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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 468 pages of information about Two Knapsacks.

CHAPTER XXI.

     Matilda Free—­The Constable Captured—­The Thunderstorm—­Rawdon
     Found—­The Lawyer Revives—­Inquest—­Mr. Pawkins
     Again—­Expeditions—­Greek—­Committee of the Whole—­Miss Graves and
     Mr. Douglas—­Weddings—­The Colonel, Wilkinson and Perrowne
     Off—­Arrival of Saul—­Errol, Douglas and Coristine
     Wedded—­Festivities in Hall and Kitchen—­Europe—­Home—­Two
     Knapsacks—­Envoi.

That was a dreary Monday afternoon inside Bridesdale, in spite of the beautiful weather without, for the shadow of death fell heavy and black on every heart.  Those who had shared in the morning’s merriment felt as if they had been guilty of sacrilege.  Even Mr. Rigby exhibited his share in the general concern by being more than usually harsh towards his prisoners.  About four o’clock there was an incident that made a little break in the monotony of waiting for the death warrant.  Old Styles arrived, to say that the crazy woman was no longer crazy.  Half an hour before she sat up in bed and cried “Free at last!” and since then, though the fever was still on her, her mind was quite clear.  Doctor Halbert took a note of the time, and wondered what the sudden and beneficial change meant.  Mrs. Carmichael and Mr. Errol sympathized with him, rejoicing for the poor woman’s sake.  The detective and Ben Toner came home, very tired and disgusted with their want of success.  When night came, the dominie again offered to stay with his friend, and, in his anxiety, even forced himself into the sick room.  Miss Carmichael was very pale, but very quiet and resolute.  “He is your dear friend, I know,” she said, calmly, “but he belongs to me as he does not to anybody else in the world.  I may not have him long, so please don’t grudge me the comfort of watching.”  Wilkinson had to go away, more pained at heart for the sad eyed watcher awaiting the impending blow than for the unconscious friend on whom it was to fall more mercifully.  Mr. Bangs took charge of the outside guard that night, in which the clergymen had volunteered to serve.  Mr. Rigby took a grey blanket out to the stables, and lay down near his prisoners, with baton and pistol close at hand.  About eleven o’clock Ben Toner, on guard before the house, saw a female figure approaching, and challenged.  “Squit yer sojer foolins, Ben, and leave me pass,” came from the well known voice of Serlizer.  “Is the gals up in the kitchen?”

“They is,” replied Mr. Toner, humbly and laconically; and his ladylove proceeded thitherward.  Miss Newcome looked in upon Tryphena, Tryphosa, and Timotheus, Mr. Maguffin being asleep, and, after a little conversation, guessed she’d go and see Ben.  She had found out that the constable had two prisoners in charge, quite incidentally, and listened to the news as something that did not concern her.  Instead of going to see Ben, however, she visited the stables.  The corporal was evidently tired

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