The rooms were not furnished after the manner of ordinary rooms. There was no round or square table in the midst of each, with a checked cloth on it, and a plant in the centre. Nor in front of each window was there a small table with a large Bible thereupon. The middle parts of the rooms were empty, save for a group of statuary in the largest room. Great arm-chairs and double-ended sofas were ranged about in straight lines, and among these, here and there, were smaller chairs gilded from head to foot. Round the walls were placed long narrow tables with tops like glass-cases, and in the cases were all sorts of strange matters— such as coins, fans, daggers, snuff-boxes. In various corners white statues stood awaiting the day of doom without a rag to protect them from the winds of destiny. The walls were panelled in tremendous panels, and in each panel was a formidable dark oil-painting. The mantelpieces were so preposterously high that not even a giant could have sat at the fireplace and put his feet on them. And if they had held clocks, as mantelpieces do, a telescope would have been necessary to discern the hour. Above each mantelpiece, instead of a looking-glass, was a vast picture. The chandeliers were overpowering in glitter and in dimensions.
Near to a sofa Denry saw a pile of yellow linen things. He picked up the topmost article, and it assumed the form of a chair. Yes, these articles were furniture-covers. The Hall, then, was to be shut up. He argued from the furniture-covers that somebody must enter sooner or later to put the covers on the furniture.
Then he did a few more furlongs up and down the vista, and sat down at the far end, under a window. Anyhow, there were always the windows.
High though they were from the floor, he could easily open one, spring out, and slip unostentatiously away. But he thought he would wait until dusk fell. Prudence is seldom misplaced. The windows, however, held a disappointment for him. A mere bar, padlocked, prevented each one of them from being opened; it was a simple device. He would be under the necessity of breaking a plate-glass pane. For this enterprise he thought he would wait until black night. He sat down again. Then he made a fresh and noisy assault on all the doors. No result. He sat down a third time, and gazed info the gardens where the shadows were creeping darkly. Not a soul in the gardens. Then he felt a draught on the crown of his head, and looking aloft he saw that the summit of the window had a transverse glazed flap, for ventilation, and that this flap had been left open. If he could have climbed up, he might have fallen out on the other side into the gardens and liberty. But the summit of the window was at least sixteen feet from the floor. Night descended.