“In de kitchen, massa.”
“Must I go alone, massa?”
“That’s a fact.—There, Moore, you go with the boy—don’t be a minute.”
Barney followed the sable marauder through the grounds to the rear of the trellis, and crept with him through a window which stood open. The kitchen was dark, but the negro seemed perfectly familiar with the place. He made directly for a dark panel in the northern wall, opened a cupboard-door, knelt down and began to grope among bottles, boxes, and what not that housewives gather in such receptacles.
“Oh, de lor’! dey ain’t no rope! It’s done gone!” “Have you a match?” Barney asked.
“No, massa, but dey is some yondah.”
The boy crept cautiously in the direction of the passage leading into the house; he fumbled about, an age, as it seemed to the impatient Barney, and at last uttered an exclamation:
“No, massa, but Ise suah deys kep dar.”
“Take my hand and lead me.”
“It’s molasses, massa, and Ise all stickem,” the voice in the dark whispered, delightedly, and Barney could see a double row of glistening white ivory in the dim light that came through the window. He came nearer the clumsy wight, and saw that it was a pan of batter the cook had left on the table, probably the morning griddle-cakes. The negro was a mass of white, pasty glue, and knelt on the floor, licking his hands passively.
“Where are the matches?”
“Under de clock, in a tin safe, massa—right da.”
Barney groped angrily about the table, on the clock-shelf, knocking down a tin dish, that fell with the clatter of a bursting magazine in the dense stillness of the night. Both drew back in shadow, waiting with heart-beats that sounded in their ears like tramping horses on thick sward. The clamor of rushing steeds in the lane suddenly drowned this; a loud, joyous whinny sounded in the very kitchen it seemed, and there was a rush houseward past the pantry as of a troop of cavalry. Then a blood-curdling outcry of voices, then shots. Barney, leaving the negro writhing in convulsions under the table, darted to the window—to the rendezvous. It was deserted.
“HE EITHER FEARS HIS FATE TOO MUCH.”
When Vincent visited the stables on the morning of that eagerly-looked-for Thursday, he found three of the horses clammy with perspiration and giving every sign of having been ridden! The awkward and evasive answers of the stablemen would not have been enough for any other than a man preoccupied by love. When Rosa went to the kitchen, if her head had not been taken up with the love in her heart, she must certainly have remarked that the stores of food prepared for the household were curiously diminished and the kitchen girls unwontedly reserved. Indeed, in any other condition than that in which the family