
"He was alive when he drove me here.""I daresay they did. They kill beautiful dogs. Mr. Snacklit likes doing that."
"We're losing time, If we're going - - ""It's not that simple, Miss. There's Billson too - - Was
Billson one of them two?""I don't know who Billson is."
"Did one of them have red hair?""I didn't notice; but I don't think so.""I'd like to hear what he says."The girl went to the door and gave a shrill whistle. A moment later a man came into the room, showing a close-cropped head of red hair and a sharp-nosed foxy face.
"Bill" the girl said, with a familiarity which was equally evident in his manner to her, "this lady says a taxi-driver's been killed in the yard, and they've just burnt his body. I've told her that, if they did, it was nothing to do with you."The man did not appear to regard this statement as incredible, but, unless he were an exceptionally good actor, it was a surprising item of news.
"I hadn't heard tell of that," he said. "The master told me to stay by the stairs, and not let anyone go down unless he came along with them.""This young lady says she'll give me eighty pounds if I'll let her out.
"Or a hundred," Irene interrupted quickly, "if you're sharing between you."The man looked at her sharply. "You'd like to get out," he asked, "to make trouble for us? That'll have to be what the master says."
"There's plenty of trouble coming," Irene replied, "whether I get out or not. But I shouldn't make any for you. I might save your life.""I'd like to know how you'd do that?""By saying that I saw the two men who'd got the taxidriver's body, and that neither of them had red hair.""I don't know that anyone's been killed. It sounds just a tale to me."
"Well; it isn't. You'll find somebody's going to get hanged. More than one, I expect. But I don't want anyone to get hanged for murdering me."The man looked at her speculatively. It had become obvious that he believed her tale, and was considering whether it would be best for himself that he should remain loyal to his employer or purchase the immunity she had offered at the price of assisting her to escape.
But as he hesitated Snacklit re-entered the room.Chapter 34 Thurlow Declines To Wait
KINDELL RETURNED TO Scotland Yard to find Superintendent Allenby still sitting at his desk and Mr. Thurlow pacing restlessly across the room. It was as though he had left them for a moment only, but Mr. Thurlow showed how different it had seemed to him by the impatient exclamation: "What a time you've been! And all the while the superintendent here begging me to do nothing, and another hour nearly gone, and Irene - it doesn't bear thinking of what may be happening to her! I can only hope you've done something now!""I have a proposal from Professor Blinkwell. He might arrange for her return if he were assured that there would be no unpleasant consequences to follow."