He went in, and found Geoffrey rolling to and fro on the pillow, with his face contorted, with his hands clenched, and with the perspiration standing thick on his forehead—suffering evidently under the nervous oppression produced by the phantom-terrors of a dream.
Perry spoke to him, and pulled him up in the bed. He woke with a scream. He stared at his trainer in vacant terror, and spoke to his trainer in wild words. “What are your horrid eyes looking at over my shoulder?” he cried out. “Go to the devil—and take your infernal slate with you!” Perry spoke to him once more. “You’ve been dreaming of somebody, Mr. Delamayn. What’s to do about a slate?” Geoffrey looked eagerly round the room, and heaved a heavy breath of relief. “I could have sworn she was staring at me over the dwarf pear-trees,” he said. “All right, I know where I am now.” Perry (attributing the dream to nothing more important than a passing indigestion) administered some brandy and water, and left him to drop off again to sleep. He fretfully forbade the extinguishing of the light. “Afraid of the dark?” said Perry, with a laugh. No. He was afraid of dreaming again of the dumb cook at Windygates House.
THE NIGHT BEFORE.
THE time was the night before the marriage. The place was Sir Patrick’s house in Kent.
The lawyers had kept their word. The settlements had been forwarded, and had been signed two days since.
With the exception of the surgeon and one of the three young gentlemen from the University, who had engagements elsewhere, the visitors at Windygates had emigrated southward to be present at the marriage. Besides these gentlemen, there were some ladies among the guests invited by Sir Patrick—all of them family connections, and three of them appointed to the position of Blanche’s bridesmaids. Add one or two neighbors to be invited to the breakfast—and the wedding-party would be complete.
There was nothing architecturally remarkable about Sir Patrick’s house. Ham Farm possessed neither the splendor of Windygates nor the picturesque antiquarian attraction of Swanhaven. It was a perfectly commonplace English country seat, surrounded by perfectly commonplace English scenery. Snug monotony welcomed you when you went in, and snug monotony met you again when you turned to the window and looked out.
The animation and variety wanting at Ham Farm were far from being supplied by the company in the house. It was remembered, at an after-period, that a duller wedding-party had never been assembled together.