“Did you ring, Miss?” he asked grudgingly. Less than ever was she in favour with the servants’ hall to-night.
Past intelligible utterance, Theresa merely shook her head in reply. Made a return upon herself—began to instruct him to put out the lamps in the room. Remembered that now and henceforth the right to give orders in this house was no longer hers; and broke into sobbing, the sound of which her handkerchief pressed against her mouth quite failed to stifle.
About an hour later, having bathed and changed, Sir Charles Verity made his way upstairs. Upon the landing Dr. McCabe met him.
“Better,” he said, “thank the heavenly powers, decidedly better. Temperature appreciably lower, and the pulse more even. Oh! we’re on the road very handsomely to get top dog of the devil this bout, believe me, Sir Charles.”
“Then go to bed, my dear fellow,” the other answered. “I will take over the rest of the watch for you. You need not be afraid. I can be an admirable sick-nurse on occasion. And by the way, McCabe, something has come to my knowledge which in my opinion throws considerable light upon the symptoms that have puzzled you. Probably I shall be more sure of my facts before morning. I will explain to you later, if it should seem likely to be helpful to you in your treatment of the case. Just now, as I see it, the matter lies exclusively between me”—he smiled looking at his companion full and steadily—“between me”—he repeated, “and my only child.”
All which upon the face of it might, surely, be voted encouraging enough. Yet:
“Should there be any that doubt the veritable existence of hell fire,” the doctor told himself, as he subsequently and thankfully pulled on his night-shirt, “to recover them, and in double quick time, of their heresy let ’em but look in my friend Verity’s eyes.”—And he rounded off the sentence with an oath.
AN EXPERIMENT IN BRIDGE-BUILDING OF WHICH TIME ALONE CAN FIX THE VALUES
Damaris lay on her side, her face turned to the wall. When Charles Verity, quietly crossing the room, sat down in an easy chair, so placed at the head of the half-tester bed as to be screened from it by the dimity curtains, she sighed and slightly shifted her position.
Leaning back, he crossed his legs and let his chin drop on his breast. He had barely glanced at her in passing, receiving a vague impression of the outline of her cheek, of her neck, and shoulders, of her head, dark against the dim whiteness on which it rested, and the long dark stream of her hair spread loose across the pillows. He had no wish for recognition—not yet awhile. On the contrary, it was a relief to have time in which silently to get accustomed to her presence, to steep himself in the thought of her, before speech should define the new element intruded, as he believed, into his