“But,” Jack said, as they waited for the lawyer’s coming on the noon train from Richmond, “we can spare a couple of days here, and still make the steamer we hope to sail on for the other side. And it would be too bad if we missed seeing how dear Cousin Randolph takes his Waterloo.”
Mr. Smedley arrived, and was astounded to see Jack. He showed that his sympathies were on the side of the Parmly family by his delight when shaking hands again and again.
Then the thrilling story was once more told, after he had been bound to secrecy. It would be hard to describe the emotions of the old lawyer as he sat and listened to what a great feat Jack and his two comrades had carried through.
After that all arrangements were made, and the lawyer decided to stay to see the thing through. It was the most astonishing event in all his life, he assured the company, and not for a fortune would he miss the scene that must accompany the coming of Randolph Carringford.
Mr. Smedley also sent a long telegram to that friend of Colin Beverly’s who lived on Staten Island. Later that same day a reply was received promising to carry out faithfully the instructions given, if he had to sit up all night keeping watch on all vessels arriving, though if port rules were rigorously carried out no steamer would be allowed to enter or leave except by daylight.
“But we know that isn’t the case,” Tom said, “because those troop ships have left New York under cover of darkness many a time. Still, the ships may have waited down the bay until morning, and then sailed.”
That day passed, and the following night. Early on the morning of the third day after Jack’s arrival home came a telegram to Mr. Smedley.
“Now for news!” cried Jack, as it was opened.
The message was brief and to the point, affording them all the intelligence they required.
“La Bretagne at Quarantine eleven to-night; expected to dock in two hours!”
TO SEE THE WAR THROUGH—CONCLUSION
It was just at two that afternoon, and the train from Richmond had arrived ten minutes previously. Those within had seen a station hack deposit some one at the Parmly gate.
Mrs. Parmly herself answered the summons, the colored servants having been given an unexpected but welcome holiday when they appeared for work that same morning, in order to keep them from making discoveries.
“Good afternoon, Aunt,” said the smooth-tongued visitor, starting to enter without waiting for an invitation. “I learned after getting to Richmond this morning that Mr. Smedley had come out to visit you; an occurrence which makes it convenient for me.”
When he entered the sitting-room he found only Jack’s aunt and the lawyer there, Jack and Tom and Lieutenant Beverly being in an adjoining room, but with the connecting door ajar, so they could catch every word spoken and enjoy the dramatic situation to the utmost, being ready to step in when the crisis arrived.