‘He’s just lovely,’ she said to herself, as she returned to the bar ‘but his eyes are so wicked; I don’t think he’s a good young man.’
What would she have said if she had heard the conversation in the bedroom?
THEODORE WOPPLES, ACTOR
Mr Villiers walked in a leisurely manner along the lower part of the town, with the intent of going up to his destination through the old mining gully. He took this route for two reasons—first, because the afternoon was hot, and it was easier climbing up that way than going by the ordinary road; and, second, on his journey through the chasm he would be able to mark some place where he could hide the nugget. With his stick under his arm, Mr Villiers trudged merrily along in a happy humour, as if he was bent on pleasure instead of robbery. And after all, as he said to himself, it could not be called a genuine robbery, as everything belonging to his wife was his by right of the marriage service, and he was only going to have his own again. With this comfortable thought he climbed slowly up the broken tortuous path which led to the Black Hill, and every now and then would pause to rest, and admire the view.
It was now nearly six o’clock, and the sun was sinking amid a blaze of splendour. The whole of the western sky was a sea of shimmering gold, and this, intensified near the horizon to almost blinding brightness, faded off towards the zenith of the sky into a delicate green, and thence melted imperceptibly into a cold blue.
Villiers, however, being of the earth, earthy, could not be troubled looking very long at such a common-place sight as a sunset; the same thing occurred every evening, and he had more important things to do than to waste his time gratifying his artistic eye. Arriving on the plateau of earth just in front of the gully, he was soon entering the narrow gorge, and tramped steadily along in deep thought, with bent head and wrinkled brows. The way being narrow, and Villiers being preoccupied, it was not surprising that as a man was coming down in the opposite direction, also preoccupied, they should run against one another. When this took place it gave Mr Villiers rather a start, as it suggested a possible witness to the deed he contemplated, a thing for which he was by no means anxious.
‘Really, sir,’ said the stranger, in a rich, rolling voice, and in a dignified tone, ’I think you might look where you are going. From what I saw of you, your eyes were not fixed on the stars, and thus to cause your unwatched feet to stumble; in fact,’ said the speaker, looking up to the sky, ’I see no stars whereon you could fix your gaze.’
This somewhat strange mode of remonstrance was delivered in a solemn manner, with appropriate gestures, and tickled Mr Villiers so much that he leaned up against a great rock abutting on the path, and laughed long and loudly.