“We shall know to-night,” said Antony, taking Bill’s arm and leading him to the hall, “when we watch our dear friend Cayley dropping it into the pond.”
Mrs. Norbury Confides in Dear Mr. Gillingham
They left the road, and took the path across the fields which sloped gently downwards towards Jallands. Antony was silent, and since it is difficult to keep up a conversation with a silent man for any length of time, Bill had dropped into silence too. Or rather, he hummed to himself, hit at thistles in the grass with his stick and made uncomfortable noises with his pipe. But he noticed that his companion kept looking back over his shoulder, almost as if he wanted to remember for a future occasion the way by which they were coming. Yet there was no difficulty about it, for they remained all the time in view of the road, and the belt of trees above the long park wall which bordered its further side stood out clearly against the sky.
Antony, who had just looked round again, turned back with a smile.
“What’s the joke?” said Bill, glad of the more social atmosphere.
“Cayley. Didn’t you see?”
“The car. Going past on the road there.”
“So that’s what you were looking for. You’ve got jolly good eyes, my boy, if you recognize the car at this distance after only seeing it twice.”
“Well, I have got jolly good eyes.”
“I thought he was going to Stanton.”
“He hoped you’d think so obviously.”
“Then where is he going?”
“The library, probably. To consult our friend Ussher. After making quite sure that his friends Beverley and Gillingham really were going to Jallands, as they said.”
Bill stopped suddenly in the middle of the path.
“I say, do you think so?”
Antony shrugged his shoulders.
“I shouldn’t be surprised. We must be devilishly inconvenient for him, hanging about the house. Any moment he can get, when we’re definitely somewhere else, must be very useful to him.”
“Useful for what?”
“Well, useful for his nerves, if for nothing else. We know he’s mixed up in this business; we know he’s hiding a secret or two. Even if he doesn’t suspect that we’re on his tracks, he must feel that at any moment we might stumble on something.”
Bill gave a grunt of assent, and they went slowly on again.
“What about to-night?” he said, after a lengthy blow at his pipe.
“Try a piece of grass,” said Antony, offering it to him. Bill pushed it through the mouthpiece, blew again, said, “That’s better,” and returned the pipe to his pocket.
“How are we going to get out without Cayley knowing?”
“Well, that wants thinking over. It’s going to be difficult. I wish we were sleeping at the inn .... Is this Miss Norbury, by any chance?”