Theirs was a marvellous love. Even a course of deceit had not yetprevailed to separate or chill their sister bosoms. Buhow to buy usdt at lowest pricet still inthis deep and wonderful love there were degrees: one went a shadedeeper than the other now--ay, since last night. Which? why, shewho had sacrificed herself for the other, and dared not tell her,lest the sacrifice should be refused.
she consented to that directly; what else could you expect?""Maladroit! indeed," said Camille, "but I would not have said it,only I thought"--"You thought noo kishu cointhing would induce her to marry secretly, so you saidto yourself, 'I will assume a virtue: I will do a bit of cheap self-denial: decline to the sound of trumpets what another will be sureto deny me if I don't--ha! ha!'--well, for your comfort, I am by nomeans so sure she might not have been brought to do ANYTHING foryou, except openly defy mamma: but now of course"--And here this young lady's sentence ended: for the sisters, unlikein most things, were one in grammar.Camille was so disconcerted and sad at what he had done, that Rosebegan to pity him: so she rallied him a little longer in spite ofher pity: and then all of a sudden gave him her hand, and said shewould try and repair the mischief.
He began to smother her hand with kisses."Oh!" said she, "I don't deserve all that: I have a motive of myown; let me alone, child, do. Your unlucky speech will be quoted tome a dozen times. Never mind."Rose went and bribed Josephine to consent."Come, mamma shall not know, and as for you, you shall scarcely movein the matter; only do not oppose me very violently, and all will bewell.""Ah, Rose!" said Josephine; "it is delightful--terrible, I mean--tohave a little creature about one that reads one like this. Whatshall I do? What shall I do?""Why, do the best you can under all the circumstances. His wound ishealed, you know; he must go back to the army; you have bothsuffered to the limits of mortal endurance. Is he to go awayunhappy, in any doubt of your affection? and you to remain behindwith the misery of self-reproach added to the desolation ofabsence?--think.""It is cruel. But to deceive my mother!""Do not say deceive our mother; that is such a shocking phrase."Rose then reminded Josephine that their confessor had told them awise reticence was not the same thing as a moral deceit. Shereminded her, too, how often they had acted on his advice and alwayswith good effect; how many anxieties and worries they had savedtheir mother by reticence. Josephine assented warmly to this.Was there not some reason to think they had saved their mother'svery life by these reticences? Josephine assented. "And,Josephine, you are of age; you are your own mistress; you have aright to marry whom you please: and, sooner or later, you willcertainly marry Camille. I doubt whether even our mother couldprevail on you to refuse him altogether. So it is but a question oftime, and of giving our mother pain, or sparing her pain. Dearmamma is old; she is prejudiced. Why shock her prejudices? Shecould not be brought to understand the case: these things neverhappened in her day. Everything seems to have gone by rule then.Let us do nothing to worry her for the short time she has to live.
Let us take a course between pain to her and cruelty to you andCamille."These arguments went far to convince Josephine: for her own heartsupported them. She went from her solid objections to untenableones--a great point gained. She urged the difficulty, theimpossibility of a secret marriage.Camille burst in here: he undertook at once to overcome theseimaginary difficulties. "They could be married at a distance.""You will find no priest who will consent to do such a wicked thingas marry us without my mother's knowledge," objected Josephine."It was just a bit of a game," the man said sullenly. "And what about what she'd done before? Bashed Mr. Snacklit's head with a poker before I got her away."
But as he spoke the handcuffs were on his wrists, and Mr. Thurlow was putting away a gun which had done its part. As he did so, the voice of Professor Blinkwell gave some confirmation to the allegation that Burfoot had made. "It is certainly true that Mr. Snacklit has been rather badly hurt, but, from admissions which he made to me a few moments ago, I should say he brought it upon himself, and Miss Thurlow did no more than was justified by the detention to which she was subjected."The reception of this statement, and the general consciousness of his entrance which it brought, was certainly without warmth, but the Professor showed no consciousness of that. The sergeant said only, "I'd better see Mr. Snacklit. Where is he now?""I left him," Professor Blinkwell answered, "in the lounge upstairs. He was resting on a couch there, his face being badly injured. From what he told me, I felt that Miss Thurlow might be requiring assistance. I found this man" - he looked at Wilkes standing somewhat in the rear, as he said this - "in the back premises, and he guided me here."With the same absence of comment, the sergeant said, "You'd better show me where Snacklit is."
The Professor showed no unwillingness to oblige, but when they reached the lounge, it will be readily believed that Mr. Snacklit was not there.Chapter 40 Professor Blinkwell Was Pleased
MR. LAMBTON RECEIVED Superintendent Allenby's report before leaving the House, and it went far to relieve his mind. The American Ambassador had returned to Grosvenor Square with a daughter who had been no more than superficially damaged, and without having involved himself in any further homicidal episodes. International amity seemed unlikely to be disturbed.So far, good. But there were other aspects of the matter such as might still lead the most cautious Secretary to make one of those blunders which cause the Home Office to be regarded as the most perilous stage of a climbing politician's career.Allenby ended his report by saying: "Snacklit made himself scarce, knocked about though he certainly was, as soon as our men entered the building. It's difficult to guess how it was done, as we had every exit watched. It looks as though he'd got a getaway planned beforehand, and when he knew we were there he saw that the game was up. Anyway, it was pleading guilty in a loud voice, and he shouldn't take long to catch. Not with his face marked as it is."Mr. Lambton said he supposed not. What arrests had actually been made?
"Only the man Burfoot. It'll be a long stretch, if not the gallows, for him. We've brought another man named Wilkes in for questioning, but we haven't gone further than that. There are one or two others who won't leave Snacklit House without our having something to say. But I told Sergeant Duckworth to go slow till we'd thought it out.""Quite right. What about Blinkwell?""We've done nothing so far. We've not got much to go on. And I didn't know what you would wish. . . . Of course, there are those extradition papers on the way. We can't ignore them.""No. They can't be ignored. But there's no need to do more tonight. I'll see Sir Henry in the morning, and talk it over with him."
Mr. Lambton, his mind greatly relieved, though not unaware of further problems ahead, went home for a short night's sleep.But Allenby had still instructions to give, such as would keep some of his best men busy through the night, and then, before leaving for his own neglected bed, he gave orders that Professor Blinkwell should be rung up at an early hour, with a request to call during the morning at Scotland Yard, "not before ten-thirty, or say ten-forty-five, We ought to know where we are by then." By that time he would have Sir Henry's instructions. He would have spoken to the S?ret? again. It was possible that the extradition papers would be on his desk. . . .
Professor Blinkwell was punctual. It was exactly ten-fortyfour when he stepped out of his car, and he was shown up to Superintendent Allenby's room without delay."It was good of you," he said as he entered, "to ring me up. But I should, in any case, have given you a call this morning. It appeared to me that you ought to know just what I saw and heard at Snacklit's House, though I am not sure that it will be of material assistance to your investigations. But that is for you to decide.".
"Yes.""You will like to have what I say taken down?""Sergeant Temple is doing that."Professor Blinkwell looked at the officer seated at the further end of the room as though he had not observed him before. "It is a good method," he said. "It saves both repetitions and doubt.""Yes. . . . You know Snacklit?""It is a matter of how you use the word. He consulted me some time ago regarding the composition of a gas which he is accustomed to use. At that time he struck me as a humane man."
"When was that?""The date may be of importance? It is hard to see how. But in that case I should prefer to consult my diary before I reply."
"Approximately?""If you please, I prefer accuracy. I will consult my diary and let you know."
"You might help us materially if you would say what drew your suspicions in his direction?"For the first time, the Professor showed signs of embarrassment. "I was afraid," he said, "that you would ask that. It was through a private matter, which I should prefer not to explain."
"I am afraid I must press it."He still hesitated. Kindell, he said at last, is an attractive young man.""Yes. What of that?""And I have a niece who is still young. . . . Miss Thurlow is younger."
"No doubt she is. But I fail to see - - ""Mr. Kindell had engagements he did not, and perhaps could not, explain. You understand that better than I. Curiosity was aroused."
"You are explaining nothing at all.""Perhaps jealousy would be a more adequate word."
"Perhaps it might. But I still fail to see - - ""Is it necessary that you should? What I desired to convey was that curiosity - or jealousy - being aroused, things were noticed - perhaps I should say discovered, which would otherwise - I think I must have made myself sufficiently clear."
"No. I can't say that you have. What I asked was what had first caused you to suspect Snacklit.""I am afraid that I must decline to be more specific. I may already have said too much. And it is not, in fact, an explanation that could help you at all. What I thought I ought to tell you is what occurred when I reached Snacklit House, a short while before Mr. Thurlow intervened, perhaps more effectually than I should have been able to do.""You don't mind our questioning Miss Blinkwell?""About what I have said? It would be a gaucherie which I should regret. But it would not be within my power to prevent If you would imply that it might disclose some indiscretion of mine - which is absurd - no, I should not object at all."
"Very well. . . . Then we will come to what happened at Snacklit House.""I saw Mr. Snacklit in the lounge on the first floor. The girl whom I afterwards heard called Kate, showed me up, or, at least would have announced me, but I followed her without waiting for that.
"I found him on the couch, his face very badly cut and discoloured, and my first question was naturally to enquire how he had come to be in such a condition. He said something about a hellcat, or some such word, and I replied that Miss Thurlow would certainly not have committed such an act unless the provocation had been extreme. It was a shot in the dark, but it went home."He looked frightened, and, I thought, conscious for the first time of the indiscretion of what he had said before. He said something about not knowing what I meant, and I became seriously alarmed as I considered the kind of scene which must have occurred, and how he could have disposed of her subsequently.
"I told him that I was enquiring for Miss Thurlow, and that, in view of his condition, and what he had said about it already, it was useless to profess ignorance."I said that I had no wish to create any disturbance and, in view of the punishment he had received, nothing more might be said about the matter, if he would allow me to take her quietly away.