It will be seen from Miss Clinker’s frank letter to her parent that Mrs. Cricklander was leaving no stone unturned to gain her object, and such praiseworthy toil deserves the highest commendation.
John Derringham, meanwhile, having successfully smoothed matters to his own satisfaction, felt at liberty to dream in his spare moments of his love. He already began to wonder how he had ever felt any emotion towards the fair Cecilia—she was perfectly charming, but left him as cold as ice!
And so at last the good-bys were said, and he got into the motor with some of the other guests, ostensibly for the station, but in reality to get out at the Lodge gates upon the pretense of going to see the Professor. He intended, instead of this, to cross the haw-haw and reconnoiter upon the hope of meeting his beloved, because there was no necessity for him to spend a dull afternoon in Upminster when perhaps some more agreeable hours could be snatched under the tree. He had attended to every point, he believed, even having written a letter to Cheiron which he had taken the precaution to give to his servant to post from London on the following morning, so that there would be no Bristol mark as a clew to their whereabouts. In this he merely stated that when his old master would receive it Halcyone would be his wife, and that for a time they had decided to keep the marriage secret, and he hoped his old master would understand and sympathize.
The only qualm of any sort he experienced during these three days was when he was composing this letter, so he finished it quickly and did not even read it over. And now, as he strode across the Wendover park, it was safe in his servant’s pocket and would be despatched duly next day. He was unaware of the fact that Mr. Carlyon had left for London by a morning train.
As he came within view of the haw-haw, he saw in the far distance Halcyone just flitting towards the beech avenue gate, and in his intense haste to catch her up before she should get too near the house, he removed the bricks very carelessly, not even remarking that one, and the most important, was disposed of in such a manner that the spike left beneath would not bear his weight.