“Well, then, I ain’t likely to call you my friend”—Arnold inclined his head—“and I am not going to talk riddles any more. Is there anything else you want to say?”
“Nothing more, I think, at present, thank you.”
“If there is, you know, don’t mind me—have it out—I’m nobody, of course. I’m not expected to have any manners—I’m only a girl. You can say what you please to me, and be as rude as you please; Englishmen always are as rude as they can be to American girls—I’ve always heard that.”
“At all events,” he said, “you have charmed Clara, which is the only really important thing. Good-night, Miss—Miss Deseret.”
“Good-night, old man,” she said, laughing, because she bore no malice, and had given him a candid opinion; “I dare say when you get rid of your fine company manners, and put off your swallow tail, you’re not a bad sort, after all. Perhaps, if you would confess, you are as fond of a kick-up on your way home as anybody. Trust you quiet chaps!”
Clara had not fortunately heard much of this conversation, which, indeed, was not meant for her, because the girl was playing all the time some waltz music, which enabled her to talk and play without being heard at the other end of the room.
* * * * *
Well, there was now no doubt. The American physician and the subject of the photograph were certainly the same man. And this man was also the thief of the safe, and Iris Aglen was Iris Deseret. Of that, Arnold had no longer any reasonable doubt. There was, however, one thing more. Before leaving Clara’s house, he refreshed his memory as to the Deseret arms. The quarterings of the shield were, so far, exactly what Mr. Emblem recollected.
“It is,” said Lala Roy, “what I thought. But, as yet, not a word to Iris.”
He then proceeded to relate the repentance, the confession, and the atonement proposed by the remorseful James. But he did not tell quite all. For the wise man never tells all. What really happened was this. When James had made a clean breast and confessed his enormous share in the villainy, Lala Roy bound him over to secrecy under pain of Law, Law the Rigorous, pointing out that although they do not, in England, exhibit the Kourbash, or bastinado the soles of the feet, they make the prisoner sleep on a hard board, starve him on skilly, set him to work which tears his nails from his fingers, keep him from conversation, tobacco, and drink, and when he comes out, so hedge him around with prejudice and so clothe him with a robe of shame, that no one will ever employ him again, and he is therefore doomed to go back again to the English Hell. Lala Roy, though a man of few words, drew so vivid a description of the punishment which awaited his penitent that James, foxy as he was by nature, felt constrained to resolve that henceforth, happen what might, then and for all future, he would range himself on the side of virtue, and as a beginning he promised to do everything that he could for the confounding of Joseph and the bringing of the guilty to justice.