When Alan woke next morning the first thing that he heard through his open window was the sound of the doctor’s departing dogcart. Then Jeekie appeared and told him that Mr. Haswell was all right again, but that all night he had shaken “like one jelly.” Alan asked what had been the matter with him, but Jeekie only shrugged his shoulders and said that he did not know—“perhaps Yellow God touch him up.”
At breakfast, as in her note she had said she would, Barbara appeared wearing a short skirt. Sir Robert, who was there, also looked extremely pale even for him and with black rims round his eyes, asked her if she were going to golf, to which she answered that she would think it over. It was a somewhat melancholy meal, and as though by common consent no mention was made of Jeekie’s tale of the Yellow God, and beyond the usual polite inquiries, very little of their host’s seizure.
As Barbara went out she whispered to Alan, who opened the door for her, “Meet me at half-past ten in the kitchen garden.”
Accordingly, having changed his clothes surreptitiously, Alan, avoiding the others, made his way by a circuitous route to this kitchen garden, which after the fashion of modern places was hidden behind a belt of trees nearly a quarter of a mile from the house. Here he wandered about till presently he heard Barbara’s pleasant voice behind him saying:
“Don’t dawdle so, we shall be late for church.”
So they started, somewhat furtively like runaway children. As they went Alan asked how her uncle was.
“All right now,” she answered, “but he has had a bad shake. It was that Yellow God story which did it. I know, for I was there when he was coming to, with Sir Robert. He kept talking about it in a confused manner, saying that it was swimming to him across the floor, till at last Sir Robert bent over him and told him to be quiet quite sternly. Do you know, Alan, I believe that your pet fetish has been manifesting itself in some unpleasant fashion up there in the office?”
“Indeed. If so, it must be since I left, for I never heard of anything of the sort, nor are Aylward and your uncle likely people to see ghosts. In fact Sir Robert wished to give me about L17,000 for the thing only the day before yesterday, which doesn’t look as though it had been frightening him.”
“Well, he won’t repeat the offer, Alan, for I heard him promise my uncle only this morning that it should be sent back to Yarleys at once. But why did he want to buy it for such a lot of money? Tell me quickly, Alan, I am dying to hear the whole story.”
So he began and told her, omitting nothing, while she listened eagerly to every word, hardly interrupting him at all. As he finished his tale they reached the door of the quaint old village church just as the clock was striking eleven.
“Come in, Alan,” she said gently, “and thank Heaven for all its mercies, for you should be a grateful man to-day.”