en-es  THE BISHOP’S SECRET by Fergus Hume, CHAPTER 6
CHAPTER VI.

THE MAN WITH THE SCAR.

This engaging individual looked at Cargrim with a fierce air. He was not sober, and had just reached the quarrelsome stage of intoxication, which means objection to everyone and everything. Consequently he cocked his hat defiantly at the curate; and although he blocked up the doorway, made no motion to stand aside. Cargrim was not ill pleased at this obstinacy, as it gave him an opportunity of entering into conversation with the so-called decayed clergyman, who was as unlike a parson as a rabbit is like a terrier.

“Do you know if Mr Pendle is within, my friend?” asked the chaplain, with bland politeness.

The stranger started at the mention of the name. His face grew paler, his scar waxed redder, and with all his Dutch courage there was a look of alarm visible in his cold eyes.

“I don’t know,” said he, insolently, yet with a certain refinement of speech. “I shouldn’t think it likely that a pot-house like this would be patronised by a bishop.” “Pardon me, sir, I speak of Mr Gabriel Pendle, the son of his lordship.

“Then pardon me, sir,” mimicked the man, “if I say that I know nothing of the son of his lordship; and what’s more, I’m d—d if I want to.” “I see! You are more fortunate in knowing his lordship himself,” said the chaplain, with great simplicity.

The stranger plucked at his worn sleeve with a look of irony. “Do I look as though I were acquainted with bishops?” said he, scoffingly. “Is this the kind of coat likely to be admitted into episcopalian palaces?

“Yet it was admitted, sir. If I am not mistaken you called at the palace two nights ago.” “Did you see me?” “Certainly I saw you,” replied Cargrim, salving his conscience with the Jesuitic saying that the end justifies the means. “And I was informed that you were a decayed clergyman seeking assistance.

“I have been most things in my time,” observed the stranger, gloomily, “but not a parson. You are one, I perceive.” Cargrim bowed. “I am the chaplain of Bishop Pendle.

“And the busybody of Beorminster, I should say,” rejoined the man with a sneer. “See here, my friend,” and he rapped Cargrim on the breast with a shapely hand, “if you interfere in what does not concern you, there will be trouble. I saw Dr Pendle on private business, and as such it has nothing to do with you. Hold your tongue, you black crow, and keep away from me,” cried the stranger, with sudden ferocity, “or I’ll knock your head off. Now you know,” and with a fierce glance the man moved out of the doorway and sauntered round the corner before Cargrim could make up his mind how to resent this insolence.

“Hum!” said he to himself, with a glance at the tall retiring figure, “that is a nice friend for a bishop to have. He’s a jail-bird if I mistake not; and he is afraid of my finding out his business with Pendle. Birds of a feather,” sighed Mr Cargrim, entering the hotel. “I fear, I sadly fear that his lordship is but a whited sepulchre. A look into the bishop’s past might show me many things of moment,” and the fat living of Heathcroft seemed almost within Cargrim’s grasp as he came to this conclusion.

“Now then, sir,” interrupted a sharp but pleasant female voice, “and what may you want?” Mr Cargrim wheeled round to answer this question, and found himself face to face with a bar, glittering with brass and crystal and bright-hued liquors in fat glass barrels; also with an extremely handsome young woman, dressed in an astonishing variety of colours. She was high-coloured and frank-eyed, with a great quantity of very black hair twisted into many amazing shapes on the top of her head. In manner she was as brisk as a bee and as restless as a butterfly; and being adorned with a vast quantity of bracelets, and lockets, and brooches, all of gaudy patterns, jingled at every movement. This young lady was Miss Bell Mosk, whom the frequenters of The Derby Winner called “a dashing beauty,” and Mrs Pansey “a painted jade.” With her glittering ornaments, her bright blue dress, her high colour, and general air of vivacity, she glowed and twinkled in the lamp-light like some gorgeous-plumaged parrot; and her free speech and constant chatter might have been ascribed to the same bird.

“Miss Mosk, I believe,” said the polite Cargrim, marvelling that this gaudy female should be the refined Gabriel’s notion of feminine perfection.

“I am Miss Mosk,” replied Bell, taking a comprehensive view of the sleek, black-clothed parson. “What can I do for you?” “I am Mr Cargrim, the bishop’s chaplain, Miss Mosk, and I wish to see Mr Pendle—Mr Gabriel Pendle.

Bell flushed as red as the reddest cabbage rose, and with downcast eyes wiped the counter briskly with a duster. “Why should you come here to ask for Mr Pendle?” said she, in guarded tones.

“I called at his lodgings, Miss Mosk, and I was informed that he was visiting a sick person here.” “My mother!” replied Bell, not knowing what an amazing lie the chaplain was telling. “Yes! Mr Pendle comes often to see—my mother.

“Is he here now?” asked Cargrim, noticing the hesitancy at the end of her sentence; “because I wish to speak with him on business.” “He is upstairs. I daresay he’ll be down soon.

“Oh, don’t disturb him for my sake, I beg. But if you will permit me I shall go up and see Mrs Mosk.” “Here comes Mr Pendle now,” said Bell, abruptly, and withdrew into the interior of the bar as Gabriel appeared at the end of the passage. He started and seemed uneasy when he recognised the chaplain.

“Cargrim!” he cried, hurrying forward. “Why are you here?” and he gave a nervous glance in the direction of the bar; a glance which the chaplain saw and understood, but discreetly left unnoticed.

“I wish to see you,” he replied, with great simplicity; “they told me at your lodgings that you might be here, so—” “Why!” interrupted Gabriel, sharply, “I left no message to that effect.

Cargrim saw that he had made a mistake. “I speak generally, my dear friend—generally,” he said in some haste. “Your worthy landlady mentioned several houses in which you were in the habit of seeing sick people—amongst others this hotel.” “Mrs Mosk is very ill. I have been seeing her,” said Gabriel, shortly.

“Ay! ay! you have been seeing Mrs Mosk!” Gabriel changed colour and cast another glance towards the bar, for the significance of Cargrim’s speech was not lost on him. “Do you wish to speak with me?” he asked coldly.

“I should esteem it a favour if you would allow me a few words,” said Cargrim, politely. “I’ll wait for you—outside,” and in his turn the chaplain looked towards the bar.

“Thank you, I can come with you now,” was Gabriel’s reply, made with a burning desire to knock Cargrim down. “Miss Mosk, I am glad to find that your mother is easier in her mind.

“It’s all due to you, Mr Pendle,” said Bell, moving forward with a toss of her head directed especially at Mr Cargrim. “Your visits do mother a great deal of good.

“I am sure they do,” said the chaplain, not able to forego giving the girl a scratch of his claws. “Mr Pendle’s visits here must be delightful to everybody.

“I daresay,” retorted Bell, with heightened colour, “other people’s visits would not be so welcome.” “Perhaps not, Miss Mosk. Mr Pendle has many amiable qualities to recommend him. He is a general and deserved favourite.

“Come, come, Cargrim,” interposed Gabriel, anxiously, for the fair Bell’s temper was rapidly getting the better of her; “if you are ready we shall go. Good evening, Miss Mosk.” “Good evening, Mr Pendle,” said the barmaid, and directed a spiteful look at Cargrim, for she saw plainly that he had intentionally deprived her of a confidential conversation with Gabriel. The chaplain received the look—which he quite understood—with an amused smile and a bland inclination of the head. As he walked out arm-in-arm with the reluctant Pendle, Bell banged the pewters and glasses about with considerable energy, for the significant demeanour of Cargrim annoyed her so much that she felt a great inclination to throw something at his head. But then, Miss Mosk was a high-spirited girl and believed in actions rather than speech, even though she possessed a fair command of the latter.

“Well, Cargrim,” said Gabriel, when he found himself in the street with his uncongenial companion, “what is it?” “It’s about the bishop.” “My father! Is there anything the matter with him?” “I fear so. He told me that he was going to London.” “What of that?” said Gabriel, impatiently. “He told me the same thing yesterday. Has he gone?

“He left by the afternoon train. Do you know the object of his visit to London?” “No. What is his object?” “He goes to consult a specialist about his health.

“What!” cried Gabriel, anxiously. “Is he ill?” “I think so; some nervous trouble brought on by worry.” “By worry! Has my father anything on his mind likely to worry him to that extent?

Cargrim coughed significantly. “I think so,” said he again. “He has not been himself since the visit of that stranger to the palace. I fancy the man must have brought bad news.” “Did the bishop tell you so?” “No; but I am observant, you know.

Privately, Gabriel considered that Cargrim was a great deal too observant, and also of a meddlesome nature, else why had he come to spy out matters which did not concern him. Needless to say, Gabriel was thinking of Bell at this moment. However, he made no comment on the chaplain’s speech, but merely remarked that doubtless the bishop had his own reasons for keeping silent, and advised Cargrim to wait until he was consulted in connection with the matter, before troubling himself unnecessarily about it “My father knows his own business best,” finished Gabriel, stiffly, “if you will forgive my speaking so plainly.” “Certainly, certainly, Pendle; but I owe a great deal to your father, and I would do much to save him from annoyance. By the way,” with an abrupt change of subject, “do you know that I saw the stranger who called at the palace two nights ago during the reception?

“When? Where?” “At that hotel, this evening. He looks a dangerous man.

Gabriel shrugged his shoulders. “It seems to me, Cargrim, that you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. A stranger sees my father, and afterwards you meet him at a public-house; there is nothing strange in that.

“You forget,” hinted Cargrim, sweetly, “this man caused your father’s illness.

“We can’t be sure of that; and in any case, my father is quite clever enough to deal with his own affairs. I see no reason why you should have hunted me out to talk such nonsense. Good-night, Cargrim,” and with a curt nod the curate stalked away, considerably annoyed by the meddlesome spirit manifested by the chaplain. He had never liked the man, and, now that he was in this interfering mood, liked him less than ever. It would be as well, thought Gabriel, that Mr Cargrim should be dismissed from his confidential office as soon as possible. Otherwise he might cause trouble, and Gabriel mentally thought of the high-coloured young lady in the bar. His conscience was not at ease regarding his admiration for her; and he dreaded lest the officious Cargrim should talk about her to the bishop. Altogether the chaplain, like a hornet, had annoyed both Dr Pendle and his son; and the bishop in London and Gabriel in Beorminster were anything but well disposed towards this clerical busybody, who minded everyone’s business instead of his own. It is such people who stir up muddy water and cause mischief.

Meanwhile, the busybody looked after the curate with an evil smile; and, gratified at having aroused such irritation as the abrupt parting signified, turned back to The Derby Winner. He had seen Bell, he had spoken to Gabriel, he had even secured an unsatisfactory conversation with the unknown man. Now he wished to question Mrs Mosk and acquaint himself with her nature and attitude. Also he desired to question her concerning the military stranger; and with this resolve presented himself again before Miss Mosk, smiling and undaunted.

“What is it?” asked the young lady, who had been nursing her grievances.

“A mere trifle, Miss Mosk; I wish to see your mother.

“Why?” was Bell’s blunt demand.

“My reasons are for Mrs Mosk’s ears alone.” “Oh, are they? Well, I’m afraid you can’t see my mother. In the first place, she’s too ill to receive anyone; and in the second, my father does not like clergymen.

“Dear! dear! not even Mr Pendle?” “Mr Pendle is an exception,” retorted Bell, blushing, and again fell to wiping the counter in a fury, so as to keep her hands from Mr Cargrim’s ears.

“I wish to see Mrs Mosk particularly,” reiterated Cargrim, who was bent upon carrying his point. “If not, your father will do.” “My father is absent in Southberry. Why do you want to see my mother?

“I’ll tell her that myself—with your permission,” said Cargrim, suavely.

“You shan’t, then,” cried Bell, and flung down her duster with sparkling eyes.

“In that case I must go away,” replied Cargrim, seeing he was beaten, “and I thank you, Miss Mosk, for your politeness. By the way,” he added, as he half returned, “will you tell that gentleman with the scar on the cheek that I wish to see him also?

“Seems to me you wish to see everybody about here,” said Bell, scornfully. “I’ll tell Mr Jentham if you like. Now go away; I’m busy.” “Jentham!” repeated Cargrim, as he walked homeward. “Now, I wonder if I’ll find that name in the bishop’s cheque-book.
unit 1
CHAPTER VI.
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THE MAN WITH THE SCAR.
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This engaging individual looked at Cargrim with a fierce air.
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The stranger started at the mention of the name.
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The stranger plucked at his worn sleeve with a look of irony.
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“Yet it was admitted, sir.
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You are one, I perceive.” Cargrim bowed.
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“I am the chaplain of Bishop Pendle.
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Birds of a feather,” sighed Mr Cargrim, entering the hotel.
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“I fear, I sadly fear that his lordship is but a whited sepulchre.
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“Yes!
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Mr Pendle comes often to see—my mother.
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I daresay he’ll be down soon.
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“Oh, don’t disturb him for my sake, I beg.
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He started and seemed uneasy when he recognised the chaplain.
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“Cargrim!” he cried, hurrying forward.
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Cargrim saw that he had made a mistake.
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I have been seeing her,” said Gabriel, shortly.
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“Ay!
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ay!
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“Do you wish to speak with me?” he asked coldly.
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“Miss Mosk, I am glad to find that your mother is easier in her mind.
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“Your visits do mother a great deal of good.
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“Mr Pendle’s visits here must be delightful to everybody.
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Mr Pendle has many amiable qualities to recommend him.
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He is a general and deserved favourite.
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Is there anything the matter with him?” “I fear so.
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“He told me the same thing yesterday.
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Has he gone?
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“He left by the afternoon train.
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Do you know the object of his visit to London?” “No.
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“What!” cried Gabriel, anxiously.
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Has my father anything on his mind likely to worry him to that extent?
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Cargrim coughed significantly.
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“I think so,” said he again.
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Needless to say, Gabriel was thinking of Bell at this moment.
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“When?
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Where?” “At that hotel, this evening.
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He looks a dangerous man.
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Gabriel shrugged his shoulders.
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I see no reason why you should have hunted me out to talk such nonsense.
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It is such people who stir up muddy water and cause mischief.
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“A mere trifle, Miss Mosk; I wish to see your mother.
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“Why?” was Bell’s blunt demand.
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“My reasons are for Mrs Mosk’s ears alone.” “Oh, are they?
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Well, I’m afraid you can’t see my mother.
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“Dear!
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dear!
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“If not, your father will do.” “My father is absent in Southberry.
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Why do you want to see my mother?
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“I’ll tell Mr Jentham if you like.
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“Now, I wonder if I’ll find that name in the bishop’s cheque-book.
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CHAPTER VI.

THE MAN WITH THE SCAR.

This engaging individual looked at Cargrim with a fierce air. He was not sober, and had just reached the quarrelsome stage of intoxication, which means objection to everyone and everything. Consequently he cocked his hat defiantly at the curate; and although he blocked up the doorway, made no motion to stand aside. Cargrim was not ill pleased at this obstinacy, as it gave him an opportunity of entering into conversation with the so-called decayed clergyman, who was as unlike a parson as a rabbit is like a terrier.

“Do you know if Mr Pendle is within, my friend?” asked the chaplain, with bland politeness.

The stranger started at the mention of the name. His face grew paler, his scar waxed redder, and with all his Dutch courage there was a look of alarm visible in his cold eyes.

“I don’t know,” said he, insolently, yet with a certain refinement of speech. “I shouldn’t think it likely that a pot-house like this would be patronised by a bishop.”

“Pardon me, sir, I speak of Mr Gabriel Pendle, the son of his lordship.

“Then pardon me, sir,” mimicked the man, “if I say that I know nothing of the son of his lordship; and what’s more, I’m d—d if I want to.”

“I see! You are more fortunate in knowing his lordship himself,” said the chaplain, with great simplicity.

The stranger plucked at his worn sleeve with a look of irony. “Do I look as though I were acquainted with bishops?” said he, scoffingly. “Is this the kind of coat likely to be admitted into episcopalian palaces?

“Yet it was admitted, sir. If I am not mistaken you called at the palace two nights ago.”

“Did you see me?”

“Certainly I saw you,” replied Cargrim, salving his conscience with the Jesuitic saying that the end justifies the means. “And I was informed that you were a decayed clergyman seeking assistance.

“I have been most things in my time,” observed the stranger, gloomily, “but not a parson. You are one, I perceive.”

Cargrim bowed. “I am the chaplain of Bishop Pendle.

“And the busybody of Beorminster, I should say,” rejoined the man with a sneer. “See here, my friend,” and he rapped Cargrim on the breast with a shapely hand, “if you interfere in what does not concern you, there will be trouble. I saw Dr Pendle on private business, and as such it has nothing to do with you. Hold your tongue, you black crow, and keep away from me,” cried the stranger, with sudden ferocity, “or I’ll knock your head off. Now you know,” and with a fierce glance the man moved out of the doorway and sauntered round the corner before Cargrim could make up his mind how to resent this insolence.

“Hum!” said he to himself, with a glance at the tall retiring figure, “that is a nice friend for a bishop to have. He’s a jail-bird if I mistake not; and he is afraid of my finding out his business with Pendle. Birds of a feather,” sighed Mr Cargrim, entering the hotel. “I fear, I sadly fear that his lordship is but a whited sepulchre. A look into the bishop’s past might show me many things of moment,” and the fat living of Heathcroft seemed almost within Cargrim’s grasp as he came to this conclusion.

“Now then, sir,” interrupted a sharp but pleasant female voice, “and what may you want?”

Mr Cargrim wheeled round to answer this question, and found himself face to face with a bar, glittering with brass and crystal and bright-hued liquors in fat glass barrels; also with an extremely handsome young woman, dressed in an astonishing variety of colours. She was high-coloured and frank-eyed, with a great quantity of very black hair twisted into many amazing shapes on the top of her head. In manner she was as brisk as a bee and as restless as a butterfly; and being adorned with a vast quantity of bracelets, and lockets, and brooches, all of gaudy patterns, jingled at every movement. This young lady was Miss Bell Mosk, whom the frequenters of The Derby Winner called “a dashing beauty,” and Mrs Pansey “a painted jade.” With her glittering ornaments, her bright blue dress, her high colour, and general air of vivacity, she glowed and twinkled in the lamp-light like some gorgeous-plumaged parrot; and her free speech and constant chatter might have been ascribed to the same bird.

“Miss Mosk, I believe,” said the polite Cargrim, marvelling that this gaudy female should be the refined Gabriel’s notion of feminine perfection.

“I am Miss Mosk,” replied Bell, taking a comprehensive view of the sleek, black-clothed parson. “What can I do for you?”

“I am Mr Cargrim, the bishop’s chaplain, Miss Mosk, and I wish to see Mr Pendle—Mr Gabriel Pendle.

Bell flushed as red as the reddest cabbage rose, and with downcast eyes wiped the counter briskly with a duster. “Why should you come here to ask for Mr Pendle?” said she, in guarded tones.

“I called at his lodgings, Miss Mosk, and I was informed that he was visiting a sick person here.”

“My mother!” replied Bell, not knowing what an amazing lie the chaplain was telling. “Yes! Mr Pendle comes often to see—my mother.

“Is he here now?” asked Cargrim, noticing the hesitancy at the end of her sentence; “because I wish to speak with him on business.”

“He is upstairs. I daresay he’ll be down soon.

“Oh, don’t disturb him for my sake, I beg. But if you will permit me I shall go up and see Mrs Mosk.”

“Here comes Mr Pendle now,” said Bell, abruptly, and withdrew into the interior of the bar as Gabriel appeared at the end of the passage. He started and seemed uneasy when he recognised the chaplain.

“Cargrim!” he cried, hurrying forward. “Why are you here?” and he gave a nervous glance in the direction of the bar; a glance which the chaplain saw and understood, but discreetly left unnoticed.

“I wish to see you,” he replied, with great simplicity; “they told me at your lodgings that you might be here, so—”

“Why!” interrupted Gabriel, sharply, “I left no message to that effect.

Cargrim saw that he had made a mistake. “I speak generally, my dear friend—generally,” he said in some haste. “Your worthy landlady mentioned several houses in which you were in the habit of seeing sick people—amongst others this hotel.”

“Mrs Mosk is very ill. I have been seeing her,” said Gabriel, shortly.

“Ay! ay! you have been seeing Mrs Mosk!”

Gabriel changed colour and cast another glance towards the bar, for the significance of Cargrim’s speech was not lost on him. “Do you wish to speak with me?” he asked coldly.

“I should esteem it a favour if you would allow me a few words,” said Cargrim, politely. “I’ll wait for you—outside,” and in his turn the chaplain looked towards the bar.

“Thank you, I can come with you now,” was Gabriel’s reply, made with a burning desire to knock Cargrim down. “Miss Mosk, I am glad to find that your mother is easier in her mind.

“It’s all due to you, Mr Pendle,” said Bell, moving forward with a toss of her head directed especially at Mr Cargrim. “Your visits do mother a great deal of good.

“I am sure they do,” said the chaplain, not able to forego giving the girl a scratch of his claws. “Mr Pendle’s visits here must be delightful to everybody.

“I daresay,” retorted Bell, with heightened colour, “other people’s visits would not be so welcome.”

“Perhaps not, Miss Mosk. Mr Pendle has many amiable qualities to recommend him. He is a general and deserved favourite.

“Come, come, Cargrim,” interposed Gabriel, anxiously, for the fair Bell’s temper was rapidly getting the better of her; “if you are ready we shall go. Good evening, Miss Mosk.”

“Good evening, Mr Pendle,” said the barmaid, and directed a spiteful look at Cargrim, for she saw plainly that he had intentionally deprived her of a confidential conversation with Gabriel. The chaplain received the look—which he quite understood—with an amused smile and a bland inclination of the head. As he walked out arm-in-arm with the reluctant Pendle, Bell banged the pewters and glasses about with considerable energy, for the significant demeanour of Cargrim annoyed her so much that she felt a great inclination to throw something at his head. But then, Miss Mosk was a high-spirited girl and believed in actions rather than speech, even though she possessed a fair command of the latter.

“Well, Cargrim,” said Gabriel, when he found himself in the street with his uncongenial companion, “what is it?”

“It’s about the bishop.”

“My father! Is there anything the matter with him?”

“I fear so. He told me that he was going to London.”

“What of that?” said Gabriel, impatiently. “He told me the same thing yesterday. Has he gone?

“He left by the afternoon train. Do you know the object of his visit to London?”

“No. What is his object?”

“He goes to consult a specialist about his health.

“What!” cried Gabriel, anxiously. “Is he ill?”

“I think so; some nervous trouble brought on by worry.”

“By worry! Has my father anything on his mind likely to worry him to that extent?

Cargrim coughed significantly. “I think so,” said he again. “He has not been himself since the visit of that stranger to the palace. I fancy the man must have brought bad news.”

“Did the bishop tell you so?”

“No; but I am observant, you know.

Privately, Gabriel considered that Cargrim was a great deal too observant, and also of a meddlesome nature, else why had he come to spy out matters which did not concern him. Needless to say, Gabriel was thinking of Bell at this moment. However, he made no comment on the chaplain’s speech, but merely remarked that doubtless the bishop had his own reasons for keeping silent, and advised Cargrim to wait until he was consulted in connection with the matter, before troubling himself unnecessarily about it “My father knows his own business best,” finished Gabriel, stiffly, “if you will forgive my speaking so plainly.”

“Certainly, certainly, Pendle; but I owe a great deal to your father, and I would do much to save him from annoyance. By the way,” with an abrupt change of subject, “do you know that I saw the stranger who called at the palace two nights ago during the reception?

“When? Where?”

“At that hotel, this evening. He looks a dangerous man.

Gabriel shrugged his shoulders. “It seems to me, Cargrim, that you are making a mountain out of a mole hill. A stranger sees my father, and afterwards you meet him at a public-house; there is nothing strange in that.

“You forget,” hinted Cargrim, sweetly, “this man caused your father’s illness.

“We can’t be sure of that; and in any case, my father is quite clever enough to deal with his own affairs. I see no reason why you should have hunted me out to talk such nonsense. Good-night, Cargrim,” and with a curt nod the curate stalked away, considerably annoyed by the meddlesome spirit manifested by the chaplain. He had never liked the man, and, now that he was in this interfering mood, liked him less than ever. It would be as well, thought Gabriel, that Mr Cargrim should be dismissed from his confidential office as soon as possible. Otherwise he might cause trouble, and Gabriel mentally thought of the high-coloured young lady in the bar. His conscience was not at ease regarding his admiration for her; and he dreaded lest the officious Cargrim should talk about her to the bishop. Altogether the chaplain, like a hornet, had annoyed both Dr Pendle and his son; and the bishop in London and Gabriel in Beorminster were anything but well disposed towards this clerical busybody, who minded everyone’s business instead of his own. It is such people who stir up muddy water and cause mischief.

Meanwhile, the busybody looked after the curate with an evil smile; and, gratified at having aroused such irritation as the abrupt parting signified, turned back to The Derby Winner. He had seen Bell, he had spoken to Gabriel, he had even secured an unsatisfactory conversation with the unknown man. Now he wished to question Mrs Mosk and acquaint himself with her nature and attitude. Also he desired to question her concerning the military stranger; and with this resolve presented himself again before Miss Mosk, smiling and undaunted.

“What is it?” asked the young lady, who had been nursing her grievances.

“A mere trifle, Miss Mosk; I wish to see your mother.

“Why?” was Bell’s blunt demand.

“My reasons are for Mrs Mosk’s ears alone.”

“Oh, are they? Well, I’m afraid you can’t see my mother. In the first place, she’s too ill to receive anyone; and in the second, my father does not like clergymen.

“Dear! dear! not even Mr Pendle?”

“Mr Pendle is an exception,” retorted Bell, blushing, and again fell to wiping the counter in a fury, so as to keep her hands from Mr Cargrim’s ears.

“I wish to see Mrs Mosk particularly,” reiterated Cargrim, who was bent upon carrying his point. “If not, your father will do.”

“My father is absent in Southberry. Why do you want to see my mother?

“I’ll tell her that myself—with your permission,” said Cargrim, suavely.

“You shan’t, then,” cried Bell, and flung down her duster with sparkling eyes.

“In that case I must go away,” replied Cargrim, seeing he was beaten, “and I thank you, Miss Mosk, for your politeness. By the way,” he added, as he half returned, “will you tell that gentleman with the scar on the cheek that I wish to see him also?

“Seems to me you wish to see everybody about here,” said Bell, scornfully. “I’ll tell Mr Jentham if you like. Now go away; I’m busy.”

“Jentham!” repeated Cargrim, as he walked homeward. “Now, I wonder if I’ll find that name in the bishop’s cheque-book.