Uncle Silas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 478 pages of information about Uncle Silas.
and they said he pounced upon this rich London gamester, intending to win his money.  I am telling you now all that was said afterwards.  The races lasted I forget how many days, and Mr. Charke stayed at Bartram-Haugh all this time and for some days after.  It was thought that poor Austin would pay all Silas’s gambling debts, and so this wretched Mr. Charke made heavy wagers with him on the races, and they played very deep, besides, at Bartram.  He and Silas used to sit up at night at cards.  All these particulars, as I told you, came out afterwards, for there was an inquest, you know, and then Silas published what he called his “statement,” and there was a great deal of most distressing correspondence in the newspapers.’

‘And why did Mr. Charke kill himself?’ I asked.

’Well, I will tell you first what all are agreed about.  The second night after the races, your uncle and Mr. Charke sat up till between two and three o’clock in the morning, quite by themselves, in the parlour.  Mr. Charke’s servant was at the Stag’s Head Inn at Feltram, and therefore could throw no light upon what occurred at night at Bartram-Haugh; but he was there at six o’clock in the morning, and very early at his master’s door by his direction.  He had locked it, as was his habit, upon the inside, and the key was in the lock, which turned out afterwards a very important point.  On knocking he found that he could not awaken his master, because, as it appeared when the door was forced open, his master was lying dead at his bedside, not in a pool, but a perfect pond of blood, as they described it, with his throat cut.’

‘How horrible!’ cried I.

’So it was.  Your uncle Silas was called up, and greatly shocked of course, and he did what I believe was best.  He had everything left as nearly as possible in the exact state in which it had been found, and he sent his own servant forthwith for the coroner, and, being himself a justice of the peace, he took the depositions of Mr. Charke’s servant while all the incidents were still fresh in his memory.’

‘Could anything be more straightforward, more right and wise?’ I said.

‘Oh, nothing of course,’ answered Lady Knollys, I thought a little drily.

CHAPTER XXVII

MORE ABOUT TOM CHARKE’S SUICIDE

So the inquest was held, and Mr. Manwaring, of Wail Forest, was the only juryman who seemed to entertain the idea during the inquiry that Mr. Charke had died by any hand but his own.

‘And how could he fancy such a thing?’ I exclaimed indignantly.

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Uncle Silas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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