“I shall have it now,” thought his wife. “You are right,” she added,—“they are carrying it off. The vergers have discovered it. They are digging it up. We must instantly prevent them.”
“We must!” shrieked Malmayns. “Bring the light! bring the light!” And bursting open the door, he rushed into the adjoining aisle.
“He will kill himself, and discover the treasure into the bargain,” cried Judith, following him. “Ah! what do I see! People in the church. Curses on them! they have ruined my hopes.”
THE MOSAICAL RODS.
In pursuance of their design of seeking out an astrologer, Maurice Wyvil and Lydyard crossed Cheapside and entered Friday-street. They had not proceeded far, when they perceived a watchman standing beneath a porch with a lantern in his hand, and thinking it an intimation that the house was attacked by the plague, they hurried to the opposite side of the street, and called to the watchman to inquire whether he knew where Mr. Lilly lived.
Ascertaining that the house they sought was only a short distance off, they repaired thither, and knocking at the door, a small wicket, protected by a grating, was open within it, and a sharp female voice inquired their business.
“Give this to your master, sweetheart,” replied Wyvil, slipping a purse through the grating; “and tell him that two gentlemen desire to consult him.”
“He is engaged just now,” replied the woman, in a much softer tone; “but I will take your message to him.”
“You have more money than wit,” laughed Lydyard. “You should have kept back your fee till you had got the information.”
“In that case I should never have received any,” replied Wyvil. “I have taken the surest means of obtaining admission to the house.”
As he spoke, the door was unbolted by the woman, who proved to be young and rather pretty. She had a light in her hand, and directing them to follow her, led the way to a sort of anteroom, divided, as it appeared, from a larger room by a thick black curtain. Drawing aside the drapery, their conductress ushered them into the presence of three individuals, who were seated at a table strewn with papers, most of which were covered with diagrams and, astrological calculations.
One of these persons immediately rose on their appearance, and gravely but courteously saluted them. He was a tall man, somewhat advanced in life, being then about sixty-three, with an aquiline nose, dark eyes, not yet robbed of their lustre, grey hair waving over his shoulders, and a pointed beard and moustache. The general expression of his countenance was shrewd and penetrating, and yet there were certain indications of credulity about it, showing that he was as likely to be imposed upon himself as to delude others. It is scarcely necessary to say that this way Lilly.