Puslapio vaizdai

Mrs. Tupp remembers admitting at 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.

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"I am not worrying about what he is going to get," he answers back; "I am worrying about what I am going to get.' I thought he had gone dotty. "What 's it got to do with you?" I

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and old Wotherspoon's liver gets wor I've got to be prepared for a month wit out the option. That is, if I am fo enough-"

He had left both the doors open, whi in the daytime we generally do, our cha bers being at the top. Miss Dortonthat 's Mr. Parable's secretary-barg into the room. She did n't seem to noti me. She staggers to a chair, and burs

into tears.

"He's gone," she says; "he 's take cook with him and gone."

"Gone?" says the guv'nor. "Where he gone?"

"To Fingest," she says through her sob "to the cottage. Miss Bulstrode can

"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-"

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
"Do what?" says the guv'nor, irritable just worked it out.


"Fourteen days," she wails. "It'll kill


"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.

I'd been thinking to myself, and had

"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. "Now 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.

"But I thought you said he was going of going to press it had not arrived. 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.

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.

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way to do it.


As a rule he walks from Henley Sta- "if you don't mind taking a bit of mothtion, but on this occasion he arrived in a erly advice, you might remember that Aly, he having a young woman with him, your place is the kitchen, and his the parand she having a bag-his cook, as he ex- lor. He's a dear good man, I know, but plained to me. As a rule, I do everything human nature is human nature, and it 's for Mr. Parable, sleeping in the cottage no good pretending it is n't." when he is there; but to tell the truth, I She and I had our breakfast together was glad to see her. I never was much of before he was up, so that when he came a cook myself, as my poor dead husband down, he had to have his alone, but afterhas remarked on more than one occasion, ward she comes into the kitchen and and I don't pretend to be. Mr. Parable closes the door. added, apologetic like, that he had been "He wants to show me the way to suffering lately from indigestion.

High Wycombe," she says. “He will have "I am only too pleased to see her," I it there are better shops at Wycombe. says.

“There are the two beds in my What ought I to do?" room, and we sha'n't quarrel." She was My experience is that advising folks to quite a sensible young woman, as I had do what they don't want to do is n't the judged from the first look at her, though suffering at the time from a cold. She "What d' you think yourself?" I asked hires a bicycle from Emma Tidd, who her. uses it only on a Sunday, and, taking a "I feel like going with him," she says, market-basket, off she starts for Henley, "and making the most of every mile.” Mr. Parable saying he would go with her And then she began to cry. “What 's the to show her the way.

harm?" she says.

"I have heard him They were gone a goodish time, which, from a dozen platforms ridiculing class seeing it 's eight miles, did n't so much distinctions. Besides,” she says, “my peosurprise me; and when they got back we ple have been farmers for generations. all three had dinner together, Mr. Para- What was Miss Bulstrode's father but a ble arguing that it made for what he

grocer? He ran a hundred shops instead called "labor-saving." Afterward I of one. What difference does that make?” cleared away, leaving them talking to- "When did it all begin?” I says. gether; and later on they had a walk "When did he first take notice of you?" round the garden, it being a moonlight "The day before yesterday," she annight, but a bit too cold for my fancy.

"He had never seen me before,” In the morning I had a chat with her

"I was just cook-something before he was down. She seemed a bit in a cap and apron that he passed occaworried.

sionally on the stairs. On Thursday he “I hope people won't get talking,” she saw me in my best clothes, and fell in says. “He would insist on my coming." love with me. He does n't know it him

"Well," I says, “surely a gent can self, poor dear, not yet ; but that 's what bring his cook along with him to cook for he 's done." him. And as for people talking, what I Well, I could n't contradict her, not always say is, one may just as well give after the way I had seen him looking at them something to talk about and save her across the table. them the trouble of making it up."

"What are your feelings toward him," "If only I was a plain middle-aged I says, "to be quite honest? He's rather woman," she says, "it would be all right." a good catch for a young person in your

"Perhaps you will be all in good time,” position.” I says, but of course I could see what she "That's my trouble,” she says; "I was driving at. A nice clean, pleasant can't help thinking of that. And then to faced young woman she was, and not of be Mrs. John Parable'! That 's enough the ordinary class. "Meanwhile," I says, to turn a woman's head."


she says.

I says.

asked me.


"He'd be a bit difficult to live with," Before dinner had call to go into

the woodshed. I heard a scuttling as I "Geniuses always are," she says; "it's opened the door. If I am not mistaken, easy enough if you just think of them as Miss Dorton was hiding in the corner children. He'd be a bit fractious at where we keep the coke. I did n't see times, that 's all. Underneath, he 's just any good in making a fuss, so I left her the kindest, dearest-"

there. When I got back to the kitchen, “Oh, you take your basket and go to

cook asked me if we 'd got any parsley. High Wycombe," I says. "He might do "You 'll find a bit in the front," I says, worse."

"to the left of the gate," and she went I was n't expecting them back soon, out. She came back looking scared. and they did n't come back soon. In the “Anybody keep goats round here?" she afternoon a motor stops at the gate, and out of it steps Miss Bulstrode, Miss Dor- "Not that I know of-nearer than ton, - that 's the young lady that writes Ibstone Common," I says. for him, -and Mr. Quincey. I told them “I could have sworn I saw a goat's face I could n't say when he 'd be back, and looking at me out of the gooseberrythey said it did n't matter; they just hap- bushes while I was picking the parsley," pening to be passing.

she says. “It had a beard.”' “Did anybody call on him yesterday?" "It 's the half-light," I says. "One can asks Miss Bulstrode, careless like-'a imagine anything."

"I do hope I 'm not getting nervy," she "No," I says, "you are the first as yet.” Ι

says. “He 's brought his cook down with I thought I'd have another look round, him, has n't he?” says Mr. Quincey. and made the excuse that I wanted a pail “Yes," I says, “and a very good cook,

of water.

I was stooping over the well, too,” which was the truth.

which is just under the mulberry-tree, "I 'd like just to speak a few words when something fell close to me and with her,” says Miss Bulstrode.

lodged upon the bricks. It was a hair"Sorry, ma'am," I says, “but she's out pin. I fixed the cover carefully upon the at present. She's gone to Wycombe. well in case of accident, and when I got

"Gone to Wycombe !" they all says to- in, I went round myself, and was careful gether.

to see that all the curtains were drawn. "To market," I says.

“It 's a little Just before we three sat down to dinfarther, but, of course, it stands to reason ner again, I took cook aside. the shops there are better."

"I should n't go for any stroll in the They looked at one another.

garden to-night," I says. “People from "That settles it," says Mr. Quincey. the village may be about, and we don't "Delicacies worthy to be set before her want them gossiping." And she thanked not available nearer than Wycombe, but must be had. There 's going to be a pleas- Next night they were there again. I ant little dinner here to-night."

thought I would-n't spoil the dinner, but “The hussy!” says Miss Bulstrode un- mention it afterward. I saw to it again der her breath.

that the curtains were drawn, and slipped They whispered together for a mo- the catch of both the doors; and just as ment, then they turns to me.

well that I did. "Good afternoon, Mrs. Meadows," I had always heard that Mr. Parable says Mr. Quincey. “You need n't say was an amusing speaker, but on previous we called. He wanted to be alone, and visits had not myself noticed it. But this it might vex him.”

time he seemed ten years younger than I I said I would n't, and I did n't. They had ever known him before; and during climbed back into the motor and went off. dinner, while we were talking and laugh

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