Mr Crawley had again seated himself, and during this period of the affair was leaning over the table with his face buried on his arms. Mrs Crawley sat by his side, utterly impotent as to any assistance, just touching him with her hand, and waiting behind her veil till she should be made to understand what was the decision of the magistrates. This was at last communicated to her—and to him—in a whisper by Mr Walker. Mr Crawley must understand that he was committed to take his trial at Barchester, at the next assizes, which would be held in April, but that bail would be taken;—in his own bail in five hundred pounds, and that of two others in two hundred and fifty pounds each. And Mr Walker explained further that he and the bailsmen were ready, and that the bail-bond was prepared. The bailsmen were to be the Rev Mr Robarts and Major Grantly. In five minutes the bond was signed and Mr Crawley was at liberty to go away a free man—till the Barchester Assizes should come around in April.
Of all that was going on at this time Mr Crawley knew little or nothing, and Mrs Crawley did not know much. She did say a word of thanks to Mr Robarts, and begged that the same might be said to—the other gentleman. If she had heard the Major’s name she did not remember it. Then they were led out back into the bedroom, where Mrs Walker was found, anxious to do something, if she only knew what, to comfort the wretched husband and the wretched wife. But what comfort or consolation could there be within their reach? There was tea made for them, and sandwiches cut from the Inn larder. And there was sherry in the Inn decanter. But no such comfort as that was possible for either of them.
They were taken home again in the fly, returning without the escort of Mr Thompson, and as they went home some few words were spoken by Mrs Crawley. ‘Josiah,’ she said, ’there will be a way out of this, even yet, if you will only hold up your head and trust.’
‘There is a way out of it,’ he said. ’There is a way. There is but one way.’ When he had spoken she said no more, but resolved that her eye should never be off him, no—not for a moment. Then, when she had gotten him once more into that front parlour, she threw her arms around him and kissed him.
GRACE CRAWLEY GOES TO ALLINGTON
The tidings of what had been done by the magistrates at their petty sessions was communicated the same night to Grace Crawley by Miss Prettyman. Miss Anne Prettyman had heard the news within five minutes of the execution of the bail-bond, and had rushed to her sister with information as to the event. ’They have found him guilty; they have, indeed. They have convicted him—or whatever it is, because he couldn’t say where he got it.’ ’You do not mean that they have sent him to prison?’ ’No;—not to prison; not as yet, that is. I don’t understand it altogether; but he’s to be tried again in