“Of course I don’t know him—I mean that I never told any one that Terrace Hill was for sale.”
She believed what he said, and very innocently continued:
“Had there been a trifle more of fun in my nature, I should, have teased Eudora, by telling her he came here to see her or Asenath. He was very curious for a sight of all of us.”
“Did he come here—into the house?” John asked; and Anna replied:
“Why, yes. He was rather coarse-looking, to be sure, with marks of dissipation, but very gentlemanly and even pleasing in his address.”
Anna went on: “He was exceedingly polite—apologized for troubling me, and then stated his business. I told him he must have been misinformed, as we never dreamed of selling. He took his leave, looking back all the way through the park, and evidently examining minutely the house and grounds. Mother was so fidgety after it, declaring him a burglar, and keeping a watch for several nights after his departure.”
“Undoubtedly he was,” said John. “A burglar, I dare say, and you were fortunate, all of you, in not being stolen from your beds as you lay sleeping.”
“Oh, we keep our doors locked,” was Anna’s demure reply.
“Midnight, as I live!” he exclaimed, and was glad of an excuse for retiring, as he wished now to be alone.
Anna had not asked him half what she had meant to ask concerning Charlie, but she would not keep him longer, and with a kiss upon his handsome brow she sent him away, herself holding the door a little ajar and listening to see what effect the new carpet would have upon him. It did not have any at first, so much was he absorbed in that man with the scar upon his temple. Why had he come there, and why had it not been told him before? His people were so stupid in their letters, never telling what was sure to interest him most. But what good could it have done had he known of the mysterious visit? None whatever—at least nothing particular had resulted from it, he was sure.
“It must have been just after one of his sprees, when he is always more than half befogged,” he said to himself. “Possibly he was passing this way and the insane idea seized him to stop and pretend to buy Terrace Hill. The rascal!” and having thus satisfactorily settled it in his mind, the doctor did look at Anna’s carpet, admiring its pattern, and having a kind of pleasant consciousness that everything was in keeping, from the handsome drapery which shaded the windows to the marble hearth on which a fire was blazing.
In Adah Hastings’ dream that night there were visions of a little room far up in a fourth story, where her fair head was pillowed again upon the manly arm of one who listened while she chided him gently for his long delay, and then told him of their Willie boy so much like him, as the young mother thought.
In Dr. Richards’ dreams, when at last he slept, there were visions of a lonely grave in a secluded part of Greenwood, and he heard again the startling words: