There was no word to show what his brother had done, whither he had gone, when he would return. Around the lodgings in Bradwell Street lay a great and unknown London, with its own secrets, its own hatreds, its own crimes. A strange feeling of on-coming ill seized upon the heart of Law, as he stood in the center of the dull little room, now suddenly grown hateful to him. He dashed his hand upon the table, and stood so, scarce knowing which way to turn. A foot sounded in the hallway, and he went to the door. The ancient landlady confronted him. “Where has my brother gone?” he demanded, fiercely, as she came into view along the ill-lighted passage-way.
“Gone, good sir?” said she, quaveringly. “Why, how should I know where he has gone? More quality has been here this morning than ever I saw in Bradwell Street in all my life. First comes a coach this morning, with four horses as fine as the king’s, and a man atop would turn your blood, he was that solemn-like, sir. Then your brother was up here alone, sir, and very still. I will swear he was never out of this room. Then, but an hour ago, here comes another coach, as big as the first, and yellower. And out of it steps another fine lord, and he bows to your brother, and in they get, and off goes the coach. But, God help me, sir! How should I know which way they went, or what should be their errand? Methinks it must be some servant come from the royal palace. Sir, be you two of the nobility? And if you be, why come you here to Bradwell Street? Sir, I am but a poor woman. If you be not of the nobility, then you must be either coiners or smugglers. Sir, I am bethought that you are dangerous guests in my house. I am a poor woman, as you know.”
Law flung a coin at her as he sped through the hall and down the stair. “’Twas to Bloomsbury Square,” he said, as he sprang into saddle and set heel to the flank of the good horse. “To Bloomsbury Square, then, and fast!”
THE RUMOR OF THE QUARREL
Meantime, at the Knollys mansion, there were forthcoming other parts of the drama of the day. The butler announced to Lady Catharine, still sitting dreaming by the window, Sir Arthur Pembroke, now late arrived on foot. Lady Catharine hesitated. “Show the gentleman to this room,” she said at length.
Pembroke came forward eagerly as he entered. “Such a day of it, Lady Kitty!” he exclaimed, impulsively. “You will pardon me for coming thus, when I say I have just been robbed of my horse. ’Twas at your very door, and methinks you must know the highwayman. I have come to tell you of the news.”
“You don’t mean—”
“Yes, but I do! ’Twas no less than Mr. Law, of Scotland. He hath taken my horse and gone off like a whirlwind, leaving me afoot and friendless, save for your good self. I am begging a taste of tea and a little biscuit, for I vow I am half famished.”