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"Not to-night, thanks." Then the boyish voice was raised in respectful apology: "So sorry, sir, but we couldn't help it. Mrs. Coventry will explain."
Truly there was little to see, beyond cabbages and gooseberry bushes, and the cherished potato patch, in the kitchen garden; the box borders had grown high and thick, and sadly needed trimming. There was an empty greenhouse, frequented by toads, and in one corner stood a shaky summer-house, suggestive of earwigs and spiders, dust and cobwebs.
“I served my Lord Sir John, now I serve his son.” He took a step nearer to us and lowered his voice. “You are a wise one, they say, learned in dealing with evil spirits. Let the young master depart from here. There is evil in the air around us.”
“You understand Delia” ses she, “we’ve no complaint to make aboot you. You’re a good cook and excellent in ivery way—but Claire—Claire isn’t very well and we must humour the child. The fack is Delia, the very site of you seems to recall a sartin unplissant person to her mimmry.”
At his words of entreaty the girl turned her face toward him and smiled—but not as a maiden would smile at her lover, but as a mother would gaze upon a beloved but willful son.
"I know, I know," he soothed with tenderness, and waited, stroking her hair until she grew calmer. "Well? How did it happen? Don't tell me unless you like; it won't make any difference."
1.But Mrs. Van Tromp relieved him of the embarrassment of proceeding further. She held out her hand to Marian with a brilliant smile. "How am I to apologize?" she said. "I didn't comprehend. How rude you must have thought me! Of course Lady Marian could not be expected to understand our methods."
2.I went forth from the Palace with my head in a whirl; for, though I was satisfied with the part I had played towards Creach, there was my promise to the Colonel, and, despite every effort I might make, my visits did not appear to me so defensible as before. I tried to argue to myself that I had not been forbidden; but, somehow, that did not seem sufficient, and I was the more uncomfortable when I called to mind the Colonel's dislike of the company I had been in the habit of keeping.>
Yet what could he do with the woman? Conceivably he could carry her; but could he also carry her suit? He did not dare take her without it. It would be no kindness to plunge her into another atmosphere of poison, and watch her die because he had taken her from her only hope of safety. Yet the suit weighed at least fifty pounds. His own was slightly more; the girl, say, a hundred and thirty. It added up to more mass than he could handle, at least for more than a few dozen yards.
When I reached the saddling enclosure I did not at once discover him; an unpleasant sight met my eyes instead. Bolton Byrne, livid and withered—his face like an old woman’s, I thought—rode across the empty field, angrily lashing his poney’s flanks. He slipped to the ground, and as he did so, struck the shivering animal a last blow clean across the head. An unpleasant sight—
If he only could know that Trixie was well, had met with no harm. For the twentieth time he went down the drive to the gate, and stood surveying the road that stretched white between the shadows of the trees to the right and to the left. Away in the distance jackals were howling, and over the plain in front of the house there floated the regular beat of a tom-tom. The immediate