“Ah!” said the Bishop.
“We were very good friends,” added Felicia.
“But nothing more?” the Bishop ventured to ask.
Felicia’s face glowed for an instant. Then she looked her companion in the eyes frankly and answered: “Truly and truly, nothing more.”
“It would be just the way of the world for these two people to come to like each other, though,” thought the man to himself, and somehow the thought made him grave. It was almost like the old pang over Camilla. But it passed, leaving him afterwards, when Felicia had gone back, with tears in his eyes and a feeling that was almost hope that Felicia and Stephen would like each other. “After all,” he said, like the sensible, good man that he was, “is not romance a part of humanity? Love is older than I am, and wiser.”
The week following, the Bishop had an experience that belongs to this part of the Settlement history. He was coming back to the Settlement very late from some gathering of the striking tailors, and was walking along with his hands behind him, when two men jumped out from behind an old fence that shut off an abandoned factory from the street, and faced him. One of the men thrust a pistol in his face, and the other threatened him with a ragged stake that had evidently been torn from the fence.
“Hold up your hands, and be quick about it!” said the man with the pistol.
“Righteousness shall go before him and shall set us in the way of his steps.”
The Bishop was not in the habit of carrying much money with him, and the man with the stake who was searching him uttered an oath at the small amount of change he found. As he uttered it, the man with the pistol savagely said, “Jerk out his watch! We might as well get all we can out of the job!”
The man with the stake was on the point of laying hold of the chain where there was a sound of footsteps coming towards him.
“Get behind the fence! We haven’t half searched him yet! Mind you keep shut now, if you don’t want—”
The man with the pistol made a significant gesture with it and, with his companion, pulled and pushed the Bishop down the alley and through a ragged, broken opening in the fence. The three stood still there in the shadow until the footsteps passed.
“Now, then, have you got the watch?” asked the man with the pistol.
“No, the chain is caught somewhere!” and the other man swore again.
“Break it then!”
“No, don’t break it,” the Bishop said, and it was the first time he had spoken. “The chain is the gift of a very dear friend. I should be sorry to have it broken.”
At the sound of the Bishop’s voice the man with the pistol started as if he had been suddenly shot by his own weapon. With a quick movement of his other hand he turned the Bishop’s head toward’s what little light was shining from the alleyway, at the same time taking a step nearer. Then, to the amazement of his companion, he said roughly: “Leave the watch alone! We’ve got the money. That’s enough!”