|Chapter Number||XVII and XVIII|
|Chapter Title||HOW MR. DILLINGHAM LOOKED OUT OF A WINDOW and A Rivermouth Mystery|
|Newspaper Title||The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 - 1933)|
|Trove Title||Prudence Palfrey|
Bl THOM is Kvir.iv ALDKICH.
[ne-imblislieil from tho Atlantic Monlldj/.]
KOW MU. D1I.MXGIIAM I-OOKUD OUT OP A WINDOW.
IT was a blustery, frosty morning; the sensitive twigs of tree3 snapped with the cold ; the brass knockers on old-fashioned doors hero and there had a sullen, vindictive look, daring you to take hold of them ; the sky was slate-color. There was no snow on the ground, but the wind,
sweeping up the street, now and then blew the ' white dust into blinding clouds, which, bursting in the air and sifting lazily downward, seemed to Mr. Dillingham, 03 ho leaned against the case- ment of a window in the Old Bell Tavern, quite like falling snow.
The window at which the young minister stood was directly over the front door, and commanded a prospect of the entire length of tho street that ran at right angles with the main thoroughfare and terminated at tho steps of the hotel. At tho other end of this street was the long bridge hidden from time to timo that morning by the swirls* of dust-leading to Willowbrook.,
Mr. Dillüigham had his oj'es fixed upon a dis- tant object approaching from that direction. It was a mero speck when ho first descried it on the bridge, tossed and blown hither and thither by the gale j but as it straggled onward, ho was not slow to detect in this atom the person of Mr. Dent's coachman, Wingate. Not ah especially interesting atom, Wingate, .os a general thing, to the rest of the human family ; but he interested Mr. Dilllugham very deeply this morning.
As the coachman drew nearer, the young minister saw that he held something white clutched in his hand, which the marauding winds, now and then swooping down on him frotn around the corners, attempted to wrest from his grasp. That it was a note from Miss Palfrey, that it was for bim, Mr. Dillingham, and that it contained the death-warrant of his hopes, were the conclusions at which he arrived before AVingate gained the stone-crossing opposite the
As AVingate reached this point, and was backing up against the wind which just then swept furiously around the paint-shop on the corner, a hack stopped suddenly on tho crossway.
A man le mid ft oin the w mdovv uni c died to A\niDite, who st md it lum tupidly fn a moment, then in lied to the Mile of the di ii ige und0iispcd the hand of the occupant, then the two ciitcicd into an animated dialogue, if one uu0ht judge bj the eueigetic. pintomuue tint
Mi Dillin0hnm vv itched this encountei-evi
dctitly unexpected bj both pu ties-with a
feven li icstlcssuess not chanctiiistic of linn His bieith cune md went quickly, md In» mi patience sicined to tike shape uni bccomoci)»
talh/ed m eccmti ii n¿/ ig lines on the p mo of glass neatest lus lips It was rapidl) glowmg btttoi told without, and tho fiost vv is bttotclung its sill ii) auteimii ovei all the windows
1 mall) the caiingo di ovo oil, and AVmgiite, as if po sessid to pi ulong the t intah/ing suspeiisi of tho jouiig cleigjmui, stood mottonlc s on tho cmbstono sex01 al minutes, looking nftci the le tieitiug v chulé rilen it appeal id to ocim to Aiingnlc that he was fiee/ing to diath, and he crossid ovei bitoklj to tho Old Bill lavein
Ali Dillingham humid into the hall and sn itched the noto f i oin tho benumbed fuigei » of the astonished coachman, who was accustomed to much suivit) and fiequent lift) cent pieces fiom the paisou
"All light, AVingato, thank )onl and tho dooi was closed unccicmomousl) upon the inca
Ah Dillingham btoko lho seal of the envelope, andieid the note nt n g1 ince, foi it was vet) bucf Dncctl) nftei Hiding it he toie tho pipci into mmuto fragmonts, which ho tlnew into tho gi ite lho gcstiuo with which he te eoinpamed the action, nitliei than his fice, bo tii)cd stiong emotion , foi his fice was com posed now, and something almost like i simio pi i) ed about Ins lip»
Hi stood foi a few seconds nicsoluto m the muidlo ol the np u tment, then ho w mt into tho adjoining loom, his slcopmg channel, and took down his ov ci co lot ft oin a shelf in tho black walnut iwudiobo
lins was the morning aftn Tines musiml tinline &he had dispatchid tho note to Mt
Dilhiighain as soon ns bioikfist vv is oin, but it lind bun mitton long beton Sho hal mitten it in tho eui} gil) of lho moining,-sitting in a ghostblj vvaj it bel desk, wnipped ina white eh isuui c shnwl, with hcifcot tin list into ipan of satuishppois of tho Ciudcialla famil), while the house slept It was one i-f font letter« lho Hist was six piges, this vv is sixteen hue«,-it
lesson foi sei tbblei s
W hile W mgato ii is on his vvti) to town with tho missive, Piiidenco w is in hu loom summon mg up tho looolution to till Mi Dont whit ¡Jio had one It vv as not a ihcei ful tisk to lointem plate, lomebeimghow uni cosoimblo and nugi ) he li id boon w hen she opposed lus w islns bofoi c bin had m unclouded piniption of tho djsnp pointniint she w is going to giv o lum this tuno it vv is piott) iloni to bel that ho had sit Ins hellt on the mnuiiigo
Mi Dent was ti)nig to mid tho morning pnpoi, w lion the hbi in ) dooi opened gi ntl) , ho did not look up at once, supposing it was 15 idge, tho hoiibu bo}, bl nigitig in the eo lU, oi Pi udeneo coining to tell lum vvhtt ho dieaded to know positiv olj
A\ hen ho did look up ho s iv\ John Dent stand mg on the tin cshold and «miling upon lum npo logcticallj
" Good C!od, Jack I is that jon / ' cued Ali
Dent, letting the pipei slip in a hoip to his
" Vis, I-I ha\ o como b ick '
Mi Dont vva-s not i siipoiotitious poison, but he felt foi m i)be len seconds tint that was an appuition standing thoio ni the dooma) Vnd thcio was much in John Dent s aspect laliulatod to sti cngthon tho impression
Ho ivis vvoin and pilo, as if lie had just le covciod fiom i long illness, oi died of it, his cheeks weio sunken, his o)os bulli mt, and his unkempt black hau was blackei than midnight igunst Ins p illoi A shabby oi ii co it w is tlnovv n nci o&s one shouldei, cona ding the lift in ni, w hull ho ciuiied slilll) at his side lliot c w is a squnloi and a nusei) ibout linn, heightined b) Ins smile, that would hn\o toitchul tho eonipission of i stiangii Mt Dont was in i dcpiosscd mood that morning, and tins woeful hgiuo of his nephew, standing thcio md »nilling upon lum hko a thing out of tho chinch )aid, neill) brought tho te us to his c)es
" Wh), lick, boj, ho» ill jou ino ' '
"lam onl) tiled, sud John Dont, (hopping nilo a chan , "that and the slight hint I've got '
" Yes, I he ud about that " " l'on bom d about it I ' " To bo sm o I did "
" 1 low lould j ou have heal d of it ¡ '
" Golonol r odhuntai bl ought the nous Gail I I'vo done the colonel something of an injustice "
"Colonel Todhuntei 1
" I didn t behev o a wold ho said, but then ho declined)Ott weio dead '
" Colonol rodhuntoi did ? ' "Acs
" I do not vv mt to contrachet Colonel Tod liuntci, foi tint vvouldil t be riohti," «aid Tollu Dont, with one of his old smtlis, "btitliogict to state th it I am not diad AVho i» Golonel Todhuntii, nil) wa) /
Mi Dint stated at linn
"Wini1' jon dont know the colonel' The colonel knows >ou ici y will Ho told us all about it-the skuinish, }ou know, in whiih jou weio wounded and taken pusonu, and - Here Jil Dent p iu«ed, sicmg bj tho i niions ex picssion of bia nephew s fice that tho wouls WHO meinmglcss to lum "Dmr me, ho thought, " how iel y muih biokut upho is , his momoij is wholl) gone I
"Undo llilph,' -wid lohn Dont, "I uevci hi aid of Golonil rodhuntu until this m munt, I havo no1 been in the anny, I have not bein in any skuinish, and I have not been taken pnsonoi '
1 his w is too calm and categoi ical i BUtcinent not to slake Ali Dont a little ni his suspicion th it the speakei vv as 1 iboi mg under soino mcnt.il dciangeincnt
" I Ti iv o been w ounded, to bo sill o, continued John Dent "I was shot in Western Anguila, in the woods, on mj w ij to join tho aimj,-shot bj Geoige Nevins,' ho adi'id, between his tooth "I lmigine he got tned of me nt last, and con eluded to kill mc He filled this time , but he will do it, if tint is his pin pose '
In leading John Dent's letter to Joseph In umbi}, Mi Dent had smiled at whit he con sidoied Jack s hnlluciiutioit touching tho watch which ho supposed Nevins was keeping ovei lum night mid da) , but tins attempt on Jack's life, if thoie had leally been one, at a spot so temóte fiom the scene of tho tobbii) tinco }cats befoi e, g ive n hue of prob ibiht) to the idea
Mr Dent looked out of the cornel of his e) e nt his nophow Peihaps Jaik was niBaiie Air Dont's faith m the gcnoi d correctness of the colonel s statement was coming b ick to lum Sitting with his aims hanging at Ins sido and his head lestmg on his chest brooding!), Jtck seemed like a puson not quite light m his mind
" AVhere is this Golonil l'odhuntci ¡ ' he ix claimed, starting to Ins feet
" Good heal eus I don t be so noient ' ' " Wheie is he, I si) ! '
" How can I tell ? 'lho man's gone " " How long since Í ' " A fortnight ago '
" Wis ho hero,-in this house ! '
"Ho came hero ono afternoon, representing himself as yom friend , he stay ed m tho town foul oi five dayB aftei that, I believe "
"It is thne weeks since I was shot,' said John Dent, reflecting "Did Iwombly seo
"I îeally can't say whether the deacon saw
him or not "
" I don't mean the deacon , I mean Joe "
" Joseph was in Chicago, been there these six
" Uncle, what kind of person was tins Golonol Todhunter I Describe lum to me '
"Ho was something of n chnrncter, I should say, a cool customer, ho made himself lery much at home-with ni) Bherry '
" Ver) gentleman!), and i atber pale 1 '
"Well, the sherr) was pale," returned Mr Dent, laughing, "but the colonol was mthet florid, and not at all gentlemanly, that IB to say, he canned it with a high hand in tho town, though he behaved decently enough when he
called on me "
"What was he like!'
" A tall man, taller than you, for instance , stronglj built, with blue ejes and sand) beard."
"Nonsense 1" said Air Dent
"It was George Nevins, I tell you I"
" Pooh I you're mad AVhat would bring him here, of all the places m the -world?"
'I dont know , theie ne miiij things I cm not fathom , but tin, 1 di know, jon have ,ti od flee to fice with the nu,t dunn, md accoin plishcd scoundiel thit hits liitic i nt lu,
match in C ihfoini i 01 Nev id i "
"Good Ueivens1 cjiculited Ali Dent, un easily, w lth a Setisitton of luv nig tvv o 01 three bullet holts in the sin ill of his bick " A ou don t ledlj believe thit tint m in vv lo the fellow
Ntv ins '
" I do, T-surcdlj Ho thought he hld dis
posed of me, and he cune hete piospochng It was like In» impudence Ho told jon 1 was dead ? AV'ell, ho had good i eison to suppose
"I cult believe it Gad, I dont believe it ' If it hid been ho, I think 1 should hive tinned dospoindo lnstiucttvelj, and bl ought lum down vv lth tho old shot gun And Ali Dont vv is miking a motion to that nculj humless weapon, which hid hung foi j cat s unloided ovei the libruj milite] piece, when Piudenee
wliked into the loom
'Diop Colonel lodlutntei, ' wluspeied Ali Dent hastily
In lorn inces and on the st ige, tho meeting bo tvv ceil tvv o people w ho, li ii pilj oi unh ippilj, luv o boon long scpuutcd, is lindo tho occcion of much sensational busiiics,, but 1 h iv o ob seived that peoploinieal hie, who hive loved oi hated each othei, mo not apt, when thej meet aftoi a hipoo of jcus, athel to swoon oi scow 1 oi do inj thing stt ikincd) di mintie
Pindenco ncithei stilted liol fainted when she found John Dont vv lth bet uncle , sho hid soeii John Dont descend fiom the hack at the gate ton oi fifteen ir unites pi cv loublj -pel haps itgivehei a tutu it the utstuit-and she hld now come to wolcomo lum home Nothing could hive boon mole simple oi ii ititi ii thin tho meeting between them If Piudcncc s h md ins a lulu, cold, bei hinds weie lubituallj cold , if John Dents lund was hot, ho hid i gunshot w omul, and w es fev ei ish
"lam gild to seo jon, Cousin John," sind Piudciicosnnplj, as tf she hld pitted with lum jctcidi), md hld tut citen tinco thousind two lniudied mil ughtj five meals sineo that dij when he filled to como bick to dinnci
lins ts shoekuiglj c million placo md i ell- iptic, I know, and will cost mea gleit in my sentimental le ulcis , but I niuot stand oi fill by
Piudonco was uniflictedlv g1 id to seo John Dont, md the sineoie Itiendlmeas of hoi gieot
nig placed lum it his co.se He had much to toll ot Ins w indcimgs, md much to bo told of Rivei
mouth all m» , and vcij soon tho com ci & ition llowed on between the e tinco with onlj the slightest iindei cm i eut of consti unt Indeed, it,cerned to Piudenee hie that fust day, long igo, when lohn Dent ernie to Rivoiinoiith and amplified hei bj being a ft ink, light ltcai ted joung fellow, inste id of the mousing Di j as dust she evpocted As m that tuno also, ho hld come to loiniinoulj t buef pctiod , thoio weie dngons still at hugo and glints jet liuslam As soon is Ins aim vv is well, ho would bid good bjt igim to Rtv ei mouth I he gold ho was going m quest of now was tint small quitnlttj of bullion winch i» to bo found in a lieutenants shouldei stiaps
Hie puallcl between Ins tvv o v lsits ocelli i ed ta Jolin Dent himself, is ho sit tittie chitting and so fn as his lmpocuniosity wont, tho puillel was too close to bo igiooiblo Bofoic he lind had onlj i sltndoi outllt and a fovv bundled dolíais, mid now ho wits the possossoi ot i niiv j íovolvoi, and a suit of clothes which Ins uncle ejed though tf nil j fiom time to time, and ic solvcd to lmvo bulled m the bickgitdenat no lomóte ponod
But m spite of this, a blissful sotonilj, boin of tho home like itmosphere ho wns biedhing, took possession of John Dent His nnsfoi tunes weie visions mid cliniioiis, he was isa niau who, awaking fiom a lughhnuo, linds himself tu i e uiif n table wai m mum with the dij light pom nig thioiigh the Windows, and Btuvts in vam to leeollcct the dream that a moment og > app died
He looked so shabbj, and uncaiedfoi, md hippy, llmt Piudonco was touched In »peak mg of Puson AVibnd, slio w is obliged to tveit all hei self contiol not lo tell lohn Dont of the logicj AVhntovoi he did, ho should not go iw ij until hu was iiifuuiod of thal She lingcied on the subject of tho paisons deich, mid cunio bick to it ni mteivals, with tho hope tint hei gulidian would be tempted lo bioik tUiou"U the now slightlj binding condition of the will But the old pu non iccilled to Ml
Mt Dents mind tho new puson, and hebiokt out, with tint fine lict which cbataelciiscd lum, "Bj the wij, Jick, jou must 1 now Dillingliam , ho s acipilal fellow '
John Dent had leuni fiom AVingalc, in then hunted confcietico at the sheet conloi, tint Pi itdencc vv es still mini u ned , and foi tho mo meut ho had folgerten cveijthing, sue the doheioua fact that he and Pt nu weie Hitting and talking togtthei is of old But now Ins toun
ten meo fell
"I shall bo glad hi know lum," ho conti iv ed to sij, with mole oi less enthusiasm
AVith tins, Mt Dillingliam p essed out of tho com LI tuition, and did not dnfl into it again No othei unfortunate wold ot allusion milled the tianquilhty of tint morning, which mule vv ij with itself so quickly that 1 ilinj cuised a sensation when she umotmced dinnei
the ifteinoon showed a Binniu suicidal ten-
dency , and shortly aftoi tei, John Dont, who began to feel the loietioit of the cvcitcmont ho had tmdci gone, w out to bed m the s uno l oom whole he had slept tinco jc us befuie
Appiientlj, not a piece of the anciont nu liogimy fitinttuie, which îcolvcd itself, wlteie
tv el it vv i» pi icticibli into cat veil claw s gi lisp- ing tarnished gilt bills, had been moved since he wits lest theie It stt nek lum, vvlnlo mt
diessing, that it would ho only the piopet thing foi him to go mound the thaiubei and slnilcL hands with all th i fneildlj, old fashioned paws -they shetehed themselves out fiom tibies and chalis and waidiobes with KIILII a ftithful,
bluh like au of welcome
'Ihe eisttllittd tom post bedstead, with its snowy dimity bittlemonts, seemed an mci edible thing to lohn Dent, as hoBtood and looked at it in tins wend wmtoi moonlight It MIS niiny a inonthsince he Indhin m such a siiinptiioiisaUan
A sensuous calm stole ovei Ins limbs when he stiotchcd himself on the pit mt springs of the math ess , then the impossible blue canal les, pecking at the gi ecu loses on the will pipet, lulled lum to sleep, and would hive hoppcldown fiom the twigs Hld eovcicd lum with loivcs, les the lobms covet ed tho babes in the wood, if he hid not been amply piotectcd bj a gtcitsilk pitch quilt, deftly done into vattcgited squaics and triangles bj Prut's own (Ingots
He slept the sleep of the just tint night, he was a fiiltue, but ho slept the sleep of success , and his uncle, m tho next loom, chopped oil with the soothing lollcchon that events bul ptoved Ins wisdom m not telling Pine anjthing about Colonel PLJ ton Todhunter, but Futdence scat eely slept it all
John Dents wound was of tho slightest, and the stiffness hid neatlj ¿uno out of his shoulder when he awake the next morning He awoke m the same state of beatitude in which ho had fallen asleep
" I know I don t amount to much when I'm added up, ' he said, smiling at himself in the glass as if lu» enjojed iopresenting a very small vulgai fraction m tho sum of human happiness , " bul I am not going to ttoublo mjBolf about it any more 111 go down to Vu gunn, mid como b ick presently vv lth one leg and a pension, ind spend theictof mj ihjs m tolling stones to Prtte s little ones " And John Dent smiled cheerfullj tis ho pictuicd to himself i guy
haired, dilapidated captain, or may be colonel, with three or four Einall Ddlmglnms clinging to
his coit skirts
It was a singular coincidence tint both uncle and nephew should hive reached that piula Bophical stage when they could look calmly on the prospect of plijmg gnndf ither and god father lcspectivelj to Prtie s children
John Dent descended, and found Prudence and his uncle in the library, making a pretty domestic pietuio, with the wood fire bla/ing cheenlj on the hearth, lighting up tho reel damask eui tuns, md the snow outside dashing itself stlentlj m great feathery Hikes i¿nnst the windows Itwishko an interior by Boughton, with that glimpse of bleak winter at the case
" Good morning," Bald John Dent, em elopuig the pair in one voluminous smile
"Good morning, Jack," returned Mr Dent, and " Good morning, Cousin lohn," said Pru- dence, who burned olí to see to breakfast, for the Prodigal was to have a plate of those sub- limated waffles o£ which only Prudence knew
the seciet Hie irt of then composition xxns gu tided it A\ iib sv brook ns the nu uki m the Old YA01 Id consent-, gund the distillation of
then ftmoiis col duli
Hie joung uimisixx that bo had mteiiuptcd a com ei ilion between his uncle and Piiidcliei, and cxi ciaoneed th it itiicomfurtiibli glow about the ins sslnch toma-, osei one sx hen tho du logue stops ln-tautl) at ones, ippcaiancc
Hosvosei, its l'ludcucc depaitcd to supcitti
lend the sel s mg up of the fitted xxallle, lohn Dent diexx a chun t iwauls the fue place and xs is about to seit hmiself, when his o)cs fell upon a small cabinet photugi iph ss hielt lestod against a xnse at one end of tho m mtel piece
llio bick of tho ellan slipped fiom John Dents Imgeis, and ho stood ti mslixed for a moment, looking it the picttuo , then lie np pioichtd the mantelshelf and took the photo ginpli in his, lund
" \\ ho is this / he asked quickl) , and ho pointed i quixoinig fingei it tho f ice
11 h it ' xv li), Units ni) f uend Dilhngh un, i cap-'
"Dillmgliiini le -1' cued lohn Dent, " Hut is (<eoigo Ncxins ' '
Ah Dent It tiled bick in Ins chun and sup pie scd himself
"Qiuot jonisolf,' ho sud sootlungl) "A on It ix cn t slept xx eil, jim -
"Do jim suppose 1 don t knoxx that taco .'
" that is juot piceisolj xx lut 1 suppose, cued Ali Dent, gixuig xv ix to tits nutation, "nnd I tonkin t haxe oxpicssul it bcttoi
" Not know it i II is on t I thought of it osei j dij foi two jen», filien islccp thinking of it esuj night, dicatncd of it a thousuid tunes! Ho his cul his mostacho and bend,
sind John Dont showlj tu lumsoll, "nnd sscus no coll u to lus coat v\ bat-xx hat is this doing ha c1 he ct led, \\ iib sudden fin j
"\\h), J ich, ni) bo), I tell jon thal is tim Rox lames Dilhnghain, the pasloi of the Old Buck Chut cb, Pittos fuond and mint '
" You can t mum it '
"Dont be mt idiot, li )ou discos el anj ic semblmee to Colonel lodlntntci III tint pietuto, jon xe a fine ojo foi losoinblanco
" lodhiintci w is not tho niau, cued John
Dont " Plus is llio niau '
It was patent noss to Mi Dent that lus nopho v ss is i monom nine on Hie subject of Geoige Nosms lust it had been Colonel lodhiintci, now it was Dilhnglinu, and bj and bj it would bo somobodj else Pino oi hunsolf possiblj Mt Dent coughed, and lestt until the uni itieuit xsotds that loso to Ins lips the boj s mind sx is tinned bj his liusloitunes, ind jet ho seemed i ttional enough on othei tuples
" A on think 1 mi tin/y 1 ' mud the )onng niau, leading Ins uncles open couiiteuinto ns if ii sitioabook "AYeil, I nu not 1 mi as huno os) on mc, and is clett in tho lit id as i bell
How long has ) nu futud Mi Dilliughain been settled osoi llio Buck Chiuchi And lohn Dent scaled himself, ciositng Ins legs coin foitabl), sviih the ispcet of i mun win is gumg to tike things philosophical^ mid not hot lum
self about tulles
"Sinco lest June, letuincd Ali Dont, io lies ed to see his nephew elim ngiiu "Dilling linn cune bei o in tho liltei pint of Alii), uni it is now Deeimba Consequently ho hits been
hcie a little oxoi six mouths '
"While I xx is it Shasta, ' nititlcicd llio joung man " But who In ed on mo ni A'liguui, if it sx tsu t Nex ins < 1 hen in a negligent xsnj to his uncle, "AYhcio dies )out fitetid UiUuigliim
"lil His el mouth, of colline "
" Wheio < '
"At the Old Bell lux oin"
1 ihn Dont ss cut mil of tho loom like a II isb
Aftei an instant of pune, Ali Dont dashed aftoi lum llio hull dom xx cs locked mid bolte 1
thoio xx is n complicated bolt xxith i thuin, mid tho )(iuug mau was tugging al tho chun xx hell his untie seized hint by the aim
" YA lint ni c j on li j mg to do ' '
"1 must sec this mun Dilhngh un, Undo Rnlph
" Cet tanti j, so ) ou shall bee Dilhnghom '1 cn to one he xxiii into out hcie bofoio tlio morning is osei, in spite of the slot in , and then )ou xxiii discosei how nb«md )ou mc '
"Gimting I mu xs long," sud lohn Dont as composed!) as ho could, ' I cumotwailto has» pi oof of li If ho is tho man 1 think hu IN, he knows whoic I mi b) this time, and will not show Ins face hole I must go to bun '
"Befjie bicikfasl? ' " J Ins instant ' '
Mi Dont lollecttd that pel haps tho only eui o foi his nephews delusion xxas to bung him fuco In face willi llio )oung immstoi, whom, li) tho sso),Ah Dent himself xvas iiixnuts to seo , ho wes still lgnoionl of whnt hod passed m tho diowmg loom two nights pioxiousl), foi Put
deuce It id found no lilting moment smeo John Denis nu ix ni to nifoi in bet guaidiui of bet do cisión mid the leitet si io had Hutton to Ml Dilhnglinin
So one of tho c ni inge liol ses xs us oidoicd to bo hiiuiosscd to tho huggy tnd dus cn tioiind tu thu side dooi Altinsxhilo lohn Dent picul the Indi, chafing , and Puidence, xxith hoi o)cbioxvs imsed into niton (¡gatum points, stood behind tho collet mu in tho bieokf est loom, wondeinig
what itali meant
AY'lion the bugg) ss es i ead), Ali Dent pi oposcd to go to toss n done and bung the j ming nimistoi birk with linn , but lohn Dent would not listen to tho suggestion, and the tsso di ose off logelhei
m the sloim
llio snosv beat so pcisistently in then fices all the sv ij, that theie ssas no chunco foi conversa tion, if eithci lind been disposed lo talk Ali
Dent stole a g1 mee nosv md then at the joung man, whose ejts glowed ssicktdly osoi a hugo xvluto mustache xv Inch ho bul got iiiling in tlio teeth of the xvuid "I xo half J. mind to tip tho pan of us oxei the next bank, mullcied Ml Dent ' he's as ci i/j as a loan 1
On di ix ing up lo tho dooi of tho Old Boll las eui, Ali Dent begged Ins nophevs to conti ol himself mid do nothing i ush John Dent pro miscd lins, but willi set teeth and in a manna not ic Mining
"You mc making n di end ful mistake , and if you mv oh o mo m anj ibsmdity I II iiexci forgive jon Dillmgham is mj fi loud, and ano of the noblest fcllosss iii the xxotld Ii is uitlioi eoilj foi a call , I'll go up hist, lack '
"And 111 go with jon, ' s tul John Dent xvith disgusting piouiptness
Mr Dilhngh imp suite of looms was on tho second flooi, md tho dooi of Ins pttlor m sttidj glue upon the nioin staircase Ml Dent, in woidlj consigning his nephew to tho shades belov», knocked two or lineo tunes without awakening the well known voice svhich ilsxays said "Come in to his iccogni/cd knock , then ho turned tho bindle of the dooi, xxhich was not
" He s in bed nt this bom, of coutHO, ' he ro milked Hie town clock xxies stnknig eight " \Vi 11 step into Ins pu lor and wnit foi lum '
'lhe loom xvas m the gientost disordci , tho 1 dnuvcis of a luge esei lion e between the xvm
dows xseie standing wide open, llio grate svnsfull of dead nslics, nnd osa the corpot eveiysvhoro \ svere scatteicd hnlf tom letters lind pipers
John Dent ci"l one g1 ince mound tho ipmt mont nnd then lushed into the small bed chmnbci adjoining 1 ho bed svas nmuniplcd
I "Gone ' ' moincil John Dent, (hopping into a
"Gone' nonsense I Gone to brotkfast," said
"Its no use," Bud the young man, settling lnmRclf gloomily m the chair , "he is bundi eds of miles ass ly bj this time YVhilo we xvero Bitting in the chimnej corner over jonder, fut I and stevm and nil mfeinal poweis wcro whisking
' him ofl beyond my re tell "
Mr Dent pulled at tho bell cord ns if he bud suddenly bad a bite, and jerked in Laikm the waiter AY'here wits Mr Dillmgham 1 Laikm did not knoxx xvhero Air Dilhngham xxns He xxould enquire nt the office
He returned shoitly xxith the information that Air Dillinghnrn had gone out quite catly y the day before, and lind not been m since 1 he g joung munster xvas m the habit of itbsentmg d himself for several dajB together xvithout noti
g fjmg the office clerk, xxho supposed m this
instance, as in the others, that Air Dillmgham xvas smiting his friend Mr Dent at AY'illosv
"lhnt'11 do, Larkin," said Air Dent "No ig thin¿ pnrtieulnr We'll look in again "
L<cit Larkin, lined xvith profamtj
it, Air Dent, xxith a feeble smile on his hps,
stood lookmg at his nephew
" It is too late, ' said the young man, " but I svould like to fend a telegram to Boston and one to New York "
"lo whom i"
"lo tho ilnef of police "
Ml Dent stinted "Dont )Oif do if' I know )ou mo wiong, though I acknollledge that the thing has anti mgilook Youwouldfclrathei Hit li, iftn )ou had sent oil a louple of liU-kms mimigc*, Dillniglran should ttuii up mid exj km it all m i do/en w ords, is I im positiv a he ii ill I could ncvei look lum ni tho lace i0un '
' Aoit won t ni) wa), bald lohn Dent "Hoiv ovci, 1 dont want to use the mini of Dilling ham in tho mattii I shall simply gtvo a dis ciiption of tho piisou of Geoigo kevins lint will not mooni amonio vii) otu, I ni afmid Seo how he slips tlnough ni) linga s I [ should edi tho m m mt eel, if ho ivasn t a deni
Ali Dont mado no fm thci objection , tho two descended to tho sticet and di ove to the tolo giapli office
In tho midst of wilting t despatch, )oung Dent puised and inbblul tho top of tho pen hiildii "1 wondoi I didnt think of that bifoio," ho saul to hinisclt , mil ti ton m a km \oico to his undo, ' ' \sk tho opoi itn if Dilling lunn his sent 01 icccived my thing ovei tho wiles
Ali Dilhnghnm hid sent two tolcgiams tho
" W ill you allow mo to look at thom ii mo
Diopping the dite, tho liligi una load as
" lo Rivvhns and Son, Bankirs,
" Chicago, Illinois
" Place tho bil uno duo mo on iicount, and tho six U S bonds j on hold foi mc, to the el edit mid subject to the oidci of Golonol Pojton
" Tims Du UM ii vu "li
" To Colonel Ve) ton rodlumtci,
"Jlilvv uikci, AVincoi in
"Go to Chieigo uistiintl) Di tw funds fiom H m lings Will join j ou it oliOC A'ou hain
fiilud Ho is heio-JD '
"Aio jon loiiiinicd now? whispnul lohn Dint, having with bicnlhliss inlnisl nail (hiso documents 0101 his undo s shouldei "Happens, though 1 don t mulei stund tho list tilogi mi nt all, lb it) oui fi mid Colonol l'o}lon lodtitiutu is the f i und of join vv nth) fiiond tho Hu
laníos Dillinglnni , md a pinions pan the} nie, if I mi) st) si without hulling j out feeling« 'Ho is heio lucius mo, of eiinso, but whit is incuitb) 'Aon bavo failed ¡' 'Clitll' evidcnll) design iles some | nut of linili/i ins
' lack,' vvluspnid Ali Dont tlnikl), "1 cm t billen lil) 1)CH '
"Iwouldnt sud lick "Id stand tL nul
In the mo Ultimo 1 will send oil this disruption, mil thin wo li go bick to the hi lol Ho di cmi])cd in hiesli, and uni} hilo left behind lum something m tho w i) of loltcis oi pipcis that
will bo useful lo mo '
I'ho joiiiig nun sealed himself at a desk, mil, aflci a moments icllcction, wioto lho foil living liles ige, which ho Inndud to Ins undo - "Alessis linn hugs md Son,
1 Ghicigo, 111
"His Gol mil iodliunloi iliaiin lho funds dosciilcd in tho dcspileh of \cslcula\ ? If not, slop p i) incut until fin thci ulv leos - I D
1 Hints i elevci «lu, saul Ali Dont, iiwnlc mg fi mi tho hlupii that li id fallon upon him "Wo will hnvo au mjiinctiiii on thom, if il m not lou 1 ite , bul luck, lsn t li a HOI I of foigei) lo iisi Dillinghiiiu s mimo Uns wa) ¡ '
' I luven I used his nanni, nnswiied luck, liugliingl) , "I hine put ni) mm initials to the document lil o ii min Aio )ou winking tin nigh I ho asked, tinning lo the eloik " I lion send this dong '
Hu icsiinnd his seit it the dcsl, and foil lo woik on i pit sunni disci ipli in of Gunge Nm ins lins w is a task if somo difheiill), iei|iuiuig a conciseness mil elim ness ol diction winch cosl him consul ci iblu tioiiblc Al no thin half au lunn c1 ipscd Icfoio lohn Dint had completed the poi ti mt lo lu« silisfiielion Ho was in lho midst of his sei mil despatch when the opualoi locoivod fiom It mimi,» and Son a liligi mt thal sinned lo pu//lo linn Minn what
"lins ngipin s lo bl in nnswii to }om dos ¡>itch, HU, bul it is aildicsscd ti Ali Dilling
" A mmttiko at the othei end, Bud Ali Dent, mucki}
"Wini do thoy bil) '' nsl ed T hu Dent, inching foi mud lo take the lung nut i ovv stnp of p ipci fi oin tho cle) k s li uni
Golonul ludhimtoi had di uni out tho funds ni full Tho Alisáis Rawlings nuil Son tuistid Illino was milling wioug III lho mallei , tho) had neild sluitly ncioiding lu msli mtions
" lust as I expedid, saul Jacl , tossing tho I III pel to Ins uncle, "luck is doini against ino
1 hen bo iiint on with his wilting I ive feet eight oi niño inches, lillie cjci, light lim, pi ob ibly cul closo , no lu aid oi nioiisUicho,"
"'lins is siniplv hoiublc," miiimmcd Ali
Dent, and as ho walked nciioiisl} up and dunn the odico, lie ircalled lho aftiuioou winn ho mtioduiid Dillmgli un lu GoloncI l'od hiintci, and lion lho) bul stinted noll othei is Htiiingcis, and Hccincd to dislil o each olhoi, bung suih (lillilent nun , then ho iillictid tint it was elnelly tinuugh Ins own moins tint this Bcitidid lud been In ought upon Hiiermouth , then ho thought of Pine, and ho tinned cold and hot, and pile and flushed, by tunis, and thoiapid sciatching of Tolm Dents pen ovei tho ptpn.and tin mon itonous linking of Ibu sit ann little toligrapb liistiumonb behind tho WHO Hcioen mudo linn neaily disti acted
" And now, if jon plcise, wo will inspect lim s meium suictoium of tho late incumbent," said lohn Dent gijly
It was only hum m that ho should lolisli lho cuiislciminni of Ins undo Uni,as tiny woio pissing out mli tho sti cot, John Dents face muldu «nt a chingo, hi halted uit the list of tho tinco stops hiding lo the sidon alle, and gi esping the non Hillings, boimid unable to movo
'AVhnl is ii nivv *' iskod Mi Dent, non ousl)
" Undo llalph, was Pi oo engaged to tint mun?
-did she 1 ive lum ? '
"No '" und Ali Dmt, "1 bihivoshe haled linn instinctively-thank (»oil I'
"Amen ' ' saul lohn Dent, di iwmg a long bicilh "He has got my molle), he has bhghtid two }ius of ni) hfo , but if ho basil I gul ii tin pino gold of Pinos hint, 1 foigna
linn I '
]«} hid lim tho tho
his lilt Ins hud tie. Hj
deb hu it li
A gin sill
Giru nu Win
v iiiviiniounr MVSTIIIY
'lho two Dents lctuuicd in silenco to the Old Hill l'i\ oin, and ii out up du ntly lo tho diseitcd
" I irst of all, s ud lohn Dont, closing tho dum and tin nmg tho key, " I want to know how ho caine hen, how ho muiiigcd to stop tutu I'm son Hiwkmss shoes, md all tin details loll mo slow I), foi 1 fill I shall nut lompio bend this thing, unless it w put ni tho simplest way "
lho stoiy of Ali Dent's acquaintance with Dilhnghnm ni I.ow \ ork, md tin chum of coin mon place events that li id ended in Ins coming to ItiiLimouth as tho pastoi of lho Old Hnik Ghin ch, was told in a lew words It was nota Btmnge stor), taking it link b) link , it was onl) as a wholo that it appen id um edible
"He was an artist, that man, said Ali Dent, with an mvoluiitaiy pang of idiiuratiou, as In lccalled tho cleverness with which Dillingham
liad put loseph I'wombly out o£ tho wa) Ile I ç iccollected now that Dillingham bid withheld his consent to como to Rivermouth until the voi) diy-Tvvombl) stinted for Chicago "All, Jack, if good pcoplc,as i class, weio ono half as in tclltgont and enei getie ns i oguis, n li it a world
this would bo I '
"Knowing Nevins as I do," tai I John Dent when his unclihad finished, " his ndtoitniss and cunning, I eau undorsUnd what a tempting thing it was to bun to pla) at tins masquirado, but he must have had a duper motivo than a miro whim to keip lum here sovin months "
"Ho fell ni love with Pine, of loursi," said Air Dent, vv ith a tvv mge , "and then-I sec it all, Jink I you WHO right Hi did baie a watih set on y on , ho meant to marr) Pi in, mid keep }Oii out of the poison s mono), oveu if he had to kill )ou to do it '-it was Todhuutu who mado the attempt on your life vv lion they saw ) on wero coming Hist, it w is lodhunter v\ho dogged ) oui steps all the timo I '
" Ibe parson s money 1 ' taiil John Dent
Hie words had escaped Ali Dmt ni lus ex- citement, ns tho whole of the desperate gamo whiili Dillnigliam had probabl) been playing flashed upon lum It vv di bo remembered that on the morning whin Pariun Hawkins' later will
was found, Mr. Dent went to Boston to meei Mr. Dillingham and conduct him to Rivermouth.
Mr. Dent was full of the matter, and that night, j at the Hovero House, he had spoken freely to his 1 friend of the old parson's whimsical testament. ! Perhaps it was in that same hour Dillingham J formed the purpose to possess himself of tho ;< money,-admitting, for the moment, that Dil. j lingham was George Nevins. ! " John Dent stood looking inquiringly at his wilclo. It was- too late to recall the words ; tho circumstances seemed to warrant Air. Dent now in disregarding the restriction of the will, and ho told his nephew of the legacy.
Al: another moment, this undreamed-of fortuno would have filled John Dent's heart with both. joy ancT sadness ; but tho day, scarcely begun, had boon1 too crowded with other emotions for him to gi-H) way to either now. Ile walked to tho window and, rubbing a clear space on ouo of tho panes, looked out into' the snowy street for soveral minnies ; then har turned to Mr."Dent and said iptiotly, " Let us luok through, ''these things."
A closer examination of the study and sleeping room allbrded indubitable evidence that tho lato occupant lind abandoned them in desperate haste, but also that he had left behind bim no letters or written memoranda giving any cluo to his intended movements. A quantity of papers bad been burnt in tho grato ¡ an undecipherable fragment of tho note Prudence hail written him. lay on tho hcarth-iiig, and near it the back of a,
delicate pink envelope with which no one ivoulil ?;., have thought of associating tho fair Veronica, if" it had not burne her pretty monogram.
Mr. Dillingham had, so to speak, spiked his guns ; but a company of embroidered worsted slippers,-as gay as a company of Zouaves,-ami a number of highly-mounted dressing-gowns suf-
ficient to .properly to olucor this metaphorical, detachment, foil into the IIIUHIB of the enemy.
The younger man, on his sido, conducted the investigation with relentless scrutiny; but Mr. Dont only cursorily, for the placo in his heait which Dillingham had occupied was yet warm willi Ibu hilo presence.
Two discoveries wero made, unimportant ¡u themselves, bul one of which interested tho nophovv, and lho other startled the undo, who, in lho progress of tho search, appeared to-bo receiving a series of shocks fiom an invisible gal-
vanic battery. , ' * . jia
-" Hero's ii photograph which was lost .som«**- $3^* timo since with a certain pockot-buok containing -'/i^"
a small Kimi of money." And John Dont held . , out at linn's length a faded vignette head of Pru- dence, gazing al it thoughtfully! " Tho finder wuiikl linvo boon liberally rewarded if I had got buhl of bim. 11 idhi I what's this i Somebody's bracelet," ho added, fishing up a pioce of jewel-
lery from Ihodoptlis of tho travelling-trunk over I which ho was stooping.
" Dour, dear I" groaned Mr. Dont, li was Veronica Dlyilenbiirgh's br.icolot. 1 fe know oE its loss ; everybody knew of it. You could no moro loso a bracelet in Ijivoiiiuiulh without everybody knowing of it than you could boo your head.
This nlfair scouted blacker to Mr. Dent than all the i es1,-blacker than the attempt on Jack's life, inasmuch as polly larceny laeks the dignity
of assassination, lint 1 fancy Mr. Dent was Ik. ¿^ trillo unehnrunblo boro. As ii reminisceuco oí » " lovely white wi ist, the trinket may hnvo had a value to Air. Dillingham which Mr. Dont dill
" What a finished roguo ho was ! It is only when a mau adds hypocrisy to his rascality that ho becomes a perfect knave."
"A'os," said John Dont, "that little Iamb's* skin does aggravate tho offence."
Mr. Dont walked off lo lho oilier end of Ilia munt and began turning over a lui of books ami pani-ihlols piled in one cm nor. " Look hore, Jack !" ho cried presently, "here is where ho gob hissiTiiiuiiK from,-South's Sermons, llobcrtsun's Sonnons, Hooker's Serinons, Cuiimiiiig's Great Tribulation, I'eabody's Discourses. Glad ! ho mixud Ilium up, old and young. Hy heaven ( hero's the very passago Pruo thought so affecting; Fast Day. Soo where bo's changed ' London ' into Meermaul!), and ' our Gracious Qucon' into our limumd üliit'f Jixcctilicc Jack," said Mr. Dont holoinnly, " lot us go home !"
" Undo linlpli, that is almost the only rational suggestion you have made to-day. 1 am
"And 1 inn frozen," said Mr. Dont with a shiver, picking up his overcoat. Ho drew' on one slcovo, and pausod.
" AVcll Í" said his nopliow.
"Jack, this thing must bo hushed up for Pruo's wilco. The deacons will have to know tho truth, and moyhu one or two outsidurs ; but tho Lowiirt-peoplo must novar ho allowed to suspect the real character of that num. Some plausible explanation of his lligbt must be circulated. If ho lins left any bills, I shall pay them. 1 cannot oat n mouthful until this is settled. I must seo Dlydeiibiugh and Twoinbly and Wendell without wasting a moment, and I want you lo come, willi me." ,
"Kor I'IIIO'S sake, and fur your sake," said. John Deni, laughing.
" Yes, for my sake, loo. Don't be hard on a. fallon brother. A'oii can't iillbul to, Jack. :.'!£
Dilliiigliain deceived mo, G'oorgo Nevins was to» » many for you."
" That's a fact," said John Dont. ,
In tho coiirso of an hour the duteous and trustees of tho Old Hriek Ulundi 'assembled to- gether mysteriously in Deacon Tivombly's parloi-livo or six honest, elderly, li.dd-headcd gentlemen, vvhu now had the air of dark-browed cnnspiriilois un the eve of touching oil' iunuuiei" nillo barrels of gunpowder. Deacon Zeb Twoinbly might have been taken for Guy Kiiwkcs himself. \
The no.xl day it was known that tho llov. Mr. Dilliiigliain had quitted Itivóruiouth ; it was understood in the pin tah and in the town that family matters, involving tho jeopardy ofc,
hugo estates, bad called Mr, Dilliiighiuii away no , suddenly that ho lind had time to adviso only^ his ¡inmediato friends of his departure. It was also understood that his return ivas problematic. There wore dark hints and whispers and rumors
and BpeeuIntiniiH, to be sure ; but for onco a. ; secret was kopi In lliveimouth - though ouo
woman know it I , ^
Prudeiieo had to bo told, of course, and BIIQ nearly died willi desire, olio aitoriioon, Bis months afterwards, lo tell Veronica Blydcu burgh everything-the aftoi noon Veronica carno to her mid enid, " Only think, Pruo ; pup» found my opal bracelet under the flooring of.
tho old Biiniiucrdiouse."
Veronica wit bilent fur n moment, 'dreamily weaving tho bright coil in and out her slouder. fingers ! then suddenly lifting hor, head, Bho cried, " Pi nu, will you swear never to breathe it to a living soul if I tell you something?"
" Yee," mid Prudence, with a start.
" Well, then, the afternoon before ( ho wont away so strangely "- , ¡
" Who went away ?" " Jlr. DiUiugliam."
"Oh !" , , r -
" The nftoriioon before ho went away, ho-ho ottered himself lo ino !" . ,
" AVlint Ï " cried Prudonce, turning whito aud red. It was beginning to appear that Cupid had lud two strings to his bow,
" I tay," lepcnled Veronica, " that Mr. Dilling
ham offered himself to mo."
" And you rofuBed him ?" ,
" O Pruo ! Unit's the bitterness of it !-I ac- cepted him I"
I hnvo not said-though I have let Jilut Dont
say it-that tho llov. James Dillingham vv.au. J George Nevins. Is it improbable ?, As I come to the close of my story, I bavo a' feeling that the career of James Dilliiigliain in llivormouth, supposing him to be identical with Georgo Nevins, will «triko the reader as improbable, andi it is improbable-as the things that happen every, day. But, such us it is, the chronicle oads hero.
And Prudence Palfrey I '
The reader shall becomo my collaborator at this point, and finish tho romaneo- to his own liking. It is only fair for mo to inform him, how- ever, that ono morning last springo as I waa pass- ing, portmanteau in hand, from tho statiou at Itivermouth to tho old gauibreJrroofed house ia a neighbouring street, where I always - find wel. como, I saw a little man swinging on agate.
I had never Boon this small personage before, but thero was something absurdly familiar ia the dark hair and alert black eyes, something nbsuidly familiar in tho Stho, wiry figuro (it was na if John Dent had Veen cut flown from livo feet eight to three fwt four); and .when ho ra. ,turned my salutation with ,that 'cavalier air which stamps jour iix-year-old man of tho world, thero w*i au intonation, in" his voice sa ciiriously Uko Pvue's, that I laughed nil to