“In God’s name, my dear girl, how can you find it in your heart to see that place again? But do you find it? Will you go? If you insist, we’ll take care of you.”
“Of course! Of course!” she replied, and even then was busy hunting for her wraps. “Get ready! Let us start.”
“Have cushions and blankets for the carriage, Eleazar,” said Dunwody quietly. “Better get a little lunch of some sort to take along. Go down to the barn yonder and get fresh horses. I don’t think this team could stand it all the way back.”
THE SPECTER IN THE HOUSE
The travel-stained figures of Doctor Jamieson, Judge Clayton and the Honorable William Jones met the Dunwody coach just as it was leaving at the upper end of St. Genevieve’s main street. They also had found fresh horses, and in the belief of Dunwody it was quite as well that they rode horseback, in common with the followers of Hector, who presently came trooping after him. The interior of the coach seemed to him more fittingly reserved for this lady and himself. None the less, the Honorable William had abated none of his native curiosity. It was his head which presently intruded at the coach window.
“Ah, ha!” exclaimed he. “What? Again? This time there is no concealment, Dunwody! Come, confess!”
“I will confess now as much as I ever had to confess,” retorted Dunwody angrily. “If you do not know yet of this lady, I will introduce you once more. She is the Countess St. Auban, formerly of Europe, and now of any place that suits her. It is no business of yours or of mine why she was once there, or cares to go there again; but she is going along with us out to Tallwoods.”
Judge Clayton made salutation .more in keeping with good courtesy than had his inquisitive friend. “I have been following the fortunes of this lady somewhat attentively of late,” he said, at length. “At least, she has not been idle!”
“Precisely!” ventured Josephine, leaning out the window. “That is why I am coming to-night. I understand there has been trouble down here,—that it came out of the work of our Colonization Society—”
“Rather!” said Clayton grimly.
“I was back of that. But, believe me, as I told Mr. Dunwody, I was not in the least responsible for the running off of negroes in this neighborhood. I thought, if I should go out there and tell these other gentlemen, that they would understand.”
“That’s mighty nice of you,” ventured the Honorable William Jones. “But if we don’t git there before midnight, they’ll be so full of whisky and devilment that I don’t think they’ll listen even to you, Ma’am.”
“It is pretty bad, I’m afraid,” said Judge Clayton. “What with one thing and another, this country of ours has been in a literal state of anarchy for the last year or two. What the end is going to be, I’m sure I don’t see.