‘Yes—all the way,’ said the red-nosed man sulkily.
‘I don’t think you’d better go up to London tonight, Mr Stringer,’ said a tall man, stepping out of the door of the booking-office. ’I think you’d better come back with me to Barchester. I do indeed.’ There was some little argument on the occasion; but the stranger, who was a detective policeman, carried his point, and Mr Dan Stringer did return to Barchester.
THERE IS COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD
Henry Grantly had written the following short letter to Mrs Grantly when he had made up his mind to pull down the auctioneer’s bills. ’Dear mother—I have postponed the sale, not liking to refuse you anything. As far as I can see, I shall be forced to leave Cosby Lodge, as I certainly shall do all I can to make Grace Crawley my wife. I say this that there may be no misunderstanding with my father. The auctioneer has promised to have the bills removed.—Your affectionate son, Henry Grantly’
This had been written by the major on the Friday before Mr Walker had brought up to him the tidings of Mr Toogood and Mrs Arabin’s solution of the Crawley difficulty; but it did not reach Plumstead till the following morning. Mrs Grantly immediately took the glad news about the sale to her husband—not of course showing him the letter, being far too wise for that, and giving him credit for being too wise to ask for it. ‘Henry has arranged with the auctioneer,’ she said joyfully; ’and the bills have been all pulled down.’
‘How do you know?’
’I’ve just heard from him. He has told me so. Come, my dear, let me have the pleasure of hearing you say that things shall be pleasant again between you and him. He has yielded.’
‘I don’t see much yielding in it.’
‘He has done what you wanted. What more can he do?’
’I want him to come over here, and take an interest in things, and not treat me as though I were a nobody.’ Within an hour of this the major had arrived at Plumstead, laden with the story of Mrs Arabin and the cheque, and of Mr Crawley’s innocence—laden not only with such tidings as he had received from Mr Walker, but also with further details, which had received from Mr Toogood. For he had come through Barchester, and had seen Mr Toogood on his way. This was on the Saturday morning, and he had breakfasted with Mr Toogood at ‘The Dragon of Wantly’. Mr Toogood had told him of his suspicions—how the red-nosed man had been stopped and had been summoned as a witness for Mr Crawley’s trial—and how he was now under surveillance of the police. Grantly had not cared very much about the red-nosed man, confining his present solicitude to the question whether Grace Crawley’s father would certainly be shown to have been innocent of the theft. ‘There’s not a doubt about it, major,’ said Mr Toogood; ’no a doubt on earth.