Bryce pointed to a long stretch of grey wall which projected from the south wall of the Cathedral into the Close.
“It’s an enclosure—between the south porch and the transept,” he said. “Full of old tombs and trees—a sort of wilderness —why called Paradise I don’t know. There’s a short cut across it to the Deanery and that part of the Close—through that archway you see over there. If you go across, you’re almost sure to meet Dr. Ransford.”
“I’m much obliged to you,” said the stranger. “Thank you.”
He turned away in the direction which Bryce had indicated, and Bryce went back—only to go out again and call after him.
“If you don’t meet him, shall I say you’ll call again?” he asked. “And—what name?”
The stranger shook his head.
“It’s immaterial,” he answered. “I’ll see him—somewhere—or later. Many thanks.”
He went on his way towards Paradise, and Bryce returned to the surgery and completed his preparations for departure. And in the course of things, he more than once looked through the window into the garden and saw Mary Bewery still walking and talking with young Sackville Bonham.
“No,” he muttered to himself. “I won’t trouble to exchange any farewells—not because of Ransford’s hint, but because there’s no need. If Ransford thinks he’s going to drive me out of Wrychester before I choose to go he’s badly mistaken —it’ll be time enough to say farewell when I take my departure—and that won’t be just yet. Now I wonder who that old chap was? Knew some one of Ransford’s name once, did he? Probably Ransford himself—in which case he knows more of Ransford than anybody in Wrychester knows—for nobody in Wrychester knows anything beyond a few years back. No, Dr. Ransford!—no farewells—to anybody! A mere departure—till I turn up again.”
But Bryce was not to get away from the old house without something in the nature of a farewell. As he walked out of the surgery by the side entrance, Mary Bewery, who had just parted from young Bonham in the garden and was about to visit her dogs in the stable yard, came along: she and Bryce met, face to face. The girl flushed, not so much from embarrassment as from vexation; Bryce, cool as ever, showed no sign of any embarrassment. Instead, he laughed, tapping the hand-bag which he carried under one arm.
“Summarily turned out—as if I had been stealing the spoons,” he remarked. “I go—with my small belongings. This is my first reward—for devotion.”
“I have nothing to say to you,” answered Mary, sweeping by him with a highly displeased lance. “Except that you have brought it on yourself.”
“A very feminine retort!” observed Bryce. “But—there is no malice in it? Your anger won’t last more than—shall we say a day?”
“You may say what you like,” she replied. “As I just said, I have nothing to say—now or at any time.”