Then in deep water sank the body.
The ferryman watched for some moments, and farther down the stream he saw the body again rise upon the current and struggling slightly, as for life—now whirled around and around, and then carried forward with the utmost velocity.
This continued as far as the moonlight enabled the ferryman to see, and then, with a slow step and clouded brow, he returned to his cottage, which he entered, and closed the door.
DR. CHILLINGWORTH AT THE HALL.—THE ENCOUNTER OF MYSTERY.—THE CONFLICT.—THE RESCUE, AND THE PICTURE.
There have been many events that have passed rapidly in this our narrative; but more have yet to come before we can arrive at that point which will clear up much that appears to be most mysterious and unaccountable.
Doctor Chillingworth, but ill satisfied with the events that had yet taken place, determined once more upon visiting the Hall, and there to attempt a discovery of something respecting the mysterious apartment in which so much has already taken place.
He communicated his design to no one; he resolved to prosecute the inquiry alone. He determined to go there and await whatever might turn up in the shape of events. He would not for once take any companion; such adventures were often best prosecuted alone—they were most easily brought to something like an explanatory position, one person can often consider matters more coolly than more. At all events, there is more secrecy than under any other circumstances.
Perhaps this often is of greater consequence than many others; and, moreover, when there is more than one, something is usually overdone. Where one adventurous individual will rather draw back in a pursuit, more than one would induce them to urge each other on.
In fact, one in such a case could act the part of a spy—a secret observer; and in that case can catch people at times when they could not under any other circumstances be caught or observed at all.
“I will go,” he muttered; “and should I be compelled to run away again, why, nobody knows anything about it and nobody will laugh at me.”
This was all very well; but Mr. Chillingworth was not the man to run away without sufficient cause. But there was so much mystery in all this that he felt much interested in the issue of the affair. But this issue he could not command; at the same time he was determined to sit and watch, and thus become certain that either something or nothing was to take place.
Even the knowledge of that much—that some inexplicable action was still going on—was far preferable to the uncertainty of not knowing whether what had once been going on was still so or not, because, if it had ceased, it was probable that nothing more would ever be known concerning it, and the mystery would still be a mystery to the end of time.