Supper was over. It had been discussed in silence. The cloth was removed, and Wood, drawing the table as near the window as possible—for it was getting dusk—put on his spectacles, and opened that sacred volume from which the best consolation in affliction is derived, and left the lovers—for such they may now be fairly termed—to their own conversation. Having already expressed our determination not to betray any confidences of this sort, which, however interesting to the parties concerned, could not possibly be so to others, we shall omit also the “love passages,” and proceeding to such topics as may have general interest, take up the discourse at the point when Thames Darrell expressed his determination of starting for Manchester, as soon as Jack Sheppard’s examination had taken place.
“I am surprised we have received no summons for attendance to-day,” he remarked; “perhaps the other robber may be secured.”
“Or Jack have escaped,” remarked Winny.
“I don’t think that’s likely. But, this sad affair disposed of, I will not rest till I have avenged my murdered parents.”
“’The avenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer’,” said Wood, who was culling for himself certain texts from the scriptures.
“It is the voice of inspiration,” said Thames; “and I receive it as a solemn command. The villain has enjoyed his security too long.”
“’Bloody and deceitful men shall not live half their days’,” said Wood, reading aloud another passage.
“And yet, he has been spared thus long; perhaps with a wise purpose,” rejoined Thames. “But, though the storm has spared him, I will not.”
“‘No doubt,’” said Wood, who had again turned over the leaves of the sacred volume—’, “no doubt this man is a murderer, whom, though he escaped the seas, yet vengeance suffereth not to live’.”
“No feelings of consanguinity shall stay my vengeance,” said Thames, sternly. “I will have no satisfaction but his life.”
“’Thou shalt take no satisfaction for the life of a murderer which is guilty of death, but he shall surely be put to death’,” said Wood referring to another text.
“Do not steel your heart against him, dear Thames,” interposed Winifred.
“‘And thine eye shall not pity,’” said her father, in a tone of rebuke, “’but, life shall be for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.’”
As these words were delivered by the carpenter with stern emphasis, a female servant entered the room, and stated that a gentleman was at the door, who wished to speak with Captain Darell on business of urgent importance.
“With me?” said Thames. “Who is it?”
“He didn’t give his name, Sir,” replied the maid; “but he’s a young gentleman.”
“Don’t go near him, dear Thames,” said Winifred; “he may have some ill intention.”