At length Funkelstein rose, and, marching across the room to a cupboard, brought out a bottle and glasses, saying, in the most by-the-bye way, as he went:
“Have you the second-sight, Mr. Sutherland?”
“Certainly not, as far as I am aware.”
“Ah! the Welch do have it, do they not?”
“Oh! yes, of course,” answered Hugh laughing. “I should like to know, though,” he added, “whether they inherit the gift as Celts or as mountaineers.”
“Will you take a glass of — ?”
“Of nothing, thank you,” answered and interrupted Hugh. “It is time for me to be going. Indeed, I fear I have stayed too long already. Good night, Herr von Funkelstein.”
“You will allow me the honour of returning your visit?”
Hugh felt he could do no less, although he had not the smallest desire to keep up the acquaintance. He wrote Arnstead on his card.
As he left the house, he stumbled over something in the court. Looking down, he saw it was a cat, apparently dead.
“Can it be the cat Herr Funkelstein made the pass at?” thought he. But presently he forgot all about it, in the visions of Euphra which filled his mind during his moonlight walk home. It just occurred to him, however, before those visions had blotted everything else from his view, that he had learned simply nothing whatever about biology from his late host.
When he reached home, he was admitted by the butler, and retired to bed at once, where he slept soundly, for the first time for many nights.
But, as he drew near his own room, he might have seen, though he saw not, a little white figure gliding away in the far distance of the long passage. It was only Harry, who could not lie still in his bed, till he knew that his big brother was safe at home.
Another evening lecture.
This Eneas is come to Paradise
Out of the swolowe of Hell.
Chaucer.—Legend of Dido.
The next day, Hugh was determined to find or make an opportunity of speaking to Euphra; and fortune seemed to favour him. — Or was it Euphra herself, in one or other of her inexplicable moods? At all events, she had that morning allowed the ladies and her uncle to go without her; and Hugh met her as he went to his study.
“May I speak to you for one moment?” said he, hurriedly, and with trembling lips.
“Yes, certainly,” she replied with a smile, and a glance in his face as of wonder as to what could trouble him so much. Then turning, and leading the way, she said:
“Come into my room.”
He followed her. She turned and shut the door, which he had left open behind him. He almost knelt to her; but something held him back from that.
“Euphra,” he said, “what have I done to offend you?”
“Offend me! Nothing.” — This was uttered in a perfect tone of surprise.