Page images
PDF
EPUB

lowed a narrow track which done. Perhaps Marie oan exsoon led us to a gate in the plain.” boundary wall. Not far ahead, “No, no,” I said hurriedly. across a field, I saw a light “She must not be worried toshining from the window of a night. You must get her to farmhouse. Towards this my bed as quickly as you can ; guide carried his burden, and but first, perhaps, you soon after we had the injured direct me to Hopeton, for I woman lying apon a couch in have lost my way.” a comfortable room, and I was "Hopeton !” The young busily at work dressing her man started baok, a wild look wound,

of anger in his eyes. “Do you I had hardly finished when come from there? Are you a she opened her eyes and looked spy then, after all ?” vacantly round until she en- I shook my head, wondering countered the gaze of the at his sudden excitement. youth, who was watching her “I have never been to Hopeeagerly.

ton in my life," I answered “Roy,” she murmured faintly, quietly. "I have lost my way and closed her eyes again. through trying to take a

“Marie, my darling! Thank short out from Kilbrennan.' God you are alive!”

He looked at me intently, He was on his knees by her but evidently reading the truth side, holding her pale faoe be- of my words in my faoe, he tween his hands.

calmed down once more. “Let her rest," I intervened “ I will guide you to Hopewith professional bluntness. ton,” he said, after a moment's “She will do better if left thought. “First let me get undisturbed."

my wife safely to bed and then He rose obediently at my I shall be ready." word.

I examined my patient once “Now,”I continued. “What more, and found her conscious is the meaning of all this? but weak. Her husband carried Did your gun go off by ao- her off to an upper room, oident?”

leaving me alone to await his The young man shook his return. head.

I had now time to observe "I had no gun," he said, my surroundings, and was surlooking me straight in the prised to find the furnishing face. “I was not there. I and doooration

of the room heard & shot in the wood - vastly superior to what one cry of pain from my wife- would expect in the sittingand I rushed to her assistance. room of a small farm-house. I was here in the farm. When There were many evidences of I found her she lay at the foot taste and of education apon of the sairn. I thought she the walls, and in the books and was dead. That is all-except musio whioh lay apon a sidethat whoever you are

-I table. thank you for what you have I had time also to search my

[ocr errors]

memory for something that ing this inside her dress ?” he had so far escaped me, Of asked with surprise. whom did this young man

I nodded in reply. remind me? There was some- “Strange!” he murmured. thing distinctly familiar about “I can make nothing of it. I his face, though I could swear have nover seen it before." I had never seen him before. “Your wife is not goottish ?”

I was still puzzling over this I hazarded, resemblance when my atten- “No, Belgian," he replied tion was distracted by a shortly, as though he resented crumpled and blood - stained my ouriosity. paper which lay on the floor “Ah! Then I have it! The near the couch. I remembered paper is in Flemish," I exthen that in dressing my Olaimed. patient's wound I had found "Perhaps you are right,” he this paper concealed in the answered coldly, “but it is no bosom of her dress.

business of ours. I shall reI picked it from the floor turn the paper to my wife toand straightened it out. The morrow. Are you ready to go, paper was yellow with age and or oan I offer you any refreshworn and frayed where it had ment?” been folded. In wiping away I thanked him, but deolined. the blood with which it was I was already very late, and as stained, the name Tanish my luggage had probably arcaught my eye, and I found rived at Hopeton, they would myself looking at the context no doubt be wondering what before I realised that my aotion had become of me. was dishonourable.

We set out at a good round I did not learn much from pace. My guide deolined to my spying, however, . The converse, answering my tentawriting was not English, nor tive remarks with monosylany other language that I lables, and being obviously knew anything of. It bore anxious to be rid of me. most resemblance to German, After quarter of an hour's and I surmised that it was tramp I recognised that I was written probably in one of the baok at the fox-cover where Scandinavian tongues with the path had forked. It was which I was unfamiliar. The obviously here that I had gono hand was oramped and antique, astray. My companion led and I guessed that it must be me down the other

other fork, one or two centuries old. through the fox-cover, and

I was standing with this when we were through the document in my hand when wood we crossed a stile which my host returned. I apolo- brought us out on a proper gised for my prying, and ex. road. plained it as best I could. He “This is the highway from took the paper and examined Kilbrennan," explained my it closely.

guide. “ You are now almost “You say my wife was wear

at your destination."

He led me a little way along The moon phone full in the road and then stopped. his face, and he smiled at

“Here is the oarriage-drive me as he preferred his reto Hopoton,” he said, pointing quest. In a moment I know to an opening in the hedge. of whom I had been re“It is about quarter of a mile minded. long. I need not take you I hesitated to grant his wish, farther, as you cannot make but it is diffioult to refuse when a mistake."

one has not a ready reason, “Thank you. Will you tell 80 finally I gave a qualified me your name?" I asked. “I consent. shall return to dress

your

wife's “ Provided I bear nothing wound, but I am sure I can that makes this affair appear never find my way unless I more serious than it does at have your name as a guide. present, I shall say nothing,”

“You are very kind,” ro- I agreed. plied the young man.

“But "Thank you-good-night!” it is unnecessary, or if it should And turning on his heel he left be necessary there is

is the

me before I had time to say all village dootor-he is my friend. that I meant. I should like ... to ask" There was nothing for it but he stammered and hesitated, to make the best of my way to “though I have no right to Hopeton. '

Hopeton. As I strode up the do so—that you say nothing long dark avenue I murmured of your experience of to-night to myselfto-at Hopeton. You see, I A pair of speotacles, and

I am a-. tenant, and it that is the face of Jabez might do me harm."

Morgan.'

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"

CHAPTER VIII.

It was dark in the drive, for standing at the door, for I it was fringed with oak and heard the rattle of harness and ohestnut trees through which the pawing of a horse on the the light of the moon did not gravel, and saw the light of penetrate. In little more than what I guessed to be a oarriage five minutes I saw ahead of me lamp. the lights of Hopeton, and At the same moment I heard breathed a sigh of relief to the door open and the voice of think that I had

had at last my new employer raised in reached my destination, and anger. I could see him by the that

my troubles were over light from the hall, holding for the day.

open the door so that some one In this assumption I was pre- might pass out. mature, as will be seen.

"And mind this, Forbes,” he As I approached the front of was saying as I came within the house I became aware that hearing, “I'm showing you & vebiole of some kind was the back of the door for the last time. The boy will have and I felt that I had timed my his own dootor from now on, arrival most unfortunately. I and we'll see what's the matter thought it wiser to stop where with him at last."

I was, hoping that the doctor As he spoke, another figure would drive off immediately. appearod upon the broad stone But Tanish would not let him step. It was that of a burly go. His rage must first have man, rather

under medium vent. height, with a ruddy healthy “By God, Forbes," he belface and open honest

ex- lowed, "you are & cunning pression. He might have been rogue - eunning enough at somewhere in the fifties, but least to find an

excuse for as he was clean-shaven and your own incompetence. So apright he looked younger. I am responsible for the boy's In one hand he held a stout illnesses, am I? Why, damn stiok, and in the other an old- you, man, it's the filthy drugs fashioned high felt hat. As you pour into his guts that he came out of the house he ruin his health. But that is pansed on the step, and turned what you're after! I know to reply to Tanish. Though you, and the whole tribe of obviously an educated man, your smug, canting, rule-o'he used the Scottish idiom thumb country doctors. You freely, speaking in a quiet can blunder through a confinedignified manner very different ment, or you can tell whoopingfrom the harsh uncontrolled cough from measles, but for anger of the other.

all the good you do to either “Weel, Laird, you kon your of them, folk might as well ain affairs best. But as for call in the vet. It's fees you'ro the bairn, if you dinna ken after. So long as you can run his complaint, it's no' for want up your bill by the ell, God o'telling. The pair laddie was help the poor patient.” getting on fine while you were The dootor listened gravely awa', but you're no' twa weeks to this violent abuse. back before he breaks doon Aweel, Laird," he said again. And why? Beoause quietly when the other halted of the de'il's temper that for breath, "hard words maisters you. He's a sensitive break nae banes." Then look. bairn, an' when you roar and ing back into the hall, he bellow at him as if he were & cried, “Come

“Come awa', Betty. dag or & stoat, he oanna eat It's time we were hame.” nor sleep, let alane haud big “Yes, and let it be the last sin end ap when he's in your time you cross this threshold,” company. You may get doon Tanish began onoe more. “Ay, the whole College o' Physee- and your daughter too. cians, but you'll no' get a truer have spying into the diagnosis."

[ocr errors]

וניI

no

methods of the new dootor I could see, even in the dim under cover of visiting Marilight of the doorway, that gold. Marigold needs Tanish was fuming with rage, friend whose father is VOL. CCVII.--NO. MCCLI.

c

no an

inoompetent, drag - muddling statement with grave profegoharlatan.”

sional dignity, but I felt by “Gaid kens, Laird Tanish, the look he gave me that he it's nae pleasure tae visit the appreciated my motive. Big Hoose these days, but "Thank you, Dr Seaton," he there's sich a thing as medical replied. “Drap in the morn etiquette, and I maun hand aboot three or fower, and you ower the cage daoently and in shall ha'e my opeenion o' the orrder. Sae ye'll ha'e tae bear bairn and his ailments. Come wi' me for yin mair veesit, alang, Betty. The mare's Laird."

wearied waiting on us." “Hand over the

case be

I now saw Betty Forbes for damned !” retorted Tanish. the first time. She had been “The case is out of your hands standing with Marigold TanDow. Seaton is due here at ish in the great hall, while the any moment, and he wants two men were quarrelling in none of your grandmotherly the doorway. She oame foradvice."

ward now to join her father, Bat this I could not listen and as she passed Tanish she to in silence. I would not stopped and looked at him, be less correot, professionally with a fire of anger in her speaking, than the manly old big red-brown eyes. In the village dootor. I felt that it dim light of the lamps I could was time to disolose myself, not tell her beauty, but I 80 I walked forward into the saw that she was tall and light.

straight and well-formed. Here he is ! The “I have heard all you had very man!” explained Tanish got to say to my father, exultingly, drawing me for. Laird,” she said, and her rich ward and shaking me warmly voice trembled with the anger by the hand. “You can take that she held in control. “He leave of the oase now, Forbes. is too big a man to answer There will be no excuse for you in the same ohildish way. another visit and another six- Why, bless you, when you let and-eightpence in the bill.” loose your petty spite on him

“I am afraid, Mr Tanish,” you are like a vioious our I said firmly, “that I must barking at the tail of an have a consultation with Dr automobile for all the effect Forbes before I take over your you have-good-night.” son's oase. If you will permit She turned to go, and in me, sir," I continued, turning passing gave a long seerehing to the doctor, “I shall oall upon look at me, 88 if she were you to-morrow at a convenient attempting in a glance to sum hour. You will then be spared up not only my appearance, the trouble of coming here, but my whole character and and we shall be able to go history. into the details of the oase at “Come along, Daddy," she our eage.”

said, and the affectionate tone Dr Forbes received this of her voice must have com

" Ab!

« PreviousContinue »