“You would bear it with discretion, doubtless,” interrupted Tressilian, “as you must do at any rate. You know too well the distance that is betwixt us, to require me to explain myself further. Good evening.”
So saying, he turned his back upon his former companion, and entered into discourse with the landlord. Michael Lambourne felt strongly disposed to bully; but his wrath died away in a few incoherent oaths and ejaculations, and he sank unresistingly under the ascendency which superior spirits possess over persons of his habits and description. He remained moody and silent in a corner of the apartment, paying the most marked attention to every motion of his late companion, against whom he began now to nourish a quarrel on his own account, which he trusted to avenge by the execution of his new master Varney’s directions. The hour of supper arrived, and was followed by that of repose, when Tressilian, like others, retired to his sleeping apartment.
He had not been in bed long, when the train of sad reveries, which supplied the place of rest in his disturbed mind, was suddenly interrupted by the jar of a door on its hinges, and a light was seen to glimmer in the apartment. Tressilian, who was as brave as steel, sprang from his bed at this alarm, and had laid hand upon his sword, when he was prevented from drawing it by a voice which said, “Be not too rash with your rapier, Master Tressilian. It is I, your host, Giles Gosling.”
At the same time, unshrouding the dark lantern, which had hitherto only emitted an indistinct glimmer, the goodly aspect and figure of the landlord of the Black Bear was visibly presented to his astonished guest.
“What mummery is this, mine host?” said Tressilian. “Have you supped as jollily as last night, and so mistaken your chamber? or is midnight a time for masquerading it in your guest’s lodging?”
“Master Tressilian,” replied mine host, “I know my place and my time as well as e’er a merry landlord in England. But here has been my hang-dog kinsman watching you as close as ever cat watched a mouse; and here have you, on the other hand, quarrelled and fought, either with him or with some other person, and I fear that danger will come of it.”
“Go to, thou art but a fool, man,” said Tressilian. “Thy kinsman is beneath my resentment; and besides, why shouldst thou think I had quarrelled with any one whomsoever?”
“Oh, sir,” replied the innkeeper, “there was a red spot on thy very cheek-bone, which boded of a late brawl, as sure as the conjunction of Mars and Saturn threatens misfortune; and when you returned, the buckles of your girdle were brought forward, and your step was quick and hasty, and all things showed your hand and your hilt had been lately acquainted.”
“Well, good mine host, if I have been obliged to draw my sword,” said Tressilian, “why should such a circumstance fetch thee out of thy warm bed at this time of night? Thou seest the mischief is all over.”