Dialstone Lane, Part 5. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 33 pages of information about Dialstone Lane, Part 5..

Dialstone Lane, Part 5. eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 33 pages of information about Dialstone Lane, Part 5..

Mrs. Stobell, about to reply, caught the staring eye of the photograph, and, shaking her head sorrowfully, took out her handkerchief and wiped her eyes.  Mrs. Chalk softened.

“They both had their faults,” she said, gently, “but they were great friends.  I dare say that it was a comfort to them to be together to the last.”

Captain Bowers himself began to lose hope at last, and went about in so moody a fashion that a shadow seemed to have fallen upon the cottage.  By tacit consent the treasure had long been a forbidden subject, and even when the news of Selina’s promissory note reached Dialstone Lane he had refused to discuss it.  It had nothing to do with him, he said, and he washed his hands of it—­a conclusion highly satisfactory to Miss Vickers, who had feared that she would have had to have dropped for a time her visits to Mr. Tasker.

A slight change in the household occurring at this time helped to divert the captain’s thoughts.  Mr. Tasker while chopping wood happened to chop his knee by mistake, and, as he did everything with great thoroughness, injured himself so badly that he had to be removed to his home.  He was taken away at ten in the morning, and at a quarter-past eleven Selina Vickers, in a large apron and her sleeves rolled up over her elbows, was blacking the kitchen stove and throwing occasional replies to the objecting captain over her shoulder.

“I promised Joseph,” she said, sharply, “and I don’t break my promises for nobody.  He was worrying about what you’d do all alone, and I told him I’d come.”

Captain Bowers looked at her helplessly.

“I can manage very well by myself,” he said, at last.

“Chop your leg off, I s’pose?” retorted Miss Vickers, good-temperedly.  “Oh, you men!”

“And I’m not at home much while Miss Drewitt is away,” added the captain.

“All the better,” said Miss Vickers, breathing noisily on the stove and polishing with renewed vigour.  “You won’t be in my way.”

The captain pulled himself together.

“You can finish what you’re doing,” he said, mildly, “and then—­”

“Yes, I know what to do,” interrupted Miss Vickers.  “You leave it to me.  Go in and sit down and make yourself comfortable.  You ought not to be in the kitchen at all by rights.  Not that I mind what people say—­I should have enough to do if I did—­but still—­”

The captain fled in disorder and at first had serious thoughts of wiring for Miss Drewitt, who was spending a few days with friends in town.  Thinking better of this, he walked down to a servants’ registry office, and, after being shut up for a quarter of an hour in a small room with a middle-aged lady of Irish extraction, who was sent in to be catechized, resolved to let matters remain as they were.

Miss Vickers swept and dusted, cooked and scrubbed, undisturbed, and so peaceable was his demeanour when he returned from a walk one morning, and found the front room being “turned out,” that she departed from her usual custom and explained the necessities of the case at some length.

Project Gutenberg
Dialstone Lane, Part 5. from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.