The Abandoned Room eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 307 pages of information about The Abandoned Room.

He hadn’t dreamed that his weariness could placate even momentarily such reflections, but at last he slept again.  He was aroused by the tramping of men around the house, and strange, harsh voices.  He raised himself on his elbow and glanced from the window.  It had long been daylight.  Two burly fellows in overalls, carrying pick and spade across their shoulders, pushed through the underbrush at the edge of the clearing.  He turned.  Graham, fully dressed, stood at the side of the bed.

“Those men?” Bobby asked wearily.

“The grave diggers,” Graham answered.  “They are going to work in the old cemetery to prepare a place for Silas Blackburn with his fathers.  That’s why I’ve come to wake you up.  The minister’s telephoned Katherine.  He will be here before noon.  Do you know it’s after ten o’clock?”

For some time Bobby stared through the window at the desolate, ragged landscape.  It was abnormally cold even for the late fall.  Dull clouds obscured the sun and furnished an illusion of crowding earthward.

“A funereal day.”

The words slipped into his mind.  He repeated them.

“When your grandfather’s buried,” Graham answered softly, “we’ll all feel happier.”

“Why?” Bobby asked.  “It won’t lessen the fact of his murder.”

“Time,” Graham said, “lessens such facts—­even for the police.”

Bobby glanced at him, flushing.

“You mean you’ve decided to stand by me after what happened last night?”

Graham smiled.

“I’ve thought it all over.  I slept like a top last night.  I heard nothing.  I saw nothing.”

“Ought I to want you to stand by me?” Bobby said.  “Oughtn’t I to make a clean breast of it?  At least I must do something about Paredes.”

Graham frowned.

“It’s hard to believe he had any connection with your sleep-walking last night, yet it’s as clear as ever that Maria and he are up to some game in which you figure.”

“He shouldn’t be in jail,” Bobby persisted.

“Get up,” Graham advised.  “Bathe, and have some breakfast, then we can decide.  There’s no use talking of the other thing.  I’ve forgotten it.  As far as possible you must.”

Bobby sprang upright.

“How can I forget it?  If it was hard to face sleep before, what do you think it is now?  Have I any right—­”

“Don’t,” Graham said.  “I’ll be with you again to-night.  If I were satisfied beyond the shadow of a doubt I’d advise you to confess, but I can’t be until I know what Maria and Paredes are doing.”

When Bobby had bathed and dressed he found, in spite of his mental turmoil, that his sleep had done him good.  While he breakfasted Graham urged him to eat, tried to drive from his brain the morbid aftermath of last night’s revealing moment.

“The manager took my advice, but Maria’s still missing.  Her pictures are in most of the papers.  There have been reporters here this morning, about the murders.”

Project Gutenberg
The Abandoned Room from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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