The Eustace Diamonds, by Anthony Trollope

Chapter LXI

Lizzie’s Great Friend

The Saturday morning came at last for which Lord Fawn had made his appointment with Lizzie, and a very important day it was in Hertford Street, chiefly on account of his lordship’s visit, but also in respect to other events which crowded themselves into the day. In the telling of our tale we have gone a little in advance of this, as it was not till the subsequent Monday that Lady Linlithgow read in the newspaper, and told Lucy, how a man had been arrested on account of the robbery. Early on the Saturday morning Sir Griffin Tewett was in Hertford Street, and, as Lizzie afterwards understood, there was a terrible scene between both him and Lucinda and him and Mrs. Carbuncle. She saw nothing of it herself, but Mrs. Carbuncle brought her the tidings. For the last few days Mrs. Carbuncle had been very affectionate in her manner to Lizzie, thereby showing a great change; for nearly the whole of February the lady, who in fact owned the house, had hardly been courteous to her remunerative guest, expressing more than once a hint that the arrangement which had brought them together had better come to an end. “You see, Lady Eustace,” Mrs. Carbuncle had once said, “the trouble about these robberies is almost too much for me.” Lizzie, who was ill at the time, and still trembling with constant fear on account of the lost diamonds, had taken advantage of her sick condition, and declined to argue the question of her removal. Now she was supposed to be convalescent, but Mrs. Carbuncle had returned to her former ways of affection. No doubt there was cause for this — cause that was patent to Lizzie herself. Lady Glencora Palliser had called, which thing alone was felt by Lizzie to alter her position altogether. And then, though her diamonds were gone, and though the thieves who had stolen them were undoubtedly aware of her secret as to the first robbery, though she had herself told that secret to Lord George, whom she had not seen since she had done so, in spite of all these causes for trouble, she had of late gradually found herself to be emerging from the state of despondency into which she had fallen while the diamonds were in her own custody. She knew that she was regaining her ascendancy; and therefore when Mrs. Carbuncle came to tell her of the grievous things which had been said down-stairs between Sir Griffin and his mistress, and to consult her as to the future, Lizzie was not surprised.

“I suppose the meaning of it is that the match must be off,” said Lizzie.

“Oh, dear, no; pray don’t say anything so horrid after all that I have gone through. Don’t suggest anything of that kind to Lucinda.”

“But surely after what you’ve told me now, he’ll never come here again.”

“Oh yes, he will. There’s no danger about his coming back. It’s only a sort of a way he has.”

“A very disagreeable way,” said Lizzie.

“No doubt, Lady Eustace. But then you know you can’t have it all sweet. There must be some things disagreeable. As far as I can learn the property will be all right after a few years, and it is absolutely indispensable that Lucinda should do something. She has accepted him and she must go on with it.”

“She seems to me to be very unhappy, Mrs. Carbuncle.”

“That was always her way. She was never gay and cheery like other girls. I have never known her once to be what you would call happy.”

“She likes hunting.”

“Yes, because she can gallop away out of herself. I have done all I can for her, and she must go on with the marriage now. As for going back, it is out of the question. The truth is, we couldn’t afford it.”

“Then you must keep him in a better humour.”

“I am not so much afraid about him; but, dear Lady Eustace, we want you to help us a little.”

“How can I help you?”

“You can, certainly. Could you lend me two hundred and fifty pounds just for six weeks?” Lizzie’s face fell and her eyes became very serious in their aspect. Two hundred and fifty pounds! “You know you would have ample security. You need not give Lucinda her present till I’ve paid you, and that will be forty-five pounds.”

“Thirty-five,” said Lizzie with angry decision.

“I thought we agreed upon forty-five when we settled about the servants’ liveries; and then you can let the man at the stables know that I am to pay for the carriage and horses. You wouldn’t be out of the money hardly above a week or so, and it might be the salvation of Lucinda just at present.”

“Why don’t you ask Lord George?”

“Ask Lord George! He hasn’t got it. It’s much more likely that he should ask me. I don’t know what’s come to Lord George this last month past. I did believe that you and he were to come together. I think these two robberies have upset him altogether. But, dear Lizzie, you can let me have it, can’t you?”

Lizzie did not at all like the idea of lending money, and by no means appreciated the security now offered to her. It might be very well for her to tell the man at the stables that Mrs. Carbuncle would pay him her bill, but how would it be with her if Mrs. Carbuncle did not pay the bill? And as for her present to Lucinda — which was to have been a present, and regarded by the future Lady Tewett as a voluntary offering of good will and affection — she was altogether averse to having, it disposed of in this fashion. And yet she did not like to make an enemy of Mrs. Carbuncle.

“I never was so poor in my life before, not since I was married,” said Lizzie.

“You can’t be poor, dear Lady Eustace.”

“They took my money out of my desk, you know — ever so much.”

“Forty-three pounds,” said Mrs. Carbuncle, who was, of course, well instructed in all the details of the robbery.

“And I don’t suppose you can guess what the autumn cost me at Portray. The bills are only coming in now, and really they sometimes so frighten me that I don’t know what I shall do. Indeed I haven’t got the money to spare.”

“You’ll have every penny of it back in six weeks,” said Mrs. Carbuncle, upon whose face a glow of anger was settling down. She quite intended to make herself very disagreeable to her “dear Lady Eustace” or her “dear Lizzie” if she did not get what she wanted; and she knew very well how to do it. It must be owned that Lizzie was afraid of the woman. It was almost impossible for her not to be afraid of the people with whom she lived. There were so many things against her; so many sources of fear! “I am quite sure you won’t refuse me such a trifling favour as this,” said Mrs. Carbuncle, with the glow of anger reddening more and more upon her brow.

“I don’t think I have so much at the bankers,” said Lizzie.

“They’ll let you overdraw just as much as you please. If the check comes back that will be my look out.” Lizzie had tried that game before, and knew that the bankers would allow her to overdraw. “Come, be a good friend and do it at once,” said Mrs. Carbuncle.

“Perhaps I can manage a hundred and fifty,” said Lizzie, trembling. Mrs. Carbuncle fought hard for the greater sum; but at last consented to take the less, and the check was written.

“This, of course, won’t interfere with Lucinda’s present,” said Mrs. Carbuncle, “as we can make all this right by the horse and carriage account.” To this proposition, however, Lady Eustace made no answer.

Soon after lunch, at which meal Miss Roanoke did not show herself, Lady Glencora Palliser was announced, and sat for about ten minutes in the drawing-room. She had come, she said, to give the Duke of Omnium’s compliments to Lady Eustace, and to express a wish on the part of the duke that the lost diamonds might be recovered.

“I doubt,” said Lady Glencora, “whether there is any one in England except professed jewellers who knows so much about diamonds as his grace.”

“Or who has so many,” said Mrs. Carbuncle, smiling graciously.

“I don’t know about that. I suppose there are, family diamonds, though I have never seen them. But he sympathises with you completely, Lady Eustace. I suppose there is hardly hope now of recovering them!” Lizzie smiled and shook her head. “Isn’t it odd that they never should have discovered the thieves? I’m told they haven’t at all given it up, only, unfortunately they’ll never get back the necklace.” She sat there for about a quarter of an hour, and then, as she took her leave, she whispered a few words to Lizzie. “He is to come and see you, isn’t he?” Lizzie assented with a smile, but without a word. “I hope it will be all right,” said Lady Glencora, and then she went.

Lizzie liked this friendship from Lady Glencora amazingly. Perhaps, after all, nothing more would ever be known about the diamonds, and they would simply be remembered as having added a peculiar and not injurious mystery to her life. Lord George knew, but then she trusted that a benevolent, true-hearted Corsair, such as was Lord George, would never tell the story against her. The thieves knew, but surely they, if not detected, would never tell. And if the story were told by thieves, or even by a Corsair, at any rate half the world would not believe it. What she had feared — had feared till the dread had nearly overcome her — was public exposure at the hands of the police. If she could escape that, the world might stilll be bright before her. And the interest taken in her by such persons as the Duke of Omnium and Lady Glencora was evidence not only that she had escaped it hitherto, but also that she was in a fair way to escape it altogether. Three weeks ago she would have given up half her income to have been able to steal out of London without leaving a trace behind her. Three weeks ago Mrs. Carbuncle was treating her with discourtesy, and she was left alone nearly the whole day in her sick bedroom. Things were going better with her now. She was recovering her position. Mr. Camperdown, who had been the first to attack her, was, so to say, “nowhere.” He had acknowledged himself beaten. Lord Fawn, whose treatment to her had been so great an injury, was coming to see her that very day. Her cousin Frank, though he had never offered to marry her, was more affectionate to her than ever. Mrs. Carbuncle had been at her feet that morning borrowing money. And Lady Glencora Palliser, the very leading star of fashion, had called upon her twice! Why should she succumb? She had an income of four thousand pounds a year, and she thought that she could remember that her aunt, Lady Linlithgow, had but seven hundred pounds. Lady Fawn with all her daughters had not near so much as she had. And she was beautiful, too, and young, and perfectly free to do what she pleased. No doubt the last eighteen months of her life had been made wretched by those horrid diamonds; but they were gone, and she had fair reason to hope that the very knowledge of them was gone also.

In this condition would it be expedient for her to accept Lord Fawn when he came? She could not, of course, be sure that any renewed offer would be the result of his visit: but she thought it probable that with care she might bring him to that. Why should he come to her if he himself had no such intention? Her mind was quite made up on this point, that he should be made to renew his offer; but whether she would renew her acceptance was quite another question. She had sworn to her cousin Frank that she would never do so, and she had sworn also that she would be revenged on this wretched lord. Now would be her opportunity of accomplishing her revenge, and of proving to Frank that she had been in earnest. And she positively disliked the man. That probably did not go for much, but it went for something, even with Lizzie Eustace. Her cousin she did like, and Lord George. She hardly knew which was her real love, though no doubt she gave the preference greatly to her cousin, because she could trust him. And then Lord Fawn was very poor. The other two men were poor also; but their poverty was not so objectionable in Lizzie’s eyes as were the respectable, close-fisted economies of Lord Fawn. Lord Fawn, no doubt, had an assured income and a real peerage, and could make her a peeress. As she thought of it all, she acknowledged that there was a great deal to be said on each side, and that the necessity of making up her mind then and there was a heavy burthen upon her.

Exactly at the hour named Lord Fawn came, and Lizzie was, of course, found alone. That had been carefully provided. He was shown up, and she received him very gracefully. She was sitting, and she rose from her chair, and put out her hand for him to take. She spoke no word of greeting, but looked at him with a pleasant smile, and stood for a few seconds with her hand in his. He was awkward, and much embarrassed, and she certainly had no intention of lessening his embarrassment. “I hope you are better than you have been,” he said at last.

“I am getting better, Lord Fawn. Will you not sit down?” He then seated himself, placing his hat beside him on the floor, but at the moment could not find words to speak. “I have been very ill.”

“I have been so sorry to hear it.”

“There has been much to make me ill — has there not?”

“About the robbery, you mean?”

“About many things. The robbery has been by no means the worst, though no doubt it frightened me much. There were two robberies, Lord Fawn.”

“Yes, I know that.”

“And it was very terrible. And then, I had been threatened with a lawsuit. You have heard that, too?”

“Yes — I had heard it.”

“I believe they have given that up now. I understand from my cousin, Mr. Greystock, who has been my truest friend in all my troubles, that the stupid people have found out at last that they had not a leg to stand on. I dare say you have heard that, Lord Fawn?”

Lord Fawn certainly had heard, in a doubtful way, the gist of Mr. Dove’s opinion, namely, that the necklace could not be claimed from the holder of it as an heirloom attached to the Eustace family. But he had heard at the same time that Mr. Camperdown was as confident as ever that he could recover the property by claiming it after another fashion. Whether or no that claim had been altogether abandoned, or had been allowed to fall into abeyance because of the absence of the diamonds, he did not know, nor did any one know — Mr. Camperdown himself having come to no decision on the subject. But Lord Fawn had been aware that his sister had of late shifted the ground of her inveterate enmity to Lizzie Eustace, making use of the scene which Mr. Gowran had witnessed, in lieu of the lady’s rapacity in regard to the necklace. It might therefore be assumed, Lord Fawn thought and feared, that his strong ground in regard to the necklace had been cut from under his feet. But still, it did not behoove him to confess that the cause which he had always alleged as the ground for his retreat from the engagement was no cause at all. It might go hard with him should an attempt be made to force him to name another cause. He knew that he would lack the courage to tell the lady that he had heard from his sister that one Andy Gowran had witnessed a terrible scene down among the rocks at Portray. So he sat silent, and made no answer to Lizzie’s first assertion respecting the diamonds.

But the necklace was her strong point, and she did not intend that he should escape the subject. “If I remember right, Lord Fawn, you yourself saw that wretched old attorney once or twice on the subject?”

“I did see Mr. Camperdown, certainly. He is my own family lawyer.”

“You were kind enough to interest yourself about the diamonds — were you not?” She asked him this as a question, and then waited for a reply. “Was it not so?”

“Yes, Lady Eustace; it was so.”

“They were of great value, and it was natural,” continued “Lizzie. “Of course you interested yourself. Mr. Camperdown was full of awful threats against me — was he not? I don’t know what he was not going to do. He stopped me in the street as I was driving to the station in my own carriage, when the diamonds were with me; which was a very strong measure, I think. And he wrote me ever so many, oh, such horrid letters. And he went about telling everybody that it was an heirloom — didn’t he? You know all that, Lord Fawn?”

“I know that he wanted to recover them.”

“And did he tell you that he went to a real lawyer, somebody who really knew about it, Mr. Turbot, or Turtle, or some such name as that, and the real lawyer told him that he was all wrong, and that the necklace couldn’t be an heirloom at all, because it belonged to me, and that he had better drop his lawsuit altogether? Did you hear that?”

“No; I did not hear that.”

“Ah, Lord Fawn, you dropped your inquiries just at the wrong place. No doubt you had too many things to do in Parliament and the Government to go on with them; but if you had gone on, you would have learned that Mr. Camperdown had just to give it up, because he had been wrong from beginning to end.” Lizzie’s words fell from her with extreme rapidity, and she had become almost out of breath from the effects of her own energy.

Lord Fawn felt strongly the necessity of clinging to the diamonds as his one great and sufficient justification. “I thought,” said he, “that Mr. Camperdown had abandoned his action for the present because the jewels had been stolen.”

“Not a bit of it,” said Lizzie, rising suddenly to her legs. “Who says so? Who dares to say so? Whoever says so is — is a story-teller. I understand all about that. The action could go on just the same, and I could be made to pay for the necklace out of my own income if it hadn’t been my own. I am sure, Lord Fawn, such a clever man as you, and one who has always been in the Government and in Parliament, can see that. And will anybody believe that such an enemy as Mr. Camperdown has been to me, persecuting me in every possible way, telling lies about everybody, who tried to prevent my dear, darling husband from marrying me, that he wouldn’t go on with it if he could?”

“Mr. Camperdown is a very respectable man, Lady Eustace.”

“Respectable! Talk to me of respectable after all that he has made me suffer! As you were so fond of making inquiries, Lord Fawn, you ought to have gone on with them. You never would believe what my cousin said.”

“Your cousin always behaved very badly to me.”

“My cousin, who is a brother rather than a cousin, has known how to protect me from the injuries done to me, or rather, has known how to take my part when I have been injured. My lord, as you have been unwilling to believe him, why have you not gone to that gentleman who, as I say, is a real lawyer? I don’t know, my lord, that it need have concerned you at all, but as you began, you surely should have gone on with it. Don’t you think so?” She was still standing up and, small as was her stature, was almost menacing the unfortunate Under-Secretary of State, who was still seated in his chair. “My lord,” continued Lizzie, “I have had great wrong done me.”

“Do you mean by me?”

“Yes, by you. Who else has done it?”

“I do not think that I have done wrong to any one. I was obliged to say that I could not recognise those diamonds as the property of my wife.”

“But what right had you to say so? I had the diamonds when you asked me to be your wife.”

“I did not know it.”

“Nor did you know that I had this little ring upon my finger. Is it fit that you, or that any man should turn round upon a lady and say to her that your word is to be broken, and that she is to be exposed before all her friends, because you have taken a fancy to dislike her ring or her brooch? I say, Lord Fawn, it was no business of yours, even after you were engaged to me. What jewels I might have, or not have, was no concern of yours till after I had become your wife. Go and ask all the world if it is not so. You say that my cousin affronts you because he takes my part, like a brother. Ask any one else. Ask any lady you may know. Let us name some one to decide between us which of us has been wrong. Lady Glencora Palliser is a friend of yours, and her husband is in the Government. Shall we name her? It is true, indeed, that her uncle, the Duke of Omnium, the grandest and greatest of English noblemen, is specially interested on my behalf.” This was very fine in Lizzie. The Duke of Omnium she had never seen; but his name had been mentioned to her by Lady Glencora, and she was quick to use it.

“I can admit of no reference to any one,” said Lord Fawn.

“And I then, what am I to do? I am to be thrown over simply because your lordship — chooses to throw me over. Your lordship will admit no reference to any one! Your lordship makes inquiries as long as an attorney tells you stories against me, but drops them at once when the attorney is made to understand that he is wrong. Tell me this, sir. Can you justify yourself in your own heart?”

Unfortunately for Lord Fawn, he was not sure that he could justify himself. The diamonds were gone, and the action was laid aside, and the general opinion which had prevailed a month or two since, that Lizzie had been disreputably concerned in stealing her own necklace, seemed to have been laid aside. Lady Glencora and the duke went for almost as much with Lord Fawn as they did with Lizzie. No doubt the misbehaviour down among the rocks was left to him; but he had that only on the evidence of Andy Gowran, and even Andy Gowran’s evidence he had declined to receive otherwise than second-hand. Lizzie, too, was prepared with an answer to this charge, an answer which she had already made more than once, though the charge was not positively brought against her, and which consisted in an assertion that Frank Greystock was her brother rather than her cousin. Such brotherhood was not altogether satisfactory to Lord Fawn, when he came once more to regard Lizzie Eustace as his possible future wife; but still the assertion was an answer, and one that he could not altogether reject.

It certainly was the case that he had again begun to think what would be the result of a marriage with Lady Eustace. He must sever himself altogether from Mrs. Hittaway, and must relax the closeness of his relations with Fawn Court. He would have a wife respecting whom he himself had spread evil tidings, and the man whom he most hated in the world would be his wife’s favourite cousin or, so to say, brother. He would, after a fashion, be connected with Mrs. Carbuncle, Lord George de Brace Carruthers, and Sir Griffin Tewett, all of whom he regarded as thoroughly disreputable. And, moreover, at his own country house at Portray, as in such case it would be, his own bailiff or steward would be the man who had seen, what he had seen. These were great objections; but how was he to avoid marrying? He was engaged to her. How, at any rate, was he to escape from the renewal of his engagement at this moment? He had more than once positively stated that he was deterred from marrying her only by her possession of the diamonds. The diamonds were now gone.

Lizzie was still standing, waiting for an answer to her question: Can you justify yourself in your own heart? Having paused for some seconds she repeated her question in a stronger and more personal form. “Had I been your sister, Lord Fawn, and had another man behaved to me as you have now done, would you say that he had behaved well and that she had no ground for complaint? Can you bring yourself to answer that question honestly?”

“I hope I shall answer no question dishonestly.”

“Answer it then. No; you cannot answer it, because you would condemn yourself. Now, Lord Fawn, what do you mean to do?”

“I had thought, Lady Eustace, that any regard which you might ever have entertained for me —”

“Well; what had you thought of my regard?”

“That it had been dissipated.”

“Have I told you so? Has any one come to you from me with such a message?”

“Have you not received attentions from any one else?”

“Attentions; what attentions? I have received plenty of attentions, most flattering attentions. I was honoured even this morning by a most gratifying attention on the part of his grace the Duke of Omnium.”

“I did not mean that.”

“What do you mean, then? I am not going to marry the Duke of Omnium because of his attention, nor any one else. If you mean, sir, after the other inquiries you have done me the honour to make, to throw it in my face now, that I have — have in any way rendered myself unworthy of the position of your wife because people have been civil and kind to me in my sorrow, you are a greater dastard than I took you to be. Tell me at once, sir, whom you mean.”

It is hardly too much to say that the man quailed before her. And it certainly is not too much to say that, had Lizzie Eustace been trained as an actress, she would have become a favourite with the town. When there came to her any fair scope for acting, she was perfect. In the ordinary scenes of ordinary life, such as befell her during her visit to Fawn Court, she could not acquit herself well. There was no reality about her, and the want of it was strangely plain to most unobservant eyes. But give her a part to play that required exaggerated, strong action, and she hardly ever failed. Even in that terrible moment when, on her return from the theatre, she thought that the police had discovered her secret about the diamonds, though she nearly sank through fear, she still carried on her acting in the presence of Lucinda Roanoke; and when she had found herself constrained to tell the truth to Lord George Carruthers, the power to personify a poor, weak, injured creature was not wanting to her. The reader will not think that her position in society at the present moment was very well established, will feel, probably, that she must still have known herself to be on the brink of social ruin. But she had now fully worked herself up to the necessities of the occasion, and was as able to play her part as any actress that ever walked the boards. She had called him a dastard, and now stood looking him in the face. “I didn’t mean anybody in particular,” said Lord Fawn.

“Then what right can you have to ask me whether I have received attentions? Had it not been for the affectionate attention of my cousin, Mr. Greystock, I should have died beneath the load of sorrow you have heaped upon me.” This she said quite boldly, and yet the man she named was he of whom Andy Gowran told his horrid story, and whose love-making to Lizzie had, in Mrs. Hittaway’s opinion, been sufficient to atone for any falling off of strength in the matter of the diamonds.

“A rumour reached me,” said Lord Fawn, plucking up his courage, “that you were engaged to marry your cousin.”

“Then rumour lied, my lord. And he or she who repeated the rumour to you, lied also. And any he or she who repeats it again will go on with the lie.” Lord Fawn’s brow became very black. The word “lie” itself was offensive to him, offensive even though it might not be applied directly to himself; but he still quailed, and was unable to express his indignation — as he had done to poor Lucy Morris, his mother’s governess. “And now let me ask, Lord Fawn, on what ground you and I stand together. When my friend Lady Glencora asked me, only this morning, whether my engagement with you was still an existing fact, and brought me the kindest possible message on the same subject from her uncle, the duke, I hardly knew what answer to make her.” It was not surprising that Lizzie in her difficulties should use her new friend, but perhaps she overdid the friendship a little. “I told her that we were engaged, but that your lordship’s conduct to me had been so strange that I hardly knew how to speak of you among my friends.”

“I thought I explained myself to your cousin.”

“My cousin certainly did not understand your explanation.”

Lord Fawn was certain that Greystock had understood it well; and Greystock had in return insulted him because the engagement was broken off. But it is impossible to argue on facts with a woman who has been ill-used. “After all that has passed perhaps we had better part,” said Lord Fawn.

“Then I shall put the matter into the hands of the Duke of Omnium,” said Lizzie boldly. “I will not have my whole life ruined, my good name blasted —”

“I have not said a word to injure your good name.”

“On what plea, then, have you dared to take upon yourself to put an end to an engagement which was made at your own pressing request — which was, of course, made at your own request On what ground do you justify such conduct? You are a Liberal, Lord Fawn; and everybody regards the Duke of Omnium as the head of the Liberal nobility in England. He is my friend, and I shall put the matter into his hands.” It was probably from her cousin Frank that Lizzie had learned that Lord Fawn was more afraid of the leaders of his own party than of any other tribunal upon earth — or perhaps elsewhere.

Lord Fawn felt the absurdity of the threat, and yet it had effect upon him. He knew that the Duke of Omnium was a worn-out old debauchee, with one foot in the grave, who was looked after by two or three women who were anxious only that he should not disgrace himself by some absurdity before he died. Nevertheless the Duke of Omnium, or the duke name, was a power in the nation. Lady Glencora was certainly very powerful, and Lady Glencora’s husband was Chancellor of the Exchequer. He did not suppose that the duke cared in the least whether Lizzie Eustace was or was not married; but Lady Glencora had certainly interested herself about Lizzie, and might make London almost too hot to hold him if she chose to go about everywhere saying that he ought to marry the lady. And in addition to all this prospective grief, there was the trouble of the present moment. He was in Lizzie’s own room — fool that he had been to come there — and he must get out as best he could. “Lady Eustace,” he said, “I am most anxious not to behave badly in this matter.”

“But you are behaving badly — very badly.”

“With your leave I will tell you what I would suggest. I will submit to you in writing my opinion on this matter —” Lord Fawn had been all his life submitting his opinion in writing, and thought that he was rather a good hand at the work. “I will then endeavour to explain to you the reasons which make me think that it will be better for us both that our engagement should be at an end. If, after reading it, you shall disagree with me, and still insist on the right which I gave you when I asked you to become my wife, I will then perform the promise which I certainly made.” To this most foolish proposal on his part, Lizzie of course acquiesced. She acquiesced, and bade him farewell with her sweetest smile. It was now manifest to her that she could have her husband, or her revenge, just as she might prefer.

This had been a day of triumph to her, and she was talking of it in the evening triumphantly to Mrs. Carbuncle, when she was told that a policeman wanted to see her down-stairs! Oh, those wretched police! Again all the blood rushed to her head and nearly killed her. She descended slowly; and was then informed by a man, not dressed like Bunfit, in plain clothes, but with all the paraphernalia of a policeman’s uniform, that her late servant, Patience Crabstick, had given herself up as Queen’s evidence, and was now in custody in Scotland Yard. It had been thought right that she should be so far informed; but the man was able to tell her nothing further.

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Last updated Tuesday, March 4, 2014 at 18:43