Mr Toogood at ‘the dragon of Wantly’
In accordance with his arrangement with Mr Walker, Mr Toogood went over to Barchester early in the morning and put himself up at ’The Dragon of Wantly’. He now knew the following facts: that Mr Soames, when he lost the cheque, had had with him one of the servants from that inn—that the man who had been with Mr Soames had gone to New Zealand—that the cheque had found its way into the hands of Mrs Arabin, and that Mrs Arabin was the owner of the inn in question. So much he believed to be within his knowledge, and if his knowledge should prove to be correct, his work would be done as far as Mr Crawley was concerned. If Mr Crawley had not stolen the cheque, and if that could be proved, it would be a question of no great moment to Mr Toogood who had stolen it. But he was a sportsman in his own line who liked to account for his own fox. As he was down at Barchester, he thought that he might as well learn how the cheque had got into Mrs Arabin’s hands. No doubt that for her own possession of it she would be able to account on her return. But it might be well that he should be prepared with any small circumstantial details which he might be able to pick up at the inn.
He reached Barchester before breakfast, and in ordering his tea and toast, reminded the old waiter with the dirty towel of his former acquaintance with him. ‘I remember you, sir,’ said the old waiter. ’I remember you very well. You was asking questions about the cheque which Mr Soames lost before Christmas.’ Mr Toogood certainly had asked one question on the subject. He had inquired whether a certain man who had gone to New Zealand had been the post-boy who accompanied Mr Soames when the cheque was lost; and the waiter had professed to know nothing about Mr Soames or the cheque. He now perceived at once that the gist of the question had remained in the old man’s mind, and that he was recognised as being in some way connected with the lost money.