All this the son might have known could he have sat by his father in the carryall on this way to Moorlands.
The sudden halting of two vehicles close to the horse-block of the Temple Mansion—one an aristocratic carryall driven by a man in livery, and the other a dilapidated city hack in charge of a negro in patched overcoat and whitey-brown hat, the discharge of their inmates, one of whom was Colonel Talbot Rutter of Moorlands carrying two pillows, and another a strange young man loaded down with blankets—the slow disembarking of a gentleman in so wretched a state of health that he was practically carried up the front steps by his body-servant, and the subsequent arrival of Dr. Teackle on the double quick—was a sight so unusual in and around peaceful Kennedy Square that it is not surprising that all sorts of reports—most of them alarming—reached the club long before St. George had been comfortably tucked away in bed.
Various versions were afloat: “St. George was back from Wesley with a touch of chills and fever—” “St. George was back from Wesley with a load of buckshot in his right arm—” “St. George had broken his collar-bone riding to hounds—” etc.
Richard Horn was the first to spring to his feet—it was the afternoon hour and the club was full—and cross the Square on the run, followed by Clayton, Bowman, and two or three others. These, with one accord, banged away on the knocker, only to be met by Dr. Teackle, who explained that there was nothing seriously the matter with Mr. Temple, except an attack of foolhardiness in coming up the bay when he should have stayed in bed—but even that should cause his friends no uneasiness, as he was still as tough as a lightwood knot, and bubbling over with good humor; all he needed was rest, and that he must have—so please everybody come to-morrow.
By the next morning the widening of ripples caused by the dropping of a high-grade invalid into the still pool of Kennedy Square, spread with such force and persistency that one wavelet overflowed Kate’s dressing-room. Indeed, it came in with Mammy Henny and her coffee.
“Marse George home, honey—Ben done see Todd. Got a mis’ry in his back dat bad it tuk two gemmens to tote him up de steps.”
“Uncle George home, and ill!”
That was enough for Kate. She didn’t want any coffee—she didn’t want any toast or muffins, or hominy—she wanted her shoes and stockings and—Yes everything, and quick!—and would Mammy Henny call Ben and send him right away to Mr. Temple’s and find out how her dear Uncle George had passed the night, and give him her dearest love and tell him she would come right over to see him the moment she could get into her clothes; and could she send anything for him to eat; and did the doctor think it was dangerous—? Yes—and Ben must keep on to Dr. Teackle’s and find out if it was dangerous—and say to him that