« AnkstesnisTęsti »
returned with it, Mr. Parable was sitting with his elbows on the table, gazing across at her with an expression that I can only describe as quite human. It was when I brought the coffee that he turned to me. and asked me what was doing.
"Nothing stuffy," he added. "Is there an exhibition anywhere-something in the open air?"
Exhibition, gives the following particulars:
From where I generally stand I can easily command a view of the interior of the Victoria Hall; that is, of course, to say, when the doors are open, as on a warm night is usually the case.
On the evening of Thursday, the twenty-seventh, it was fairly well occu
"You are forgetting Miss Clebb," the pied, but not to any great extent. One lady reminded him.
"For two pins," said Mr. Parable, "I would get up at the meeting and tell Miss Clebb what I really think about her."
I suggested the Earl's Court Exhibition, little thinking at the time what it was going to lead to; but the lady at first would n't hear of it; and the party at the next table calling for their bill (they had asked for it once or twice before, when I came to think of it), I had to go to them.
When I got back, the argument had just concluded, and the lady was holding. up her finger.
"On condition that we leave at halfpast nine, and that you go straight to Caxton Hall," she said.
"We'll see about it," said Mr. Parable, and offered me half a crown.
Tips being against the rules, I could n't take it. Besides, one of the jumpers had his eye on me. I explained to him, jocosely, that I was doing it for a bet. He was surprised when I handed him his hat, but, the lady whispering to him, he remembered himself in time.
As they went out together, I heard Mr. Parable say to the lady:
"It's funny what a shocking memory I have for names."
To which the lady replied: "You'll think it funnier still to-morrow." And then she laughed.
Mr. Horton thought he would know the lady again. He puts down her age as about twenty-six, describing her, to use his own piquant expression, as "a bit of all right." She had brown eyes and a taking way with her.
MISS IDA JENKS, in charge of the Eastern Cigarette Kiosk at the Earl's Court
couple attracted my attention by reason of the gentleman's erratic steering. Had he been my partner, I should have suggested a polka, the tango not being the sort of dance that can be picked up in an evening. What I mean to say is that he struck me as being more willing than experienced. Some of the bumps she got would have made me cross; but we all have our fancies, and so far as I could judge, they both appeared to be enjoying themselves. It was after the "Hitchy-coo" that they came outside.
The seat to the left of the door is popular by reason of its being partly screened by bushes, but by leaning forward a little, it is quite possible for me to see what goes on there. They were the first couple out, having had a bad collision near the bandstand, so easily secured it. The gentleman was laughing.
There was something about him from the first that made me think I knew him, and when he took off his hat to wipe his head it came to me all of a sudden, he being the exact image of his effigy at Madame Tussaud's, which by a curious coincidence I happened to have visited with a friend that very afternoon. The lady was what some people would call good-looking, and others might n't.
I was watching them, naturally a little interested. Mr. Parable, in helping the lady to adjust her cloak, drew her-it may have been by accident-toward him; and then it was that a florid gentleman, with a short pipe in his mouth, stepped forward and addressed the lady. He raised his hat, and, remarking "Good evening," added that he hoped she was "having a pleasant time." His tone I should explain was sarcastic.
The young woman, whatever else may be said of her, struck me as behaving quite correctly. Replying to his salutation with a cold and distant bow, she rose, and, turning to Mr. Parable, observed that she thought it was perhaps time for them to be going.
The gentleman, who had taken his pipe from his mouth, said, again in a sarcastic. tone, that he thought so, too, and offered the lady his arm.
"I don't think we need trouble you," said Mr. Parable, and stepped between them.
To describe what followed, I, being a lady, am hampered for words. I remember seeing Mr. Parable's hat go up into the air; and then the next moment the florid gentleman's head was lying on my counter smothered in cigarettes. I naturally screamed for the police, but the crowd was dead against me; and it was only after what I believed in technical language would be termed "the fourth. round" that they appeared upon the scene.
The last I saw of Mr. Parable he was shaking a young constable, who had lost his helmet, while three other policemen had hold of him from behind. The florid gentleman's hat I found on the floor of my kiosk, and returned to him; but after a useless attempt to get it on his head, he disappeared with it in his hand. The lady was nowhere to be seen.
Miss Jenks thinks she would know her again. She was wearing a hat trimmed with black chiffon and a spray of poppies, and was slightly freckled.
SUPERINTENDENT S. WADE, in answer to questions put to him by our representative, vouchsafed the following replies:
Yes, I was in charge at the Vine Street Police Court on the night of Thursday, the twenty-seventh.
No, I have no recollection of a charge of any description being preferred against any gentleman of the name of Parable.
Yes, a gentleman was brought in about ten o'clock, charged with brawling at the Earl's Court Exhibition and assaulting a constable in the discharge of his duty.
The gentleman gave the name of Mr. Archibald Quincey, Harcourt Buildings, Temple.
No, the gentleman made no application respecting bail, electing to pass the night in the cells. A certain amount of discretion is permitted to us, and we made him as comfortable as possible.
Yes, a lady.
No, about a gentleman who had got himself into trouble at the Earl's Court Exhibition. She mentioned no name.
I showed her the charge-sheet. She thanked me, and went away.
That I cannot say. I can only tell you that at nine fifteen on Friday morning bail was tendered, and, after inquiries, accepted in the person of Julius Addison Tupp, of the Sunnybrook Steam Laundry, Twickenham.
That is no business of ours.
The accused, who, I had seen to it, had had a cup of tea and a little toast at seven thirty, left in company with Mr. Tupp soon after ten.
Superintendent Wade admitted he had known cases where accused parties, to avoid unpleasantness, had stated their names to be other than their own, but declined to discuss the matter further.
Superintendent Wade, while expressing his regret that he had no further time to bestow upon our representative, thought it highly probable that he would know the lady again if he saw her.
Without professing to be a judge of such matters, Superintendent Wade thinks she might be described as a highly intelligent young woman and of exceptionally prepossessing appearance.
FROM Mr. Julius Tupp, of the Sunnybrook Steam Laundry, Twickenham, upon whom our representative next called, we have been unable to obtain much assistance, Mr. Tupp replying to all questions put to him by the one formula, "Not talking."
Fortunately, our representative on his way out through the drying-ground was able to obtain a brief interview with Mrs. Tupp.
Mrs. Tupp remembers admitting a young lady to the house on the morning of Friday, the twenty-eighth, when she opened the door to take in the milk. The lady, Mrs. Tupp remembers, spoke in a husky voice, the result, as the young lady. explained with a pleasant laugh, of having passed the night wandering about Ham Common, she having been misdirected the previous evening by a fool of a railway porter, and not wishing to disturb the neighborhood by waking people up at two o'clock in the morning, which, in Mrs. Tupp's opinion, was sensible of her. Mrs. Tupp describes the young lady as of agreeable manners, but looking, naturally, a bit washed out. The lady asked for Mr. Tupp, explaining that a friend of his was in trouble, which did not in the least surprise Mrs. Tupp, she herself not holding with socialists and such. like. Mr. Tupp, on being informed, dressed hastily and went down-stairs, and he and the young lady left the house together. Mr. Tupp, on being questioned as to the name of his friend, had called up that it was no one Mrs. Tupp would know-a Mr. Quince. It may have been Quincey.
Mrs. Tupp is aware that Mr. Parable is also a socialist, and is acquainted with the saying about thieves hanging together, but has worked for Mr. Parable for years and has always found him a most satisfactory client. Mr. Tupp appearing at this point, our representative thanked Mrs. Tupp for her information, and took his departure.
MR. HORATIUS CONDOR, JR., who consented to partake of luncheon in company with our representative at the Holborn Restaurant, was at first disinclined to be of much assistance, but eventually supplied our representative with the following information:
My relationship to Mr. Archibald Quincey, Harcourt Buildings, Temple, is perhaps a little difficult to define.
How he himself regards me I am never quite sure. There will be days together when we will be quite friendly like, and
at other times he will be that off-handed and peremptory you might think I was his blooming office boy.
On Friday morning, the twenty-eighth, I did n't get to Harcourt Buildings at the usual time, knowing that Mr. Quincey would not be there himself, he having arranged to interview Mr. Parable for a morning paper at ten o'clock. I allowed him half an hour, to be quite safe, and he came in at quarter-past eleven.
He took no notice of me. For about ten minutes-it may have been less-he walked up and down the room cursing and swearing, and kicking the furniture about. He landed an occasional walnut table in the middle of my shins, upon which I took the opportunity of wishing him "good morning," and he sort of woke up, as you might say.
"How did the interview go off?" I says. "Got anything interesting?"
"Yes," he says, "quite interesting. Oh, yes, decidedly interesting."
He was holding himself in, if you understand, speaking with horrible slowness and deliberation.
"D' you know where he was last night?" he asks me.
"Yes," I says; "Caxton Hall, was n't it-meeting to demand the release of Miss Clebb?"
He leans across the table till his face was within a few inches of mine.
"Guess again," he says.
I was n't doing any guessing. He had hurt me with the walnut table, and I was feeling a bit short-tempered.
"Oh, don't make a game of it,” I says. "It's too early in the morning."
"At the Earl's Court Exhibition," he says, "dancing the tango with a lady that he picked up in St. James's Park.”
"Well," I says, "why not? He don't often get much fun." I thought it best to treat it lightly.
He takes no notice of my observation. "A rival comes upon the scene,” he continues, "a fat-headed ass, according to my information, and they have a stand-up fight. He gets run in, and spends the night in a Vine Street police cell."
in just after you had left," she says. "He wants to get away from every one and have a few days' quiet. And then he is coming back, and he is going to do it himself." "Do what?" says the guv'nor, irritable
"Fourteen days," she wails. "It'll kill him."
"But the case does n't come on till Wednesday," says the guv'nor. "How do you know it's going to be fourteen days?"
"Miss Bulstrode," she says, "she 's seen the magistrate. He says he always gives fourteen days in cases of unprovoked assault."
"But it was n't unprovoked," says the guv'nor. "The other man began it by knocking off his hat. It was self-defense."
"She put that to him," she says, "and he agreed that that would alter his view of the case. But, you see," she continues, "we can't find the other man. He is n't likely to come forward of his own accord."
"The girl must know," says the guv'nor-"this girl he picks up in St. James's Park and goes dancing with. The man must have been some friend of hers."
"But we can't find her, either," she says. "He does n't even know her name; he can't remember it. You will do it, won't you?" she says.
"Do what?" says the guv'nor again. "The fourteen days," she says. "But I thought you said he was going to do it himself," he says.
"But he must n't," she says. "Miss Bulstrode is coming round to see you. Think of it! Think of the head-lines in the papers!" she says. "Think of the Fabian Society! Think of the suffrage cause! We must n't let him."
"What about me?" says the guv'nor. "Does n't anybody care for me?"
"You don't matter," she says. "Besides," she says, "with your influence, you 'll be able to keep it out of the papers. it comes out that it was Mr. Parable, nothing on earth will be able to."
The guv'nor was almost as much excited by this time as she was.
"I'll see the Fabian Society, and the women's vote, and the Home for Lost Cats at Battersea, and all the rest of the blessed bag of tricks-"
I'd been thinking to myself, and had just worked it out.
"What's he want to take his cook down with him for?" I says.
"To cook for him," says the guv'nor. "What d'you generally want a cook for?"
"Rats!" I says. "Does he usually take his cook with him?"
"No," answered Miss Dorton. I come to think of it, he has always hitherto put up with Mrs. Meadows."
"You will find the lady down at Fingest," I says, "sitting opposite to him and enjoying a recherché dinner for two."
The guv'nor slaps me on the back, and lifts Miss Dorton out of her chair.
"You get on back," he says, "and telephone to Miss Bulstrode. I'll be round. at half-past twelve."
Miss Dorton went out in a dazed sort of condition, and the guv'nor gives me a sovereign, and tells me I can have the rest of the day to myself.
Mr. Condor, Jr., considers that what happened subsequently goes to prove that he was right more than it proves that he was wrong.
Mr. Condor, Jr., also promised to send us a photograph of himself for reproduction, but, unfortunately, up to the time of going to press it had not arrived.
FROM Mrs. Meadows, widow of the late Corporal John Meadows, V.C., Turberville, Bucks, the following further particulars were obtained by our local representative:
I have done for Mr. Parable now for some years past, my cottage being only a mile off, which makes it easy for me to look after him.
Mr. Parable likes the place to be always ready so that he can drop in when he chooses, he sometimes giving me warning and sometimes not. It was about the end of last month-on a Friday, if I remember that he suddenly turned up.