Mrs. Armstrong arrived Monday evening with her husband’s body, and the services were set for the next day. The house on Chestnut Street, in town, had been opened, and Tuesday morning Louise left us to go home. She sent for me before she went, and I saw she had been crying.
“How can I thank you, Miss Innes?” she said. “You have taken me on faith, and—you have not asked me any questions. Some time, perhaps, I can tell you; and when that time comes, you will all despise me,—Halsey, too.”
I tried to tell her how glad I was to have had her but there was something else she wanted to say. She said it finally, when she had bade a constrained good-by to Halsey and the car was waiting at the door.
“Miss Innes,” she said in a low tone, “if they—if there is any attempt made to—to have you give up the house, do it, if you possibly can. I am afraid—to have you stay.”
That was all. Gertrude went into town with her and saw her safely home. She reported a decided coolness in the greeting between Louise and her mother, and that Doctor Walker was there, apparently in charge of the arrangements for the funeral. Halsey disappeared shortly after Louise left and came home about nine that night, muddy and tired. As for Thomas, he went around dejected and sad, and I saw the detective watching him closely at dinner. Even now I wonder—what did Thomas know? What did he suspect?
At ten o’clock the household had settled down for the night. Liddy, who was taking Mrs. Watson’s place, had finished examining the tea-towels and the corners of the shelves in the cooling-room, and had gone to bed. Alex, the gardener, had gone heavily up the circular staircase to his room, and Mr. Jamieson was examining the locks of the windows. Halsey dropped into a chair in the living-room, and stared moodily ahead. Once he roused.
“What sort of a looking chap is that Walker, Gertrude?” he asked!
“Rather tall, very dark, smooth-shaven. Not bad looking,” Gertrude said, putting down the book she had been pretending to read. Halsey kicked a taboret viciously.
“Lovely place this village must be in the winter,” he said irrelevantly. “A girl would be buried alive here.”
It was then some one rapped at the knocker on the heavy front door. Halsey got up leisurely and opened it, admitting Warner. He was out of breath from running, and he looked half abashed.
“I am sorry to disturb you,” he said. “But I didn’t know what else to do. It’s about Thomas.”
“What about Thomas?” I asked. Mr. Jamieson had come into the hall and we all stared at Warner.
“He’s acting queer,” Warner explained. “He’s sitting down there on the edge of the porch, and he says he has seen a ghost. The old man looks bad, too; he can scarcely speak.”
“He’s as full of superstition as an egg is of meat,” I said. “Halsey, bring some whisky and we will all go down.”