His Lordship's Leopard
by David Dwight Wells
PART I. AMERICA.
CHAPTER I. IN
AND THE “DAILY
CHAPTER II. IN
CHAPTER III. IN
DRIVES A BLACK
CHAPTER IV. IN
WHICH THE BLACK
MARIA RECEIVES A
CHAPTER V. IN
WHICH THE PARTY
RECEIVES A NEW
CHAPTER VI. IN
WHICH THE BISHOP
RECEIVES A BLACK
CHAPTER VII. IN
WHICH A LINE IS
CHAPTER VIII. IN
WHICH A LOCKET
IS ACCEPTED AND
A RING REFUSED.
CHAPTER I. IN
CHAPTER II. IN
WHICH THE ENEMY
CHAPTER III. IN
WHICH PEACE IS
PROPOSED AND WAR
CHAPTER IV. IN
WHICH THE BISHOP
CHAPTER V. IN
WHICH THE BISHOP
EATS JAM TART,
AND MISS MATILDA
CHAPTER VI. IN
CHAPTER VII. IN
HER LADYSHIP'S ELEPHANT
By DAVID DWIGHT WELLS. With cover by WM. NICHOLSON, 10th Impression.
A very humorous story, dealing with English society, growing out of
certain experiences of the author while a member of our Embassy in
London. The elephant's experiences, also, are based on facts.
The Nation: He is probably funny because he cannot help
it.... Again and again excites spontaneous laughter, is such a boon
that its author must consent to be regarded as a benefactor of his kind
New York Tribune: Mr. Wells allows his sense of humor to
play about the personalities of half a dozen men and women whose lives,
for a few brief, extraordinary days, are inextricably intertwined with
the life of the aforesaid monarch of the jungle.... Smacks of fun which
can be created by clever actors placed in excruciatingly droll
Philadelphia Times: As breezy a bit of fiction as the
reading public has lately been offered. Amusing from the first page to
the last, unique in conception, and absolutely uproarious in plot.
New York Commercial Advertiser: A really delicious chain of
absurdities which are based upon American independence and impudence;
... exceedingly amusing.
Outlook: Full of amusing situations.
Buffalo Express: So amusing is the book that the reader is
almost too tired to laugh when the elephant puts in his appearance.
HENRY HOLT &CO. New York.
HIS LORDSHIP'S LEOPARD
A TRUTHFUL NARRATION OF SOME IMPOSSIBLE FACTS
BY DAVID DWIGHT WELLS Author of Her Ladyship's Elephant
NEW YORK HENRY HOLT AND COMPANY 1900
Copyright, 1900, BY HENRY HOLT &CO.
The ensuing work is a serious attempt to while away an idle hour.
The best criticism that the author received of Her Ladyship's
Elephant was from an old lady who wrote him that it had made her
forget a toothache; the most discouraging, from a critic who approached
the book as serious literature and treated it according to the
standards of the higher criticism.
The author takes this occasion to state that he has never been
guilty of writing literature, serious or otherwise, and that if any one
considers this book a fit subject for the application of the higher
criticism, he will treat it as a just ground for an action for libel.
If the minimum opus possesses an intrinsic value, it lies in
the explanation of the whereabouts of a Spanish gunboat, which, during
our late unpleasantness with Spain, the yellow journalists insisted was
patrolling the English Channel, in spite of the fact that the U. S.
Board of Strategy knew that every available ship belonging to that
nation was better employed somewhere else.
Should this exposé ruffle another English see, so much the
worse for the Bishop.
PART I. AMERICA.
CHAPTER I. IN WHICH CECIL BANBOROUGH
ACHIEVES FAME AND THE DAILY LEADER A SCOOP.
Cecil Banborough stood at one of the front windows of a club which
faced on Fifth Avenue, his hands in his pockets, and a cigarette in his
mouth, idly watching the varied life of the great thoroughfare. He had
returned to the city that morning after a two weeks' absence in the
South, and, having finished his lunch, was wondering how he could
manage to put in the time till the 4:30 express left for Meadowbrook. 2
P.M., he reflected ruefully, was an hour when New York had no use and
no resources for men of leisure like himself.
Yet even for a mere onlooker the panorama of the street was of
unusual interest. The avenue was ablaze with bunting, which hurrying
thousands pointed out to their companions, while every street-corner
had its little group of citizens, discussing with feverish energy and
gestures of ill-concealed disquietude the situation of which the gay
flags were the outward and visible sign. For in these latter days of
April, 1898, a first-class Republic had, from purely philanthropic
motives, announced its intention of licking a third-rate Monarchy into
the way it should go. Whereat the good citizens had flung broadcast
their national emblem to express a patriotic enthusiasm they did not
feel, while the wiser heads among them were already whispering that the
war was not merely unjustifiable, but might be expensive.
All these matters, important as they doubtless were, did not
interest Cecil Banborough, and indeed were quite dwarfed by the fact
that this uncalled-for war had diverted the press from its natural
functions, and for the time being had thrown utterly into the shade his
new sensational novel, The Purple Kangaroo. His meditations were,
however, interrupted by the sound of voices using perfectly good
English, but with an accent which bespoke a European parentage.
'The Purple Kangaroo,' said one. It is sufficiently striking
It serves the purpose well, mi amigo, replied the other.
It is, as you say, striking; indeed nothing better could be devised;
while its reputation And the voices died away.
Cecil swung rapidly round. Two gentlemen, slight, swarthy, and
evidently of a Latin race, were moving slowly down the long
drawing-room. They were foreigners certainly, Spaniards possibly, but
they had spoken of his book in no modified terms of praise. He drew a
little sigh of satisfied contentment and turned again to the street.
Ah, if his father, the Bishop of Blanford, could have heard!
The two foreigners had meanwhile continued their conversation,
though out of earshot. The elder was speaking.
As you say, its reputation is so slight, he said, one of those
ephemeral productions that are forgotten in a day, that it will serve
our purpose well. We must have a passwordthe less noticeable the
better. When do you return to Washington?
The Legation may be closed at any moment now, replied the younger,
seating himself carelessly on the arm of a Morris chair, and I may be
wanted. I go this afternoon, a dios y a ventura.
Softly; not so loud.
There's no one to hear. Keep us informed, I say. I'll see to the
rest. We've our secret lines of communication nearly complete. They may
turn us out of their capital, butwe shall know what passes.
Carramba! What is that? For, in leaning back, the speaker had come
against an unresisting body.
Springing up and turning quickly round, he saw that the chair on the
arm of which he had been sitting was already occupied by the slumbering
form of a youngish man with clear-cut features and a voluminous golden
Madre de Dios! Could he have heard? exclaimed the younger
man, moving away.
Malhaya! No! replied the other. These pigs of Americanos
who sleep at noonday hear nothing! Come! And, casting a glance of
concentrated contempt at the huddled-up figure, he put his arm through
that of his companion, and together they left the room.
A moment later the sleeper sat up, flicked a speck of dust off his
coat-sleeve, and, diving into a pocket, produced a note-book and blue
pencil and began to write rapidly. Evidently his occupation was a
pleasant one, for a broad smile illumined his face.
Ah, Marchmont, said Banborough, coming towards him, didn't know
you'd waked up.
Was I asleep?
Rather. Don't suppose you saw those Spanish Dons who went out just
Spaniards? queried Marchmont, with a preoccupied air. What about
Oh, nothing in particular, only I supposed that a Spaniard to a
yellow journalist was like a red rag to a bull. You should make them
into copy'Conspiracy in a Fifth Avenue Club,' etc.
Thanks, said the other, so I might. Valuable suggestion. And he
returned his note-book to his pocket.
They did me a good turn, anyway, resumed Banborough. They were
talking about my bookthought it would serve its purpose, was very
striking, said nothing better could be devised; and they were
foreigners, too. I tell you what it is, Marchmont, the public will wake
up to the merits of 'The Purple Kangaroo' some day. Why doesn't the
Daily Leader notice it?
My dear Cecil, give me the space and I'll write a critique the
fulsome flattery of which will come up to even your exacting demands.
But just at present we're so busy arousing popular enthusiasm that we
really haven't time.
You never do have time, replied Banborough, a trifle petulantly,
except for sleeping after lunch.
Ah, that's all in the day's work. But tell me. You're an
Englishman; why didn't you publish your book in your own country?
I may be green, but I don't impart confidences to an American
Nonsense! I never betray my friends' confidences when it's not
worthI should say, out of business hours.
The Englishman laughed.
Oh, if you don't think it worth while, he said, I suppose there's
no danger, so I'll confess that my literary exile is purely to oblige
The Bishop of Blanford?
The Bishop of Blanford, who has the bad taste to disapprove of 'The
Has he ever read it?
Of course not; the ecclesiastical mind is nothing if not dogmatic.
My dear fellow, I was only trying to assign a reason.
Chaff away, but it's principally my Aunt Matilda.
The Bishop, I remember, is a widower.
Rather. My aunt keeps house for him.
Ah, these aunts! exclaimed the journalist. They make no end of
It's not so bad as that, said Cecil; but she rules the governor
with a rod of iron, and she kicked up such a row about my book that I
dropped the whole show.
Don't correspond with 'em?
Not on my side. I receive occasional sermons from Blanford.
Which remain unanswered?
Cecil nodded, and changed the subject.
You know my father's cathedral? he asked.
Oh, yes. The verger prevented my chipping off a bit of the high
altar as a memento the last time I was over. You English are so beastly
conservative. Not that the Bishop had anything to do with it.
Banborough laughed, and returned to the charge.
So I came abroad, he continued, and approached the most
respectable and conservative firm of publishers I could find in New
Was that out of consideration for the Bishop?
I thought it might sweeten the pill. But somehow the book doesn't
Advertising, my boythat's the word.
The traditions of the firm forbid it, objected Banborough.
Traditions! What's any country less than a thousand years old got
to do with traditions? spluttered Marchmont. I knew a Chicago author
who got a divorce every time he produced a new novel. They sold like
And the wives?
Received ten per cent. of the profits as alimony.
Talk sense, and say something scandalous about me in the Leader. What possessed you, anyway, to join such a disgraceful sheet?
If I'd an entailed estate and an hereditary bishopric, I wouldn't.
As it is, it pays.
The bishopric isn't hereditary, said Cecil. I wish it were. Then
I might have a chance of spending my life in the odour of sanctity and
idleness, and the entail isa dream.
So you write novels, retorted Marchmont, that are neither
indecent nor political, and expect 'em to succeed. Callow youth! Well,
I must be off to the office. I've some copy up my sleeve, and if it's a
go it'll give your book the biggest boom a novel ever had.
Are you speaking the truth? said the Englishman. I beg your
pardon. I forgot it was out of professional hours.
Wait and see, replied the journalist, as he strolled out of the
* * * * *
Hi, Marchmont, I've got a detail for you! called the editor,
making the last correction on a belated form and attempting to revivify
a cigar that had long gone out.
Yes? queried Marchmont, slipping off his coat and slipping on a
pair of straw cuffs, which was the chief reason why he always sported
We're on the track of a big thing. Perhaps you don't know that the
President has delivered an ultimatum, and that our Minister at Madrid
has received his passports?
Saw it on the bulletin-board as I came in, said his subordinate
Well, it's a foregone conclusion that the Spanish Legation will
establish a secret service in this country, and the paper that shows it
up will achieve the biggest scoop on record.
Naturally. But what then?
Why, I give the detail to you. You don't seem to appreciate the
situation, man. It's the chance of a lifetime.
Quite so, replied Marchmont, lighting a cigarette.
But you can't lose a minute.
Oh, yes, I cantwo or three. Time for a smoke, and then I'll write
you a first-column article that'll call for the biggest caps you have
But IWhat theSay, you know something!
I know that the secret service has been organised, I know the
organisers, and I know the password.
Here Marchmont's chief became unquotable, lapsing into unlimited
profanity from sheer joy and exultation.
I'll give you a rise if you pull this off! he exclaimed, after
hearing the recital of the events at the club. May I beseveral
thingsif I don't! Now what are you going to do about it?
Suppose we inform the nearest police station, have the crowd
arrested, and take all the glory ourselves.
Suppose we shut up shop and take a holiday, suggested the chief,
with a wealth of scorn.
Well, what have you to propose?
We must work the whole thing through our detective agency.
But we haven't a detective agency, objected Marchmont.
But we will have before sunset, said the chief. There's
Yes. Chucked from Pinkerton's force for habitual drunkenness,
interjected his subordinate.
Just so, said the editor, and anxious to get a job in
consequence. He'll be only too glad to run the whole show for us. The
city shall be watched, and the first time 'The Purple Kangaroo' is used
in a suspicious sense we'll arrest the offenders, discover the plot,
and the Daily Leader, as the defender of the nation and the
people's bulwark, will increase its circulation a hundred thousand
copies! It makes me dizzy to think of it! I tell you what it is,
Marchmont, that subeditorship is still vacant, and if you put this
through, the place is yours.
The reporter grasped his chief's hand.
That's white of you, boss, he said, and I'll do it no matter what
it costs or who gets hurt in the process.
Right you are! cried his employer. The man who edits this paper
has got to hustle. Now don't let the grass grow under your feet, and
we'll have a drink to celebrate.
When the chief offers to set up a sub it means business, and
Marchmont was elated accordingly.
* * * * *
At the Club the Bishop's son still contemplated the Avenue from the
vantage-point of the most comfortable armchair the room possessed.
Praise, he reflected, which was not intended for the author's ear was
praise indeed. No man could tell to what it might lead. No one indeed,
Cecil Banborough least of all, though he was destined to find out
before he was many hours older; for down in the editorial sanctum of
the Daily Leader O'Brien was being instructed:
And if you touch a drop during the next week, reiterated the
chief, I'll put a head on you!
But supposin' this dago conspiracy should turn out to be a fake?
objected the Irishman.
Then, said the reporter with determination, you'll have to hatch
one yourself, and I'll discover it. But two things are certain.
Something's got to be exposed, and I've got to get that editorship.
CHAPTER II. IN WHICH CECIL BANBOROUGH
ATTEMPTS TO DRIVE PUBLIC OPINION.
It is a trifle chilly in the early morning, even by the first of
May, and Cecil shivered slightly as he paced the rustic platform at
Meadowbrook with his publisher and host of the night before.
You see, the great man was saying, there's an etiquette about all
these things. We can't advertise our publications in the elevated
trains like tomato catsup or the latest thing in corsets. It's not
dignified. The book must succeed, if at all, through the recognised
channels of criticism and on its own merits. Of course it's a bad
season. But once the war's well under way, people will give up
newspapers and return to literature.
Meantime it wants a boom, contended the young Englishman, with an
insistence that apparently jarred on his hearer, who answered shortly:
And that, Mr. Banborough, it is not in my power to give your book,
or any other man's.
There was an element of finality about this remark which seemed to
preclude further conversation, and Cecil took refuge in the morning
paper till the train pulled into the Grand Central Station, when the
two men shook hands and parted hurriedly, the host on his daily rush to
the office, the guest to saunter slowly up the long platform, turning
over in his mind the problems suggested by his recent conversation.
The busy life of the great terminus grated upon him, and that is
perhaps the reason why his eye rested with a sense of relief on a
little group of people who, like himself, seemed to have nothing
particular to do. They were six in number, two ladies and four
gentlemen, and stood quietly discussing some interesting problem,
apparently unconscious of the hurrying crowds which were surging about
Cecil approached them slowly, and was about to pass on when his
attention and footsteps were suddenly arrested by hearing the younger
of the two ladies remark in a plaintive voice:
But that doesn't help us to get any breakfast, Alvy.
No, or dinner either, added the elder lady.
Well, rejoined the gentleman addressed as Alvy, who, in contrast
to the frock coats and smart tailor-made gowns of his three companions,
wore an outing suit, a short overcoat of box-cloth, a light, soft hat,
and a rather pronounced four-in-hand tie. Well, I'm hungry myself, as
far as that goes.
Banborough was astonished. These fashionably dressed people in need
of a meal? Impossible! And yethe turned to look at them again. No,
they were not quite gentlefolk. There was somethingHe stumbled
and nearly fell over a dress-suit case, evidently belonging to one of
the party, and marked in large letters, H. Tybalt Smith. A. B. C.
Actors, of course. That explained the situationand the clothes.
Another company gone to pieces, and its members landed penniless and in
their costumes. It was too bad, and the young woman was so very
good-looking. If only he had some legitimate excuse for going to their
Suddenly he stood motionless, petrified. An idea had occurred to
him, the boldness and originality of which fairly took his breath away.
The Purple Kangaroo wanted advertising, and his publishers refused to
help him. Well, why should he not advertise it himself? To think was to
act. Already the company were starting in a listless, dispirited way
towards the door. The Englishman summoned all his resolution to his
aid, and, overcoming his insular reticence, approached the leader of
the party, asking if he were Mr. Smith.
H. Tybalt Smith, at your service, sir, replied that portly and
Cecil Banborough bowed low.
I hope you'll not think me intrusive, he said, but I judge that
you're not now engaged, and as I'm at present in want of the services
of a first-class theatrical company, I ventured to address you.
The manager skipped last evening, remarked the man in mufti.
Alvy, corrected Mr. Smith, I will conduct these negotiations. As
Mr. Spotts says, sir, he continued, indicating the last speaker, with
a colloquialism that is his distinguishing characteristic, our manager
is not forthcoming, andaertemporary embarrassment has resulted,
so that we should gladly accept the engagement you offer, provided it
is not inconsistent with the demands of art.
Oh, cut it short, Tyb, again interrupted the ingenuous Spotts.
Mr. Smith cast a crushing glance at the youth, and, laying one hand
across his ample chest, prepared to launch a withering denunciation at
him, when Cecil came to the rescue.
I was about to suggest, he said, that if you've not yet
breakfasted you would all do so with me, and we can then discuss this
matter at length.
Mr. Smith's denunciation died upon his lips, and a smile of
ineffable contentment lighted up his face.
Sir, he said, we are obligedvastly obliged. I speak
collectively. And he waved one flabby hand towards his companions. I
have not, however, the honour of knowing your name.
Cecil handed him his card.
Ah, thanks. Mr. Banborough. Exactly. Permit me to introduce myself:
H. Tybalt Smith, Esq., tragedian of the A. B. C. Company. My companions
are Mr. Kerrington, the heavy villain; Mr. Mill, the leading serious.
Our juvenile, Mr. G. Alvarado Spotts, has already sufficiently
introduced himself. The ladies are Mrs. Mackintosh, our senior
legitimate, indicating the elder of the two, who smilingly
acknowledged the introduction in such a good-natured, hearty manner
that for the moment her plain, almost rugged New England countenance
was lighted up and she became nearly handsome. And, continued Mr.
Smith, our leading lady, the LeopardI mean Miss Violet Arminster,
pointing to the bewitching young person in the tailor-made gown.
Each of the members bowed as his or her name was spoken, and the
Ladies and gentlemen of the A. B. C. Company, I have much pleasure
in introducing to youmy friendMr. Cecil Banborough, who has kindly
invited you to breakfast atthe Murray Hill? Shall we say the Murray
The ensuing hour having been given up to the serious pursuit of
satisfying healthy appetites, the members of the A. B. C. Company
heaved sighs of pleasurable repletion, and prepared to listen to their
host's proposition in a highly optimistic mood. Banborough, who had
already sufficiently breakfasted, employed the interval of the meal in
talking to Miss Arminster and in studying his guests. Mrs. Mackintosh,
who seemed to take a motherly interest in the charming Violet, and
whose honest frankness had appealed to him from the first, appeared to
be the good genius of the little company. As he came to know her better
during the next few days, under the sharp spur of adversity, he
realised more and more how much goodness and strength of character lay
hidden under the rough exterior and the sharp tongue, and his liking
changed into an honest admiration. Mr. Smith was ponderous and
egotistical to the last degree, while Spotts seemed
hail-fellow-well-met, the jolliest, brightest, most good-looking and
resourceful youth that Cecil had met for many a long day. The other two
men were the most reserved of the company, saying little, and devoting
themselves to their meal. But it was to Miss Arminster that he found
himself especially attracted. From the first moment that he saw her she
had exercised a fascination over him, and even his desire for the
success of his book gave way to his anxiety for her comfort and
happiness. She was by no means difficult to approach; they soon were
chatting gaily together, and by the time the repast was finished were
quite on the footing of old friendsso much so, indeed, that Cecil
ventured to ask her a question which had been uppermost in his mind for
Why did Mr. Smith call you the Leopard when he introduced you to me
at the station? he said.
Oh, she answered, laughing, that's generally the last bit of
information my friends get about me. It has terminated my acquaintance
with a lot of gentlemen. Do you think you'd better ask it, just when we
are beginning to know one another?
Are you another Lohengrin, he said, and will a white swan come
and carry you off as soon as you've told me?
More probably a cable-car, she replied, seeing we're in New
Then I shall defer the evil day as long as possible, he answered.
You seem to forget, she returned, that I don't know as yet what
our business relations are to be.
And you seem to forget, he replied, that there are still some
strawberries left on that dish.
She sighed regretfully, saying:
I'm afraid they must go till next timeif there's to be a next
Banborough vowed to himself that instead of confining the
advertisement of his book to the city alone, he would extend it to
Harlem and Brooklynyes, and to all New York State, if need be, rather
than forego the delight of her society.
Isn't your father an English bishop? continued Miss Arminster,
interrupting his reverie.
Now how on earth did you know that? exclaimed Cecil.
The little actress laughed.
Oh, I know a lot of things, she said. But I was merely going to
suggest that we call you 'Bishop' for short. Banborough's much too long
a name for ordinary use. What do you say, boys? turning to the men of
A chorus of acclamation greeted this sally, and to the members of
the A. B. C. Company Cecil Banborough was 'the Bishop' from that hour.
And now, said the Englishman, that you've christened me, suppose
we come to the business in hand?
Every one was at once intently silent.
I am, he continued, the author of 'The Purple Kangaroo.'
The silence became deeper. The audience were politely impressed, and
the heavy villain did a bit of dumb show with the leading serious,
which only needed to have been a trifle better to have proved
Yet, continued the author, owing to the popular interest in an
imminent war and a lack of energy on the part of my publishers, the
book doesn't sell.
Impossible! exclaimed Mr. Smith. Impossible! Why, I was saying
only the other day to Henry Irving, 'Hen,' I saidI call him 'Hen' for
What you say doesn't cut any ice, broke in Spotts. What were you
I was about to remark, continued Banborough, that what the novel
needs is advertising. For an author to make the round of the shops is
so old an artifice that any tradesman would see through it.
It is, interjected the tragedian. I have more than once demanded
the lower right-hand box when I was playing the leading rôle.
And always got it, added Spotts. The silence was appalling, and
Cecil rushed into the breach, saying:
It's occurred to me, however, that if a number of people,
apparently in different walks of life, were to call at the various
bookshops and department stores of the city, demanding copies of 'The
Purple Kangaroo,' and refusing to be satisfied with excuses, it might
create a market for the book.
A first-rate idea! cried Spotts heartily.
But supposing it was in stock? suggested the more cautious duenna.
I shall of course see you're provided with funds for such an
emergency, the author hastened to add; and if you ladies and
gentlemen feel that you could canvass the city thoroughly in my
interests atten dollars a day and car-fares? he ventured, fearing he
had offered too little.
I should rather think we do, said Spotts emphatically. Ten
dollars a day and car-fares is downright luxury compared with one-night
stands and a salary that doesn't get paid. You're a might good fellow,
Mr. Banborough, continued the young actor, and Violet and I and the
rest of the company will do our best to make your book a howling
success. And as he spoke he laid his hand familiarly on the little
actress's shoulder, an action which did not altogether please Cecil,
and made him realise that in the attractive young comedian he had found
a strong rival for Miss Arminster's favour.
Well, then, we'll consider it settled, he said; whereat the
company arose and clasped his hands silently. Their satisfaction was
too deep for words. Spotts was the first to rouse himself to action.
Come, he said, we mustn't lose any time. Your interests are ours
now, Mr. Banborough, and the sooner we get to work the more thoroughly
we'll earn our salary, and touching a bell, he said to the answering
Bring me a New York directory, thereby showing an honest activity
which was much appreciated by his employer.
An hour later, the company, fully primed, departed joyfully on their
Banborough, rich in the comforting sense of a good morning's work
well accomplished, retired to his club to dream of the success of his
book. In spirit he visited the book-stalls, noting the growing concern
of the clerks as they were obliged to turn away customer after customer
who clamoured for The Purple Kangaroo. He saw the hurried
consultations with the heads of firms, who at length realised their
blind stupidity in neglecting to stock their shelves with the success
of the season. He saw the dozens of orders which poured into the
publishing house, and heard in fancy that sweetest of all announcements
that can fall upon an author's ears: My dear sir, we have just
achieved another edition.
So dreaming, he was rudely awakened by a slap on the shoulder, and
the cheerful voice of Marchmont, saying:
Who's asleep this time?
Not I, replied his friend, only dreaming.
Of the success of 'The Purple Kangaroo'? asked the journalist.
Well, you'll have it, old mansee if you don'tand live to bless the
name of Marchmont and the Daily Leader. Why, thousands will be
reading your book before the week's out.
What do you mean? gasped the Englishman. Surely you don't
know? For he feared the discovery of his little plot.
Know! replied the journalist. I know that your book has leaped at
one bound from fiction to the exalted sphere of politics. Now don't you
breathe a word of this, for it's professional, but the Spanish
secret-service agents have taken the title of your novel as their
password. The city is watched by our own special corps of detectives,
and the instant 'The Purple Kangaroo' is used in a suspicious sense we
arrest the spies and unravel the plot.
But, good heavens, man! You don't understand began Banborough.
I understand it all. I tell you the Daily Leader will not
shrink from its duty. It'll leave no stone unturned to hound the
offenders down. I dare say they may be making arrests even now, and
once started, we'll never pause till every Spanish sympathiser who has
knowledge of the plot is under lock and key.
Stop! Stop! cried Cecil. You don't know what you're doing!
Oh, trust me for that, and think of the boom your book'll get. I'll
make it my special care. I tell you 'The Purple Kangaroo' will be all
But you're making a ghastly mistake, insisted the author. You
must listen to me
Can't! cried Marchmont, springing up as the sound of shouts and
clanging bells fell upon his ear. There's a fire! See you later! and
he dashed out of the club and was gone.
Cecil sank back in his chair fairly paralysed.
Good heavens! Suppose any of the company should be suspected or
A gentleman to see you, sir, said a page at his elbow.
Show him in! cried Banborough, fearing the worst, as he read
Tybalt Smith's name on the card.
There was no need to have given the message. The actor was at the
page's heels, dishevelled, distraught.
Do you know we're taken for Spanish spies? he gasped.
Yes, yes; I've just heard
But they've arrested
Not one of your companionsSpotts, Kerrington, or Mill?
No, said the tragedian, shaking his head, they've arrested Miss
CHAPTER III. IN WHICH CECIL
BANBOROUGH DRIVES A BLACK MARIA.
Cecil Banborough's feelings can be better imagined than described at
the announcement of the calamity which had befallen Miss Arminster. The
winsome ways of the charming Violet had impressed the young man more
deeply than he knew until he was brought face to face with a
realisation of the miseries to which his own folly had exposed her.
Where have they taken her? he demanded of Smith as soon as his
consternation could find expression.
She's at the police station round the corner from here.
Where did this occur? asked Banborough.
On Fourteenth Street, replied Smith, Spotts and I met Miss
Arminster, and she called out as she passed me, 'Don't forget The
Purple Kangaroo!' A minute later the police arrested her, and when the
crowd heard that she was a Spanish spy, I swear I think they'd have
torn her in pieces if the officers hadn't put her in a prison van and
got her away.
The tragedian paused, shivering from his recent agitation, and
Cecil, seeing his condition, rang for some brandy.
But what does it all mean? asked the actor, tossing off his drink.
I know what it means, cried Banborough, but there's no time to
talk now. We've not a moment to lose! and he rushed downstairs.
Spotts met them at the doorway, and, as they walked rapidly along,
the young Englishman poured into his companions' ears an account of
what he had learned from Marchmont of the Spanish plot and the
unforeseen use which had been made of the title of his book, while the
tragedian rehearsed again the story of Miss Arminster's arrest, of his
own hair-breadth escape from the clutches of the law, of his prodigies
of valour in connection with Spotts, whom he had met in his headlong
flight, and who, it seemed, had prevailed on his more timid companion
to follow the prisoner in a hansom.
It's a bad business, admitted Cecil; but what's to be done?
Done! exclaimed Smith in tragic tones. Why, rescue the lady
instantly and leave the city without delay. In the present excited
state of the public no amount of explanation will avail. We may all be
arrested as confederates. We must act!
You're talking sense for once, said Spotts. Heroic measures are
the only ones worth considering, and if youturning to
Banboroughwill stand by us, we may come out on top after all.
You can depend on me to any extent, declared the young author.
I've got you into this scrape, and I'll do my best to get you out of
That's just what I expected of you, Bishop! exclaimed Spotts,
grasping his hand. We can't waste time in talking. You must go and
find the other members of the company, Tyb, and warn them of their
danger. Now where can we rendezvous outside the city? Speak quickly,
The leading hotel in Yonkers, said Smith.
Right you are, replied Spotts. Get there as soon as possible and
wait for us to turn up. How about funds?
I've plenty of ready money with me, volunteered Cecil, and very
fortunately a draft to my credit arrived to-day, which I've not yet
Good! said Spotts. We're in luck. Give Tyb fifty.
Banborough whipped out a roll of bills and handed the desired amount
to the tragedian without demur.
Now, off you go, cried his brother actor, and keep your wits
Smith nodded and hailed a passing cab.
Come, said Spotts to the author, we've no time to lose.
What's your plan? asked Cecil as they swung round the corner and
sighted the police station.
Haven't got any as yet. We'll see how the land lies first. The
Black Maria's still before the door. That's lucky!
Sure enough, there it was, looking gloomily like an undertaker's
wagon, minus the plate glass.
Must be hot inside, commented the actor, directing a glance at the
two little grated slits high up in the folding doors at the back, which
apparently formed the only means of ventilation.
Cecil shuddered as he thought of the discomforts which the girl must
be enduring, and longed to throw himself upon the vehicle and batter it
to pieces. But calmer judgment prevailed, and controlling himself he
approached the police station, saying:
Let me go first. You might be recognised. I'll try and find out
where she's to be taken.
He accordingly went up to the driver of the Black Maria, who, cap in
hand, was wiping his perspiring forehead.
A fine pair of horses that, he said, indicating the mettlesome
bays attached to the vehicle, which, in spite of their brisk run, were
tossing their heads and fretting to be off.
Oh, they're good enough, was the curt reply. A trifle fresh, but
we need that in our business.
Something interesting on to-day? queried Cecil.
Who the devil are you, anyway? asked the driver abruptly. And the
Englishman, lying boldly, replied:
I'm the new reporter on the Daily Leader. I was here last
week with Mr. Marchmont on a burglary case.
Oh, the New Rochelle robbery, suggested the driver.
Cecil acquiesced, drawing a quiet sigh of relief that his random
shot had hit the mark.
Yes, he said, that's it. I was introduced round, but I don't
remember meeting you.
Might have been the other driver, Jim?
Now I come to think of it, it was Jim.
Jus' so. Well, there's copy for you in this case.
So I imagined. It's your first political arrest, isn't it?
That's where the hitch comes in, said the man. I don't know where
to deliver the prisoner. When the court's made up its mind they'll let
me know, and I'll drive on. Now in the Civil War we sent them
politicals to Fort Wadsworth.
So you have to wait till they decide?
You bet I have. And there ain't no superfluity of shade on the
sunny side of this street neither, replied the driver, as he slipped
off his coat and hung it with his cap on a peg beside the box seat of
the Black Maria.
Suppose you were to run into the court and see how they're getting
on, suggested Banborough, slipping a coin into his hand. I want a
word with the police when they've finished. Mention the Daily Leader. I'll watch your horses.
Oh, they'll stand quiet enough, said the man. Then, suspiciously,
jerking his thumb over his shoulder towards Spotts, he asked: Who's
Just a green hand whom I'm initiating into the business.
You're pretty green yourself or you wouldn't have set me up, said
the driver. But if you'll mind them horses I'll just run across to
McCafferty's saloon and have a schooner of beer, and then drop into
court for you.
All right, responded Cecil. Only don't be all day; I've got
Say, rejoined the man, I can put beer down quicker than you can
wink. And he ran across the street.
Well, what's to be done? demanded Banborough, as the man left
That's easily answered, replied Spotts. When he's in court we'll
jump on the box, drive for all we're worth till we've eluded pursuit,
then rescue Miss Arminster and be off to Yonkers.
But that's laying ourselves open to arrest, expostulated the
We've done that already, said his friend.
But they'll know we're not officials: we've no uniform.
What, not when the driver has obligingly left his hat and coat?
said Spotts. Slip them on. You've dark trousers, and no one will
But driving fast? protested the author.
Well, we're going to a 'hurry call,' of course. You've no
invention, man! And besides, I can't drive.
Oh, that doesn't matter, said Banborough. I understand all about
So I supposed, as you're an Englishman.
I don't care much for this business, you know, remonstrated the
Neither do I, replied the actor. But we might as well be killed
for a sheep as a lamb, and we've a good chance of winning. Here comes
the driver; give him a bluff.
I ain't lost much time, panted that individual as he passed them,
wiping the foam from his moustache with the back of his hand, and
adding: I'll run right into court and be out again in a jiffy!
Stay long enough to see how things are going, called Cecil.
All right! Guess the horses'll stand, he replied, and disappeared
within the building.
Now, Bishop! cried Spotts. And before the Englishman could think,
his coat and hat had been whipped off and thrown on the box seat along
with a small handbag which the actor carried, and he was being helped
into the very hot and unsavoury clothes of the driver.
Lucky they fit you, said his friend. Lead the horses carefully to
the corner, and see they don't make more noise than necessary. If the
driver should come out, you let 'em go; otherwise wait for me. Know
where to drive?
Along the park?
No, said Spotts. Double several times, then try one of the
avenues to the Harlem River. There are plenty of bridges. Now,
careful! And as Cecil moved slowly off, leading the horses towards the
upper corner, the actor lounged up to the entrance of the court,
blocking the doorway with his athletic figure.
After what seemed an eternity, Banborough achieved the corner of the
block, and, mounting the box, turned the horses' heads down the side
street, keeping an eagle eye upon the entrance of the court-room,
within which his companion had now disappeared. Perhaps three minutes
had elapsed when the actor came out, running quietly towards him so as
not to attract attention. The street was well-nigh deserted, and no one
seemed to have noticed the movements of the Black Maria.
Walk slowly till we're round the corner, and then drive for all
you're worth! gasped Spotts, springing on to the seat beside him.
Cecil followed his directions implicitly, and a moment later they
went tearing down the side street, and swung round the corner into an
avenue, nearly colliding with a cable-car in the process, and causing a
wild scatteration of passengers and pedestrians.
Here, that won't do! cried the actor above the rattle occasioned
by their rapid progress over the cobblestones. Ring the bell, or we'll
Where? called Banborough.
That knob under your feet. Press it!
The Englishman did as directed, and instantly the most hideous
clamour arose beneath the carriage. The horses, which had been flying
before, excited by the noise, put down their heads and tore blindly
forward. The vehicle rocked and swayed, and the avenue and its
occupants swept by in an indistinguishable blur.
They'll surely track us by the noise! screamed Cecil, trying to
make himself heard above the horrible din.
We're too far off by this time, returned Spotts. Can you manage
Oh, they're all right so long as we've a clear road! yelled
Banborough in reply.
They were now well under way, the traffic ahead of them swerving
wildly to right and left at the insistent clamour of the bell. They
rushed forward by leaps and bounds, an occasional stretch of asphalt
giving them an instant's respite from the dreadful shaking of the
cobblestones. They spoke but little, excitement keeping them quiet, but
the Englishman suffered keenly in spirit at the thought of what the
delicate girl, shut up in that dark stifling prison behind them, must
Suddenly in front of them loomed up the helmeted figure of a
policeman, swinging his club and gesticulating wildly.
Run him down! howled Spotts; and Cecil, who had caught some of the
madness of their wild flight, lashed the horses afresh and hurled the
Black Maria straight at the officer of the law.
The constable, still gesticulating, made a hasty leap to one side,
and they swept by a huge express-wagon which was coming up the
cross-street, nearly grazing the noses of the rearing horses, and
catching a glimpse of the driver's startled face.
So they ran on and on, faster and faster as the traffic became less,
and the pair of bays settled down in earnest to the race. Suddenly the
street narrowed, and a confused mass of carts and horses seemed to
block up the farther end. Banborough put on the brake, and with
considerable difficulty succeeded in bringing his team to a standstill
on the outer edge of the throng.
It's the Harlem River, cried Spotts, and the drawbridge is up,
curse the luck!
There was nothing for it but wait, and Cecil, jumping down, patted
the horses and examined the harness to make sure that everything was
You seem in a rush, said a neighbouring driver.
Hurry call to Harlem, replied Banborough brusquely.
Oh, police station.
The Englishman grunted an inaudible reply as a forward movement of
the crowd betokened that the bridge was again in position. A moment
later they were trotting towards freedom and the open country, Cecil
making the horses go slower now, wishing to reserve their strength for
any unforeseen emergency.
As the buildings grew more scattered, and patches of woodland
appeared here and there, the actor began to discuss with his companion
their plan of campaign.
The sooner we get Violet out of her prison, he said, and leave
this confounded vehicle behind, the better.
It's rather too well populated about here to suit me, replied
Banborough. But the police haven't been idle since we started, and our
flight has probably been telegraphed all over the countryside. Perhaps
we'd better run the risk, for if we're caught red-handed with the Black
Maria we'll find some difficulty in proving our innocence.
Besides which, I'm anxious to get Miss Arminster out of durance
vile as soon as possible, for I think the Leopard's been caged long
enough, said Spotts, laughing.
Why do you people insist on calling Miss Arminster the Leopard?
Oh, said his companion, I think I'd better let you find that out
for yourself. It would hardly be fair to Violet, and besides Then,
breaking off suddenly as they entered a strip of woodland, he changed
the conversation abruptly, saying: Here's as good a place as we're
likely to findno houses in sight, and a clear view of the road in
either direction. And as Cecil drew up the horses he jumped off the
How are you going to open the confounded thing? asked the author.
Well, replied his companion, I should think a key would be as
good a method as any other.
The best, provided you've got the key.
I imagine you'll find it in the right-hand outside pocket of the
driver's coat, said Spotts. I thought I heard something jingle as I
was helping you on with it.
Right you are, said the Englishman. Here it is! producing two
nickel-plated keys on a ring. Now we'll have her out in no time. And
running round to the back of the vehicle, he unlocked the folding doors
and threw them wide open, crying:
My dear Miss Arminster, accept your freedom and a thousand pardons
for such rough treatment. What the! And he stopped short, too
surprised to finish; for, instead of the petite form of the fascinating
Violet, there shambled out on to the road the slouching figure of a
disreputable tramp, clothed in nondescript garments of uncertain age
and colour, terminating in a pair of broken boots, out of which
protruded sockless feet. He had a rough shock of hair, surmounted by a
soft hat full of holes, and a fat German face, whose ugliness was
further enhanced by the red stubbly growth of a week's beard.
I guess youse gents has rescued me unbeknownst, and I'm much
obleeged, though I don't know but what I'd rather break stones up to
Sing Sing than be chucked round the way I has been for the last hour.
Who are you? demanded Banborough.
Me? said the figure. Oh, I'm a anarchist.
CHAPTER IV. IN WHICH THE BLACK MARIA
RECEIVES A NEW INMATE.
At the sight of this astonishing and utterly unlooked-for personage,
the actor and the Englishman stood for a moment gaping at each other in
surprised silence. Then, as the full force of what they had done
occurred to them, and they realised that, at great risk of life, limb,
and freedom, they had rescued from the clutches of the law an utterly
worthless tramp, they burst into peals of uncontrollable laughter.
But where's Violet? gasped Spotts, who was the first to recover
Oh, there's a lady in there, if you mean her, said the
tramp, indicating the cavernous depths of the Black Maria.
Yes, I'm here all right, came the welcome tones of the little
actress's voice. I'll be out in just a moment, as soon as I've put
myself straight. You're the most reckless drivers I ever saw.
I'm awfully sorry, said Banborough, approaching the door to help
her out. But circumstances didn't leave us much choice.
Apparently not, she replied, and a moment later stood in their
midst, looking even more bewitching than usual in her dishevelled
condition. Then as she drew a long breath, inhaling the fresh woodland
air, and realising all the joy of her restored freedom, the eternal
feminine reasserted itself, and, seizing both of Spotts's hands, she
cried impetuously: Look at me, Alvy, and tell me if my hat is
They all laughed, which broke the tension of the situation.
I don't know what you must think of us, said Banborough.
I thought I was being run away with at first, she said; but when
I heard Alvy's voice on the box I knew it must be all right.
Of course, continued Cecil, we hadn't the least idea there was
anybody else in the van.
Oh, I didn't mind so much, she said. He was quite nice and
respectful, and very soft to fall on. I guess he must be all black and
blue from the number of times I hit him.
Well, you're safe, and that's the main thing, said Spotts.
But what does it all mean? she demanded.
Oh, there's time enough for explanations later on, returned the
actor. We're not out of the woods yet.
Of course we aren't, stupid! Any one can see that.
Metaphorically, he means, said Cecil. But, joking apart, this
Black Maria is, so to speak particeps criminis, and the sooner
we lose it the better.
Which way shall we go? she asked.
Oh, that's been all arranged beforehand with the other members of
the party, said Spotts, purposely omitting to mention their
destination in the presence of their undesirable companion. It can't
be more than a mile or two across country to the Hudson River Railroad,
and we'd better make for the nearest station. Do you feel up to
Do I feel up to walking! she exclaimed. Well, if you'd been
chucked round for an hour without being consulted, I guess you'd feel
like doing a little locomotion on your own account. And without
another word the three turned to get their belongings.
Say, interjected the tramp, where do I come in?
Oh, but you don't, said Spotts. We're going to leave you this
beautiful carriage and pair with our blessing. Better take a drive in
the country and enjoy the fresh air.
Yah! snarled the disreputable one in reply. That don't go! It's
too thin! Why, look here, boss, he continued, addressing Banborough,
you went and 'scaped with me without so much as sayin' by your leave,
and now, when you've gone and laid me open to extra time for evadin' of
my penalty, you've got the cheek to propose to leave me alone in a cold
world with that! And he pointed expressively at the Black
It is rather hard lines, admitted Cecil. But, you see, it would
never do to have you with us, my man. Why, your clothes would give us
And I'll give yer away directly to the cops if you don't take me
Banborough and Spotts looked at each other in redoubled perplexity.
You see, continued the anarchist, I don't go for to blow on no
blokes as has stood by me as youse has, but it's sink or swim together.
Besides, you'd get lost in this country in no time, while I knows it
well. Why, I burgled here as a boy.
What's to be done? asked Cecil.
Oh, I suppose we've got to take him along, replied the actor.
We're all in the same boat, if it comes to that.
Now if youse gents, suggested the tramp, could find an extra pair
of pants between you, this coat and hat would suit me down to the
ground. And he laid a dirty paw on Banborough's discarded garments.
No you don't! cried that gentleman, hastily recovering his
possessions. Haven't you got any clothes in that bag of yours,
Well, I have got a costume, Bishop, and that's a fact,
replied the actor; but it's hardly in his line, I should think.
What is it? asked the Englishman. You seem about of a size.
It's a Quaker outfit. I used it in a curtain-raiser we were
That would do very well, said Cecil, if it isn't too pronounced.
Oh, it's tame enough, replied the actor, who exercised a restraint
in his art for which those who met him casually did not give him
credit. Indeed, among the many admirable qualities which led people to
predict a brilliant future for Spotts was the fact that he never
Huh! grunted the tramp, I dunno but what I'd as lieve sport a
shovel hat as the suit of bedticking they give yer up the river. I used
to work round Philidelphy some, and I guess I could do the lingo.
Give them to him, said Banborough. I'll make it good to you.
Well, take them, then, replied Spotts regretfully, handing their
unwelcome companion the outfit which he produced from his bag, adding
as he pointed to the woods: Get in there and change quickly. We ought
to be moving.
The tramp made one step towards the underbrush, and then, pausing
You don't happen to have a razor and a bit of looking-glass about
yer, do yer? I see there's a brook here, and there ain't nothin'
Quakery about my beard.
The actor's face was a study.
I'm afraid there's no escape from it, old man, remarked Cecil. If
you've your shaving materials with you, let him have them.
There they are. You needn't trouble to return them.
Their recipient grinned appreciatively, and as the last rustle of
his retirement into privacy died away, Miss Arminster turned to
Banborough and demanded:
Now tell me what I was arrested for, why you two ran away with me,
and where I'm being taken.
I can answer the first of those questions, broke in Spotts.
You're a Spanish sympathiser and a political spy.
I'm nothing of the sort, as you know very well! she replied,
colouring violently. I'm the leading lady of the A. B. C. Company.
Of course we know it, returned the actor; but the police
have chosen to take a different view of the matter.
Why is he chaffing me like this? she said, appealing to Cecil.
I'm afraid it's a grim reality, he replied. You see, when the
Spanish officials were turned out of Washington, they'd the
impertinence to take the title of my book as their password.
Well, then, she said, they did what they'd no right to do.
I suppose that would be a question of international copyright, he
replied. But 'The Purple Kangaroo' has proved itself a most
troublesome animal, and as I thought you wouldn't care for quarters
down the bay till the war was over, I took the liberty of running off
I'm very much obliged to you, I'm sure; but what next?
We're all to rendezvous at Yonkers.
Well, unless the situation improves, I'm afraid it'll become a
question of seeking a refuge in another country.
If you think, she cried, that I'm going to spend the rest of my
existence in the forests of Yucatan or on the plains of Patagonia,
you're mightily mistaken!
Oh, he said, laughing, it isn't as bad as all that. Ours is only
a political crime, and Canada will afford a safe harbour from the
But the war won't be finished in a day, she contended, her eyes
beginning to fill with tears.
Won't you trust me? asked Cecil, taking both her hands. Won't you
let me prove my repentance by guarding your welfare? Won't you
Indeed there is no knowing to what he might have committed himself
in the face of such beauty and sorrow had not Spotts broken in with a
It's all up now! We're done for, and no mistake! And he pointed to
the figure of a short, fat, red-faced man, very much out of breath, who
was bustling down the road, waving his hands at them and shouting Hi!
You'd better go and warn the tramp, said Banborough; and the actor
plunged into the woods.
A moment later the stranger came up to them, and panted out:
I arrest you both, in the name of the law!
Neither said anything, but Banborough took one of Miss Arminster's
tiny gloved hands in his own and gave it a little squeeze just by way
of reassuring her.
Well, said the new arrival, as soon as he had recovered his
breath, what have you got to say for yourselves?
I don't know that we've anything to say, replied Cecil sheepishly.
I should think not! said the other. Here, take off that coat!
And he stripped the official garment from the Englishman's shoulders.
The cap, too!
Banborough handed it to him, saying as he did so:
You're a police official, I suppose?
I'm the Justice of the Peace from the next town. They just missed
catching you at the last place you drove through, and telegraphed on to
me. Knowing there was a cross-road here, I wasn't going to take any
chance of losing you. I left the police to follow. They'll be along in
a minute. Now what do you mean by it?
I don't suppose any explanations of mine would persuade you that
you're making a mistake, said Banborough.
No, I don't suppose they would. Now you put on that coat
accidentally, didn't you? Just absent-mindedly
I don't know you, broke in the Englishman, and I don't
That'll do, said the Justice of the Peace. I don't know you
either, andyes, I do know the woman. Then turning to Miss Arminster,
he continued: Didn't I perform the marriage ceremony over you the year
Yes, she said softly. And Cecil relinquished her hand. This, he
considered, was worse than being arrested.
I thought I did, went on the magistrate. I don't often forget a
face, and I'm sorry to see you in such bad company.
The young girl began to show signs of breaking down, and the
situation was fast becoming acute, when the unexpected tones of an
unctuous voice suddenly diverted everybody's attention.
Why is thee so violent, friend? said some one behind them. And
turning quickly, they perceived the sleek, clean-shaven, well-groomed
figure of a Quaker, dressed in a shad-bellied brown coat, a low black
silk hat with a curved brim, and square shoes.
Who the devil! began the officer.
Fie! fie! said the stranger. Abstain from cursings and revilings
in thy speech. But I am glad thee hast come, for verily I feared the
workers of iniquity were abroad.
Oh, you know something about it, do you? asked the Justice of the
I was returning from a meeting of the Friends, continued the
Quaker blandly, when I came upon these two misguided souls. As my
counsellings were not heeded, and I am a man of peace, I had retired
into the woods to pursue my way uninterrupted, when I heard thee
Well, I'll be glad of your assistance, though I daresay I could
have managed them until the police came. They're a dangerous pair.
And what will thee do with the other prisoner, friend?
Eh? What other prisoner?
The one that lies in a debauched sleep at the farther end of the
van. I have striven to arouse him, but in vain.
Where is he? said the magistrate, peering into the black depths of
In the far corner. Thee canst not see him from here.
I'll have him out in no time! exclaimed the officer, springing
into the van, with the driver's hat and coat still in his hand.
Not if I knows it, you old bloke! cried the sometime Quaker,
slamming the door and turning the key with vicious enjoyment, while his
three companions, for Spotts had emerged from the wood, executed a
war-dance round the vehicle out of sheer joy and exultation. From
within proceeded a variety of curses and imprecations, while the Black
Maria bounced upon its springs as if a young elephant had gone mad
Suddenly the Quaker laid a detaining hand upon Banborough's
Take care, boss; here come the cops! I'll play the leading rôle,
and you follow the cues.
They all paused and stood listening, while the rapid beat of a
horse's hoofs came to their ears, and a second later a Concord waggon,
loaded down with policemen, swung into view round the corner of the
road, and presently drew up beside them.
Thee hast come in good time, friend, said the Quaker to the chief
officer. We have watched thy prisoners overlong already.
Where's the boss? demanded the official.
Dost thee mean the worldly man with the red face, much given to
I guess that's him, laughed one of the subordinates.
As I was returning from a meeting of the Friends with these good
people, pursued the Quaker, indicating his companions, we came upon
this vehicle standing in the road, the horses being held by two men,
who, when they saw us, ran into the woods towards the river.
How were they dressed? asked the chief officer.
One of them had garments like thine, friend.
That's our man, sure!
Very presently, resumed the Quaker, came thy master, using much
unseemly language, who, having heard our story, followed the men in the
direction we indicated, begging that we guard this carriage till you
came, and bidding us tell you to return with it to the town.
Well, I guess the boss knows his own business best, said the
leader of the party; so we'd better be getting back to the station. I
suppose you'll come and give your evidence.
I am a man of peace, said the Quaker; but if my testimony is
required I and my friends will walk behind thee to the next town and
It's only half a mile from here, a straight roadyou can't miss
it. You'll be there as soon as we want you.
The Quaker nodded.
Then we'd better be moving, said the chief officer. I'll drive
Maria, and you fellows go ahead in the cart.
The remarks which were now proceeding from the interior of that
vehicle were much too dreadful to record. But as it was about to start,
the man of peace, lifting his hands, checked the driver and said:
I will, with thy permission, approach the grating and speak a word
of counsel. And going to the door, he said in a loud voice:
Peace, friend. Remember what the good Benjamin Franklin has said:
'He that speaks much is much mistaken.'
The reply elicited by these remarks was of such a nature that Miss
Arminster was obliged to put her hands over her ears, and the police
drove off with loud guffaws, enjoying immensely the good Quaker's
That bloke, remarked the tramp, as the Black Maria disappeared in
a cloud of dust, give me three months once, an' I feels better.
And without another word he led the party across the road and into
the woods in the direction of the river.
CHAPTER V. IN WHICH THE PARTY
RECEIVES A NEW IMPETUS.
An hour later, when the little party of four, weary and dusty,
walked up to the hotel at Yonkers, they perceived Tybalt Smith in his
shirt-sleeves, with his hat tipped over his eyes as a protection from
the rays of the declining sun, lying fast asleep in a large garden
chair which was tilted back on its hind legs against the side of the
house. Spotts lost no time in poking him in the ribs with his cane,
whereupon the tragedian, rousing himself from slumber, hastily assumed
a more upright position, bringing the chair down on its front legs with
a bang. Having thus been fully awakened, he became at once the master
of the situation.
We are here, he said.
So I see, replied Spotts, and a pretty show you've made of
yourself. There's nothing private or retiring about your methods. Now
where are the rest of the party?
Mr. Smith at once assumed an air of mysterious solemnity.
Mrs. Mackintosh, he said in a stage whisper, is above. I reserved
an apartment for her and the LeopMiss Arminster, I mean, and a
private sitting-room for us all. Mrs. Mackintosh is disturbed. Mrs.
Mackintosh requires an explanation. Mrs. Mackintosh, turning to
Banborough, is a woman of great character, of great force, and she
requires an explanation of you!
Ha! said Spotts, casting a look of mock commiseration at the
Perhaps it might be better, suggested the tragedian, if Miss
Arminster saw her first.
Perhaps it might, acquiesced Spotts.
All right, I'll go, said Violet; adding to Cecil, as she passed
him: Don't be frightened; her bark's worse than her bite. And she
entered the house laughing.
But where are the others? asked the author.
Sh! whispered the tragedian, casting a suspicious glance at the
Quaker. We're not alone.
Yes, said Spotts, the Bishop's got a new convert.
Oh, returned Banborough, I forgot you hadn't met this gentleman.
We inadvertently rescued him, and since then he's done us a similar
service twice over. I really don't know what he's called. The clothes
belong to Spotts.
I thought I recognised the costume, said Smith. Then, turning to
the stranger, he demanded, abruptly: What's your name?
I have been known by many, came the suave tones of the Quaker,
but for the purposes of our brief acquaintance thee mayst call me
The tragedian gave a grunt of disapproval.
I think he can be trusted, remarked Spotts. He's certainly stood
by us well, so far. Now tell us about Kerrington and Mill.
Yes, I'm most anxious to know what's become of them, said the
Englishman. And the three drew nearer together, while the Quaker,
turning to the road, stood basking in the sunshine, his broad flabby
hands clasped complacently before him.
Tybalt Smith, after casting another furtive glance in Friend
Othniel's direction, murmured the words:
Shoe-strings and a sandwich!
Eh? What? queried Banborough.
Our two friends, continued the tragedian, through the powerful
aid of a member of our fraternity, whose merits the public have
hitherto failed to recognise, have sought refuge in the more humble
walks of life to escape the undesirable publicity forced upon them by
you! Mr. Kerrington, disguised as a Jew pedlar, is now dispensing
shoe-strings and collar-buttons on lower Broadway, while Mr. Mill is at
present taking a constitutional down Fifth Avenue encased in a sandwich
frame calling attention to the merits of Backer's Tar Soap. He is, if I
may so express it, between the boards instead of on the boardsa
little pleasantry of my own, you will observe.
The tragedian paused, but failing to elicit the desired laugh,
continued his narration:
Mrs. Mackintosh, though having been offered a most desirable
position to hawk apples and chewing-gum on Madison Square, has
preferred to share the rigours of an unknown exile, that she might
protect the youthful innocence of our leading lady.
All of which means, said Spotts shortly, that Mill and Kerrington
chose to fake it out in town, while you and the old girl bolted.
Our friend, remarked Smith, casting an aggrieved look at the last
speaker, is lamentably terse. But let us join Mrs. Mackintosh. She
will support my remarks, not perhaps in such chaste diction, but
Oh, shut it off! interrupted Mr. Spotts. Come along, Othniel. I
guess you're in this, too. And he led the way into the house.
When they entered the private parlour they found Mrs. Mackintosh and
Miss Arminster waiting to receive them, the old lady with mingled
feelings of righteous indignation and amusement at the ludicrous
position in which they were placed, which latter she strove hard to
Well, Bishop, she began, as soon as Banborough was fairly in the
room, you've carried off an innocent and unsuspecting young lady in a
Black Maria, imprisoned an officer of the law, deceived his agents,
reduced two of the members of our company to walking the streets,
forced us to consort with thieves and criminals, pointing to the bland
form of the Quaker, who had just appeared in the doorway, laid us all
under the imputation of plotting against our country, exiled us from
our native land, brought me away from New York in my declining years,
with only the clothes I stand up in, and deposited me in a small room
on the third floor of a second-class hotel, which is probably full of
fleas! And now I ask you, sir, in the name of Christian decency, which
you're supposed to represent, and common sense, of which you've very
little, what you're going to do with us?
Banborough sat down suddenly on the nearest available chair, made a
weak attempt at a smile, gave it up, and blurted out:
Well, I'm blessed if I know! But permit me to decline the declining
years, he murmured gallantly.
I have, continued the lady, with a twinkle in her eye, for the
past thirty years played blameless parts on the metropolitan stage, and
I'm too old to assume with any degree of success the rôle of a
Madam, said the author, making a desperate effort to compose
himself, I'm the first to admit the lack of foresight on my part which
has placed us in this deplorable predicament; but the fact remains that
we're suspected of a serious crime against this Government, and until
we can prove ourselves innocent it's necessary to protect our liberties
as best we may. I fortunately have ample funds, and I can only say that
it will be a duty as well as a privilege to take you all to a place of
safety, and keep you there, as my guests, till happier times.
Hear, hear! said the tragedian from the back of the room, while
the Quaker settled himself into the most comfortable armchair with a
sigh of contentment.
Very nicely spoken, young man, replied the older lady, whose
suspicions were only partially allayed, but words aren't deeds, and
Canada, where I'm informed we're to be dumped, is a long way off; and
if you imagine you can go cavorting round the country with a Black
Maria for a whole afternoon without bringing the police down on you,
you're vastly mistaken!
Thee speaketh words of wisdom, but a full stomach fortifieth a
stout heart, said Friend Othniel.
Yes, replied Smith, who took this remark to himself. I ordered
dinner at six, thinking you'd be in then, and if I'm not mistaken it's
here now. And as he spoke the door opened and a waiter entered to lay
Conversation of a private nature was naturally suspended forthwith,
and the members of the A. B. C. Company sat in silence, hungrily eyeing
Thee mayst lay a place for me, friend, said the Quaker to the
waiter, as he watched the preparations with bland enjoyment.
Did you order any drinks? asked Banborough of the tragedian.
No, Bishop, I didn't, replied the latter. As you're paying for
the show, I thought I'd leave you that privilege.
Order six soda lemonades, said Banborough to the waiter, adding
behind his hand to Spotts, as he noted the gloom spread over the
company: No liquor to-night. We need to keep our wits about us.
Stop, friend, came the unctuous tones of the Quaker, arresting the
waiter as he was about to leave the room. For myself I never take
strong waters, but thee forgettest, Bishop, giving Banborough the
title he had heard the others use, thee forgettest that our revered
friend, with a wave of his hand in Mrs. Mackintosh's direction, hath
an affection of her lungs which requires her to take a brandy and soda
for her body's good before meals. Let it be brought at once!
Why, you impudent upstart! gasped the old lady, as the door closed
behind the waiter. How dare you say I drink!
Shoo! returned Friend Othniel, lapsing from the Quaker into the
tramp; I ain't orderin' it for youse. I've a throat like a Sahara.
Then turning to the other members of the company, he continued:
Now seein' as we've a moment alone, and bein' all criminals, I
votes we has a session o' the committee o' ways and means.
A chorus of indignant protest arose from every side.
Youse ain't criminals, eh? What's liberatin' prisoners, an'
stealin' two hosses an' a kerridge, an' the driver's hat an' coat, with
a five-dollar bill in the pocket?
Banborough rose to deny vehemently the last assertion.
Oh, yes, ther' was, continued the tramp. I got that. And he
produced a crisp note at the sight of which the Englishman groaned, as
he realised the damning chain of evidence which circumstance was
building up around them.
An' lockin' up officers of the law, Friend Othniel went on, an'
runnin' off with prisoners, specially a tough like me, one o' your
pals, what's wanted particular. And he winked villainously.
I do not see, began Banborough, who was fast losing his temper,
that there's any need of discussing the moral aspect of this affair.
You, turning to the tramp, will have your dinner and your drink, and
a certain sum of money, and you'll then kindly leave us. Though your
nature may be incapable of appreciating the difference between a crime
knowingly committed and one innocently entered into, a difference
exists, and renders further association between us undesirable, to say
Oh, it does, does it? said Friend Othniel. Well, that's where
youse blokes is mistook. This mornin' my dearest ambition was to blow
up Madison Square Garden, but what's that to wreckin' a whole nation?
No, Bishop, I'm a political conspirator from this time on, and I'll
stand by yer through thick and thin! Why, you people ain't no more
fitted to run a show o' this sort than a parcel of three-weeks-old
babies. I wouldn't give yer ten hours to land the whole crowd in jail;
but you just trust to me, and I'll see yer safe, if it can be done. I
tell yer, it ain't the fust time I ben in a hurry to view Niagary Falls
from the Canadian side.
Just then the door opened, and the waiter entered with the brandy
and soda in a long glass.
Thee mayst put it here, friend, till the lady is ready to take it,
said Othniel, indicating the table at his side.
Nothing of the kind, snapped Mrs. Mackintosh. I guess I'm as
ready to take it now's I ever shall be. And she grasped the glass and,
setting her face, proceeded to drain the tumbler to the amusement of
There, she said, wiping her lips with her handkerchief, as the
waiter left the room, that tasted about as bad as anything I've had
for a long time; but if it had been castor oil, I'd have drunk every
drop rather than that you'd had it.
A general laugh greeted this sally, and the tramp remarked
sheepishly that he guessed he'd know it the next time he ran up against
Then, waxing serious, he resumed his former topic.
We ain't got no time to waste in frivolity, he said, and if we're
to get out of this hole, the sooner we makes our plans the better, and
perhaps, as I know more about this business than youse, I'll do the
Receiving the silent assent of the company, he continued: I
remembers in the days o' my innocent youth, before I burgled my first
watch, a-playin' of a Sunday-school game, where we went out of the
room, and the bloke what teached us put a quarter somewhere in plain
sight, and when we come in again not one on us could find it, 'cause it
was just under our noses; which the same is the game I'm proposing to
I think I see what you mean, said Banborough. I've heard it said
that the destruction of most criminals is their cleverness.
That's just what I'm a-tryin' to point out, replied the tramp.
The cops gives you the credit of allus tryin' to do the out-o'-the-way
thing, so as to put 'em off the track, while if yer only acted as yer
naturally would if yer hadn't done nothin' to be cotched for, yer could
walk before their eyes and they'd never see yer.
That sounds all right, said Spotts. Now what's your advice?
To go back to New York, replied the tramp shortly.
But, objected Miss Arminster, we can't stay in the United
Who said we could? retorted the tramp. Don't yer see, the cops'll
reckon on our takin' some train along hereabouts for the North, and
they'll watch all the little stations on the up line, but they won't
trouble 'bout the down line, 'cause they know we've left the city. So
all we has to do, after we've had our dinner comfortable-like, is to
take a local back to town, and catch the White Mountain Express for
Why the White Mountain Express? asked Mrs. Mackintosh.
'Cause it's the longest route, replied the tramp, an' they'll
reckon on our takin' the shortest. Besides which, we'll cross the
border in the early morning, havin' the baggage, which we ain't got,
examined on arrival.
The company expressed hearty approval of the plan, and it was easy
to see, in the case of the ladies at least, that Friend Othniel's
sagacity had won him a much-improved position in their estimation.
The waiter now came bustling in and out of the room, and Mrs.
Mackintosh drew Cecil apart into the embrasure of a window.
You mustn't think I'm too hard on you, young man, she said,
though I can talk like a house afire when I once get r'iled. I know
you didn't mean to get us into this scrape. You're a good-hearted chap,
or you wouldn't have given us all a breakfast when you didn't need to,
and I want you to understand that I'll stand by you whatever happens.
I've taken a real liking to you, because you can look me straight in
the eye, and I know you're worth a dozen of those chaps one sees
hanging round a theatre; and if you behave yourself nicely, you won't
find you've got a better friend than Betsy Mackintosh. And she
squeezed his hand with an honest fervour that many a man might have
Cecil thanked her for her confidence in him, and turned to have a
few words with Miss Arminster, who had been constantly in his mind.
When she had admitted to the Justice of the Peace that she was a
married woman, he felt as if somebody had poured a pitcher of ice-water
down his back. Of course he hardly considered his sentiment for her as
serious, but he was at the age when a young man feels it a personal
grievance if he discovers that a pretty girl is married. Indeed, the
fact that the little actress had been so blind to her own interests as
not to keep her heart and hand free till he came along first caused him
to realise how hard he was hit.
I do hope you've not been too much fatigued? he said, sitting down
Oh, you mustn't bother about that, she replied, raising her eyes
to his in a decidedly disconcerting manner. I'm afraid you must have
thought me very selfish and ungrateful for seeming to care so much
about my own appearance and so little about all you've done for me.
Oh, don't speak of that, he protested.
But I must speak of it, she insisted. I can't begin to tell you
how I appreciated it. It was plucky and just splendid, and some day or
other I want you to take me out driving again, in another sort of trap.
You're the best whip I ever knew.
He flushed under her praise, and began to say pretty things which he
had better have omitted; but she presently became absent-minded in the
face of his attentions, and interpreting this as an unfavourable sign,
he ventured to ask her why she was so pensive.
I'm afraid you must think me awfully rude, she said, and really
I've listened to all the nice things you've been saying, half of which
I don't deserve, but the fact is, this place, and even this very room,
are full of sweet associations for me. It was in that little church,
just across the road, that I was married four years ago.
But I thought, he began, that the Justice of the Peace said that
he married you.
So he did, she returned softly, but that was differentit was
Eh? What! he said, later?
Yes, she replied dreamily, not noticing the interruption. But it
was here that the few sweet days of my first honeymoon were passed.
'Twas here I became the bride of the only man I've ever loved, the
Hist! cried the tramp, who had been looking out of the window.
The house is watched! And with this announcement Banborough's
tête-à-tête came to an abrupt close.
Are you sure? cried Spotts.
Positive. There are three cops fooling round in front now.
What shall we do? cried Smith.
Git, rejoined the tramp.
But how? queried Banborough.
Oh, I'll fix that all right, said the Quaker. I bagged a plated
tea-service here five years ago, and if they ain't changed the
arrangements of the house, this side door leads into an unused passage,
which, barrin' the climbin' of a picket fence, is very handy for
But how about the waiter? suggested Mrs. Mackintosh, who was
Right you are, said Friend Othniel. We'll lock the door before we
get out. They'll waste time enough over trying to open it, to give us a
To speak was to act, and the tramp softly turned the key and slipped
it into his pocket.
As a memento, he said. It's all I'm likely to git. They don't
even use plate now. And he fingered the spoons and forks on the table
Come, said Spotts shortly. We've no time to lose.
Look here, said Banborough to the company, I may be a criminal,
but I'm not a sneak, and I don't order meals and apartments without
paying for them. How much ought I to leave behind?
If you put it that way, I guess ten dollars'll cover it, he said.
The Englishman threw a bill on the table.
Now, cried Smith, let's be off!
Out this way, said the tramp, opening a side door. You others go
first, and I'll wait here till I sees you're all safe.
Not if I know it, said Cecil. You go first, or you'll get
The tramp looked longingly at the crisp note, and led the way,
Thee castest thy pearls before swine, friend.
Ah, that's just what I'm trying to avoid, said Banborough
cheerfully, bringing up the rear.
CHAPTER VI. IN WHICH THE BISHOP OF
BLANFORD RECEIVES A BLACK EYE.
The Bishop of Blanford! announced the page, as he threw open the
door of Sir Joseph Westmoreland's private consulting-room.
Sir Joseph came forward to meet his distinguished patient, and said
a few tactful words about having long known his Lordship by reputation.
The Bishop smiled amiably, and surveyed the great London physician
through his glasses. The two men were of thoroughly opposite types: Sir
Joseph tall, thin, wiry, his high forehead and piercing blue eye
proclaiming a powerful mind well trained for the purposes of science;
the Bishop short and broad of stature, with an amiable, rounded, ruddy
face, and the low forehead which is typical of a complacent dogmatism.
An ecclesiastic had come to humbug a man of science. Could he do it?
Not really, he told himself; but then Sir Joseph was so courteous.
I ventured to consult you, said his Lordship, in reply to the
physician's questions, because I feel the need of rest, absolute rest.
The duties of my diocese are so onerousanderin shortyou
Quite so, quite so, said Sir Joseph, who understood that there was
nothing whatever the matter with his patient.
To be entirely alone, continued the Bishop, for a space of time,
without any distractionsnot even letters.
Most certainly not letters, your Lordship.
How wonderful you men of science are! murmured the ecclesiastic.
You understand me exactly. Now if I could have six weeksor even a
A month, I should say, replied Sir Joseph. After that you might
begin to receive your correspondence.
Yes, a month would dothat iserwhere would you advise me to
What climate generally suits you best?
Ierwas thinking of Scotland.
In May? queried the physician.
A friend would lend me his country placeand Iershould be so
Quite so. Nothing could be better, replied his adviser, who, like
all men who have risen in their profession, had attained an infinite
knowledge of human nature.
And you will be so kind as to write me a note, stating your
opinionabout the restanderimmunity from lettersand all that,
said the Bishop, depositing with studied thoughtlessness a double fee
on the table, for the benefit of mymy family. She isthey areI
meanthat is, she might not realise the importance of absolute rest,
andas a brilliant thought occurred to himand you'll give me a
Certainly, said Sir Joseph. I'll do both now.
Thanks, murmured the Bishop, and, receiving the precious
documents, he took his leave.
The great physician's letter he put carefully in an inside pocket;
the prescription he never remembered to get filled.
A month, he said to himself; that ought to be time enough. And
he hailed a cab, and driving promptly to the nearest American steamship
office, he engaged a passage forthwith.
I wonder what Sir Joseph thought about it, he meditated, as he
paid for his ticket. In this respect, however, he did his adviser an
injustice. Sir Joseph never thought about it at all. It was not part of
* * * * *
Most people would have united in saying that the Bishop of Blanford
was an exceedingly fortunate man. No one was possessed of an estate
boasting fairer lawns or more noble beeches, and the palace was a
singularly successful combination of ecclesiastical antiquity and
nineteenth-century comfort. The cathedral was a gem, and its boy choir
the despair of three neighbouring sees, while, owing to a certain
amount of worldly wisdom on the part of former investors of the
revenues, the bishopric was among the most handsomely endowed in
England. Yet his Lordship was not happy. All his life long there had
been a blot upon his enjoyment, and that blot was his sister, Miss
Miss Matilda was blatantly good, an intolerant virtue that accounted
for multitudes of sins in other people. Her one ambition was to bring
up the Bishop in the way she thought he should go, and hitherto she had
been wonderfully successful. All through his married life she had
resided at the palace and been the ruling power, and when his wife had
died twenty years before, snuffed out by the cold austerity of the
Bishop's sister and the ecclesiastical monotony of Blanford, Miss
Matilda had assumed the reins of power, and had never laid them down.
The Bishop's wife had been a weak, amiable woman, and her last
conscious request was to be buried in the sunlight, but her
sister-in-law remarked that her mind must have been wandering, for
though Sarah was vacillating, she was never sacrilegious. So they
buried her in the shadiest corner of the cloisters, and put up a
memorial brass setting forth all the virtues for which she was not
particularly noted, and entirely omitting to mention her saving grace
of patience under great provocation.
Since that time the Bishop's son, Cecil, had been a bone of
contention at Blanford. His aunt had attempted to apply the same
rigorous treatment to him that had been meted out to his father; but
the lad, whose spirit had not been broken, refused to submit. At first,
in his boyhood days, his feeling was chiefly one of awe of Miss
Matilda, who always seemed to be interfering with his pleasure, and who
made the Sabbath anything but a day of peace for the restless child.
Then came long terms at school, with vacations to which he never looked
forward, and then four years at the university, when the periods spent
at Blanford became more dreaded.
Cecil tried bringing home friends, but there were too many
restrictions. So, after graduation, he drifted off to London, where his
aunt prophesied speedy damnation for him, and never quite forgave him
because he did not achieve it. During these years his visits to the
palace became fewer and fewer. Then he wrote his novel, which proved
the breaking-point, for Miss Matilda forced his good-natured,
easy-going father to protest against its publication in England, and
the young man, in impatient scorn, had shaken the dust of his native
country from his feet and departed to the United States, bearing his
manuscript with him.
That was a year ago, and Cecil had never written once. His
publishers would not give his address, and if he received the letters
sent through their agency, he never answered them. His father pined for
him. His aunt waxed spiteful, and so firm was her domination over the
Bishop that he never dared tell her of his secretly formed plan of
going to America to find his son. Hence his visit to the great London
The little plot worked out better than he could have hoped. Sir
Joseph's letter proved convincing, for Miss Matilda had a holy awe of
constituted authority, and would no more have thought of disobeying its
injunctions than she would of saying her prayers backwards. His
Lordship accordingly went to London, and disappeared for a
monthostensibly to Scotland, in reality to America; and no one on the
Allan liner suspected for a moment that the little man in civilian's
clothes, whose name appeared on the passenger-list as Mr. Banborough,
was the Bishop of Blanford.
His thirty days of grace allowed him but two weeks in the States,
and here fortune seemed to have deserted him, for, on his arrival, he
learned that his son had gone South. A wild-goose chase to Washington
consumed much valuable time, and, with only forty-eight hours to spare,
he arrived at Cecil's quarters in New York on the day when that young
gentleman was madly driving a Black Maria out of the city.
Discouraged and disheartened at his lack of success, the Bishop took
a train for Montreal, and found himself, about ten o'clock on that
evening, owing to faulty orders and a misplaced switch, stranded at a
little station just on the dividing line between Canada and the United
And when can I proceed on my journey to Montreal? he queried of
Sure I don't know, responded that individual briefly. We're bound
to get things cleared for the White Mountain Express if possible.
And when is it due? asked his Lordship.
Eleven forty-five A.M., if she's on time.
I think, said the Bishop, that I'll remain for the night, and go
on at a more seasonable hour to-morrow. Is there any one here who can
put me up?
The station-master scratched his head in perplexity, glancing off to
the horizon where glimmered a few lights from scattered farmhouses.
I dunno what to say, he replied. I reckon Deacon Perkins would
have put you up, pointing to the nearest light, some mile and a half
distant, which at that moment disappeared, but, added the official,
it looks as if he'd gone to bed. Folks don't stay up late round here.
There ain't much to do.
But, protested his Lordship, there's a story over this office.
Surely you can arrange something for me.
Well, you see it's this way, said the man. There's two police
officers and a journalist has reserved it for to-night, 'cause they's
on the lookout for a batch of prisoners 'scaping to Canada. But if so
be's you wouldn't mind sleeping in the refreshment-room, I could let
you have a mattress, and make you up a tidy bed under the bar.
The Bishop reflected that, though such quarters were hardly in
keeping with the dignity of an episcopal prince, they were better than
nothing, and as he was travelling incognito it did not much matter. So
he cheerfully accepted, and going out on the platform took a seat on
the narrow wooden bench that ran along the front of the station, and
lighted a cigar to while away the time till the preparations for his
retirement were completed.
It was pitch-dark outside, and the presence of three glimmering
points of light were the only indication of any other occupants of the
bench. But he rightly conjectured that the smokers were the policemen
and the journalist of whom he had heard, and, having nothing better to
do, he entered into conversation with them.
Oh, yes, said Marchmont, for it was none other, we've got a big
job on hand to-night, sir, if we pull it off.
Is it uncertain, then? asked the Bishop.
Well, of course we don't know which way they're coming. There was a
sensational escape of a lot of Spanish spies from New York this noon.
When I left we only knew they'd gone North. Since then they've been
heard of near the Hudson River. Of course it's practically certain
they'll make for Montreal, as it's the nearest point at which they have
a consul, and my knowledge of human nature leads me to think they'll
take the most indirect route; so I came on here by the first train, and
if we can catch them when the Express comes through to-night, it'll be
a great scoop, and certain promotion for me.
Who compose the party? asked his Lordship.
The whole thing seems to be rather mysterious, said the
journalist. There's a woman conspirator in it, and one or two men, but
the identity of the leader, the man who planned the rescue and had the
unparalleled audacity to represent himself as one of our reporters, is
quite unknown to the police.
But you? said the Bishop.
Oh, I, replied Marchmont, of course I could hazard a guess as to
his identity. And putting his hand before his mouth, so that his two
companions should not hear his words, he added, with a tone of triumph
in his voice: There's not the remotest doubt in my mind that the young
man who ran off with the Black Maria was none other than the Secretary
of the Spanish Legation.
Ah, said his Lordship, who was getting bored, very interesting,
I'm sure. I think I'll turn in now. Good-night. And a few minutes
later he was safely ensconced under the bar and in the land of dreams,
where Miss Matilda and a prison-van figured conspicuously.
After an interval of time, the Bishop was sleepily conscious of the
arrival of a train, accompanied by a certain amount of excitement, but
it was not till several hours later, when dawn was just beginning to
break, that he was rudely awakened by some one attempting to
appropriate his resting-place. At the same moment he became conscious
that a considerable uproar was going on in the station, and a voice
from above, which he recognised as the journalist's, called out:
Say! One of that gang's in the bar! I saw him come up to the door
as I was lying in bed!
Before the Bishop, however, became sufficiently wide awake to
assimilate thoroughly these astonishing facts, the intruder, who was
grotesquely armed with a can of hot coffee and a loaf of bread,
deposited his burdens, and falling upon the recumbent ecclesiastic,
proceeded to sit upon his head, forcing his face into the pillow, and
rendering it impossible for him to utter a single sound. The half light
and the suddenness of the attack had not permitted his Lordship to see
the features of his aggressor. He had, however, no intention of
submitting tamely to such an unpardonable outrage; and when the
station-master and the two policemen, unaware of the proximity of the
object of their pursuit, had rushed through the room and out at the
back door, and the stranger, releasing the Bishop, was preparing to fly
also, his Lordship, forgetful of the professions of peace which his
calling assumed, smote the intruder lustily in the ribs. He received in
return a smashing blow in the eye which made him see a multitude of
stars, and before he could recover himself the stranger had seized the
coffee and the loaf and dashed through to the front of the station.
The Bishop staggered to his feet, groping blindly about, while he
heard the voice of the journalist, who was leaning over the banisters
in night attire, calling vociferously to his companions that the man
was escaping by the front.
Did he hurt you? he asked of the Bishop.
Yes, replied his Lordship, still blinded by the force of the blow.
But he got as good as he gave. I didn't have four years of athletics
at the 'varsity for nothing.
Oh, they're sure to catch him, said the journalist
I hope so, cried the Bishop, for he richly deserves it.
It is probable, however, that his Lordship would have modified his
desire for vengeance had he known that his aggressor was his own son.
CHAPTER VII. IN WHICH A LINE IS
DRAWN AND CROSSED.
Say, are you asleep? came the low voice of the tramp at the side
of Banborough's berth in the early hours of the morning.
The speaker stood in the aisle of the sleeper and was bending over
him, half dressed, the contrast between the sleek outer garments of the
Quaker and the rough underwear of the tramp giving him a most grotesque
Eh? what? said Cecil, rousing himself, and noting, as he did so,
that it was still dark. A moment later he was fully awake, saying, as
he sat up in his bunk: Is anything the matter?
I'm afraid so. We've stopped here more'n ten minutes already, and
we're scheduled to run through.
Well, what of it? said the Englishman, somewhat testily, for he
was very weary, and resented having his rest broken. I suppose it's
only a hot box.
Hot box be blowed! It's us they're after. If you looks round the
corner of your curtain, you can see the cops on the platform.
Cecil did as he was bidden, and, drawing back hastily, said:
You're right. I'm afraid the game is up. Where are we, anyway?
If this is the station I take it to be, we're just on the line
between the two countries. But whether our car's in Canady or the
States is more'n I can tell.
Is there anything to be done? asked Banborough, turning to Smith
and Spotts, who at this moment quietly joined the Quaker at the
Plenty, replied Spotts. It's only a question of going North. Ten
feet may mean the difference between a prison and the 'Windsor.'
Well, what shall we do?
Are you dressed?
All but my boots and coat, answered Cecil. I'm not enough of a
gymnast to disrobe in a space six feet by two, and besides I thought
something of this sort might occur.
Well, get into your boots, then, and don't make any more noise than
necessary, said Spotts. The ladies must be ready by this time. You
were called last.
Are you going to make a bolt for it? queried Banborough, as he put
one foot out of bed.
Sh! returned Spotts. Not so loud! The officials out there on the
platform are not sure that we're on board. My suggestion that Mrs.
Mackintosh should buy the tickets was a lucky move, as she was not
known. I'm going to pull the bell-cord as a sign to start, in the hopes
that the engineer will get going before the conductor has time to
reverse the signal, which means we'll run to the next station. If we
don't succeed in pulling out, we'll just have to jump off and sprint
Go ahead, said Banborough. I'll have my boots on by the time I
The actor took a cautious look round the sleeper. Quiet reigned,
except for their own little party, who were by this time all gathered
together, the ladies having joined them.
Now! said Friend Othniel. And Spotts, reaching up, gave two sharp
jerks to the cord which swung from the centre of the car.
Instantly the air-brakes were relaxed, the engine gave forth a
series of mighty exhausts, the great driving-wheels spun round for a
second on the rails, then caught their grip, and the train began to
move out of the station.
A perfect pandemonium at once arose without. Shouts, gesticulations,
and the waving of a multitude of lights, but the train still kept on
moving, and the last car, in which the fugitives were, was sweeping
past the station building, when the conductor, capless, but lantern in
hand, emerged from the ticket-office and sprang for the rear platform
of the train. A second later the quick jerk of the bell-cord and an
answering whistle from the engine told them that he had succeeded in
boarding the train and signalling it to stop.
The Quaker, forgetful of his cloth, swore lustily.
Come on! cried Spotts, we'll have to run for it. They'll back
into the station in a minute, and then we're done for. And suiting the
action to the word, he rushed down the car towards the front of the
train. The rest followed him with the best speed they could muster,
falling over boxes and bundles, getting entangled in stray shoes, and
running foul of swinging portières. Fortunately the cars were
vestibuled, so the platforms offered no impediment. The train seemed
absolutely interminable, for as they dashed through sleeper after
sleeper, one more always appeared ahead, and Banborough could not help
feeling as he ran, hatless and in his shirt-sleeves, with his coat
under his arm and one shoe-string untied, that the whole thing must
after all be some wildly improbable dream from which he would awake in
Now they felt the train stand still and then begin slowly to move
backwards, which only hastened their flight. But there is an end to
everything, and presently the last sleeper had been passed through, and
they emerged, hot and breathless, into the baggage-car, immediately
behind the engine. Here for the first time they found an open door, the
vestibules having all been tightly closed.
Spotts, who led the way, wasted no time in explanation, but making
one dash at the burly baggage-master who confronted him, gave him a
blow that sent him flying backwards. At the same instant he managed to
trip up his assistant, causing the two men to come down on the floor
together, bringing with them in their fall two bicycles and half a
dozen crates of eggs.
Grasping any light luggage he could seize, Friend Othniel added this
to the heap, while Spotts, throwing open the great door in the side of
the car, cried:
Jump for all you're worth!
Smith stood cowering on the edge of the door-sill, little relishing
the prospect of a wild leap into the night. But the Quaker, who had no
time to waste on arguments, smashed down the top bicycle with one hand,
thus placing his two opponents on their backs on the floor, and
swinging round at the same moment, delivered a kick to the tragedian
which sent him flying into outer darkness after the manner of a spread
The train was only just moving, and Spotts sprang quickly to the
ground, and, running alongside the car, called to Miss Arminster to
jump into his arms, which she promptly did. Putting her to one side out
of the reach of the train, he ran forward to receive Mrs. Mackintosh;
but that good lady, being unaccustomed to such acrobatic feats, and
arriving with more force than precision, completely bowled him over,
and they went flying into space together. Banborough and Friend Othniel
followed almost immediately, and, both trying to get out of the door at
the same time, collided with considerable force, and performed a series
of somersaults, landing with safety, but emphasis, in a potato-patch.
As the engine swept by them, Cecil sat up and surveyed the scene. It
certainly was an unusual situation, and the half-light of the early
morning only served to make their attitudes the more grotesque. The
party was scattered at large over the field in question. Smith, on one
knee, was rubbing the bruised portions of his body. Miss Arminster, who
had landed safely on her feet, was standing with both hands clasped to
her head, an attitude suggesting concussion of the brain, but which in
reality betokened nothing more dreadful than an utter disarrangement of
her hair. Spotts had assumed an unconventional attitude at her feet,
while the Quaker, face down, with hands and legs outspread, seemed to
be trying to swim due north.
Directly opposite the Englishman, seated erect and prim on what had
once been a hill of potatoes, her bonnet perched rakishly on one ear,
and her grey toupée partially disarranged, hanging with its sustaining
hairpins over her eyes, was Mrs. Mackintosh, firmly grasping in one
hand her green silk parasol which she had never relinquished.
As Banborough met her gaze, she demanded sternly:
What next, young man, I should like to know?
Really, Mrs. Mackintosh, he replied, if for no other reason, you
ought to be deeply indebted to me as a purveyor of new sensations.
This is not a time for levity, sir, remarked that lady sternly,
dropping her parasol and hastily restoring her toupée to its original
position, and I consider it perfectly disgraceful that you should
cause a lady of my character to be arrested in a potato-patch at four
o'clock in the morning!
That's just what I've been endeavouring to prevent, he said. I
believe this to be Canada.
Then Canada's a very poor sort of a country, she replied
The others now approached them, and all eyes were turned to the
railroad station a few hundred yards distant, which was alive with
bobbing lanterns. Presently a cluster of lights detached itself from
the rest and came towards them.
Do you think they're going to arrest us? asked Miss Arminster
Don't you be afraid, miss, returned Friend Othniel. You just let
me run this circus, and I'll get you out all right and no mistake.
The party now came up to them. It consisted of the station-master,
the conductor, several trainmen, and the two policemen.
Here! said the conductor. What did you mean by pulling the cord
and starting the train?
Because we was anxious to see the beauties of Canady, replied the
Ah, I thought as much, said one of the policemen.
I am afraid, added the other, we shall be obliged to persuade you
and your party to stay in the United States for a while. You may
consider yourselves under arrest.
Thank yer, said the tramp sweetly.
So, to save trouble, continued the officer, you might as well
come back quietly with us to the station.
Yah! retorted the tramp. 'Will yer walk into my parlour?' said
the spider to the fly. I knows that game, and I guess the climate o'
Canady suits my constitution.
Nonsense! replied the policeman. You aren't over the border by
about two miles.
Oh, ain't we? said the tramp. Just oblige me, then, by putting
them bracelets which I sees hangin' out o' your pocket on my wrists.
And he held out his hands.
The policeman looked sheepish, whispered something to his companion,
and presently they turned their backs on the party and walked away in
the direction of the station.
We's so stuck on this piece o' land, called Friend Othniel after
them, that we thinks o' farmin' it permanently. Come back and spend
Christmas with us, won't yer?
The officers did not deign to notice these remarks, and a few
moments later the train swept by them on its way to Montreal, the
baggage-master and his assistant giving their views on the party in
general as they passed.
The day now really began to break in earnest, bringing with it a
cold, damp chill, which seemed to penetrate to their very marrow.
Spotts took off his coat and wrapped it around the shivering Violetan
act of chivalry which made Banborough curse his own thoughtlessness.
But Spotts's endeavours to promote the comfort of the company did not
end here. He roused Friend Othniel into action, and succeeded in
collecting a little stubble and underbrush, and with the aid of a few
matches they made an apology for a fire, round which the forlorn party
huddled. But, damp with the early dews, the brush gave out more smoke
than flame, only serving to emphasize their discomfort.
The increasing light showed them something of their surroundings. At
distances varying from a mile to a mile and a half a few dilapidated
dwellings peeped out of a fringe of woods. Everything else was
pine-swamp, with the exception of the one small field of potatoes in
which they were encamped, and which stood out as an oasis in the
wilderness. Through the midst of the landscape straggled a muddy road,
hopelessly impassable for foot-travellers. Certainly the outlook was
It was therefore with a feeling of positive relief that they
perceived shambling towards them the uncouth figure of the
station-master. He paused on the edge of the patch, with one hand
embedded in his shock of hair, and the other grasping a large piece of
chalk, and surveyed the party critically.
Say, he began after a few moments' silence, them's my potatoes
you're a-settin' on.
The tramp growled something unintelligible, and the others
vouchsafed no reply whatsoever.
I guess it must be purty damp out in that field, continued the
station-master, specially for the ladies, and I thought as how I'd let
yer know as I was a-makin' some coffee over to the station, and yer
could come and get it if yer liked.
Yes, and get arrested into the bargain, said Spotts.
I thought of that, replied the man, and so I've drawed a line
onto the platform with this piece of chalk, jest where the boundary be,
and so long as yer stays to the northard of it yer can't be ketched.
How are we to know that that is just the boundary? asked
'Pears to me you're mighty 'spicious. Anyhow, thar's the line and
thar's the coffee. Yer can take it or leave it, jest as yer likes.
I'd make it worth your while to bring it to us down here, said
Humph! returned the maker of beverages. I don't go totin' coffee
all round the country, and I'd like to remind yer as potatoes ain't
eggs and don't need no hatchin', so the sooner you gets through settin'
on 'em the better I'll be pleased. And turning his back he slouched
away to the station.
What do you think about it? said Banborough to Spotts.
I think it's a plan, replied the actor. A New England farmer
never misses a chance of making a penny when he can do so, and that
fellow would have been glad enough to sell his coffee to us at a fancy
price anywhere we chose to drink it if he hadn't been offered more to
entice us up to the station.
Well, I'm not going to pass the rest of my days on top of a
potato-hill, said Mrs. Mackintosh spitefully. I'm so stiff now I can
Yes, I don't think there's much to wait for, agreed Cecil. But
where shall we go?
To the next station, I guess, said the tramp. But in Canady
that's as likely to be thirteen miles as it is two, and this track
ain't ballasted for a walking-tour.
The fair Violet heaved a deep sigh.
What is it? asked Banborough anxiously. Don't you feel well?
I do feel a little faint, she replied, but I dare say I'll be
better in a minute. I shouldn't have sighed, only I was thinking what
an old wretch that station-master is, and how good that coffee would
You shall have some, he said, determined not to be outdone again
by Spotts, and I'll get it for you myself.
No, no! she protested. I didn't mean that. I shouldn't have said
it. I wouldn't have you go for worlds. You'd surely be arrested.
Nonsense! he replied. I think I can manage it and get back
safely, and you and Mrs. Mackintosh must have something sustaining, for
you've a long walk before you. And, in spite of all remonstrances, he
prepared to set out on his delicate and dangerous mission.
What's your plan? asked Friend Othniel, immensely interested now
there was a chance of an adventure.
I'm going to crawl along in the dry ditch beside the railroad track
till I get up to the station, and then trust to luck. I used to be able
to do a hundred yards in pretty decent time in my Oxford days, and if I
can get into the refreshment-room without being seen, I don't think
they'll catch me.
Well, good luck to yer, said the tramp, and if yer should come
across a hunk of pumpkin pie, don't forget your friend Othniel.
Banborough slipped off his overcoat, and donning a pair of heavy
dogskin gloves, the property of the driver of the Black Maria, which
the tramp produced, he watched his opportunity when no one was in sight
at the station, and, cautioning the rest of the party not to betray by
their actions that anything unusual was going on, stole across the open
field and, dropping into the shallow ditch, began his perilous journey.
Within three feet of the edge of the platform all means of
concealment ceased; but feeling that a bold course was the only one
which gave any hope of success, Cecil rose quickly, and, slipping
across the exposed place in an instant, glided into the great woodshed
which in that part of the world, where coal is expensive, forms an
important adjunct to every station. He felt himself practically secure
here, as no one was likely to come for logs so early in the morning;
and after waiting for a few moments to make certain that his presence
had not been discovered, he threw himself down on his face, and,
crawling noiselessly on all-fours across the twenty feet of open
platform which intervened between the woodshed and the main building,
achieved the precarious shelter afforded by the side wall of the house.
He then wormed himself forward till he was close to the front corner;
and here his patient efforts were at last rewarded, for he heard a few
scraps of a conversation which, had he been in a less dangerous
position, would have afforded him infinite amusement.
I tell you what it is, came the strident voice of the
station-master. It ain't no mortal manner of use. Why, they spotted me
to onct; said how was they to know I drawed the line correct.
Ha! said one of the policemen. Couldn't you go out and dicker
with them some more?
Nope, rejoined the other shortly. And there's that whole tin o'
coffee in the back room goin' to waste, and I guess they'd have paid
more'n a dollar for it.
Where's Mr. Marchmont? asked the second speaker, a remark which
caused Banborough considerable surprise.
He's been keepin' out o' the way o' them Spaniards, said the
station-master, lest they should get a sight of him, 'cause he may
have to shadow 'em in Canady, and he don't want 'em to get on to who he
is. He's gone upstairs now to get a snooze, an' that's where I'm goin',
too. There ain't no train for three hours, and I've had enough o' this
What's that? cried the policeman, as a sharp sound smote their
Tain't nothin' but the back door slammin', replied the other. I
must ha' forgot to latch it. The wind's riz a bit.
Yes, said the officer, and it's going to rain presently.
I guess I'd better go and shet that door.
No, you stay here; I want to talk to you. We'll let them get
thoroughly drenched, and you can offer them the hospitality of the
woodshed. Maybe we could alter the boundary-line a few feet in the
interests of justice.
Banborough waited to hear no more, but, drawing softly back, sprang
to his feet and ran noiselessly along the side of the house and round
to the unlatched door behind. Now, if ever, was his chance. He dashed
into a room which seemed to be a combination of kitchen and bar, but on
the stove stood a steaming tin can of savoury coffee, while among the
bottles on the shelf, just showing out of its paper wrappings, was a
goodly loaf of white bread. Had he left well alone, and been satisfied
with the coffee, he would have been all right; but the bread tempted
him, and to obtain possession of it he must go behind the bar. This he
hastened to do, unlatching the little swinging gate at the end, when a
scuffling sound from the room above gave place to heavy foot-falls on
the boards, and a moment later Marchmont called down the stairs which
evidently led into the front room:
Say! One of that gang's in the bar! I saw him come up to the door
as I was lying in bed! A bit of information which was instantly
followed by a clatter of chairs on the front platform.
Wedged in behind the bar, Banborough felt himself trapped. But a
happy inspiration seizing him, he possessed himself of the can of
coffee and, with the loaf of bread in his other hand, crawled under the
protecting shelf, while just at that moment a particularly strong gust
of wind blew the unlatched door wide open, banging it back against the
To his intense astonishment, Cecil found his hiding-place already
occupied by the recumbent and sleeping form of a man, and, jumping to
the conclusion that he must be either a policeman or a detective, he
promptly sat upon his head with a view to suppressing any inopportune
remarks. A second later three men rushed into the room, and Banborough
held his breath. But luck was with him, for one glance at the empty
stove and the open door satisfied the station-master, who cried:
Those fellows has bolted with the coffee! and dashed out at the
back, followed by the policemen.
In a second Cecil was up and out of the bar, but not before he had
received a smashing blow in the ribs from the stranger he had so rudely
awakened. He promptly struck out in return, and from the sputtering and
thrashing sounds which emanated from under the shelf he judged that his
blow had gone home.
Snatching up the coffee and the bread, he dashed through to the
front of the house, and, emerging on the platform, saw a sight which
filled his heart with joy. On the track stood one of those little flat
cars, employed by section-men, which is propelled by means of a wheel
and crank in the centre turned by hand, on the same principle as a
He sprang upon it, deposited his precious burden, and began turning
the crank with feverish energy. To his joy, the car at once started
forward, and under his well-directed pressure went rattling out of the
station, shooting by his three astonished pursuers as they rounded the
corner of the woodshed. Two minutes later he arrived in triumph at the
potato-patch, being warmly welcomed by his admiring companions, who
forthwith fell to and made a satisfying, if frugal, meal.
Just as they were finishing, the station-master came up, and, being
rendered thoroughly amiable by a liberal recompense for the stolen
viands, so far forgot himself, in his appreciation of Banborough's
pluck, as to admit that there was no objection to their taking the flat
car on to the next station, provided they could square it with the
superintendent on arrival, as there were no trains due either way.
How far is the next station? asked Cecil, as the party clambered
on to the car.
About twelve miles, said Miss Arminster.
Do you know it? asked Banborough, still glowing under her praises
of his prowess.
Oh, yes, she replied softly. I was married there last June.
The Englishman, muttering something under his breath, seized the
handles and, giving them a vicious turn, sent the car spinning
CHAPTER VIII. IN WHICH A LOCKET IS
ACCEPTED AND A RING REFUSED.
Something over a week after the events narrated in the last chapter,
Banborough was lounging in the office of the Windsor Hotel at Montreal.
The course of events had run more smoothly for the party since the day
they arrived in the city, weary and travel-stained with their
adventurous trip. Montreal in general, and the manager of the Windsor
in particular, were accustomed to see travellers from the States appear
in all sorts of garbs and all kinds of conditions incident to a hasty
departure, so their coming occasioned little comment; and as Cecil
never did things by halves, they were soon rehabilitated and installed
in the best apartments the hotel could offer.
The various members of the party, after the first excitement was
over, had relapsed into a listless existence, which, however, was
destined to be rudely disturbed, for while the Englishman's thoughts
were wandering in anything but a practical direction, he was aroused
from his reverie by a well-known voice, and, turning, found himself
face to face with Marchmont.
Well, who on earth would have thought of seeing you here?
exclaimed the journalist. Have you fled to Canada to escape being
No, said Banborough cautiously, not exactly for that reason.
We couldn't imagine what had become of you, continued his friend.
You're the hero of the hour in New York, I can tell you, and 'The
Purple Kangaroo' is achieving the greatest success of the decade.
Oh, confound 'The Purple Kangaroo'!
That's right; run it down. Your modesty becomes you. But seriously,
old man, let me congratulate you. You must be making heaps out of it.
Let's talk about something else, said Banborough wearily, for he
was heartily sick of his unfortunate novel. You ask me why I'm here.
I'll return the compliment. Why are you?
Why, returned Marchmont, you're partially to blame for it, you
know. I'm after those Spanish conspirators. Of course you've heard the
No, said Banborough. I haven't been in town for a fortnight. What
Well, we arrested a lovely señorita on Fourteenth Street who was
using the title of your novel as a password. I can tell you
confidentially that there's no doubt that she's one of the cleverest
and most unscrupulous female spies in the Spanish secret service; and
while they were deciding where to take her, a stranger, who we're
certain was one of the Secretaries of their Legation, eloped with her,
Black Maria and all, with the recklessness of a true hidalgo. They were
joined by a band outside the city, where they overcame a Justice of the
Peace who arrested them, after a desperate resistance on his part. The
story of this unequal battle was one of the finest bits of bravery
we've had for years.
After dining at a hotel at Yonkers they held up the waiter with
revolvers and escaped. Similar audacities were perpetrated at the
boundary-line between the United States and Canada, and in spite of the
most intelligent and valiant efforts on the part of the police, aided
by our own special corps of detectives, they've so far eluded us. Their
leader's said to be a perfect devil, who, as I tell you, is certainly a
Secretary of the Spanish Legation.
How do you know that? asked Banborough.
Ah, said Marchmont, looking wise and shaking his head, the
Daily Leader has private sources of information. I wonder you've
not heard anything of this.
Yes, acquiesced the Englishman, it is curious, isn't it?
But, continued his friend, you haven't told me yet why you came
Well, said Cecil, laughing, I can at least assure you that my
trip here has been much less eventful than the one you described.
By the way, said the journalist, have you seen the last editorial
about your book in the Daily Leader?
The Englishman shook his head.
No? Well, here goes. And Marchmont began to read forthwith:
'English conservatism has recently received a shock from the scion
of Blanford, and the Bishop's son, in connection with 'The Purple
Kangaroo,' has caused the British lion to hump himself into the hotbed
of American politics'
Oh, shut up! said Cecil, with more force than politeness.
Don't you like it? exclaimed the journalist. There's a column and
a half more. I blue-pencilled a copy and sent it over to your old man.
But, continued Marchmont, this isn't anything to what we'll do
when we've hounded the Dons out of Canada.
What? cried the author.
Yes, went on his friend. We've complained to your Foreign Office,
and within a week every Spanish conspirator will receive notice to quit
Her Majesty's North American colonies on pain of instant arrest and
Cecil waited to hear no more, but, pleading an imperative
engagement, rushed away to summon the members of his party to a hurried
council of war in their private sitting-room. All were present with the
exception of Miss Arminster, who had gone to spend the day at a convent
in the suburbs, where she had been brought up as a child.
After an hour of useless debating the council ended, as Banborough
might have foreseen from the first, in the party giving up any solution
of the problem as hopeless, and putting themselves unreservedly in his
hands to lead them out of their difficulties. Cecil, who felt himself
ill equipped for the rôle of a Moses, jammed his hat on his head, lit
his pipe, and, thrusting his hands in his pockets, said he was going
out where he could be quiet and think about it.
Going to the Blue Nunnery, he means, said Smith, laughing, and
The actor grunted. Apparently the author's attentions to the
fascinating Violet did not meet with his unqualified approval.
An hour later Banborough stood in the grey old garden of the
nunnery, the sister who was his guide silently pointing out to him the
figure of the little actress, whose bright garments were in striking
contrast to the severe simplicity of her surroundings. When the
Englishman turned to thank the nun, she had disappeared, and he and
Miss Arminster had the garden to themselves.
She stood with her back to him, bending over some roses, unconscious
of his presence, and for a few moments he remained silent, watching her
unobserved. The ten days which had passed had done much to alter his
position towards her, and he had come to fully realise that he was
honestly in love with this woman. Even the fact of her having been
married at Ste. Anne de Beau Pré, which information he had elicited
from her on the occasion of their pilgrimage to that shrine a few days
before, had not served to cool his ardour. Indeed, the fact that his
suit seemed hopeless made him all the more anxious to win her for his
After he had been watching her for some minutes, a subtle intuition
seemed to tell her of his presence, and he approached her as she raised
her face from the roses to greet him.
I came to see you he began, and paused, hardly knowing how to
Am I not then allowed even one holiday? she asked.
Is my presence so much of a burden? he inquired, realising for the
first time the full force of what her statement implied, as a hurried
mental review of the past fortnight showed him that he had scarcely
ever been absent from her side. Indeed, it no longer seemed natural not
to be with her.
Oh, I didn't mean to be rude, she said, but I do like a day out
of the world occasionally. You know, when I come back here I forget for
the time that I've ever lived any other life than that which is
associated with this dear old place.
He thought grimly that a young lady who had been married four times
before she was twenty-five must have to undergo a considerable amount
of mental obliteration.
I think you'd tire of it very soon if you had to live here always,
I'm not sure, she replied. I thinkbut of course you wouldn't
understand thatonly, life on the stage isn't all bright and amusing,
and there are times when one simply longs for a quiet, old-world place
I believe you'd like Blanford, he suggested.
I should love it, she assured him. But what would your father say
to me? I'd probably shock him out of his gaitersif he wears them.
I suppose so, said Cecil. The fact was that the raiment of the
Bishop of Blanford did not particularly interest him at that moment. He
had more important things to talk about, things that had no connection
whatsoever with the immediate future of the A. B. C. Company. Yet the
mention of his father caused him to stop and think, and thought, in
this case, proved fatal to sentiment. He thrust his hands into his
pockets and addressed himself to the more prosaic topics of life,
My excuse for intruding on you is that our troubles are by no means
over. The authorities, not content with driving us out of the United
States, are preparing to order us out of Canada as well, and the
question of where we are to go is decidedly perplexing.
Oh, dear! said the little woman, I think I'll go into the convent
That settles the difficulty as far as you're concerned. Do you
think they'd admit me?
Don't talk nonsense. What do the others say?
Oh, they say a good many things, but nothing practical, so I came
to you for advice.
Well, to speak frankly, she replied, if I were you, I'd drop us
all and run away home. It's much the easiest solution of the
Excuse me, he said. I'm a gentleman, and besides
Besides, he continued, thinking it better to be discreet, I doubt
if I should be welcome. I've a letter from the governor in my pocket,
which I haven't yet had courage to open. I dare say it won't be
pleasant reading; besides which, it's been chasing me round the country
for the last five or six weeks, and must be rather ancient history.
Look at it and see, she advised. They may be ready to kill the
fatted calf for you, after all.
I'm afraid they do regard me rather in the light of a prodigal, he
admitted. However, here goes. And breaking the seal of the envelope,
he read the letter aloud:
THE PALACE, BLANFORD.
MY DEAR SON:
Do you realise that it is nearly a year since your Aunt
and I have received news of you? This has been a source of
grief and pain to both of us, but it has not moved me to
has rather caused me to devote such hours as I could spare
the preparation of my series of sermons on the miracle of
personal introspection, in the endeavour to discover, if
whether the cause of our estrangement lay in any defect of my
It may be that you achieve a certain degree of spiritual
enlightenment in producing a book entitled 'The Purple
I hope so, though I have not read it. Nor do I wholly agree
your good aunt, who contends that the title savours too much
the Apocrypha, and I say nothing of the undesirable popularity
seem to have attained in the United States. I only ask you to
As a proof of her reconciliation, your aunt included a copy of
your book in her last mission box to the Ojibway Indians. I
always be glad to receive and make welcome any of your friends
the palace, no matter how different their tastes and
may be to my own well-defined course of action.
In the hope of better things,
YOUR AFFECTIONATE FATHER.
Of course you'll go, Violet said softly.
Oh, I don't know about that, he replied.
I do, she returned. It's your duty. What a dear old chap he must
be!so thoroughly prosy and honest. I'm sure I should love him. I know
just the sort of man he is. A downright Nonconformist minister of the
midland counties, who was consecrated a Bishop by mistake.
Cecil paused a minute, thinking it over.
How about the others? he said.
Ah, yes, she replied, the others. But perhaps you don't class
them as your friends.
Oh, it isn't that, he answered. Only I was wondering
What the Bishop would say? she asked, looking at him with a
roguish smile. Well, why not take him at his word and find out.
By Jove! he exclaimed. I will! I believe you've hit on the very
best possible solution of our difficulty. The episcopal palace at
Blanford is absolutely the last place in the world where any one would
think of looking for a political conspirator, and, by some freak of
fortune, the police are entirely ignorant that I'm in any way connected
with your flight.
Good! then it's settled! she cried. And we'll all accompany you.
Ye-es, only the governor wouldn't go within a hundred yards of a
theatre, and my aunt calls actors children ofI forget whomsome one
in the Old Testament.
Belial, suggested Miss Arminster.
That's it. How did you know?
You forget, she said, I was brought up in a convent.
It'll never do, he continued, for them to suspect who you really
Are we not actors?
Of course. We must have a dress rehearsal at once, and cast you for
your parts. But there's Friend Othniel
Ah, yes, she said. He's impossible.
We must drop him somehow.
That's easily managed, she replied. Pay his hotel bill, and leave
him a note with a nice little cheque in it to be delivered after we've
Then we must get away quickly, or he'll suspect.
The sooner the better.
I noticed that there was a ship sailing from Montreal for England
That'll just suit our purpose, she said. Friend Othniel told me
he was going to walk up Mount Royal after lunch and wouldn't be back
And you'll really come to Blanford? he asked, taking her hand.
Of course, she said. Why should you doubt it?
Because, he replied, it seems too good to be true. I was
thinking, hoping, that perhaps I might persuade you to come there for
good, and never go away.
Ah, she interrupted him, you're not going to say that?
Why not? he asked.
Because we've been such friends, she answered, and it's quite
Are you sure?
Perfectly. And oh, I didn't want you to say it.
But can't we be friends still? he insisted.
With all my heart, if you'll forget this mad dream. It would have
been impossible, even if I were free. Your people would never have
accepted me, and I would only have been a drag on you.
No, no! he denied vehemently.
There, she said, we won't talk about it. You've been one of the
best friends I ever had, andwhat's in that locket you wear?
That? he replied, touching a little blue-enamelled case that hung
from his watch-chain. It has nothing more interesting in it at present
than a picture of myself. But I'd hoped
Give it to me, will you, she asked, in remembrance of to-day?
He detached it silently from his chain, and, pressing it to his
lips, placed it in her hand.
I'll always wear it, she said.
There was an awkward silence for a moment, and then, pulling himself
together, he remarked brusquely:
I suppose we'd better be starting for town.
I'll join you later, she replied. I want to go to mid-day service
in the little church next to this convent. Such a pretty little church.
I was married there once.
You were what? Are you really serious, Miss Arminster?
Perfectly, she answered, giving him a bewitching little smile as
she tripped out of the garden.
PART II. ENGLAND.
CHAPTER I. IN WHICH MRS. MACKINTOSH
I think, Matilda, that you must have neglected to put any sugar in
my tea, said the Bishop of Blanford, pushing his cup towards his
sister, after tasting the first mouthful.
You're quite right, Josephus, I did, she replied.
And, continued his Lordship, who, being near-sighted, was poking
about, after the manner of a mole, in the three-storied brass bird-cage
which held the more substantial portion of the repast, there doesn't
seem to be any cake.
You forget, said Miss Matilda sternly, that it's an ember-day.
Her brother said nothing, and took a mouthful of the tea, which,
like the morality of the palace, was strong and bitter. But his ample
chest expanded with just the slightest sigh of regret, causing the
massive episcopal cross of gold filigree, set with a single sapphire,
which rested thereon, to rise and fall gently. Miss Matilda's hawklike
eye saw and noted this as the first slight sign of rebellion, and she
hastened to mete out justice swift and stern, saying:
You remember, Josephus, that there's a special service at the
mission church at five, at which I consider you ought to be present.
His Lordship had not forgotten it, or the circumstance that the
afternoon was exceedingly hot, and that the mission church, which was
situated in an outlying slum, was made of corrugated tin. The palace
garden would have been infinitely preferable, and he knew that had he
accepted sugarless tea without a murmur, his chaplain would have
sweltered in his place. As it was, he submitted meekly, and his sister
gazed at him with a satisfied expression of triumph across her bright
green tea-cloth. If Miss Matilda had a weakness, it was for
ecclesiastical tea-cloths. White was reserved for Sundays and
feast-days; on ordinary occasions, at this time of the year, her ritual
They were seated in the garden of the palace, a peaceful Arcadia
which it was difficult to realise was only separated from a dusty and
concrete world by a battlemented wall which formed the horizon. The sky
overhead was so blue and cloudless that it might have formed the
background for an Italian landscape, and framed against it was the
massive tower of the cathedral, its silver-greys darkening almost to
black, as a buttress here and there brought it in shadow. Among its
pinnacles a few wise old rooks flapped lazily in the still air, as much
a part of their surroundings as the stately swans that floated on the
stream which lapped the foot of the tower, while on all sides there
stretched away a great sweep of that perfect verdure which only England
It's nearly two months since I last wrote to Cecil, said the
Bishop, judging it wise to change the trend of the conversation, and
I've not heard a word.
I'm sure I should be surprised if you had, snapped Miss Matilda.
And what your sainted Sarah would have felt, had she lived to see her
son's disgraceful career, makes me shudder.
The Bishop started to sigh again. Then, thinking better of it,
stopped. He had returned to Blanford from his rest-cure a week before,
and apparently the air of Scotland had not proved as beneficial as he
I believe that Cecil will come back to us, he said, ignoring his
sister's last remark. I told him that his friends would be welcome
here in future, and I particularly mentioned that you'd put a copy of
his book in your last missionary box.
I hope you didn't neglect to say that I tore out all the pictures.
A more scandalous collection
But she never finished her denunciation of the novel, for just at
that moment the Bishop sprang to his feet with a glad cry of Cecil!
The young man came running across the lawn to meet his father,
seizing him warmly by the hand, and having administered a dutiful peck
to his aunt, turned to introduce the little group of strangers who had
Father, he said, these are my friends. On the strength of your
letter I've taken the liberty of asking them to be my guests as well.
They're very welcome to the palace, said the Bishop.
Cecil turned, and leading the two ladies forward, presented them to
his father and his aunt. Miss Matilda swept them both with a
comprehensive glance, and addressing Mrs. Mackintosh, remarked:
Your daughter, I presume, indicating Miss Arminster. Whereupon the
good lady coloured violently and denied the fact.
Your niece? insisted Miss Matilda, who was an excellent catechist,
as generations of unfortunate children could bear witness.
A young lady whom I'm chaperoning in Europe, replied Mrs.
Mackintosh stiffly, in an effort to be truthful, and at the same time
to furnish Violet with a desirable status in the party.
The tragedian was now brought forward.
Allow me, said Banborough, in pursuance of a prearranged scheme of
actionallow me to introduce my friend Professor Tybalt Smith. You,
father, are of course acquainted with his scholarly work on monumental
The Bishop naturally was not conversant with the book in question,
because it had never been written, but he was entirely too pedantic to
admit the fact; so he smiled, and congratulated the Professor most
affably on what he termed his well-known attainments, assuring him
that he would find in the cathedral a rich field of research in his
particular line of work.
Spotts was now brought up, and introduced as a rising young
architect of ecclesiastical tendencies, which delighted his Lordship
immensely as there was nothing he liked better than to explain every
detail of his cathedral to an appreciative listener.
I've a bit of old dog-tooth I shall want you to look at to-morrow,
said his host, and there's some Roman tiling in the north transept
that absolutely demands your attention.
Spotts smiled assent, but was evidently bewildered, and seizing the
first opportunity that offered, asked Cecil in a low voice if his
father took him for a dentist or a mason.
For a dentist or a mason? queried Banborough. I don't
Well, anyway, he said something about looking after his old dog's
teeth and attending to his tiles.
Cecil exploded in a burst of laughter, saying:
That's only the architectural jargon, man. You must play the game.
Oh, I see, said the actor. It's about his ramshackle old church.
Well, I'll do my best But his assurances were cut short by the flow
of his Lordship's conversation.
As I was saying, Mr. Spotts, he continued, I should be much
interested to hear your American views on the subject of a clerestory.
Sure, replied the actor, plunging recklessly. I always believe in
having four clear stories at least, and in New York and Chicago we run
'em up as high as But here a premonitory kick from Cecil brought his
speech to an abrupt termination.
Most astonishing, commented his Lordship. I've never heard of
more than one.
Oh, our Western churches are chock-full of new wrinkles.
Of newwhat? I don't understand. Another cup' of tea for you, Mrs.
Mackintosh? Certainly. We must pursue this subject at leisure, Mr.
The party now turned their attention to the repast, and the Bishop
proceeded to devote himself to Mrs. Mackintosh.
I'm afraid, he said, when he had seen her sufficiently fortified
with tea containing a due allowance of sugar, and supplemented by a
plateful of cake which he had ordered to be brought as a practical
substitute for the scriptural calfI'm afraid you will find our
simple life at Blanford very dull.
Dear sakes, no! said that lady, hitching her chair up closer to
the Bishop for a confidential chatan action on her part which
elicited a flashing glance of disapproval from Miss Matilda.
I've heard all about you, she went on, from your son Cecil. You
don't mind if I call him Cecil, do you? for I'm almost old enough to be
his mother. Well, as I was saying, when he told me about the cathedral
and the beeches and the rooks and you, all being here, hundreds of
Excuse me, madam, said his Lordship, I'm hardly as aged as that.
Of course I didn't mean you, stupid! How literal you English are!
It is highly probable that in all the sixty years of his
well-ordered existence the Bishop of Blanford had never been called
stupid by anybody. He gasped, and the episcopal cross, and even the
heavy gold chain by which it depended from his neck, were unduly
agitated. Then he decided that he liked it, and determined to continue
When I thought of all that, said Mrs. Mackintosh, I said to your
son: 'Cecil,' said I, 'your father's like that old board fence in my
back yard; he needs a coat of whitewash to freshen him up, and I'm
going over to put it on.'
Cromwell, remarked the Bishop, applied enough whitewash to
Blanford to last it for several centuries. Indeed, we've not succeeded
in restoring all the frescoes yet.
Nonsense, man, said Mrs. Mackintosh, you don't see the point at
all. Now what do you take when your liver's out of order?
Really, madam, faltered the Bishop, thoroughly aghast at this new
turn in the conversation, Iergenerally consult my medical
Well, you shouldn't! said Mrs. Mackintosh with determination. You
should take what we call in my country a pick-me-up. Now I said to your
son: 'I'm going to be a mental and moral pick-me-up for your father.
What he needs is a new point of view. If you don't take care, he'll
fossilise, and you'll have to put him in the British Museum.'
The Bishop's reflections during this conversation were many and
varied. What he was pleased to term his inner moral consciousness told
him he ought to be shocked at its flippancy; the rest of his mental
make-up was distinctly refreshed. Besides, a certain tension in the
social atmosphere suggested that Miss Matilda was about to go forth to
battle, so he smiled graciously, saying:
It's certainly very considerate of you to undertake all this on my
account, but I should not like to be in any one's debt, and I hardly
see how I can repay my obligations.
I'm just coming to that, said Mrs. Mackintosh. I don't say that I
shouldn't be doing a Christian act by taking you in hand, but I'm free
to admit that I've a personal interest in the matter, for you're the
one man in England I most wanted to meet.
But what can there possibly be about me began the Bishop.
It isn't about you, replied his guest. It's about Jonah.
Josephus, broke in the harsh voice of his sister, the bell of the
mission chapel has been ringing for some time.
The Bishop drew a long breath and formed a mighty resolve. At last
he had met a person who took an intelligent interest in Jonah, a
Biblical character to whose history he had devoted exhaustive research.
It was a golden opportunity not to be let slip. So, turning to his
sister and looking her squarely in the eyes, he replied boldly that he
was quite aware of the fact.
If you do not go at once you'll be late, remarked that lady.
I've not the slightest intention of going at all, said the Bishop.
I'm talking to Mrs. Mackintosh, who is, it seems, much interested in
There came a sound as of spluttering from the upraised tea-cup of
Professor Tybalt Smith, and Miss Matilda gave a distinctly aggressive
If you're not going, Josephus, she retorted, I must send word to
one of the chaplains, though after what you had said I naturally But
there she paused, arrested by the incredible fact that for the first
time in her experience her brother was not listening to what she was
saying. Her silence commanded his attention.
Oh, he replied, looking up vacantly, do what you think proper,
and turned again to Mrs. Mackintosh, who proceeded placidly with her
Of course, she said, you hear a lot about seeing with the eye of
faith, but I like to see with the eye of understanding, too, and I
never yet sat under a preacher who was what I should call 'up to
Jonah.' I read your book when it came out. It was one of the prizes
they offered for selling on commission fifty packets of Tinker's Tannin
Tea, and I've been wild to meet you ever since. I have been a-whaling,
so to speak, for years, but I expect you to carry me safely into port.
Madam, said the Bishop, you overwhelm me. He was immensely
flattered by her appreciative, if outspoken, commendation. I'm now,
he continued, at work on a set of supplementary sermons on this very
subject; and if it wouldn't be imposing too much on your good nature to
let me read them to you, or parts of themthey embrace some six
Mrs. Mackintosh looked at him regretfully.
Isn't there any more than that? she said. I wanted three volumes
The Bishop beamed with gratification.
I trust, he replied, that they'll be worthy of your attention.
But my treatment of the subject iserslightly doctrinal, and perhaps
you're not a member of the Church of England.
Well, no, said Mrs. Mackintosh. I can't say as I am. I was
baptised a Methodist, brought up in a Roman Catholic convent, finished
at a Presbyterian boarding-school, and married before a Justice of the
Peace to a Unitarian, and since I've been a widow I've attended a
Baptist church regularly; but I don't believe I'd mind a few weeks of
an Episcopalian, specially seeing he's a Bishop, which I haven't
I shall endeavour to do my best, madam, said his Lordship.
Perhaps I may even lead youin time
Well, I shouldn't be surprised but what you might, replied Mrs.
Mackintosh, but I mustn't take up all your time. I want you to know my
little friend Miss Arminster. She's one of the nicest girls that ever
I shall be delighted, said his Lordship. Arminster, he continued
reflectively. Does she come from the Arminsters of Shropshire?
Mrs. Mackintosh laughed.
I'm sure I don't know, she replied, but from the way her friends
speak of her, you'd think she came from Noah's Ark.
Dear me! said the Bishop. That's very curious.
They call her the Leopard, she went on, and I must say for my
part that I'm 'most as fond of the Leopard as I am of Jonah's whale.
And she rose and joined the group about the tea-table, for she did not
wish to try Miss Matilda's patience too far.
I don't know what you'll think of our quiet life. I fear it'll seem
very strange to you, said his Lordship, addressing himself to Miss
I think it'll be jolly, she replied promptly, looking up at him
playfully to see whether he would bear chaffing, and, she added,
after due deliberation, I think you're a dear, and your uniform is
just sweet. I always did love a uniform. I used to be awfully gone, as
a child, on a policeman at the corner of our block, but you're much
more nicely dressed than he was.
His Lordship started to say something crushing in regard to the
sanctity of ecclesiastical trappings, but another glance at the
bewitching little figure that confronted him caused him to remark
instead that he was glad she approved of him, and that he would try to
take better care of her than even a guardian of the law.
Oh, I'm afraid I've said something shocking! she exclaimed in a
delightfully naïve manner, and I did mean to be so good and decorous.
I'm sure I'll need a lot of teaching.
I shall be delighted to undertake the task, he replied gallantly.
Suppose we begin by going to evensong. Would you like to do so?
Rather, she returned; but I'm afraid, looking at her
travelling-costume, that I'm hardly dressed for the partI mean the
Dear me! said the Bishop, scrutinizing her keenly, it seems to be
a very pretty gown.
Oh, that's all right, she said. Then we'll go at once.
So we shall, he replied, and you shall sit in the stalls.
How jolly! she exclaimed. I almost always have to sit in the
Really? said his Lordship. You don't say so. But from what Mr.
Spotts says, I should judge that the architecture of American churches
was novel. And they walked across the lawn to the cathedral.
A few moments later, Miss Matilda, having dismissed her guests to
their rooms, found herself alone with her nephew.
Well, she said, turning on him sharply, perhaps at last you'll
condescend to tell me who these friends of yours are?
They're a party of ladies and gentlemen with whom I've been
travelling in America, Cecil replied. And as we'd agreed to join
forces for the rest of the summer, I'd no option but to invite them
here as my guests. The gentlemen I've already introduced to you
Oh, the gentlemen! snapped his aunt. I've no concern about them.
It's the women I
The ladies, Aunt Matilda.
The ladies, then. Your father, in what he is pleased to call his
wisdom, has seen fit to allow you to introduce these persons into his
house. I'm sure I hope he won't regret it! But I must insist on knowing
something about the people whom I'm entertaining.
As I've told you already, he replied very quietly, they're ladies
whom I've met in America. I might also add that they've good manners
and are uniformly courteous.
Miss Matilda tilted her nose till its tip pointed straight at the
spire of the cathedral, and, without any reply, swept past him into the
Dinner, that night, in spite of his aunt's efforts to the contrary,
was an unqualified success. The Bishop hailed with joy any interruption
in the monotony of his daily life, and made himself most agreeable,
while his guests seconded him to the best of their ability.
The meal being over, his Lordship proposed a rubber of whist, a
relaxation of which he was very fond, but which, in the reduced state
of his family, he was seldom able to enjoy. Mrs. Mackintosh and Smith,
as the two best players of the party, expressed themselves as willing
to take a hand, and Miss Matilda made up the fourth.
You'll excuse me, said his Lordship apologetically to Mrs.
Mackintosh, if we play only for threepenny points. Were I a curate I
could play for sixpence, but in my position the stakes are necessarily
You don't ever mean to say, exclaimed the old lady, that you're a
My brother, interrupted Miss Matilda, is a pattern of upright
living to his day and generation. But of course if you're incapable of
understanding the difference between a sinful wager of money and the
few pence necessary to keep up the interest of the game
Gambling is gambling, to my mind, said Mrs. Mackintosh, whether
you play for dollars or doughnuts!
The point seems well taken, remarked the Bishop meditatively.
It's certainly never struck me in that light before; but if you
I think, said the old lady decidedly, that it's lucky for you
that there are no whales in Blanford!
Miss Matilda threw down her cards.
If I'm to be called a gambler under my own brother's roof, she
said, I shall refuse to play. Besides I've a headache. And she rose
majestically from the table.
But, my dear, began the Bishop meekly, if we cannot find a fourth
If Miss Banborough doesn't feel up to playing, came the sweet
tones of Violet's voice, I'll be delighted to take her place. And a
moment later she was ensconced at the table.
The Bishop's sister retired to a corner with the largest and most
aggressive volume of sermons she could find, and sniffed loudly at
intervals all the evening. And when at ten o'clock, in response to the
summons of an impressive functionary clad in black and bearing a wand
surmounted by a silver cross, the little party filed out to evening
devotions in the chapel, Miss Matilda gathered her skirts around her as
if she feared contagion.
I'm afraid of that old cat, Mrs. Mackintosh confided to Violet,
when they had reached the haven of their apartments. I'm sure she
suspects us already; and if we're not careful, she'll find us out.
CHAPTER II. IN WHICH THE ENEMY
I say, boss, remarked the tramp, as he paused for a moment in the
process of stuffing himself to repletion with cold game-pie, this is a
rum trip, and no mistake.
What's that got to do with you? retorted Marchmont sharply,
appropriating the remaining fragments of the pasty to his own use.
The two men were seated in the shady angle of a ruined buttress, a
portion of a stately abbey, which in pre-Norman days had flourished at
a spot some half-dozen miles from the site of Blanford.
Well, said the tramp, if this ain't a wild-goose chase I dunno
what you calls it. Here you've gone an' took me away from my happy
home, an' brought me across the ragin' Atlantic, an' dumped me in a
moth-eaten little village where there ain't nothin' fit to drink, all
because I happened to chum with a Bishop.
You seem to forget, said Marchmont, that it was you who came to
me, offering to sell your friends and their secrets for a sufficient
So I did, said the tramp; but it was revenge, that's what it
wasrevenge. I was deserted in a furrin land, with just my board-bill
paid, and not a penny to bless myself with.
Ah, said Marchmont. That's the reason, I suppose, why you came
from Montreal to New York in a parlour car.
The tramp sighed despondently, saying:
Now whoever told you that, boss?
Nobody. I found the Pullman check in your coat-pocket when I was
looking for my diamond ring, which you'd absent-mindedly placed there.
Humph! replied the other. There ain't no foolin' you!
I should be a pretty poor journalist if there were, said his
employer. Now give me the story again, and see if you can get it
Well, there ain't nothin' much to tell, 'cept I was carried off by
them Spanish conspirators in mistake for a lady, which I in no-wise
resembles, an' the bloke as was the head of the gang was allus called
the Bishop, and a pretty rum Bishop he was.
Never mind about his qualifications, interrupted Marchmont
shortly; adding to himself, That explains his son's presence in
Well, this Bishop, continued the tramp, used to talk about his
palace at Blanford; and when the party give me the go-by, I gathered
from the porter as took their traps that they'd gone to England; and
the elevator-boy, he heard the Bishop say to the little actress as
they'd be as safe at the palace as they would anywhere. And then I come
on to New York and blew it into you.
Yes, said Marchmont, and I've given you a first-class passage to
England, paid your board and lodging, and kept you full for the best
part of three weeks; and what do I get out of it?
I admit as we haven't had much results as yet, said the tramp.
But now things is goin' to hum. The Bishop and his whole gang's coming
over to these very ruins to-day.
How did you find that out? demanded the journalist.
Footman up to the palace told me. I give him a little jamboree last
night at the 'Three Jolly Sailor-boys.'
Yes, and had to be carried home dead-drunk. Nice one you are to
keep a secret.
Well, I was only a-doin' me duty, said the tramp in an aggrieved
tone of voice, and if they don't know you're after 'em, and you should
happen to be inspectin' the ruins at the same time as they are, you
could get chummy with 'em without half tryin'.
I'll attend to that, said the newspaper man. I've just had a
cable from the Daily Leader telling me to hustle if I want to
get that position, and I've got to do something, and do it quick. But
it'll never do for you to be seen. Once they know we're together, the
game's up. I can't have you larking round with the servants either.
You'll spoil the whole show. You've got to go back to Dullhampton this
What! that little one-horse fishing-town?
Yes, that's where you're wanted. It's the nearest port to Blanford,
and it's where they'll try and get out of the country if they're hard
pressed. You just stay there and keep your eyes open till you hear from
The tramp growled surlily, and reluctantly prepared to obey.
Now, then, said Marchmont shortly, get a move on. Yes, you can
take the provender with you. It'll help to keep your mouth shut.
As the tramp slouched round the corner and out of sight, his master
stretched himself comfortably on the ground, and supporting his head on
one arm, with his straw hat tilted over his eyes to protect them from
the sun, he proceeded to go peacefully to sleep.
Scarcely had the journalist composed himself to slumber, when the
ruins were invaded by the party from the palace. It was now about a
month since Cecil and his friends had arrived at Blanford, and though
this expedition to the old abbey had been often discussed, one thing
and another had intervened to prevent its being put into execution.
After her first burst of antagonism, Miss Matilda had settled down
to a formal hospitality which was, if anything, more disconcerting.
Tybalt Smith alone had achieved a favourable position in her eyes, and
this only as the result of a very considerable amount of flattery and
attention. At first his friends were at a loss to account for his
attitude, but as time went on it appeared that the tragedian had not
exerted himself for nothing. The dear Professor frequently had his
breakfast in bed when he was too lazy to get up, and Miss Matilda
considered the delicate state of his health required the daily stimulus
of a pint of champagne. He also had the exclusive use of her victoria
in the afternoon, and even if this did necessitate an occasional
attendance at missionary meetings and penny readings, it was after all
but a fair return for value received. On this occasion he had begged
off going to the picnic, and was spending a luxurious day at the
palace, waited on by the Bishop's sister.
The party, having arrived at the abbey, promptly separated to
explore the ruins, his Lordship gallantly offering to play the part of
cicerone to the ladies. Miss Violet, however, for reasons of her own,
preferred seclusion and a quiet chat with Spotts to any amount of
architectural antiquities, so her host was enabled to devote his entire
time to Mrs. Mackintosh.
Does it strike you, remarked the Bishop, a few moments later,
pausing in his wanderings to inspect critically a fragment of Roman
brickdoes it strike you how absolutely peaceful this spot is?
Well, returned Mrs. Mackintosh, I don't know as it does. I should
have said your palace was about as good a sample of all-round
peacefulness as there is going.
Ha, said his Lordship, it hadn't occurred to me.
That's just like you men. You never know when you're well off. Now
with your palace and Jonah you ought to be content.
The Bishop sighed.
Dear lady, he said, I admit my faults. The palace I indeed
possess temporarily, but Jonahah, what would Jonah be without you! If
I have left my work once in the past month to ask your advice, I have
left it a hundred times.
You have, admitted Mrs. Mackintosh with decision.
Then it is to you that Jonah owes his debt of gratitude, not to me.
You have lightened my labour in more senses of the word than one.
Well, I've had a very pleasant visit. Blanford's a little
The Bishop sighed again, and remarked:
Paradise I have always regarded as being peaceful.
Yes, acquiesced his companion reflectively, with all that Jonah
went through, I don't remember as he had an unmarried sister.
There was silence for a moment, and then his Lordship abruptly
changed the subject.
What a charming, bright, fresh young life is Miss Arminster's! She
dances through the world likelikeer And he paused for a simile.
Like a grasshopper, suggested Mrs. Mackintosh, with marked
disapproval in her tones. The Bishop had a trivial, not to say
frivolous, strain in his nature which seemed to her hardly in accord
with his exalted position.
No, dear lady, objected his Lordship, not a grasshopper.
Decidedly not a grasshopper; saylike a ray of sunshine.
Violet's a good girl, remarked his companion, a very good girl,
but in most things she is still a child, and the serious side of life
doesn't appeal to her. I dare say she'd go to sleep if you read to her
She did, admitted the Bishop; but then of course, he added,
wishing to palliate the offence, it was a very hot day. I suppose,
however, you are right. Serious things do not interest herand that
isI should saywe are serious.
I am, said Mrs. Mackintosh, and at your time of life you ought to
be; and if we stand here any longer looking at that chunk of brick in
the broiling sun, we'll both be as red as a couple of beets.
No amount of sentiment could be proof against a statement of this
sort, and they moved on.
Violet and Spotts had meantime sat themselves down on a convenient
tombstone to while away the interval till luncheon was served.
There are lots of things I want to talk to you about, Alvy, began
the little actress, and I never get the chance.
Well, fire away, he replied. You've got it now.
In the first place, she said, I don't like the way things are
At the palace, you mean?
Yes. We're not aboveboard. We're shamming all the while. Besides,
we're doing nothing in our profession.
It's better than doing time in prison.
It isn't straightforward, and I don't like it, she went on.
Neither do I, he returned; but there are other things I like
Well, people falling in love with you, for instance.
Oh, Cecil. He received his congé before we left America.
I said people.
You don't mean the Bishop?
But he's such a dear funny old thing! she cried.
What's that got to do with it?
Why, he might be my grandfather.
He's as frisky as a two-year-old, remarked the actor.
And finally, continued Violet, not noticing the interruption, his
old cat of a sister wouldn't let him.
Worms have turned, and straws have broken camels' backs before
now, persisted Spotts.
Don't you call me names, sir! Worms and straws, indeed! What next,
I should like to know!
If you don't take care, you'll be called his Lordship's
She burst out laughing.
Nonsense! she cried. Why, I actually believe you're becoming
Not a bit of it, he said. I'd trust you, little girl, through
thick and thin.
I know you would, Alvy, and I'd rather marry youwell, ten times,
before I'd marry a lord or a bishop once.
I know it, old girl, I know it! cried Spotts ecstatically, and
slipped his arm round her waist.
Oh, do be careful, she protested. Just think, if any one should
see us! I'm sure I heard a footstep behind us.
They looked up, and saw Cecil above them, standing on the sill of an
old ruined window.
He had not heard their words, but he had seen Spotts's embrace, and
realised bitterly how little chance he stood against such a combination
of Apollo and Roscius.
The month which had intervened since his return to Blanford had not
been an altogether happy time for the Bishop's son. The pain of Miss
Arminster's refusal still rankled within him, and that young lady's
actions had not done much to soothe it. Had she comported herself with
a resigned melancholy, he could have borne his own sufferings with
fortitude. But, on the contrary, she had, he considered, flirted most
outrageously with Mr. Spotts. Indeed Cecil was already strongly of the
opinion that the actor was trying to succeed where he had faileda
course of action which he thought quite justifiable on his,
Banborough's, part, but highly reprehensible on the part of any one
else. Matters had now culminated. Fate had brought the three together
at this inopportune moment, and as it was manifestly impossible not to
say something, Cecil laid himself out to be agreeable, and Miss
Arminster, who was naturally aware of the awkwardness of his position,
did her best to promote conversation, while Spotts almost immediately
cut the Gordian knot by excusing himself on the plea of looking after
Well, she said, what's the latest news from Spain?
It seems to me that the war must be almost over, he replied. Now
that Santiago's fallen, and Cervera's fleet's destroyed, Spain has no
alternative but to yield.
Ah, she murmured, then we'll be free once more.
Has your exile been so irksome to you? he asked.
Oh, she returned, I didn't mean it that way, really. Believe me,
I'm not ungrateful. Blanford's just sweet, and your father's an old
Yes, he retorted, laughing. I notice you're doing your best to
usurp Mrs. Mackintosh's place in his affections.
That's not from pique, it's from charity, she replied. I've been
trying to rescue her from Jonah.
I'm afraid my governor must be an awful bore, he said.
Oh, but he's so sweet and simple with it all, she objected. I'm
really growing to be awfully fond of him.
I think he's growing to be awfully fond of you, said his
Miss Arminster laughed merrily.
Don't you fancy me as a step-mamma? she queried. But, joking
apart, I'm afraid even Blanford would pall on me after a while. It
isn't my first visit here, you see. I was on a tour through these
counties three years ago.
That's how you came to know about my father, I suppose.
Yes, she said. I had him pointed out to me, and you look a good
deal alike. Besides, the name's not common.
I'm glad you liked Blanford well enough to come back to it.
Oh, she returned, looking up at him with a roguish smile, this
section of the country has other associations for me.
I was waiting for that, he retorted. In which of the neighbouring
towns were you married?
The one nearest here, she replied. I think we can just see the
spire of the church over the trees. But how did you know?
I inferred it as a matter of course, he said banteringly, but I'm
But I'm not, she returned.
Do you really mean that you were married over there? he asked,
pointing to the distant church.
Yes, she replied. The third of June, 1895.
I say, you know, he said, I think you might have married me once
in a way, as I had asked you.
Mr. Banborough, she replied stiffly, drawing herself up, you
I beg your pardon, he returned humbly. Only as American divorce
laws are so lax, I thought
The divorce laws of my country are a disgrace, and nothing would
ever induce me to avail myself of them. Besides, marriage, to me, is a
very serious and solemn matter, and I can't permit you to speak about
it flippantly, even by way of a joke.
Cecil picked up a handful of pebbles and began throwing them
meditatively at the fragment of an adjacent arch. The more he saw of
Miss Arminster, the greater mystery she became. By her own admission,
she had been married at least half a dozen times, which, were he to
accept as real the high moral standard which she always assumed, must
imply a frightful mortality among her husbands. But then she neither
seemed flippant nor shallow, and her serious attitude towards the
sacrament of marriage appeared wholly incompatible with a matrimonial
experience which might have caused a Mormon to shudder. Anyway, she
wasn't going to marry him, and he turned to the discussion of more
How's Spotts getting on with his studies in architecture? he
I should think he'd learned a good deal, she replied. Your father
hasn't left a stone of his own cathedral unexplained, and I imagine
he'll put him through his paces over this abbey.
Poor Spotts! I'm afraid he's had a hard row to hoe, said Cecil;
but, anyway, it'll keep him out of mischief.
You must be very careful what you say about him to me, she
replied. I won't hear one word against him, for we're very old
So I should infer, he retorted, from what I've just seen. I
never was allowed to put my arm
How dare you! she cried, rising, really angry this time. I
Then turning to the Bishop, who arrived very opportunely, she
Won't you rescue me, please? Your son's becoming awfully
Then, said his Lordship gallantly, my son must be taught better
manners. If he cannot show himself worthy of such a charming companion,
we'll punish him by leaving him entirely alone.
Certainly his father was coming on, thought Cecil. But if Miss
Arminster tried to take advantage of his dotage to forge another link
in her matrimonial chain, he, Banborough, would have a word to say on
I wish to tell you, my dear, began his Lordship as they walked
away, leaving Cecil disconsolate, of a very nice invitation I've
received for the rest of the week. Lord Downton is to call for me in
his yacht at Dullhampton to-morrow, and has asked me to join his party
and to bring some lady with me to make the number even.
Oh, how jolly that'll befor Miss Matilda! said the artful
Humph!ye-es, replied the Bishop. I hardly think my sister could
leave the palace just at this time.
Perhaps, suggested his guest, yachting doesn't agree with her.
Has she ever tried it before?
She has, replied the Bishop, with a certain asperity.
Ah, poor thing! said Miss Arminster. It must have taken away from
your pleasure to feel that she was suffering such great discomfort on
Lord Downton didn't specify my sister. He only said 'some lady';
and so I thought if you
Oh, that's just sweet of you! exclaimed his companion. I'm sure I
should adore yachting. It's something I've always wanted to do.
Then we'll consider it settled, said the Bishop.
But Miss Matilda?
Ah, yes, admitted his Lordship. That's just the trouble. You see
Of course! Violet responded promptly, understanding that he wished
to be helped out. If your sister knew you were going, she'd feel it
her duty to accompany you, and the trip would be spoilt for you by her
sufferings. So, out of your affection for her, you think it would be
better if we were just quietly to slip off to-morrow and send her a
wire from Dullhampton.
The Bishop was delighted. Miss Matilda never accepted him at his own
So, just on your account, continued his companion demurely, I
won't say a word, though I hate any form of concealment.
H'mnaturally, said the Bishop.
But since it's for your dear sister's sake
We'll take the eleven-fifty train to-morrow, replied his Lordship.
And here his remarks were cut short from the fact that in suddenly
rounding a corner he had planted his foot on the recumbent form of
Hullo! said that gentleman, sitting up, and adding, as he rubbed
his eyes to get them wider open, permit me to inform you that this
part of the ground is strictly preserved.
Who are you, sir? demanded the Bishop.
Come, said the stranger cheerfully, we'll make a bargain. I'll
tell you who you are, if you'll tell me who I am.
I do not see how that is possible began his Lordship.
Well, I'll begin, said Marchmont. You're the Bishop of Blanford
and I'm your son's greatest benefactor.
Really, you surprise me. May I enquire how you've benefited him?
I made the fame of his book, 'The Purple Kangaroo.' I've been
sending you my editorials on the subject for some weeks past.
Are you the person who wrote those scandalous leaders which have
been forwarded to me from America? demanded the Bishop.
I thought you'd remember them, said the journalist. They're
eye-openers, aren't they?
His Lordship drew himself up and put on his most repressive manner,
but Marchmont babbled on serenely.
The last time I saw Cecil he said to me: 'Whenever you come to
England, Marchmont, you just drop round to the palace, and we'll make
things hum.' So, having a chance for a little vacation, I jumped on
board a steamer, crossed to Southampton, and biked up-country, doing
these ruins on the way. I meant to have presented myself at the palace
this afternoon in due form and a swallow-tailed coat, but I'm just as
much pleased to see you as if I'd been regularly introduced.
You're one of the most consummate liars I ever knew, remarked
Cecil, who, hearing voices, had strolled over to see what it was all
Put it more mildly, my dear fellow, replied the American. Call me
a journalist, and spare your father's feelings.
Well, now you're here, what do you intend to do? demanded
Do? said Marchmont. Why, I'm going to put up for a week at your
'Pink Pig,' or your 'Azure Griffin,' or whatever kind of
nondescript-coloured animal your local hostelry boasts, and study your
charming cathedral. But, in the first place, I think we'd better have
some lunch. I'm as hungry as a bear.
I fear we've scarcely provided for an extra guest, returned Cecil
frigidly. The journalist was the very last person he wanted to see at
Blanford, and he did not take any pains to disguise the fact.
Marchmont, however, was not to be snubbed, and remarking cheerfully
that there was always enough for one more, calmly proceeded in the
direction of the hampers. Once there, he constituted himself chef and
butler forthwith, and moreover proved so efficient in both capacities
that, irritated as his friend was at his self-assurance, he could not
but express his appreciation.
Marchmont, having started the rest of the people on their lunch and
made all feel at their ease, turned on his journalistic tap for the
benefit of the Bishop, and plied the old gentleman with such a
judicious mixture of flattery and amusing anecdote that, by the time
the repast was over, his Lordship was solemnly assuring his son, much
to that young gentleman's disgust, that he was indeed fortunate in
possessing such a delightful friend, and that he might invite Mr.
Marchmont to the palace if he liked.
Quite so, said Cecil. I suppose you remember his article in the
Daily Leader, in which he alluded to you as a 'consecrated
H'm! said the Bishop. Really, the accommodation at the inn is
very good, and perhaps, with so many guests, it would be asking too
much of your aunt.
What does all this mean? asked Spotts of Banborough when a
convenient opportunity offered.
The Bishop's son shrugged his shoulders, replying:
It means mischief.
CHAPTER III. IN WHICH PEACE IS
PROPOSED AND WAR DECLARED.
Marchmont stood on the lawn before the palace, on the morning after
his arrival, critically inspecting that structure; his feet stretched
wide apart, his hands in his pockets, and his hat on the back of his
Cecil, emerging from breakfast, sighted his enemy and made haste to
Jolly old rookery you've got, remarked the reporter.
Yes, said Banborough. It was a monastery originally. They turned
it into a bishop's palace about the reign of Henry VIII.
I know that style, said the American. Nice rambling ark, two
stories high, and no two rooms on the same level. Architect built right
out into the country till he got tired, and then turned round and came
back. Obliged to have a valet to show you to your room whether you're
sober or not.
I didn't know, said Cecil drily, that you possessed an extensive
acquaintance in ecclesiastical circles in this country.
Oh, yes, said Marchmont, I served as valet for six months to a
bishop while I was gathering materials for my articles on 'English Sees
Seen from the Inside.'
Was it a financial success? queried Banborough.
No, admitted the reporter regretfully, it sold the paper
splendidly, but was stopped at the second article at the request of the
Did you favour us with a visit?
I hadn't that honour.
If you had done so you would probably have slept in the rooms we
give to our American guests in the new part of the house.
How old is that? queried the journalist.
About eight hundred years, replied Cecil, and the walls are four
I know, said the reporter, It's appalling. That sort of thing
always upsets me. It seems so out of keeping with the Daily Leader.
Look here, Marchmont, why have you come to Blanford? demanded
Banborough, abruptly changing the conversation.
To have the joy of your society, returned the journalist.
If that were really the case I'd be delighted to see you, said the
Englishman. But you're on the track of these unfortunate people who
are my guests; and if you make things disagreeable for them I shan't
have the slightest compunction in forbidding you the house.
The American, apparently ignoring the other's frankness, remarked:
So you admit they're conspirators?
I admit nothing of the kind. They're perfectly innocent of the
charge you bring against them, and you've been making an awful ass of
yourself, if you only knew it.
Ah, thank you. But if this is the case why didn't you mention the
fact to me in Montreal?
I had my reasons.
And why are all these people received as honoured guests in your
That, if you'll permit me to say so, Marchmont, is a matter that
doesn't concern you.
Everything concerns me. Not that I expect you to see that point of
view. But to put it another way. Considering all I've done to increase
the sale of your book, won't you do me a good turn and tell me what you
know about this affair?
I wish the confounded book had never sold a copy! burst out
Banborough. And I'll not say one word to the detriment of my friends!
Then it is to be war? queried the journalist, rolling a
Not so far as I'm concerned, replied his host. Why don't you let
bygones be bygones? A truce between the United States and Spain may be
declared any day, and then
Then my great scoop will be lost for ever. What would the public
care about conspirators if there were no war?
Exactly what I say, said Cecil. So let's drop the whole matter.
Not much! cried the journalist. It's my last chance. And if you
won't help mewhy, I must help myself.
What do you wish me to do?
Turn 'em out of Blanford.
But your father?
How dare you mention my father's name in this connection? I won't
have him dragged into publicity to sell your dirty rag of a newspaper!
Cecil exploded, thoroughly beside himself at the thought of such a
The journalist nodded his head gravely. Banborough's fierce defence
of the Bishop he attributed to far other grounds than those on which it
was really based. It justified him to the tramp's suspicions that his
Lordship was actually connected with the plot.
Well, he said, with a fair pretence of backing down, there's no
need of getting so hot about it. Of course I don't want to make myself
Neither do I, replied his host. Only we may as well understand
each other. You're quite welcome to come to the palace as long as you
remember to be a gentleman before you are a journalist. But if you
forget it, I'll be forced to treat you as you deserve, and turning on
his heel, he left Marchmont chewing the ends of his sandy moustache
with a grim avidity that boded ill for the peace of the Bishop and his
The American told himself that he must work carefully. Banborough
would watch him and probably put the others on their guard. And
moreover, he would not hesitate to dismiss him from the palace, which,
apart from the unpleasantness of the operation, would be well-nigh
fatal to the success of the scheme the journalist was maturing.
Decidedly the highest caution was essential, but he must work quickly,
for there was no time to be lost. Marchmont therefore proceeded to pump
the first member of the company he came across. This happened to be
Spotts, who was in rather a bad humour, the result of a morning spent
with the Bishop in the cobwebby heights of a neighbouring church-tower.
You're the very person I wanted to see, cried the reporter.
I'm afraid I've hardly time to be interviewed just now, replied
the actor shortly.
Oh, this isn't professional. I'm off duty sometimes. I'm only
Oh, are you? I supposed newspaper men were neither the one nor the
Well, I wanted to talk to you for your own good.
Is it as bad as all that?
Of course I know who you really are, pursued the journalist,
ignoring the interruption. And I may say confidentially that you and
Miss Arminster are not the people of this party I'm after.
Ah, that's very thoughtful of you.
So, if I could help you two to slip off quietly
Why include Miss Arminster? queried Spotts with well-affected
Why? My dear fellow, you don't suppose I'm quite blind. Any one who
follows that lady about with his eyes as you do is naturallyWellyou
I'm afraid your professional acumen is at fault this time, said
the actor, and added: I hope I may never come any nearer being married
than I am now.
Oh, I say, returned Marchmont; don't you aspire to be
hersixteenth, is it?
You're alluding to Miss Arminster's husbands? asked Spotts drily.
Oh, I'd a little bet up with a friend, said Marchmont, that she'd
been married at least a baker's dozen times. Ought I to hedge?
I think you're well inside the number, replied the actor.
Gad! she must be pretty well acquainted with the divorce courts!
exclaimed the reporter.
I'm quite sure she's never been divorced in her life, returned
Spotts. So long. I'm after a drink. And he left him, thus terminating
Ah, said the journalist to himself, I bet you're the next in
line, just the same.
Baffled in his first attempt, Marchmont sought other means of
information, for there is always a weak spot in every defence, and a
man of far less keen perception than the reporter would have had little
difficulty in finding the most favourable point of attack. So it is not
surprising that after a little cogitation he went in search of Miss
Matilda, whom he had met the day before when he had returned with the
party from the abbey. He found that lady on the lawn knitting socks for
the heathen, and deserted for the nonce by the faithful Smith.
Dear Miss Banborough, began the journalist, sitting down beside
her, what a reproach it is to idle men like myself to see such
It's very kind of you, I'm sure, to notice my humble labours,
replied the old lady, expanding at once under the first word of
flattery. My brother tells me you're connected with a great newspaper.
How ennobling that must be! It gives you such a wide scope for doing
Marchmont, who had hardly adopted journalism for this purpose, and
was conscious of having done his fair share of mischief in the world,
made a desperate effort to look the part assigned to him, and murmuring
something about the inspiration, to toilers like himself, of such
self-sacrificing lives as hers, abruptly turned the conversation by
alluding to the pleasure which she must have felt at her nephew's
Of course we're very glad to have him back, acceded Miss Matilda.
But then we see little or nothing of him.
Naturally, said the journalist, his days must be given up to his
friends. How you must be looking forward to the time when you can have
him quite to yourself!
The gleam that came into the old lady's eye at this remark told him
that he had not been mistaken in fancying her hostile to the strangers,
and he hastened to continue such a fruitful theme, saying:
I suppose that, as they've been here a month now, you'll be losing
I can't say, she snapped. They seem to be staying for an
Really? he replied. I shouldn't have fancied that your nephew
would have found them very congenial. Indeed, if you'll pardon my
frankness, I was rather surprised to meet them here.
Miss Matilda at once gave him her undivided attention.
You knew them in America? she asked.
Of course I knew about them. I was hardly acquainted personally.
It was his tone rather than his words that lent an unfavourable
colour to the remark, but the implication was not lost on the Bishop's
sister. Here at last was a man who could give her the information she
was most anxious to obtain.
I should have supposed, she ventured, that you'd have known such
very intimate friends of Cecil's as these appear to be.
Oh, no, he returned. New York's a big place. I dare say you know
much more about them than I do.
I know nothing! she burst out. Strange as it may appear to you,
my nephew has never told me one word concerning his guests, though I'm
expected to receive them under myhis father's roof and introduce them
to my friends.
I see, replied Marchmont cautiously. Cecil should have trusted to
your excellent discrimination and judgment, unless and here he
The position required consideration. It was easy enough to tell her
about these people. Merely to say that they were an itinerant company
of actors and actresses would be sufficient to ensure them a speedy
congé from Blanford. But was it wise to do this? Did he want them
to go? A hasty action is often like a boomerang. It returns on the toes
of the person who thoughtlessly launches it in flight. No, on the whole
they had better remain, he told himself. The palace would form an
excellent background for the sensational exposure he hoped to make. If
he could only get the Bishop into a corner, he would be quite
Well, what? she demanded sharply, impatient at his unfinished
Unless, he continued, hedging carefullyunless your nephew felt
that it was quite sufficient to have explained things to his father.
Doubtless the Bishop knows all about his son's friends.
The Bishop knows a great deal too much for a man in his position,
snapped his sister.
Quite so, thought the journalist, and doesn't confide it to you.
Aloud he remarked:
Of course there's nothing particular to be said against them,
except that they're hardly in Cecil's set.
I didn't need you to tell me that. But what about the ladies?
Ah, yes, the ladies. Well, really, you've put me in an awkward
position, Miss Banborough. One can't be uncomplimentary to the fair
sex, you know.
Humph! Well, Josephus sees more of both of them than is good for
him. But of course Mrs. Mackintosh has neither the youth nor the good
looks to cause me any anxiety.
Mrs. Mackintosh is eminently respectable, said Marchmont, who
always spoke the truth when it did not conflict with business.
But Miss Arminster?
The journalist did not answer.
Well, she cried, why don't you speak?
Madam, he replied, you place me in a most embarrassing situation.
My duty to you and the natural gallantry of my nature draw me in
I put myself in your hands. In saying what I do I'm laying myself
open to serious misconstruction.
You may rely upon my silence.
Any indiscretion on your part would be most unfortunate.
I shall not forget the confidence you've reposed in me.
I shall hold you to that, he said. If I tell you what I have in
mind, will you promise not to use the information without my
That I cannot say.
Then I say nothing.
But you've already implied
But implications, my dear Miss Banborough, are not evidence.
You leave me no other course but to accede to your request, she
Ah, then you promise?
The word of a woman in your position and of your high moral
standard I know is sacred.
Well, then, he continued, please answer me this question. Where
was your brother the first week in May?
Why did he go?
For absolute rest. He was worried and run down.
You heard from him frequently?
No, not once during the whole time. Sir Joseph Westmoreland, the
great London nerve specialist, who advised the change, even prohibited
You're sure he was in Scotland?
Really, Mr. Marchmont, why do you ask?
Because I saw the Bishop of Blanford in the United States in the
first week of May on his way to Montreal, Canada.
I'm certain of it.
I cannot credit what you tell me!
What I tell you is quite true. You say he was absent for a month.
Might he not have gone to the States and returned in that time?
His sister nodded. Then, as a sudden thought occurred to her, she
flushed red with anger, exclaiming:
And this girl, this Miss Arminster! Was she in Montreal also?
She was, replied Marchmont. I saw her.
The hussy! cried Miss Matilda, rising. She shan't remain in my
house another hour!
Hold on! he exclaimed. You forget your promise!
But after what you've said!
I haven't said anything. Miss Arminster's being in Montreal might
have been merely a coincidence.
But do you know something about her?
I've investigated her career, he replied, and have found nothing
objectionable in it, beyond the fact that she's rather fond of getting
Getting married! But surely she calls herself Miss
Ah, yes; but that's very common on theI mean, not unusual in such
She has been married, then, more than once?
I know of a dozen different occasions on which she has had the
Oh, no. There's no evidence of her ever having been through the
divorce court. Indeed, she may never have been married to more than one
man at the same time.
But how to account
For the mortality in husbands? Well, fortunately, we're not
required to do that.
I will not have my dear brother stricken down in his prime! gasped
Oh, I don't suppose she's necessarily fatal. Still, as mistress of
The Bishop's sister arose in her wrath. For the first time in her
existence she wanted to swear, but contented herself by remarking:
That young woman leaves the palace to-day!
You forget your promise to me, he said.
But is it possible, in the face of what you've told me, that you
can hold me to it?
Quite possible. In fact I mean to do so, and as soon as your
righteous indignation cools down a bit you'll realise that we've
nothing whatsoever to go on. What I've said could only be substantiated
by evidence requiring some time to obtain. If you accused her now,
she'd merely deny my statement, and her word's as good as mine, and
probably better, in his Lordship's estimation.
But is there no proof near at hand?
Yes. She was married several years ago at a little church close by
the ruined abbey where I first met your party, and the fact is recorded
in the register.
There's no crime in being married once, he objected.
But what can we do? she asked.
Keep quiet for a little while longer. Miss Arminster's certain to
make some slip, and then
It seems very difficult to wait.
Believe me, he replied, it's the only way, and I shall rely on
Saying which, he left her, partly because he had obtained all the
information he wished, and partly because he was certain that he espied
the well-known figure of the tramp hovering behind the bushes on the
opposite side of the lawn.
A few moments later he had his hand on that individual's collar, and
was demanding sternly what he meant by coming to Blanford against his
'Cause I've somethin' of importance to tell yer, retorted that
Well, out with it, quick! said the journalist. It's got to be
pretty important to excuse your disobedience.
It is. The boss is going to bolt.
Who? The Bishop?
That's it! Him and the lady.
The young 'un, I guess.
What's all this stuff about? demanded Marchmont.
It ain't stuff, as you'll soon see, replied the tramp in an
aggrieved tone. There was a yacht come into Dullhampton last night, a
nasty-lookin' boat and a quick steamer. The second mate and me, we got
to know each other up to the innhe's a furriner, he isa Don, more'n
likely. But he let on, havin' had some drink, as how he'd been sent
there with the yacht to wait for the Bishop o' Blanford and a lady as
was comin' down next day, and the Bishop was to give the sailin'
Humph! What more?
This mornin' I seed 'em lookin' over a lot of flags on the deck of
the yacht, and one of 'em was Spanish.
So you came all the way up here to tell me this cock-and-bull
Not till I'd squared the crew.
Squared the crew?
I let on to 'em as how they'd been shipped under false orders to
carry two Spanish spies out of the country, an' how we was on to the
fact, and if they'd stay by us they'd not be held responsible; and I
promised 'em ten shillin's apiece and give 'em all the drink they
wanted, and they're ours to a man.
And that's where you've wasted good money and good liquor. I tell
you what you say is impossible. If the Bishop had had any idea of a
move like that, I'd have got wind of it. Besides, his old cat of a
sister would never let him leave Blanford again without her.
Hist! said the tramp, pointing across the lawn. Look there, what
did I say? My eyesight ain't what it was, from breakin' stones up to
Sing Sing, and I can't see no faces at this distance, but there's
somethin' sneakin' along there, in bishop's togs.
Marchmont followed the direction he indicated, and saw two figures
stealing round the corner of the palace, carrying hand-bags and showing
every sign of watchfulness and suspicion. Having ascertained that the
lawn was clear, they slipped rapidly across it, and, putting themselves
in the protecting shade of a clump of bushes, turned into the high-road
and disappeared. It had needed no second glance to identify them as his
Lordship and Miss Arminster.
By Jove! gasped the journalist. It is true, then! This will be a
scoop of scoops! Come, we've got to run for it. We must take the same
train, and they mustn't see us.
Some one else had witnessed the departure, in spite of all the
precautions of the fugitives, and that person was Miss Matilda, who,
from the vantage of an upper window, caught a glimpse of them just as
they disappeared through the gate. Unwilling at first to believe her
senses, she rushed to her brother's room and then to Miss Arminster's.
Alas! in each apartment the traces of hasty packing and missing
hand-luggage gave damning evidence of the fact. She rushed downstairs,
bursting with her dreadful intelligence. In the hall she met Cecil,
delightedly waving a telegram in his hand.
Hurrah! Aunt Matilda! he shouted. Such news! 'The Purple
Kangaroo' has reached its twentieth edition, and a truce is declared
between the United States and Spain! Where are the others? I must tell
them that the war is over.
Bother your war! exclaimed his aunt. Do you know that your father
and that shameless minx, Miss Arminster, have just eloped?
CHAPTER IV. IN WHICH THE BISHOP IS
All the way from Blanford to Dullhampton the Bishop was in the best
of spirits, much on the principle of a naughty boy who, having played
truant, means to enjoy his holiday to the full, well knowing that he
will be caned when it is over. Indeed his Lordship became positively
skittish, and Miss Arminster was obliged to squelch him a little, as
that young lady, for excellent reasons of her own, had no more
intention of becoming the mistress of Blanford than she had of wedding
the author of The Purple Kangaroo. On the other hand, she realised
that it was one of the old gentleman's very rare treats, and she wanted
him to have as good a time as possible; besides which, she had always
longed to take a cruise on a steam-yacht, and now her ambition was
about to be gratified.
The shock of disappointment was therefore all the greater when, on
their arrival at Dullhampton, they were met by the captain, who
informed them that Lord Downton had had a bad fall the day before and
seriously sprained his ankle, so that the party had been given up. He
had sent the yacht on, however, with the request that the Bishop would
consider it at his disposal for the remainder of the week.
Now that's exceedingly awkward, said his Lordship. I fear we can
hardly go yachting without a chaperon.
Most certainly not, agreed Miss Arminster. But let's take a
little sail this afternoon, and return to Blanford in time for dinner.
That's very well thought of, said the Bishop, and to-morrow we
can bring down some more of our party. It seems a pity we shouldn't use
the yacht, now we're here. Does that arrangement meet with your
Well, your Lordship, replied the captain, to be honest with you,
I hadn't expected as how you'd be able to get away to-day, so I'd
arranged to see my sister, who lives here, this afternoon, and the
first mate's gone up to town to order some stores. But if you are only
to be out for a few hours, as you say, my second mate's quite capable
of taking the boat for you. I wouldn't like to trust him on a long
cruise, for he's only joined a few weeks, and I know nothing about his
character. He is a first-class navigator, however, and for an afternoon
in the Solent he'll do you very well.
I'm sure we would not want to interfere with your plans, captain,
said his Lordship, so if Miss Arminster agrees
Oh my, yes, acquiesced Violet. I don't care who takes the yacht
out, so long as we go.
Right you are, said the captain. Steam's up, and I've ordered
lunch on board, as I thought you'd want that anyway. I'll tell Funk,
the second mate, to run out into the Solent, and then you can give your
own orders. What time will you be back?
Oh, not later than six, replied the Bishop, as they stepped on
board Lord Downton's beautiful craft, the Homing Pigeon.
She was a large boat and thoroughly seaworthy. Indeed her owner had
made a voyage in her to the Mediterranean, but she was built for speed
also, and decidedly rakish in cut.
They were at once introduced to the second mate, and Miss Arminster
thought she had seldom seen a more unprepossessing individual. He was
surly and shifty-eyed, and she confided to the Bishop, when they were
alone, that she was glad they were not going far from land under that
man's charge, for he looked like a pirate.
After glancing round the deck, which seemed charmingly arranged,
they at once descended to the cabin for lunch, for their little journey
had made them hungry. Here the captain left them with a few courteous
words of excuse. A moment later, as he was leaving the ship, he met two
strangers coming on board, laden with hand-baggage. They were, though
unknown to him, the journalist and the tramp. On asking them sharply
what their business was, Marchmont replied very glibly that he was his
Lordship's valet, and that he had hired this man to bring down the
luggage from the station.
I don't think your master'll need his traps, as he's only going out
for the afternoon, said the captain. But you'd better take them down
to the cabin, and see the porter gets off before they start. I don't
allow strangers aboard.
The valet touched his hat respectfully, and went up the gangway,
followed by the obsequious porter. A moment later they reached the
deck, and no sooner had the captain disappeared round a corner than
both men approached the second mate, with whom they had a hurried and
earnest conversation, followed by an interchange of something which
that officer transferred to his trousers-pocket and jingled
The ropes were now cast off, and they got under way, while Marchmont
stole very quietly to the door of the hatchway which led down to the
saloon where the Bishop and the actress were unsuspectingly lunching,
and softly turned the key.
Mayn't I cut you a slice of this cold ham, my dear? asked the
Bishop in his most fatherly tones.
Not while the pigeon-pie lasts, said his fair companion. But you
may give me a glass of champagne, if you will. I see some going to
waste in an ice-cooler over there in the corner.
I was hoping the steward would come, ventured his Lordship.
Well, I hope he won't. Being tête-à-tête is much more fun, don't
you think? Give the bottle to me, and I'll show you how to open it and
not spill a drop. In some respects your education's been neglected.
I'm afraid it has, admitted the Bishop, assisting her with his
His Lordship felt recklessly jovial. To lunch alone with a young
lady who opened champagne with a dexterity that bespoke considerable
practice must be very wicked, he felt certain, and he was shocked to
realise that he didn't care if it was. His years of repression were
beginning to find their outlet in a natural reaction.
Here, have a glass of champagne, and don't think about your
shortcomings, she said.
That's very nice, he replied, just tasting it.
Nonsense! she cried. No heel-taps. I'm no end thirsty.
So am I, replied his Lordship, draining his glass contentedly, and
watching her fill it up again.
What are you so pensive about? she demanded. There's another
He had been thinking that his sister always confined him to two
glasses, but he didn't say so, and under her skilful lead he was soon
describing to her a Cowes regatta he had once seen, in which she
professed to be amazingly interested.
I tell you what it is, she remarked a little later on. If I had a
gorgeous palace like yours I'd have no end of a good time.
Ah, said the Bishop, who was helping her to unfasten the second
bottle of champagne, I never thought of it in that light.
No, returned his fair companion, I suppose not. But you're losing
lots of fun in life, and it does seem a shame, when you would so enjoy
It does, said the Bishop, sampling the fresh bottle. But then,
you see, there's my sister, Miss Matilda
Excuse me, I didn't catch your meaning.
Never mind my meaning. We're talking about your sister. She's a
most estimable woman, my dear BishOh, pshaw! I can't always call you
by your title.
Call me Josephus, he said.
No, I couldn't call you that, either. It's too dreadful. I'll call
The Bishop beamed with joy.
And I, he faltered, may I call you Violet?
No, she said, I don't think it's proper in a man of your
But if you call meJoe
Well! she cried, laughing, we'll make a compromise. Suppose you
call me 'the Leopard'?
To be sure, he said. Mrs. Mackintosh spoke of you as
thaterquadruped. But what does it mean?
You want to know a great deal too much for a man of your age. It's
an animal that is more than once mentioned in Scripture, and that ought
to be sufficient for your purposes. So we'll have it understood that
his Lordship's Leopard is quite at his Lordship's service, if his
Lordship doesn't mind.
Mind! he cried ecstatically, eyeing the other side of the table.
But Miss Violet intended to have the board between them.
Take another glass of champagne, and keep quiet, she said sternly.
We're talking about your estimable but impossible sister. My dear Joe,
you'll never have any sport till you've got rid of her.
But how shall I get rid of her? he asked despondently. Even
champagne was not proof against the depression induced by such an
Oh, send her to a course of mud-baths or a water-cure!
I might try itifif you'd help meif you'd take her place at
the palace. I mean
Josephus! she called, in such an exact imitation of his sister's
tone that it made him sit right up. Josephus! don't say another word!
I know what you meanand you're an old dearand I'm not going to let
you make a fool of yourself. You're aged enough to be my father, and if
your son had had his way you would have been my father-in-law. I want
to have a good time, and I want you to have a good time; but that isn't
the proper manner in which to set about it. No, you send the old lady
packing, for the good of her health, and Mrs. Mackintosh and I'll help
you and Cecil entertain, and we'll have a dance, and a marquee, and
lots of punch. I dare say you've never been to a dance in your life,
she rattled on, not giving him a chance to blunder out excuses.
I'm not such an old fogey as you think me, he began. But I want
Oh, no, you don't, she interrupted. You want to forget what
you've said, and so do I. We must talk about something else. What were
you saying about a dance?
No, no, not a dance, he replied, resigning himself to his fate.
But once, lowering his voice, not long ago either, when I was in
town, II'm sure you won't believe itI went to a theatre. This last
Oh, you sad dog! she cried. You didn't!
He nodded his head affirmatively.
And what was the piece?
'The Sign of the Cross.'
What, that gruesome show, where every one's slaughtered or chewed
up by lions! You ought to have gone to the Empire.
It wasn't far from Leicester Square, he said deprecatingly.
Not near enough to be very wicked, she retorted. But, say, I'll
tell you something if you'll promise never, never to reveal it.
The word of a bishop he began.
Oh, nonsense! You're not a bishop at present, you're just Joe.
Well, here it is: I'm an actress!
Fact! I'm quite harmless. If you keep six feet from me there's not
the slightest danger of contamination.
Then, seeing his look of astonished bewilderment, she burst into a
peal of ringing laughter, crying:
Why, to look at you, one would think I'd told you that I was a
No, no, he said, stammering. II'm delighted. I always really
wanted to meet an actressbuterI hardly know what to say
Don't say anything. Just be your dear unsophisticated self, or
you'll be a bore. Cecil didn't dare tell you who I was, for fear you'd
be shocked. Come on, let's go up on deck. It's close down here.
It is, admitted his Lordship, whose temperature had risen with his
consumption of champagne, and added:
We should be well out by this time, for we seem to have been going
at great speed.
Isn't it glorious! she cried. I wonder what they're doing at
Blanford. I guess your telegram was an eye-opener.
Bless my soul! exclaimed the Bishop, fishing a form out of his
pocket. I forgot to send it.
What, do you mean to say they don't know what's become of us?
I never said a word.
My hat! she cried. Won't you get a wigging to-night?
Then, seeing his evident discomfiture, she added:
Never mind, I'll take it with you; and if she turns nasty we'll put
a flea in her ear about those mud-baths. Come, let's have our fun,
anyway. And she put her hand on the cabin door.
Why, it's stuck! she exclaimed. I can't open it.
The Bishop grasped the handle.
It isn't stuck! he cried, shaking it. It's locked!
* * * * *
While events had been progressing in the cabin, others of no less
importance were taking place on deck. Once they were well off the land,
Funk lost no time in calling a meeting of the crew of the yacht, who
formed a circle around him.
Now, my hearties, he said, introducing Marchmont, this
gentleman's got a word to say to you which it's worth your while to
hear. And he put him in the centre of the ring.
Mates, began the journalist, fitting his speech to the audience he
was addressing, I'm a plain man of few words, and I've come to you
about a plain matter. Mr. Funk will tell you I'm speaking the truth;
and you know this gentleman, indicating the tramp.
The crowd growled gutturally. They appreciated the tramp's generous
offers of liquor, but not his society.
Well, continued Marchmont, ignoring the unfavourable tone, I
suppose you'd all like to see the Yankees lick the Dons.
Ay, ay, you're right there, muttered a burly tar.
Good for you! We're all of the same family, and blood's thicker
than water. Of course you want the boys in blue to win; and that being
the case, I rely on you to help me, like true British tars, the
Hear, hear! growled the crowd appreciatively.
Now do you know whom you've aboard to-day? demanded the American.
The Bishop o' Blanford, and a laidy, came the tones of a voice
whose owner evidently hailed from London.
No, you haven't, cried the journalist excitedly. No, you haven't!
You've got two low-down Spanish spies!
What d'ye say, mate? demanded the first speaker among the crew.
I'm telling you the truth, vociferated Marchmont, lying boldly;
for he feared that the Bishop's conspiracies would go for nothing if
they suspected he was really a churchman.
I'm telling you the truth, he repeated. And these two gentlemen,
referring to the mate and the tramp, will back me up. That man's no
more the Bishop of Blanford than you are! And the ladywell,
she's on the stage when she isn't in the pay of the Spanish Government.
I've tracked them from the States to Canada, where I saw them both a
month ago, and then to England. I don't say how they got hold of this
yacht, but I ask you, where's the captain and the first mate?
A growl of suspicion rewarded his efforts.
They took pretty good care to get out of the way, and leave Mr.
Funk and you to bear the brunt of any breach of neutrality that these
conspirators might let you in for.
The sailors began to whisper to one another, and were evidently
Then look at the captain's parting words! cried the journalist.
'Go out into the Solent,' says he, 'and the Bishop will give
you your sailing orders,' Sailing orders, indeed! What would a parson
know about sailing a vessel of this sort?
One of the men nudged another at this, and he of the gruff voice
gave it as his opinion that there was summat in it.
I'll tell you what the sailing orders will be, shouted Marchmont.
They'll take you round the Needles, and alongside of a Spanish
cruiser. And when you get ashore, you'll all be clapped into prison for
helping the Dons.
Let's take 'em back now, came a chorus of voices.
And let 'em go scot-free? demanded Marchmont.
Well, what would you do? asked the spokesman.
I? said the journalist. I'd hand 'em over to the first American
ship we sight, and send 'em to New York. That takes the burden off
your shoulders. My man has promised you ten shillings apiece. Put
'em on board a Yankee ship, and I'll make it a pound. And he brought
up a handful of gold from his pocket, and jingled it in their faces.
It has been said that money talks, and it undoubtedly did so in this
case. Marchmont's specious arguments sounded plausible enough, and the
mate, who was a thoroughly bad lot and had plenty of the journalist's
money in his pocket, backed him up in every particular. So the crew,
after a little discussion, accepted the proposition to a man, and the
fact that the Bishop chose this unfortunate time to make an attack on
the cabin door probably helped to decide them.
You see, cried the journalist, as it rattled on its hinges,
they're trying to break out now, and are probably armed to the teeth.
We're with you, mates. The Yankees shall have 'em! shouted the
Good! he replied. I'll see if I can induce them to surrender
quietly. And going to the cabin door, he unlocked it and entered,
closing it behind him.
Who has dared to lock us in in this unwarrantable manner?
spluttered the Bishop, as the door opened. Then, seeing who it was, he
fell back a step, exclaiming:
Why, Mr. Marchmont, how did you come on board?
Never mind about that, said the journalist shortly. I'm here, and
I locked you in; and when I tell you that I'm thoroughly on to the
whole show, you'll understand that this high-and-mighty business
doesn't go down. Got any champagne left? I'm as dry as a bone.
The Bishop was rapidly turning purple with suppressed indignation,
but Miss Arminster scornfully indicated the location of the
Ah, thanks, said the intruder, tossing off a glass. That's
better. And he threw himself comfortably down on a divan, saying, as
he did so:
If you two have any weapons, you might as well put them on the
table. Resistance is quite useless. I've plenty of men awaiting my
signal on deck.
Violet, who in the light of this last remark suddenly understood the
position, burst into peals of laughter.
You'll find it's no laughing matter, cried the journalist angrily.
I insist upon your instantly explaining your outrageous conduct,
said the Bishop.
I can do that in a very few words, replied Marchmont. As an
American representative, and authorised agent of the Daily Leader, the people's bulwark of defence, I arrest you both as Spanish spies.
He must be mad! ejaculated his Lordship.
Oh, no, he isn't. He actually believes it! cried Violet between
her paroxysms of merriment. But her companion would not be convinced.
My dear man, he said blandly, you must be suffering under some
grievous delusion. I am, as you should know, having been my guest, the
Bishop of Blanford, and it is quite impossible that either I or this
lady should have any connection with a political crime. I must insist
that you release us at once, and go away quietly, or I shall be forced
to use harsher measures.
You do it very well, very well indeed, commented the journalist.
But you can't fool me, and so you'd better give up trying.
I say, remarked Miss Arminster to Marchmont, you're making an
awful fool of yourself.
The representative of the Daily Leader shrugged his
Won't you consent to let us go, without threshing the whole thing
out? she asked.
What do you take me for?
Well, as you please, she said resignedly. Put your questions;
we'll answer them.
Is it best to humour him? enquired his Lordship in a low voice.
It's the only way, she replied. Give him string enough, and see
the cat's-cradle he'll weave out of it.
Now, said the journalist cheerfully to the Bishop, perhaps you'll
deny that you spent a month or six weeks in the United States this
A month, acquiesced his Lordship.
Just so. And during that time you were supposed to be in Scotland
taking a rest-cure?
I admit that such is the case. But how you obtained your
I got it from your sisterabout the rest-cure, I mean.
Did you tell hererthat I waserin the United States?
Yes, replied the journalist.
His Lordship heaved a deep sigh. The future, he thought, held worse
things for him than arrest and deportation.
How did you know that I was in the United States and Canada? he
I saw you.
At a little station on the borders of the two countries. You spent
the night wrapped up in a blanket, and slept under the bar.
You never! broke in Miss Arminster.
The Bishop nodded mournfully. So far the facts were against him, and
his interlocutor's face shone with a gleam of triumph.
But in that case exclaimed Violet.
Excuse me, I'll tell the story, said Marchmont, and continued the
You were roused about five in the morning by a man breaking into
So I was, admitted the Bishop. How did you know?
I was asleep in the room overhead, and gave the alarm.
That's perfectly correct, acquiesced his Lordship. I remember the
tones of your voice. It's most astounding.
And the man who broke into the bar, continued Violet, was your
It was now Marchmont's turn to be astonished.
What! he cried, while the Bishop ejaculated:
But it was, she insisted. He went to get the coffee for me.
Were you in the station, too? demanded his Lordship.
No, I was out in a potato-patch.
You a member of that party of political criminals who jumped off
the train! cried the Bishop. I heard all about it the next morning,
but I can't believe
It's quite true, she assured him.
But it's too remarkable, he went on. I'd gone to America on
purpose to find my son, of whom I'd heard nothing for a year. And you
say he was there, andertouched me?
Why, didn't you see him in Montreal? asked Marchmont.
I sailed next day for England. I was on my way to the steamer when
the accident occurred which detained me overnight.
Why then did you conceal the purpose of your trip? demanded his
My sister was much opposed to my seeking my son, said his
Lordship, colouring furiously. AndIin short, I had reasons.
The journalist laughed.
The story's clever, he said. But I can tell a more interesting
tale. And he proceeded to relate the adventures of Cecil in the person
of the Bishop, to which his Lordship listened with open-mouthed
There! concluded his captor triumphantly. Have you anything to
say to that?
I have, chimed in Miss Arminster, and she gave the true version of
the affair from the time Banborough had first engaged them at the Grand
It's a very plausible story, said Marchmont, when she had
finished, and does credit to your invention. But fortunately I'm in a
condition to completely disprove it.
Really? she asked. How so?
I can produce a witness of the whole transaction.
What! here, on board the yacht?
Yes, said Marchmont, on board this yacht. And he can prove that
what I say is true.
What? About the Bishop? she cried, her voice quivering with
Certainly, replied the journalist. After his release from the
Black Maria he tells substantially your story, but gives the Bishop the
part you have carefully assigned to his innocent son.
At this she once more broke into peals of laughter, but at last,
recovering her speech, managed to gasp out:
Bring him here, and see what he says.
I will, said Marchmont, hurriedly leaving the cabin, for her
marvellous self-possession was beginning to arouse unpleasant
suspicions even in his mind.
But what does it all mean? queried the Bishop helplessly, after
the journalist's departure. How dare he say such things about me! I
drive a prison-van, indeed!
I'll tell you, she replied, striving to control her voice. It's
the greatest practical joke that ever was. We called your son 'the
Bishop,' just as a nickname, you see, and of course the tramp heard us,
and, after we dropped him in Montreal, must have blown the whole thing
to Marchmont out of spite, and, not knowing any better, he thought your
son really was the Bishop.
Here his Lordship became speechless, as the truth dawned upon him;
and at that moment Marchmont entered the cabin, with Friend Othniel in
There! he said, pointing to the ecclesiastic. Is that the Bishop
Naw, replied the tramp. He's old enough to be his father, he is.
The Bishop I means is a young 'un.
Like this! cried Violet, opening the locket which Cecil had given
her in Montreal, and handing it to the tramp.
That's him to a T, said Friend Othniel. I'd know him among a
For a moment Marchmont said nothing as he encountered the full force
of the cruel disillusion, and then with painstaking precision he turned
and kicked the tramp up the entire flight of cabin stairs.
Now, remarked the Bishop, perhaps you'll allow us to go free.
No! cried the journalist, slamming the door. I've wasted heaps of
cash and no end of time over this wild-goose-chase, but the Daily
Leader shall have its scoop yet! If you aren't conspirators, I'll
make you so, in spite of yourselves! You shall be Spanish
CHAPTER V. IN WHICH THE BISHOP EATS
JAM TART, AND MISS MATILDA HUMBLE-PIE.
Now, remarked the Bishop to Miss Arminster, as Marchmont quitted
the cabin after this last astounding remark, Now I'm certain he's
Oh, no, replied the lady, it's merely journalistic enterprise. I
don't blame him for being disappointed. It must be hard to find that
we're not conspirators, after all.
But why should he wish to make us so?
You dear stupid old Joe! she exclaimed. You haven't the remotest
inkling of what American journalism means. It's sensation first, last,
and altogether. Think of a bishop, and an English bishop at that,
posing as an agent of the Spanish secret service, and eloping with an
actress on somebody else's yacht. Why, I can shut my eyes and see the
headlines. They're almost certain to print them in red ink. There's
fame for you!
But why should he wish to print it if it's not the truth?
Truth! My dear Bishop, who said anything about truth? We were
speaking of news, andjournalistic enterprise.
At this moment the door again burst open, and Marchmont flung into
There! he said, with a tone of triumph, we've sighted an American
steamer down channel, and have hoisted the Spanish flag. We're pursuing
her, and very presently we shall be captured, and you'll be
I suppose, began the Bishop, that, to a man so devoid of moral
consciousness as you appear to be, no arguments of mine
Don't waste your breath, broke in Miss Arminster. They wouldn't.
Why, I'm sorry to cause you any inconvenience, said the journalist
amiably, but you see, my paper's simply panting for sensation, and
when they hear about this little racket they'll sell extras till they
can't see straight.
And what, may I ask, will happen when the truth comes out?
demanded his Lordship severely.
Oh, the war'll probably be over by the time you reach New York, and
you'll cease to be interesting, replied Marchmont. Besides, we'll
have had our scoop, and most likely, when the Daily Leader finds
there's no case against you they'll give you a return ticket. The
management's generally pretty liberal.
Well, I must say, spluttered the Bishop, that of all the
Why did you raise the Spanish flag? interrupted Miss Arminster.
That was my idea, said the journalist, and I'm rather proud of
it. You see, we could hardly reverse the Union Jack as a sign of
distress, and then go full speed ahead, but I don't think an American
ship would resist taking a Spanish prize; and as soon as they get
within firing range we'll run up a flag of truce. By the way, he
continued, becoming quite courteous, now that he felt he had them in
his power, why do you remain in this stuffy cabin? I shall be very
glad to have you up on deck, provided you'll give me your parole.
What, not to escape? asked Violet. Did you think we were going to
jump overboard and swim ashore?
No. I mean that you should give your parole not to be anything but
I am afraid we couldn't manage that, she replied. The Bishop
doesn't look nearly ferocious enough.
I absolutely refuse to become a party to this deception! said his
Oh, I don't ask you to do that, returned Marchmont, only to
promise that you'll not try and enlist the sympathies of the crew in
I shall not promise anything, said the Bishop, nor shall I allow
this lady to do so. I'm a man of peace, but if ever I get hold of you
on dry land I'll horsewhip you, if it costs me my see; and if you don't
leave this cabin at once I'll treat you as you treated your friend. You
are a thorough blackguard, and not fit to associate with gentlemen!
The journalist started to say something, but, remembering that his
accuser was muscular, thought better of it, shrugged his shoulders, and
went out silently, locking the door behind him.
There! said his Lordship, I can breathe more freely now.
Miss Arminster made no reply, for the excellent reason that her head
was out of a port-hole, and she could not hear clearly what was said.
Presently she pulled it in again, crying, as she did so:
Oh, do look! This is great sport! The American ship is running away
Such was indeed the case. The vessel they were overhauling was a
small tramp steamer, which had evidently found courage, through the
general incapacity of the Spanish navy and the fancied security of
neutral waters, to flaunt the Stars and Stripes. It was therefore most
disconcerting to find herself suddenly pursued in the English Channel
by a craft which had every appearance of being a Spanish gunboat. No
sooner had she caught a glimpse of the red and yellow flag of her enemy
than she crowded on to her yards every stitch of canvass she possessed,
in the hope of obtaining some advantage from the light breeze that was
blowing, while the black clouds of smoke which belched from her single
funnel showed that her engines were being driven to their utmost
capacity. She having a long lead and the combined assistance of wind
and steam, the distance between the pursuer and the pursued decreased
slowly, and it soon became evident that it was to be a stern chase,
which is proverbially a long chase. The yacht, therefore, turned about
in search of some fresh enemy to whom she might surrender, and in this
fortune favored her, for down the Channel came a great liner, whose
name, albeit she flew temporarily the flag of another nation,
proclaimed her to be an American ship, with an American captain and
Those on board the Homing Pigeon now adopted different tactics,
and an inverted British ensign replaced the banner of the Dons.
As the yacht stood directly in the path of the oncoming ocean
greyhound, and flew signals of distress which she could not disregard,
the great ship was forced to heave to. Marchmont hastened to convey the
news to his prisoners in the cabin, saying that he considered them very
fortunate, as they had every prospect of a speedy and pleasant voyage,
and cautioning them at the same time, as he led the way up the cabin
stairs, that resistance was futile, and that any remarks of theirs to
the crew would only be so much waste of breath. To all of which neither
deigned to answer a word, realising that in their present precarious
position silence was not only the most dignified but also the safest
As they reached the deck the great liner was almost abreast of them,
and gradually came to a standstill with clouds of pent-up steam pouring
from her safety-valves.
What do you want? bawled her chief officer through a megaphone,
his voice sounding very large and clear from the great height above
We've two prisoners of war, Spanish spies, and we wish to hand them
over! shouted the mate in return.
This isn't an American ship, came the reply.
Yes, it is, howled Marchmont; we know better! You belong to the
'Pink Star' line.
The chief officer conferred with the captain.
It's Mason and Slidell the other way round, he said. I wouldn't
touch 'em with a ten-foot pole. Besides and here he seized the
megaphone from his subordinate and yelled through it:
You infernal idiots! don't you know the war with Spain is over?
We've declared a truce!
I don't believe it, cried Marchmont, shaking his fist at the great
steamship in a paroxysm of disappointed rage. It's only an excuse to
shirk your duty! We've brought them out to you, and you've got to take
them! I'll report you to the government! I'll!
The sharp ring of the engine-room bell from the liner's bridge was
the only reply vouchsafed him, and a moment later the big ship forged
ahead, her captain very red in the face and swearing like a trooper:
for the most precious thing on board a racer of that class is time, and
the Homing Pigeon had been wasting it.
The Bishop, noting the sheepish faces of the mate and his two fellow
conspirators, and the lowering glances of the crew, turned to Miss
We'd better return to the cabin, my dear. I think there's going to
The little actress followed his Lordship's gaze, and descended
without a word of protest. She thought so, too.
They had hardly entered the saloon, when there came a respectful
knock at the door, and an elderly seaman entered, ducking his head.
Well, my good man, said his Lordship, what can I do for you?
Meanin' no disrespect, sir, be you really the Bishop of Blanford?
Certainly I am, that gentleman replied. You see my dress, and,
as a happy thought struck him, here's one of my cards to prove my
identity. And he handed the sailor a bit of pasteboard with his title
And the lady? asked the seaman.
The lady is no more connected with this absurd charge than I am,
pursued the Bishop. You've been grievously misled by your mate and
these two strangers. But if you'll take us safe to the nearest port,
I'll speak a word in your favour to your master, Lord Downton, who's an
intimate friend of mine. Can you read?
Yes, your honour.
Then here's a letter from his Lordship, which I fortunately have by
me, requesting me to join his yacht. Read it yourself, and show it to
your fellows as a proof of who I am. And he handed him the missive.
The sailor took it, ducked again, and retired silently, and there
was presently a great shuffling of feet on the deck above.
What do you think they're doing? asked Violet.
I trust they're coming to their sensesand if But his remarks
were interrupted by a most terrific row overhead, shouts, blows, and
Bless my soul! exclaimed the Bishop. What can be the matter?
They're squaring accounts with Marchmont, Friend Othniel, and the
mate, I guess, she replied, and I hope they'll half kill them.
Fie, fie! my dear Leopardmost unchristian. I must certainly go
No, you mustn't do anything of the sort! Stay right where you are.
We're in hot enough water already. And suiting the action to the word,
she pushed him back on to the divan.
Well, really! remarked the Bishop, and collapsed amiably.
Presently the sounds of commotion ceased, and gave way to laughter,
but laughter with a certain grim note in it that boded ill for those
laughed at. After a little, there came another knock at the cabin door,
and this time quite a deputation entered the saloon, the sailor who had
first visited them being the spokesman.
Having disposed of those gents as you suggested he began.
No, no! the Bishop hastened to disclaim, I suggested nothing.
Well, said the seaman, we've fixed 'em, anyway. And now we're
heading for the nearest port, which the same's Weymouth, and we hopes
you'll overlook what's gone before, and come on deck and take command
of this yacht.
I will certainly come on deck, replied the Bishop. But as to
assuming command of the ship, I hardly feel qualified. Is there not
some one among you?
I'm bo'sn, please your honour, volunteered the speaker.
Ah, said the Bishop blandly, then I appoint you. And as the men
fell back, he escorted Miss Arminster upstairs.
As they appeared on deck, a striking scene met their eyes. Three
wretched figures were triced up to the mainmast. They had only such
remnants of clothes remaining on their persons as decency demanded, and
they had all evidently made a recent acquaintance with the ship's
tar-barrel and slush-bucket.
As his Lordship and Miss Arminster appeared, the crew approached,
expecting a speech.
I hardly know what to say, began the Bishop to Violet.
Let me speak to them, will you? she asked, her eyes sparkling. I
understand human nature pretty well. I have to, in my profession.
His Lordship nodded assent, and a moment later she had sprung on to
the cabin hatch, a most entrancing little figure, and instantly
commanded the attention and admiration of her audience.
Mates! she cried, in her clear ringing voice, mates, I want a
word with you.
Speak up, and welcome! called some one in the crowd, while the
boatswain, nudging a comrade in the ribs, remarked under his breath:
My eye, but she's a stunner!
Silence having been obtained, she continued:
I've only this to say. We've all been made fools of. Those
gentlemen tied up to the mast made fools of you, and you've certainly
made fools of them.
A loud laugh greeted this sally.
And, she resumed, if it ever gets out that his Lordship the
Bishop of Blanford and myself were carried off as Spanish spies, we'll
never hear the last of it. Now let's all keep silence for the sake of
the others. Put us ashore at Weymouth, and we'll say to Lord Downton
that it was our wish to be landed there. He won't know about the
occurrences of this day, unless some of you tell him. You might leave
the journalist and the tramp at Weymouth, too. I guess they'll have had
enough of the sea to last them for some time. And oh, by the way, I
suppose Mr. Marchmont intended to pay you for this. Perhaps you'll see
that the division is properly carried out.
Ay, ay! came from twenty throats, followed by a rousing cheer.
And so it happened that they reached terra firma about six in
the afternoon. But Weymouth, while it is geographically not far distant
from Blanford, is miles away by the railroad and its connections, and
they did not reach the palace till nearly midnight.
Everything was dark and still, and as they stood shivering in the
porch, the Bishop remarked, producing his latch-key:
Do you know II'm really afraid to open the door.
She gave his hand a reassuring squeeze, and they entered softly.
Is there anything I can get for the Leopard, before she retires?
he asked apologetically, as they crossed the stone-paved floor of the
palace by the aid of a single bedroom candle, which only served to
accentuate the surrounding darkness.
No, thank you, I'm all right, she faltered, putting her foot on
the first step of the stairs. And then, without the slightest warning,
she burst into tears.
His Lordship, completely bewildered at this unexpected turn of
affairs, patted her on the head, saying: Dear, dear! much as he would
have done to obstreperous babies suspicious of baptism. But the fair
Violet wept on.
What is it? said the Bishop. What have I done?
You haven't done anything, she replied between her sobs, but
II'm so dreadfully hungry.
Dear me! exclaimed his Lordship, I forgot all about dinner.
It was quite true that, in his anxiety to catch trains and make a
series of bewildering connections, the question of food had entirely
escaped his memory, and, now he came to think of it, he was ravenously
I'm so sorry, he said helplessly. We must see what we can find.
It was years since he had dared to investigate his own pantries; but
under the spur of Miss Arminster's necessities he achieved prodigies of
valour, even breaking into that holy of holies, his sister's
jam-closet. The little actress aided and abetted him, creating havoc
among jars of sardines, olives, and caviare. And then, while they were
in the midst of their midnight orgy, a figure appeared before thema
figure clad in an indescribable dressing-gown and carrying a bedroom
Josephus, said the apparition, is that you?
Yes, my dear, replied the Bishop, with his mouth full of jam tart,
I wonder you've the face to enter the house! said his sister.
His own house! That's good, commented Miss Arminster from the
midst of sardines.
I admit that the circumstances are unusual, remarked the Bishop,
cutting himself another large slice of the pastry, but the train
service is most irregular, and, as you can see, it was necessary to
bring the Leopard home to-night, and so
Josephus! broke in his sister, there are no leopards in this
country, and I can see that to the other sins you have
undoubtedly committed you have added the vice of
But she got no further, for the Bishop, casting a glance at each of
the two women, decided that now or never was salvation at hand, and
Matilda, go to bed at once!
It was the first time he had ever spoken to her in tones of
authority, and his sister, not believing her ears, returned to the
And as for that shameless minx she continued; but his Lordship
again interrupted, remarking severely:
Matilda, go to bed instantly!
But the spinster was not yet defeated.
Josephus! she began, in her most approved style.
Go to bed! repeated the Bishop sharply.
For one moment she wavered. Then, realising that under the present
conditions resistance was worse than useless, she turned slowly upon
her heel, and marched upstairs with the air of a martyr going to the
You were right, said his Lordship moodily, as he disposed of the
last piece of pie-crust.
Right about what? asked Violet.
Mud-baths, returned the Bishop.
CHAPTER VI. IN WHICH MISS ARMINSTER
PROPOSES TO MARRY AGAIN.
Cecil and Miss Matilda breakfasted alone the next morning. This was
not by intention, but by fate. Violet and the Bishop, for obvious
reasons, kept their respective rooms. Mrs. Mackintosh had felt it her
duty to breakfast with, and comfort, her friend in distress, likewise
to receive an early account of the doings of the day before; while
Smith and Spotts, hearing that the fugitives had returned, took an
early breakfast and adjourned to the neighboring golf-links. Cecil,
however, who slept well, came down at the usual hour, quite unconscious
of what was impending, and calmly walked into the trap.
After the ancient butler had passed the tea and toast, and then
withdrawn, as was his wont, leaving them to carve out their own
salvation, Miss Matilda lost no time in opening up the contest. She had
been at swords' points with her nephew ever since the evening before,
as a result of his stoutly maintaining his father's innocence, and the
manner in which she reported her midnight meeting would have made even
And now of course he'll have to marry her, she wound up her
Good heavens! I hope not! ejaculated Cecil.
I'm glad, remarked his aunt stiffly, that we've at least one
point of agreement.
Oh, we are quite agreed on that, he returned. It would never do
at all; in fact it's quite impossible.
You know, then? she demanded.
Know what? he asked cautiously.
That she's been married dozens of times already.
I don't think I can subscribe to more than half a dozen. But Miss
Arminster certainly does seem to have a fondness for that sort of
And in the face of such scandalous proceedings do you consider her
a fit person to marry your poor misguided father?
I've told you I don't approve, he said, and added: How did you
come to know about Miss Arminster's marriages?
Mr. Marchmont told me.
Cecil! Mr. Marchmont's a gentleman.
He's a mischief-maker of the first water.
Do not let us waste time in discussing his character. The important
question is, what are we to do about your father's marriage?
But how? she asked. Shall I speak?
No, no; leave it to me, he said. I'll undertake to settle the
matter. If you saw the Bishop, you'd only irritate him.
He told me to go to bed, last night, after that woman had insulted
Insulted you? I thought you told me she'd nothing to say for
Her presence was an insult, and one of us leaves this house
to-day, replied his aunt, and swept out of the room.
Cecil gulped down his tea, and, ringing the bell, sent an urgent
message to Miss Arminster, requesting a meeting in his aunt's boudoir,
which, considering the purpose of the interview, he was sure Miss
Matilda would not object to put at her disposal.
Violet received him in about twenty minutes, apologising for her
charming tea-gown, on the ground of being somewhat seedy.
Our supper last night was rather extraordinary, you know, she
I've only heard one version, he replied.
Miss Matilda's? she asked, laughing.
I fancy it was lurid enough, she went on; but your good father's
out of leading-strings this time, and no mistake.
Tell me all about it, he said. I'm most anxious to know.
Of course you are, she returned. So here goes.
Banborough enjoyed the recital immensely, and laughed immoderately
at certain passages.
So the governor knows all about our adventures? he said, when she
had finished. Did he seem much upset?
Only about not recognising you when you blacked his eye under the
What a good old chap he is! Just think of his coming all that way
to hunt me up! I wish he could have some fun out of life.
We must try and help him to do so, she said.
Yes, he replied, suddenly recollecting the object of his mission.
It's just that that I've come about. You see he's awfully
conscientious, and when he's thought things over a bit, helped by my
aunt's amiable suggestions, he'll come to the conclusion that he ought
to marry you, you knowand sowell, he'll try to do it, he ended
lamely, hoping she would see the point without further elucidation on
She was quick to take him up.
And you don't think that's just the best way for him to have a good
time? Sour grapeseh, my son?
No, no; only he's certain to propose to you.
Supposing he has done so?
Welldid you accept him?
What do you think? she asked.
I don't quite see how you couldunder the circumstances.
Oh, he'd only had two bottles of champagne, she said, purposely
misunderstanding him from pure joy of seeing him flounder.
I didn't mean that, he went on. But, anyway, his conscience will
reassert itself, and he'll probably propose again this
And you're afraid I might accept?
I'm sure you'd make a most charming step-mamma, he replied,
Only thethe others might object, mightn't they?
All the men you've married, he blurted out, if you will have it.
I see, she said meditatively. And you don't want to run the 'dear
Bishop' in for another scandal.
Of course, if you choose to put it that way
It's the way you'd put it if you only had the pluck, she retorted.
Are you awfully angry with me? he asked, looking at her.
Not a bit, she replied. From your point of view it's quite
justifiable, I suppose, and I'm only considering the best way out of
Are there several?
There's only one that I care to choose.
And that is?
I shall marry again.
Good heavens! not!
Not your father, no; some one else.
You see, she continued calmly, ignoring his interruption, if I
marry some one at once your father can't have any feeling ofshall we
say responsibility? And it'll not be necessary for me to go into what
Miss Matilda would call 'my shameful past.'
But I really couldn't allow
Oh, I'm not going to marry you either, so you needn't be alarmed.
Can't you make some suggestions to help me out?
I am afraid you must excuse me, he said, fast becoming scandalised
at her matter-of-fact way of approaching the subject.
Well, of course, she went on thoughtfully, there are all your
father's chaplains, but they're young, and prone to take things
seriously. No, I don't think they'd do. And there's the butler. No, he
wouldn't answer, either.
Perhaps Miss Matilda would lend you Professor Smith.
No, she said, I don't think I'd have the heart to deprive her of
him. On the whole, I think I'll marry Mr. Spotts. He's niceand
But mightn't he have something to say? began Banborough.
Probably, admitted Violet; but he generally does what he's told,
and as he isn't married to any one else, I dare say he'll prove
amenable when he understands the position. I'll try and see him this
morning, and, as a brilliant idea struck her, your father shall
perform the ceremony. I never was married by a Bishop before. Won't it
You surely can't seriously intend began Cecil.
Yes, I do. Now don't be stupid, but run along and let me finish my
toilet. And she ran out of the room.
Banborough walked away in a maze. He had thought to straighten
matters out, and he had only got them into a far worse tangle. That
Miss Arminster had no conscientious scruples about adding another
husband to her quota was bad enough, but that his innocent,
unsuspecting father should be allowed to disgrace his cloth by
solemnising such a marriage was really more than he could stand. In his
righteous wrath he determined that the Bishop should know the whole
truth, soothing his conscience by the thought that if he did not tell
him, Miss Matilda would.
In the hall of the palace, however, he ran across Spotts, laden with
the implements of golf, and all unconscious of his impending fate.
Look here, old man, said Cecil, I want to have five minutes' chat
I am quite at your service, replied his friend. In fact I was
just coming to look you up myself. Now that the war's over, I must
really be thinking of going away, as I've imposed long enough already
on your hospitality.
Oh, it isn't about that I want to see you, said Banborough. It's
about your getting married.
My getting married? queried Spotts.
Yes. It seems there's a lady who has matrimonial designs on you. I
thought it was only the part of a friend to warn you in due season.
If it's your aunt, returned the actor, I'm very much obliged. I
think I could manage to get packed up and leave by the afternoon
No, no; it isn't so bad as that, said his host. Or, rather, it's
worse. Miss Arminster has you under consideration.
As a husband?
Yes. I think she means to marry you to-morrow or next day, and have
my father perform the ceremony.
Oh, I see. And you've some feeling about it.
Well, yes, admitted Cecil, I'm afraid I have.
I suppose you'd like to take my place?
No, it isn't that either. Yon don't seem to see the point. Miss
Arminster wants to marry you.
Well, isn't that a question between Miss Arminster and myself?
Naturally. But then she's married pretty frequently, hasn't she? Of
course, if all her husbands are dead
Oh, no, said Spotts. I don't think she's ever lost a husband.
But you surely can't contemplate began Cecil.
Well, you see, contended the actor, this is the first time she's
ever asked me to marry her, and one can't be so ungallant as to refuse
And you'll really add yourself to her list?
Spotts shrugged his shoulders.
My dear fellow, he said, I don't want to appear rude, but this
interference in my prospective matrimonial affairs seems to me
ill-timed. Miss Arminster hasn't as yet proposed to me, and if she
does, I'll probably consent to oblige her. Anyway, it's doing you a
favour, as I suppose your father would wish to marry her if I didn't.
And turning on his heel, he walked away.
As he ascended the stairs, he met Violet coming down. They were
standing on the broad landing, and for the moment were quite alone and
out of earshot.
I say! burst out the actor. Do you know I have just been warned
against you by your friend Banborough. A joke's a joke, but this is
going too far.
I know, Alvy, she said, I know, and I'm awfully sorry. But it's
I hope it is, he replied. I have held an equivocal position for
months, and it isn't pleasant. Why, I've practically seen nothing of
It hasn't been pleasant for me either, old man. But, to speak
frankly, you know as well as I do that it's been largely a sentimental
interest which has caused Cecil to get us all out of this scrape.
However, if he doesn't tell his father to-dayand I tried hard enough
to force him to do so this morningI shall.
Good! Then his Lordship's Leopard will be free, said Spotts. And
pressing her hand, he proceeded on his way upstairs.
In the face of his two interviews, Cecil felt he had no option but
to refer the whole matter to the Bishop, whom he found in his study. He
received a somewhat grim reception from the old gentleman, to whom a
sleepless night had afforded ample opportunity for reflecting on the
vagaries of his son, to which he, not altogether unjustly, attributed
his adventures of the preceding day.
After formal salutations had been exchanged, the younger man,
feeling that a disagreeable business was the better over, lost no time
in coming to the point.
I don't know that there's anything to be said about the past,
father, he began.
I should think there was a great deal to be said, returned his
Lordship brusquely. But this is perhaps not the best time to say it.
I've been told a very astonishing story by Miss Arminster.
About the Black Maria andthe Spanish plot?
About your wretched novel, sir!
Ah, yes. Well, I corroborate it all, word for word. Miss Arminster
told me about it this morning.
You've seen her, then?
Yes. We had a chat concerning a number of things. But, as you
suggest, we might reserve the discussion of our joint American
experiences till another occasion, so I won't mention them beyond
apologising to you for having blacked your eye under the bar; though of
course I could hardly have supposed that your ecclesiastical duties
would have placed you in just that position.
Say, rather, the search for an unregenerate son, suggested the
Bishop, with a twinkle in his eye which showed him to be in better
Well, anyway, you gave as good as you got, said Cecil. My ribs
were sore for a week afterwards.
Ah, replied his Lordship. I thought I must have landed you one. I
haven't quite forgotten the athletics of my college days.
Then we're quits, returned Cecil. But it was more than good of
you to come out there and look for me. A father who could do all that
deserves a somewhat better son than I've been in the past; and in the
Don't say it, Cecil. I know it. And the Bishop gripped his hand in
a way that caused the mental and moral atmosphere to clear instantly.
And now, said his son, I want to talk about Miss Arminster.
It's the subject nearest my heart, replied his father.
I asked her to marry me at Montreal, Cecil remarked simply.
So I inferred from what she said on the yacht, said his Lordship.
And you proposed to her yesterday.
Did she tell you?
Well, the fact is she doesn't want to marry either of us.
The Bishop nodded his head despondently.
But, continued the younger man, she contemplates marrying some
Ah, said his Lordship, I'm heartily glad she proposes to marry
Quite so, and she means to ask you to perform the ceremony.
Isn't that rather
Rubbing it in? suggested Cecil. So it seemed to me.
Who is theerprospective bride-groom?
He seems a good fellow.
Yes, butwill you forgive me if I speak frankly? There can't be
any feeling of jealousy between us; we've both been worsted.
What do you wish to say?
That I'm afraid this marriage must not be permitted. You see, Miss
Arminster isn't quite what she seems.
If you're going to say anything against that young lady! began
his Lordship angrily.
You forget, said his son, I wanted to marry her.
His father remembered; and remembering, said:
Well, I found out, for myself I mean, that Miss Arminster had been
married a number of times.
A number of times!
Half a dozen at least. Perhaps more.
She admitted as much to me.
As far as I know, none of her husbands has died.
In America, began the Bishop, the divorce laws are lax, and
Oh, no, I'm sure she hasn't been divorced. I don't think she'd
approve of it.
But thenit means
Yes, that's just the point. And so another marriage with this Mr.
Must be stopped at all costs! cried his Lordship, growing very red
in the face with agitation.
I thought you'd feel so, said his son. And that's why I
At this moment Miss Matilda entered the room.
What are you talking about, Josephus? she demanded, assuming a
domination of which she felt by no means sure. Did I hear you mention
that hussy's name?
I was speaking, said the Bishop, of Miss Arminster. Cecil
tells me she's to marry Mr. Spotts.
That's impossible, snapped Miss Matilda.
What do you mean? asked her brother.
I mean what I say. While you were shamelessly gallivanting down the
Channel, I went over to the little church near the ruined abbey which
you visited the day you met Mr. Marchmont, and there I found a record
of the marriage, in 1895, of this person who calls herself
Miss Arminster, and I say she can't marry Mr. Spotts.
Because she's married to him already!
CHAPTER VII. IN WHICH MISS ARMINSTER
VERIFIES THE PROVERB.
The Bishop was pacing his garden. He was far from happy. It is true
he had not been worsted in his encounter with his sister. There had
been a drawn battle, and he had retired with dignity, conceding nothing
but that he would ask Miss Arminster to come to his study at noon and
explain her position. He could not believe the charges against the
charming Violet, but nevertheless he felt decidedly uncomfortable: for
even if she cleared herself, she was still married, and the palace
lacked a mistress.
It was easy to say that Miss Matilda should be deposed, but who
should take her place? Not another man's wife, certainly. For the first
time in all these years, his Lordship realised how lonely he had been.
He should have remarried long before, and indeed even so unworldly a
person as he knew that more than one young lady in Blanford would have
viewed with complacency the prospect of becoming Mrs. Bishop.
A young wife, however, even as attractive as the fair Violet, was
not, he told himself, exactly what he wanted. He had tried a period of
double rule in which his sister was the power behind the throne, and it
was infinitely worse than the present régime. No; if he took another
helpmate, she must be a person of strong will, some one who could hold
her own against all comers, some one who should have an inexhaustible
fund of sympathy for his work, some one whose appreciation of the
exalted position of the Bishop of Blanford should be so great as to
blind her, occasionally at least, to those minor faults to which,
Scripture tells us, all flesh is heir.
It was at just this point in his meditations that his Lordship,
turning sharply round the corner of a large gooseberry-bush, came
suddenly upon Mrs. Mackintosh. Their surprise was mutual, for the good
lady had evidently been gardening, and was suffering from the rigour of
That head man of yours is a duffer, she said sharply, pointing a
very earthy trowel at the unconscious figure of the gardener, who was
busy in the middle distance digging potatoes. A man, she continued,
who calls a plain, every-day squash a vegetable marrow isn't fit to
run a well-ordered truck-patch; though it's no more than might be
expected in a country where they sell bread by the yard, and flour by
the gallon. And what, I should like to know, is a 'punnet'?
I'm afraid, madam, I must confess my ignorance, replied the
I thought as much, she retorted. And yet they put you in command
of a diocese. Your gardener said to me this morning: 'I'll pick a
punnet of strawberries to-day.' 'You'll do nothing of the kind,' I
told him. 'Pick them in a Christian basket, or not at all.'
His Lordship laughed.
It's some sort of measure, I imagine, he remarked.
I shouldn't wonder. And your cook's just as bad. She asked me
yesterday if I liked jugged hare. 'Let me see your jug,' said I, 'and
then I'll tell you.' And as sure's I'm a sinner, she told me she never
used one for that dish!
Now you speak of it, said his Lordship, I don't think I ever saw
one myself. But what are you doing this morning?
Straightening the peas.
Straightening the peas? he asked, thoroughly mystified.
Yes, they're all waggly. When I plant my garden I take a string and
two pegs and plant the seed along a line; but these just seem to be put
Is it good for the peas? asked the Bishop suspiciously, as he saw
them being rooted up and reset.
I can't say, she returned sharply. But things ought to be
straight at an episcopal palace, if they are anywhere.
So they should, he admitted mournfully, but it's far from being
the case. That's why I came out to consult you.
Go ahead, then. You talk, and I'll dig.
And while the plants were being arranged to an ecclesiastical
standard, he retailed to her the charges against Violet.
Do you believe them? she asked, jamming her trowel up to its hilt
in the soft earth.
Of course I do not.
Right you are, she said. I know the whole story, and it's nothing
to be ashamed of, I give you my word.
You relieve me immensely.
It's merely American enterprise, continued the old lady. That's
why they call her the Leopard.
The LeopardI don't understand. She asked me to call her that.
Well, I won't steal her thunder. She'll tell you herself.
But she is married?
The Bishop sighed.
That disappoints you? said Mrs. Mackintosh thoughtfully, balancing
a pea-plant in her hand.
Yes; at least I'd hoped
I know. She told me. We haven't any secrets from each other.
You see, continued his Lordship, if my sister leaves me, I must
have some one to take her place; otherwise
She won't go.
Yes, said the Bishop; that's just the point.
You ought to marry at once.
I feel that myself; but then, you see, there's no one who would
care to marry meno one at least who
You don't want a young chit.
No, said his Lordship. Somebody more like you.
Mrs. Mackintosh paused in her gardening.
Look here, she said. Are you going to propose to me next?
Iwasthinking of it, admitted the Bishop.
As a last resource?
My dear Mrs. Mackintosh!
I don't know as I ever could be a bishopess, replied that lady,
inadvertently resetting a pea-plant upside down.
There's Jonah, said the Bishop, resorting to diplomacy. I shall
never be able to complete that last volume without the spur of your
Well, she replied, partially relenting, I'd do a good deal
Then you will! he cried.
I've one row of those peas left, she returned, and when I've
reset them I'll give you your answer. That'll be in fifteen minutes.
Now go away, or you'll fidget round, and I sha'n't get 'em straight.
And without another word she resumed her digging.
Fifteen minutes later his Lordship was at her side.
There's one more plant left, remarked Mrs. Mackintosh, cleaning
her trowel and addressing herself to the task.
And are you going to say Yes when you have finished?
Yes, said the lady, I am, but it's mostly on account of Jonah.
The Bishop ruthlessly set his foot on the tender shoot which
intervened between him and happiness, crushing it to the earth.
Some time later Mrs. Mackintosh remarked:
The cathedral clock is striking twelve, and you're due in the
You mean, my dear, that we are due, replied his Lordship.
* * * * *
On their arrival in the Bishop's sanctum, they found the full force
of the company assembled to receive them.
Miss Matilda looked on this gathering with suspicion.
I do not see, she said, the need of so many witnesses to what
must prove, I fear, a humiliating confession.
I've come, returned Mrs. Mackintosh, to lend moral support to
She glanced at the Bishop, changed her mind, and supplementedMiss
Shall I speak? asked Miss Matilda, ignoring her remark.
I will speak, said his Lordship. It is my house, and my place to
His sister sat down hurriedly.
I've sent for you, my dear, he continued, turning to Violet,
because certain charges have been made against you by Mr. Marchmont
andothers, and, as my son informs me that you contemplate marrying
Mr. Spotts, and asking me to perform the ceremony, I feel it is my
She's already broke in his sister.
I am speaking, Matilda, he said quietly, and she collapsed.
You mustn't think, he went on, that my asking you to explain your
position implies any belief on my part in the charges made against you.
I've only requested this interview because I thought you'd like an
opportunity to disprove idle gossip.
It's very kind of you, she replied, and I shall avail myself of
Quite so. Now my sister tells me that she's seen, in a neighbouring
church, the record of your marriage to Mr. Spotts. Is this so?
Certainly, said Violet. I married him there in 1895.
Miss Matilda sniffed viciously.
Mr. Marchmont, continued the Bishop, in whose statements, I need
hardly say, I place no reliance, informed my sister that you had been
married with unusual frequency; and my son tells me, also, that you've
admitted to him aera considerable number ofermatrimonial
alliances. Would youererconsider it an intrusion on my part if I
asked how many times you have been married?
I've had the marriage service performed over me, she replied,
thirty-seven times in four years.
Miss Matilda threw up her hands in an access of horror.
But your husbands stammered his Lordship.
I never had but one husband, she said. And here he stands. And
she took Spotts's hand in hers.
Bless my soul! exclaimed the Bishop. You surely haven't married
him thirty-seven times?
Yes, that is exactly the case, she returned.
But I don't understand.
The explanation is very simple, she replied. My husband and I are
both actors. He plays the part of the hero, and I the part of the
heroine. In the fifth act, after many struggles and disappointments,
we're at last united. To have the marriage ceremony actually performed
on the stage, or the next day at church, has always proved a great
attraction to our audiences. At first I objected. But I've been
informed by a competent authority in my own country that there's no
canonical rule against it, and in remarrying my husband I merely renew
my vows to him, and I've never once gone through the ceremony lightly
or thoughtlessly. I do not defend the practice, or expect you to
approve of it, and, now that you know the truth, I shouldn't think of
asking you to marry us again; but I don't consider that I've done
anything of which I need be ashamed.
Dear me! said the Bishop. In my ecclesiastical position I can
hardly approve of the course you've taken; but as a manwell, it's a
great relief to me.
I consider it a sacrilege, exclaimed Miss Matilda, and, as I
remarked to Cecil this morning, that young person leaves the palace
to-day, or I do!
You'll naturally act as seems to you best, said her brother. But
I beg you to remember that I'm master of this house, and that this lady
is my guest.
And who, pray, will keep your house for you when I'm gone? she
I'm sure that Mrs. Spotts will attend to it for me until Mrs.
Mackintosh and I are married.
Till you're married! his sister repeated after him, too astounded
to grasp fully the meaning of his words.
It is an event which I hope will occur shortly, her brother
That's enough! she retorted. I leave Blanford this afternoon!
I trust you'll not go in anger, Matilda, he said. I'm sure a
change will do you good. Miss ArminsterI mean Mrs. Spottssuggests a
course of mud-baths; and if you'll permit me to assume the expense
Josephus! she returned shortly, do not add insult to injury. And
she swept from the room.
I, too, said Professor Tybalt Smith, who had hitherto remained
silentI, too, must be permitted to excuse myself. It may be that I
can comfort that injured lady in her exile. And he followed her out.
Oh, I'm delighted! cried Violet, seizing Mrs. Mackintosh's hand.
And I, too, said Cecil.
Thank you, replied his stepmother-to-be. That pleases me more
than anything else. I hope you'll really make Blanford your home.
I shall indeed, he returned, since no one will have me as a
You've the great success of your book to comfort you, suggested
Violet. What more can you ask?
Well, as it seems a day of explanations, he said, I should really
like to know why you're called 'the Leopard'?
It's a very trifling secret after all, she replied, laughing. But
to have let you know it would have given away our little plot. Now it
doesn't matter. Tell him, Alvy.
It's merely this, said her husband gaily: that, as much as she
may marry, HIS LORDSHIP'S LEOPARD CAN NEVER CHANGE HER SPOT(T)S.
GODFREY'S THE HARP OF LIFE 12mo. $1.50.
A very human account of certain events in the life of the first
violin of the Pinecliff (England) orchestra.
Boston Transcript: She has literary skill, grace,
Here and there are bits of description sketched in with as
sympathy as truthfulness.... Her artistic sense is very keen.
doesn't introduce a description like this for the mere sake of
describing: something, but for the purpose of contrast with a
or situation, and she never spoils a perspective. Although she
writing a musical novel, she never rhapsodizes.... The
characterization is effective throughout.... This masterly
cannot want for readers, it seems to us.
Public Opinion: Miss Godfrey writes understandingly of
and the musical temperament.
Outlook: There are several characters of interest, and
somewhat unusual situations in which they are placed are
in a clever and novel manner.
N. Y. Herald: She draws human nature, delights in the
opposition of character, and has, in fact, written a
Buffalo Commercial Advertiser: A thoroughly good,
GODFREY'S POOR HUMAN NATURE
A musical novel. 2d Impression, 12mo. $1.50.
The story of some Wagnerian singers at the Court Opera of
Blankenstadt. It has been said that this name thinly veils Dresden, and
that the book gives an intimate picture of musical life at the Saxon
Bookman: It is curiously convincing. The characters,
peculiarly real.... Each and every one stands out with vivid
distinction, and is not soon to be forgotten.... The portrayal
local life, particularly that appertaining to operatic
full of freshness and interest.... It is well written, it is
felt, it is altogether an admirable work.
New York Tribune: One of the cleverest musical novels
and it is particularly creditable in that it holds nothing of
hysterical gush with which the feminine writer usually fills
fiction of this kind.... The study of the group of singers at
Royal Opera in a minor German city is astonishingly well done,
so is the portrait of the great tenor's peasant wife ... so
unmistakably true that she must have been drawn from life ...
uncommonly attractive and interesting novel.
Boston Transcript: We have nothing but praise to say of
fine, strong tale, and can recommend it heartily and without
Literary World: There is a distinctly original touch in
story.... Full of interest.
21st Impression of a Remarkable Romance.
By E. L. VOYNICH. 12mo, cloth. $1.25.
New York Tribune: It is nothing more or less than one of the
most powerful novels of the decade.... He shows us the veritable
conspirator of history, who plotted like a human being: and not like an
operatic bandit.... It is a thrilling book and absolutely sober....
'The Gadfly' is an original and impressive being; ... a story to
New York Times: Paradox worked up with intense dramatic
effect is the salient feature of 'The Gadfly'; ... shows a wonderfully
strong hand, and descriptive powers which are rare; ... a very
The Dial: One of the most interesting phases of the history
of Nineteenth Century Europe. The story of the Italian revolutionary
movement; ... is full of such incidents as the novelist most desires;
... this novel is one of the strongest of the year, vivid in
conception, and dramatic in execution, filled with intense human
feeling, and worked up to a tremendously impressive climax.
The Critic: An historical novel permeated with a deep
religious interest in which from first to last the story is dominant
and absorbing.... 'The Gadfly' is a figure to live in the imagination.
The New York Herald: An exceptionally clever story,
eminently fresh and original. The author has a capital story to tell,
and he tells it consummately well.... The beaten track has not allured
him, and the characters to whom he introduces us are not such as we
meet in every-day novels. This is the crowning merit of this book.
The Chap Book: Gives the reading public an opportunity to
welcome a new and intense writer; ... a profound psychological study;
... a powerful climax. Yet, however much the imagination be used, the
author will be found to rise beyond it; the scene at High Mass on the
feast of Corpus Christi being one of the most powerful in English
The Independent: We have read this peculiar romance with
breathless interest; ... a romance of revolutionary experiences in
Italy; lifelike, stirring, picturesque, a story of passion, sacrifice,
and tragic energy.
The Literary World: A powerful and picturesque storya
canvas glowing with color and lifethe few striking characters stand
out in firm, resolute outlines. We heartily commend 'The Gadfly.'
The Buffalo Commercial: In every way sharp, thrilling,
The Chicago Post: A powerful story, and, unlike others of
its kind, holds the reader's attention strictly to the end.
The Chicago Times-Herald: 'The Gadfly' is a tremendous
story. It goes on like a whirlwind, gathering force as it rushes.
BARROW'S THE FORTUNE OF WAR A novel of the last year of the American
Revolution. 12mo. $1.25.
The scene is laid mainly in New York City during the British
occupation, partly on one of the prison ships, and partly in
patriot camp at Morristown. The life in the headquarters of
two armies is cleverly contrasted. The story has a strong
N. Y. Times Saturday Review: The story is a good one,
historical data accurate, and the ways and manners of the
are cleverly presented.
The Outlook: Miss Elizabeth Barrow has done her work,
well, but delightfully well.
Chicago Times-Herald: Another tale of the time of
but one that is more deserving both of popular and critical
appreciation than some of the much-vaunted financial
Springfield Republican: It gives a good picture of New
City as it was in the eighteenth century.... The story is
Hartford Courant: She has done good work in her
romance; ... it
is told in a very attractive way.... The book is decidedly one
that will entertain.
GODFREY'S THE HARP OF LIFE
Uniform with the author's Poor Human Nature. 12mo. $1.50.
An intensely human story of an episode in the life of the first
violin of an orchestra, at an English watering-place. Miss
has again been uncommonly happy in creating a musical
LUCAS'S THE OPEN ROAD
A little book for wayfarers, bicycle-wise and otherwise.
by E. V. LUCAS, editor of A Book of Verses for Children.
illustrated cover-linings. Green and gold flexible covers.
Some 125 poems of out-door life and 25 prose passages,
representing over 60 authors, including Fitzgerald, Shelley,
Shakespeare, Kenneth Grahame, Stevenson, Whitman, Bliss
Browning, William Watson, Alice Meynel, Keats, Wordsworth,
Arnold, Tennyson, William Morris, Maurice Hewlett, Izaak
Wm. Barnes, Herrick, Gervase Markham, Dobson, Lamb, Milton,
Better than the 'Prisoner of Zenda.'CRITIC
10th Impression of the Sequel to
The Prisoner of Zenda
HOPE'S RUPERT OF HENTZAU
From the memoirs of Fritz von Tarlenheim. With eight full-page
illustrations by CHARLES DANA GIBSON, 12mo, $1.50.
A. Dithmar in New York Times' Saturday Review:
stirring and irresponsible, ... a sequel ... for a wonder as
vigorous and powerful as its original.... It seems to bring
romance to life again.
Life: A sequel to 'Zenda' which does not let down one
high standard of chivalrous love which was the charm of that
romance.... Mr. Hope's heroes are never dull.... These 'Zenda'
stories have added a distinctly modern value to what men and
mean by the 'sense of honor.'... The closing chapters are
written, elevated in sentiment, and an ideal solution of the
of Flavia and Rudolf.
Geo. W. Smalloy in New York Herald: A story which lays
upon you. The animation is unceasing, and so, therefore, is
interest.... Mr. Hope has not lost his old deftness in
dialogue.... The scene between the two men [Sapt and James]
the murder ... is a masterpiece.
New York Tribune: Everything moves swiftly and
naturally to the
climax, upon which, we may add, Mr. Hope has wreaked himself
a tact that is perhaps the best thing in the book.... It is
absorbing, and especially is it an excellent sequel, which is
than can be said of most books of its kind.
Springfield Republican: It is a question whether it
rival 'The Prisoner of Zenda' itself in excellence.... It
a stronger and deeper note.
Brooklyn Eagle: Has the ring of genuine humanity and
Chicago Tribune: Considered as a sequel, the book is
surprisingly good. It retains the spirit of 'Zenda,' is
invention, swift in movement, and is of a thrilling and
6th Impression of the New Edition of
HOPE'S PRISONER OF ZENDA
With five full-page illustrations by CHARLES DANA GIBSON, and a
view and plan of the castle by HOWARD INCE. 12mo, $1.50.
OTHER BOOKS BY ANTHONY HOPE
With frontispieces by RACKHAM, RUSSELL, and WECHSLER. 18mo, 75
INDISCRETION OF THE DUCHESS, 12th Impression.
THE DOLLY DIALOGUES, 10th Impression.
A CHANGE OF AIR, 9th Impression.
A MAN OF MARK, 9th Impression.
SPORT ROYAL, ETC., 4th Impression.
Tense with sustained power.
New York Commercial Advertiser.
BY MRS. HENRY DUDENEY
A novel of love against reason in conflict with love conformable to
reason, worked out with all the power of the author's former novel,
The Maternity of Harriot Wicken, but much more inviting in subject,
characters, and treatment. A distinct advance on that able work and
full of promise for the future of this rising author. Scene, Sussex
N. Y. Commercial Advertiser: It shows the same deep insight
into the complications of the human soul [as did the author's earlier
novel].... This story from the opening page is tense with sustained
power and is surely destined to be one of the most important
contributions to this season's fiction.
N. Y. Mail and Express: These pictures have the true color,
alive with the activity of nature or soothing in its quietude. They
form a distinct feature of the book, beautify its pages and make them
notable.... It has the elements in it of a wider popularity [than that
of the author's earlier novel], which it deserves in every sense.
Buffalo Commercial: We find just the same originality in
plot, skill in character depiction, and the effective presentation of
events [which characterized 'The Maternity of Harriot Wicken'].... In
the story we see so artistic a description of the play of character,
the various phases of human goodness and badness are so well drawn out,
that the book deserves high praise.... The description of the life of
Folly Corner, and the men and women seen there, is not surpassed by any
work of any contemporary novelist. The book is a notable one every
The Academy, London: Really interesting; ... the writing is
generally vigorous and even brilliant. The comedy is first rate.... It
is in fact a successful novel.
One of the most captivating works of fiction that it has been our
good fortune to read.Dial.
By JOHN OXENHAM. 12mo, $1.25.
A story of adventure in England and the Southern Seas.
Dial: A series of the most romantic and startling
experiences. The author's invention is unflaggingly brilliant, and his
narrative manner both direct and forcible.... The reader bent upon
excitement alone, and the reader who delights in the better qualities
of romancein literary form and psychological portrayalwill alike
find their account in a book which we counsel them not to miss.
Book Buyer: It is not likely that any story bristles more
with ingenious surprises.... If the reader should leave off in the
middle, there is no doubt that he would be sorely perplexed; but it is
safe to say that he will never have the fortitude to leave off in the
New York Commercial Advertiser: A very intense sort of
book.... Many thrilling scenes and strong delineations of emotion.
New York Times: A romance of adventure carried out to its
New York Tribune: By a daring abuse of coincidence the
climax is made positively amazing.... The tale of his wanderings is
well invented and diverting.... 'God's Prisoner' is unnatural in its
tone, but it is not dull.
New York Herald: Very entertaining reading.
Literary World: So much of the interest depends on the
surprises in the plot, that we will not even give an outline of the
story, but only say that it holds several absorbing situations.
Public Opinion: A good story.... The mystery and agony
preceding the discovery is drawn in just the right shades. There was
danger of overdoing it, but the author was not to be entrapped....
There are surprises to the end.
Chicago Times-Herald: There is such power of analysis, of
description, and of imagination, that one feels sure that he has to
deal here with the ebullition of an uncommon mind.
Saturday Review (London): He tells his tale in so brisk and
plausible a fashion that belief comes easily.
Graphic (London): Has stronger motive for a novel of
romantic and sensational adventure than is at all usual, and to the
very great advantage of an otherwise exciting and well-constructed
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