en-es  THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME - Chapter 23
For more info, please see discussion tab.
CHAPTER XXIII - IN THE LIBRARY.
Certainly there was little enough to admire in Mr Cargrim's character, still he was not altogether a bad man. In common with his fellow-creatures he also had his good qualities, but these were somewhat rusty for want of use. As Mrs Rawdon Crawley, née Sharp, remarked, most people can be good on five thousand a year; and if Cargrim had been high-placed and wealthy he would no doubt have developed his better instincts for lack of reasons to make use of his worser. But being only a poor curate, he had a long ladder to climb, which he thought could be ascended more rapidly by kicking down all those who impeded his progress, and by holding on to the skirts of those who were a few rungs higher. Therefore he was not very nice in his distinction between good and evil, and did not mind by what means he succeeded, so long as he was successful. He knew very well that he was not a favourite with the bishop, and that Dr Pendle would not give him more of the Levitical loaves and fishes than he could help; but as the holder of the Beorminster See was the sole dispenser of these viands with whom Cargrim was acquainted, it behoved him at all risks to compel the bestowal of gifts which were not likely to be given of free-will. Therefore, Cargrim plotted, and planned, and schemed to learn the bishop's secret and set him under his thumb.
But with all the will in the world this schemer was not clever enough to deal with the evidence he had accumulated. The bishop had had an understanding with Jentham; he had attempted to secure his silence, as was proved by the torn-out butt of the cheque-book; he had—as Cargrim suspected—killed the blackmailer to bury his secret in the grave, and he had been warned by Mother Jael that she knew of his wicked act. This was the evidence, but Cargrim did not know how to place it ship-shape, in order to prove to Bishop Pendle that he had him in his power. It needed a trained mind to grapple with these confused facts, to follow out clues, to arrange details, and Cargrim recognised that it was needful to hire a helper. With this idea he resolved to visit London and there engage the services of a private inquiry agent; and as there was no time to be lost, he decided to ask the bishop for leave of absence on that very night. There is nothing so excellent as prompt attention to business, even when it consists of the dirtiest kind.
Nevertheless, to allow his better nature some small opportunity of exercise, Cargrim determined to afford the bishop one chance of escape. The visit to The Derby Winner had given him at once a weapon and a piece of information. The rector of Heathcroft was dying, so in the nature of things it was probable that the living would soon be vacant. From various hints, Cargrim was aware that the bishop destined this snug post for his younger son. But Gabriel Pendle was engaged to marry Bell Mosk, and when the bishop was informed of that fact, Cargrim had little doubt but that he would refuse to consecrate his son to the living. Then, failing Gabriel, the chaplain hoped that Dr Pendle might give it to him, and if he did so, Mr Cargrim was quite willing to let bygones be bygones. He would not search out the bishop's secret—at all events for the present—although, if Dean Alder died, he might make a later use of his knowledge to get himself elected to the vacant post. However, the immediate business in hand was to secure Heathcroft Rectory at the expense of Gabriel; so Mr Cargrim walked rapidly to the palace, with the intention of informing the bishop without delay of the young man's disgraceful conduct. Only at the conclusion of the interview could he determine his future course. If, angered at Gabriel, the bishop gave him the living, he would let the bishop settle his account with his conscience, but if Dr Pendle refused, he would then go up to London and hire a bloodhound to follow the trail of Dr Pendle's crime even to his very doorstep. In thus giving his patron an alternative, Cargrim thought himself a very virtuous person indeed. Yet, so far as he knew, he might be compounding a felony; but that knowledge did not trouble him in the least.
With this pretty little scheme in his head, the chaplain entered the library in which Dr Pendle was usually to be found, and sure enough the bishop was there, sitting all alone and looking as wretched as a man could. His face was grey and drawn—he had aged so markedly since Mrs Pendle's garden-party that Mr Cargrim was quite shocked—and he started nervously when his chaplain glided into the room. A nerve-storm, consequent on his interview with Mother Jael, had exhausted the bishop's vitality, and he seemed hardly able to lift his head. The utter prostration of the man would have appealed to anyone save Cargrim, but that astute young parson had an end to gain and was not to be turned from it by any display of mental misery. He put his victim on the rack, and tortured him as delicately and scientifically as any Inquisition of the good old days when Mother Church, anticipating the saying of the French Revolution, said to the backsliders of her flock, 'Be my child, lest I kill thee.' So Cargrim, like a modern Torquemada, racked the soul instead of the body, and devoted himself very earnestly to this congenial talk.
'I beg your pardon, my lord,' said he, making a feint of retiring, 'I did not know that your lordship was engaged.
'I am not engaged,' replied the bishop, seemingly glad to escape from his own sad thoughts; 'come in, come in. You have left Mrs Pansey's fête rather early.
'But not so early as you, sir,' said the chaplain, taking a chair where he could command an uninterrupted view of the bishop's face. 'I fear you are not well, my lord.
'No, Cargrim, I am not well. In spite of my desire to continue my duties, I am afraid that I shall be forced to take a holiday for my health's sake.
'Your lordship cannot do better than join Mrs Pendle at Nauheim.
'I was thinking of doing so,' said the bishop, glancing at a letter at his elbow, 'especially as Sir Harry Brace is coming back on business to Beorminster. I do not wish my wife to be alone in her present uncertain state of health. As to my own, I'm afraid no springs will cure it; my disease is of the mind, not of the body.
'Ah!' sighed Cargrim, sagely, 'the very worst kind of disease. May I ask what you are troubled about in your mind?
'About many things, Cargrim, many things. Amongst them the fact of this disgraceful murder. It is a reflection on the diocese that the criminal is not caught and punished.
'Does your lordship wish the assassin to be captured?' asked the chaplain, in his softest tone, and with much apparent simplicity.
Dr Pendle raised his head and darted a keen look at his questioner. 'Of course I do,' he answered sharply, 'and I am much annoyed that our local police have not been clever enough to hunt him down. Have you heard whether any more evidence has been found?
'None likely to indicate the assassin, my lord. But I believe that the police have gathered some information about the victim's past.
The bishop's hand clenched itself so tightly that the knuckles whitened. 'About Jentham!' he muttered in a low voice, and not looking at the chaplain; 'ay, ay, what about him?
'It seems, my lord,' said Cargrim, watchful of his companion's face, 'that thirty years ago the man was a violinist in London and his professional name was Amaru.
'A violinist! Amaru!' repeated Dr Pendle, and looked so relieved that Cargrim saw he had not received the answer he expected. 'A professional name you say?
'Yes, your lordship,' replied the chaplain, trying hard to conceal his disappointment. 'No doubt the man's real name was Jentham.
'No doubt,' assented the bishop, indifferently, 'although I daresay so notorious a vagrant must have possessed at least half a dozen names.
It was on the tip of Cargrim's tongue to ask by what name Jentham had been known to his superior, but restrained by the knowledge of his incapacity to follow up the question, he was wise enough not to put it. Also, as he wished to come to an understanding with the bishop on the subject of the Heathcroft living, he turned the conversation in that direction by remarking that Mr Leigh was reported as dying.
'So Gabriel informed me,' said Dr Pendle, with a nod. 'I am truly sorry to hear it. Mr Leigh has been rector of Heathcroft parish for many years.
'For twenty-five years, your lordship; but latterly he has been rather lax in his rule. What is needed in Heathcroft is a young and earnest man with a capacity for organisation, one who by words and deeds may be able to move the sluggish souls of the parishioners, who can contrive and direct and guide.
'You describe an ideal rector, Cargrim,' remarked Dr Pendle, rather dryly, 'a kind of bishop in embryo; but where is such a paragon to be found?
The chaplain coloured and looked conscious. 'I do not describe myself as a paragon,' said he, in a low voice; 'nevertheless, should your lordship think fit to present me with the Heathcroft cure of souls, I should strive to approach in some degree the ideal I have described.
The bishop was no stranger to Cargrim's ambition, as it was not the first time that the chaplain had hinted that he would make a good rector of Heathcroft, therefore he did not feel surprised at being approached so crudely on the subject. With a testy gesture he pushed back his chair and looked rather frowningly on the presumptuous parson. But Cargrim was too sure of his ability to deal with the bishop to be daunted by looks, and with his sleek head on one side and a suave smile on his pale lips, he waited for the thunders from the episcopalian throne. However, the bishop was just as diplomatic as his chaplain, and too wise to give way to the temper he felt at so downright a request, approached the matter in an outwardly mild spirit.
'Heathcroft is a large parish,' said his lordship, meditatively.
'And therefore needs a hard-working young rector, replied Cargrim. 'I am, of course, aware of my own deficiencies, but these may be remedied by prayer and by a humble spirit.
'Mr Cargrim,' said the bishop, with a smile, 'do you remember the rather heterodox story of the farmer's comment on prayer being offered up for rain? "What is the use of praying for rain," said he, "when the wind is in this quarter?" I am inclined,' added Dr Pendle, looking very intently at Cargrim, 'to agree with the farmer.
'Does that mean that your lordship will not give me the living?
'We will come to that later, Mr Cargrim. At present I mean that no prayers will remedy our deficiencies unless the desire to do so begins in our own breasts.
'Will your lordship indicate the particular deficiencies I should remedy?' asked the chaplain, outwardly calm, but inwardly raging.
'I think, Mr Cargrim,' said the bishop, gently, 'that your ambition is apt to take precedence of your religious feelings, else you would hardly adopt so extreme a course as to ask me so bluntly for a living. If I deemed it advisable that you should be rector of Heathcroft, I should bestow it on you without the necessity of your asking me to give it to you; but to be plain with you, Mr Cargrim, I have other designs when the living becomes vacant.
'In that case, we need say no more, your lordship.
'Pardon me, you must permit me to say this much,' said Dr Pendle, in his most stately manner, 'that I desire you to continue in your present position until you have more experience in diocesan work. It is not every young man, Mr Cargrim, who has so excellent an opportunity of acquainting himself with the internal management of the Catholic Church. Your father was a dear friend of mine,' continued the bishop, with emotion, 'and in my younger days I owed him much. For his sake, and for your own, I wish to help you as much as I can, but you must permit me to be the best judge of when and how to advance your interests. These ambitions of yours, Michael, which I have observed on several occasions, are dangerous to your better qualities. A clergyman of our Church is a man, and—being a priest—something more than a man; therefore it behoves him to be humble and religious and intent upon his immediate work for the glory of God. Should he rise, it must be by such qualities that he attains a higher post in the Church; but should he remain all his days in a humble position, he can die content, knowing he has thought not of himself but of his God. Believe me, my dear young friend, I speak from experience, and it is better for you to leave your future in my hands.
These sentiments, being the antithesis to those of Cargrim, were of course extremely unpalatable to one of his nature. He knew that he was more ambitious than religious; but it was galling to think that Dr Pendle should have been clever enough to gauge his character so truly. His mask of humility and deference had been torn off, and he was better known to the bishop than was at all agreeable to his cunning nature. He saw that so far as the Heathcroft living was concerned he would never obtain it as a free gift from Dr Pendle, therefore it only remained to adopt the worser course, and force the prelate to accede to his request. Having thus decided, Mr Cargrim, with great self-control, smoothed his face to a meek smile, and even displayed a little emotion in order to show the bishop how touched he was by the kindly speech which had crushed his ambition.
'I am quite content to leave my future in your hands,' he said, with all possible suavity, 'and indeed, my lord, I know that you are my best—my only friend. The deficiency to which you allude shall be conquered by me if possible, and I trust that shortly I shall merit your lordship's more unreserved approbation.
'Why,' said the bishop, shaking him heartily by the hand, 'that is a very worthy speech, Michael, and I shall bear it in mind. We are still friends, I trust, in spite of what I consider it was my duty to say.
'Certainly we are friends, sir; I am honoured by the interest you take in me. And now, my lord,' added Cargrim, with a sweet smile, 'may I prefer a little request which was in my mind when I came to see you?
'Of course! of course, Michael; what is it?
'I have some business to transact in London, my lord; and I should like, with your permission, to be absent from my duties for a few days.
'With pleasure,' assented the bishop; 'go when you like, Cargrim. I am only too pleased that you should ask me for a holiday.
'Many thanks, your lordship,' said Cargrim, rising. 'Then I shall leave the palace to-morrow morning, and will return towards the end of the week. As there is nothing of particular importance to attend to, I trust your lordship will be able to dispense with my services during my few days' absence without trouble to yourself.
'Set your mind at rest, Cargrim; you can take your holiday.
'I again thank your lordship. It only remains for me to say that if—as I have heard—your lordship intends to make Mr Gabriel rector of Heathcroft, I trust he will be as earnest and devout there as he has been in Beorminster.
'I have not yet decided how to fill up the vacancy,' said the bishop, coldly, 'and let me remind you, Mr Cargrim, that as yet the present rector of Heathcroft still holds the living.
'I do but anticipate the inevitable, my lord,' said Cargrim, preparing to drive his sting into the bishop, 'and certainly, the sooner Mr Gabriel is advanced to the living the better it will be for his matrimonial prospects.
Dr Pendle stared. 'I don't understand you!' he said stiffly.
'What!' Mr Cargrim threw up his hands in astonishment. 'Has not Mr Gabriel informed your lordship of his engagement?
'Engagement!' echoed the bishop, half rising, 'do you mean to tell me that Gabriel is engaged, and without my knowledge!
'Oh, your lordship!—I thought you knew—most indiscreet of me,' murmured Cargrim, in pretended confusion.
'To whom is my son engaged?' asked the bishop, sharply.
'To—to—really, I feel most embarrassed,' said the chaplain. 'I should not have taken—.
'Answer at once, sir,' cried Dr Pendle, irritably. 'To whom is my son Gabriel engaged? I insist upon knowing.
'In that case, I must tell your lordship that Mr Gabriel is engaged to marry Miss Bell Mosk!
The bishop bounded out of his chair. 'Bell Mosk! the daughter of the landlord of The Derby Winner?
'Yes, your lordship.
'The—the—the—barmaid! My son!—oh, it is—it is impossible!
'I had it from the lips of the young lady herself,' said Cargrim, delighted at the bishop's annoyance. 'Certainly Miss Mosk is hardly fitted to be the wife of a future rector—still, she is a handsome—.
'Stop, sir!' cried the bishop, imperiously, 'don't dare to couple my son's name with that of—of—of a barmaid. I cannot—I will not—I dare not believe it!
'Nevertheless, it is true!
'Impossible! incredible! the boy must be mad!
'He is in love, which is much the same thing,' said Cargrim, with more boldness than he usually displayed before Dr Pendle; 'but to assure yourself of its truth, let me suggest that your lordship should question Mr Gabriel yourself. I believe he is in the palace.
'Thank you, Mr Cargrim,' said the bishop, recovering from his first surprise. 'I thank you for the information, but I am afraid you have been misled. My son would never choose a wife out of a bar.
'It is to be hoped he will see the folly of doing so, my lord,' replied the chaplain, backing towards the door, 'and now I shall take my leave, assuring your lordship that I should never have spoken of Mr Gabriel's engagement had I not believed that you were informed on the point.
The bishop made no reply, but sank into a chair, looking the picture of misery. After a glance at him, Cargrim left the room, rubbing his hands. 'I think I have given you a very good Roland for your Oliver, my lord!' he murmured.
unit 1
For more info, please see discussion tab.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 2
CHAPTER XXIII - IN THE LIBRARY.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 36
You have left Mrs Pansey's fête rather early.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 38
'I fear you are not well, my lord.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 39
'No, Cargrim, I am not well.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 41
'Your lordship cannot do better than join Mrs Pendle at Nauheim.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 43
unit 45
'Ah!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 46
sighed Cargrim, sagely, 'the very worst kind of disease.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 47
May I ask what you are troubled about in your mind?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 48
'About many things, Cargrim, many things.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 49
Amongst them the fact of this disgraceful murder.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 51
'Does your lordship wish the assassin to be captured?'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 52
unit 53
Dr Pendle raised his head and darted a keen look at his questioner.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 55
Have you heard whether any more evidence has been found?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 56
'None likely to indicate the assassin, my lord.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 58
The bishop's hand clenched itself so tightly that the knuckles whitened.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 59
'About Jentham!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 62
'A violinist!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 63
Amaru!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 65
'A professional name you say?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 67
'No doubt the man's real name was Jentham.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 71
'So Gabriel informed me,' said Dr Pendle, with a nod.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 72
'I am truly sorry to hear it.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 73
Mr Leigh has been rector of Heathcroft parish for many years.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 77
The chaplain coloured and looked conscious.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 83
'Heathcroft is a large parish,' said his lordship, meditatively.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 84
'And therefore needs a hard-working young rector, replied Cargrim.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 89
'Does that mean that your lordship will not give me the living?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 90
'We will come to that later, Mr Cargrim.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 92
unit 93
asked the chaplain, outwardly calm, but inwardly raging.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 96
'In that case, we need say no more, your lordship.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 114
unit 116
'Of course!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 117
of course, Michael; what is it?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 119
'With pleasure,' assented the bishop; 'go when you like, Cargrim.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 120
I am only too pleased that you should ask me for a holiday.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 121
'Many thanks, your lordship,' said Cargrim, rising.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 124
'Set your mind at rest, Cargrim; you can take your holiday.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 125
'I again thank your lordship.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 129
Dr Pendle stared.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 130
'I don't understand you!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 131
he said stiffly.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 132
'What!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 133
Mr Cargrim threw up his hands in astonishment.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 134
'Has not Mr Gabriel informed your lordship of his engagement?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 135
'Engagement!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 138
'To whom is my son engaged?'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 139
asked the bishop, sharply.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 140
'To—to—really, I feel most embarrassed,' said the chaplain.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 141
'I should not have taken—.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 142
'Answer at once, sir,' cried Dr Pendle, irritably.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 143
'To whom is my son Gabriel engaged?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 144
I insist upon knowing.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 146
The bishop bounded out of his chair.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 147
'Bell Mosk!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 148
the daughter of the landlord of The Derby Winner?
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 149
'Yes, your lordship.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 150
'The—the—the—barmaid!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 151
My son!—oh, it is—it is impossible!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 154
'Stop, sir!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 156
I cannot—I will not—I dare not believe it!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 157
'Nevertheless, it is true!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 158
'Impossible!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 159
incredible!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 160
the boy must be mad!
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 162
I believe he is in the palace.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 163
unit 164
'I thank you for the information, but I am afraid you have been misled.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 165
My son would never choose a wife out of a bar.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 168
After a glance at him, Cargrim left the room, rubbing his hands.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 169
'I think I have given you a very good Roland for your Oliver, my lord!'
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None
unit 170
he murmured.
0 Translations, 0 Upvotes, Last Activity None

For more info, please see discussion tab.
CHAPTER XXIII - IN THE LIBRARY.
Certainly there was little enough to admire in Mr Cargrim's character, still he was not altogether a bad man. In common with his fellow-creatures he also had his good qualities, but these were somewhat rusty for want of use. As Mrs Rawdon Crawley, née Sharp, remarked, most people can be good on five thousand a year; and if Cargrim had been high-placed and wealthy he would no doubt have developed his better instincts for lack of reasons to make use of his worser. But being only a poor curate, he had a long ladder to climb, which he thought could be ascended more rapidly by kicking down all those who impeded his progress, and by holding on to the skirts of those who were a few rungs higher. Therefore he was not very nice in his distinction between good and evil, and did not mind by what means he succeeded, so long as he was successful. He knew very well that he was not a favourite with the bishop, and that Dr Pendle would not give him more of the Levitical loaves and fishes than he could help; but as the holder of the Beorminster See was the sole dispenser of these viands with whom Cargrim was acquainted, it behoved him at all risks to compel the bestowal of gifts which were not likely to be given of free-will. Therefore, Cargrim plotted, and planned, and schemed to learn the bishop's secret and set him under his thumb.
But with all the will in the world this schemer was not clever enough to deal with the evidence he had accumulated. The bishop had had an understanding with Jentham; he had attempted to secure his silence, as was proved by the torn-out butt of the cheque-book; he had—as Cargrim suspected—killed the blackmailer to bury his secret in the grave, and he had been warned by Mother Jael that she knew of his wicked act. This was the evidence, but Cargrim did not know how to place it ship-shape, in order to prove to Bishop Pendle that he had him in his power. It needed a trained mind to grapple with these confused facts, to follow out clues, to arrange details, and Cargrim recognised that it was needful to hire a helper. With this idea he resolved to visit London and there engage the services of a private inquiry agent; and as there was no time to be lost, he decided to ask the bishop for leave of absence on that very night. There is nothing so excellent as prompt attention to business, even when it consists of the dirtiest kind.
Nevertheless, to allow his better nature some small opportunity of exercise, Cargrim determined to afford the bishop one chance of escape. The visit to The Derby Winner had given him at once a weapon and a piece of information. The rector of Heathcroft was dying, so in the nature of things it was probable that the living would soon be vacant. From various hints, Cargrim was aware that the bishop destined this snug post for his younger son. But Gabriel Pendle was engaged to marry Bell Mosk, and when the bishop was informed of that fact, Cargrim had little doubt but that he would refuse to consecrate his son to the living. Then, failing Gabriel, the chaplain hoped that Dr Pendle might give it to him, and if he did so, Mr Cargrim was quite willing to let bygones be bygones. He would not search out the bishop's secret—at all events for the present—although, if Dean Alder died, he might make a later use of his knowledge to get himself elected to the vacant post. However, the immediate business in hand was to secure Heathcroft Rectory at the expense of Gabriel; so Mr Cargrim walked rapidly to the palace, with the intention of informing the bishop without delay of the young man's disgraceful conduct. Only at the conclusion of the interview could he determine his future course. If, angered at Gabriel, the bishop gave him the living, he would let the bishop settle his account with his conscience, but if Dr Pendle refused, he would then go up to London and hire a bloodhound to follow the trail of Dr Pendle's crime even to his very doorstep. In thus giving his patron an alternative, Cargrim thought himself a very virtuous person indeed. Yet, so far as he knew, he might be compounding a felony; but that knowledge did not trouble him in the least.
With this pretty little scheme in his head, the chaplain entered the library in which Dr Pendle was usually to be found, and sure enough the bishop was there, sitting all alone and looking as wretched as a man could. His face was grey and drawn—he had aged so markedly since Mrs Pendle's garden-party that Mr Cargrim was quite shocked—and he started nervously when his chaplain glided into the room. A nerve-storm, consequent on his interview with Mother Jael, had exhausted the bishop's vitality, and he seemed hardly able to lift his head. The utter prostration of the man would have appealed to anyone save Cargrim, but that astute young parson had an end to gain and was not to be turned from it by any display of mental misery. He put his victim on the rack, and tortured him as delicately and scientifically as any Inquisition of the good old days when Mother Church, anticipating the saying of the French Revolution, said to the backsliders of her flock, 'Be my child, lest I kill thee.' So Cargrim, like a modern Torquemada, racked the soul instead of the body, and devoted himself very earnestly to this congenial talk.
'I beg your pardon, my lord,' said he, making a feint of retiring, 'I did not know that your lordship was engaged.
'I am not engaged,' replied the bishop, seemingly glad to escape from his own sad thoughts; 'come in, come in. You have left Mrs Pansey's fête rather early.
'But not so early as you, sir,' said the chaplain, taking a chair where he could command an uninterrupted view of the bishop's face. 'I fear you are not well, my lord.
'No, Cargrim, I am not well. In spite of my desire to continue my duties, I am afraid that I shall be forced to take a holiday for my health's sake.
'Your lordship cannot do better than join Mrs Pendle at Nauheim.
'I was thinking of doing so,' said the bishop, glancing at a letter at his elbow, 'especially as Sir Harry Brace is coming back on business to Beorminster. I do not wish my wife to be alone in her present uncertain state of health. As to my own, I'm afraid no springs will cure it; my disease is of the mind, not of the body.
'Ah!' sighed Cargrim, sagely, 'the very worst kind of disease. May I ask what you are troubled about in your mind?
'About many things, Cargrim, many things. Amongst them the fact of this disgraceful murder. It is a reflection on the diocese that the criminal is not caught and punished.
'Does your lordship wish the assassin to be captured?' asked the chaplain, in his softest tone, and with much apparent simplicity.
Dr Pendle raised his head and darted a keen look at his questioner. 'Of course I do,' he answered sharply, 'and I am much annoyed that our local police have not been clever enough to hunt him down. Have you heard whether any more evidence has been found?
'None likely to indicate the assassin, my lord. But I believe that the police have gathered some information about the victim's past.
The bishop's hand clenched itself so tightly that the knuckles whitened. 'About Jentham!' he muttered in a low voice, and not looking at the chaplain; 'ay, ay, what about him?
'It seems, my lord,' said Cargrim, watchful of his companion's face, 'that thirty years ago the man was a violinist in London and his professional name was Amaru.
'A violinist! Amaru!' repeated Dr Pendle, and looked so relieved that Cargrim saw he had not received the answer he expected. 'A professional name you say?
'Yes, your lordship,' replied the chaplain, trying hard to conceal his disappointment. 'No doubt the man's real name was Jentham.
'No doubt,' assented the bishop, indifferently, 'although I daresay so notorious a vagrant must have possessed at least half a dozen names.
It was on the tip of Cargrim's tongue to ask by what name Jentham had been known to his superior, but restrained by the knowledge of his incapacity to follow up the question, he was wise enough not to put it. Also, as he wished to come to an understanding with the bishop on the subject of the Heathcroft living, he turned the conversation in that direction by remarking that Mr Leigh was reported as dying.
'So Gabriel informed me,' said Dr Pendle, with a nod. 'I am truly sorry to hear it. Mr Leigh has been rector of Heathcroft parish for many years.
'For twenty-five years, your lordship; but latterly he has been rather lax in his rule. What is needed in Heathcroft is a young and earnest man with a capacity for organisation, one who by words and deeds may be able to move the sluggish souls of the parishioners, who can contrive and direct and guide.
'You describe an ideal rector, Cargrim,' remarked Dr Pendle, rather dryly, 'a kind of bishop in embryo; but where is such a paragon to be found?
The chaplain coloured and looked conscious. 'I do not describe myself as a paragon,' said he, in a low voice; 'nevertheless, should your lordship think fit to present me with the Heathcroft cure of souls, I should strive to approach in some degree the ideal I have described.
The bishop was no stranger to Cargrim's ambition, as it was not the first time that the chaplain had hinted that he would make a good rector of Heathcroft, therefore he did not feel surprised at being approached so crudely on the subject. With a testy gesture he pushed back his chair and looked rather frowningly on the presumptuous parson. But Cargrim was too sure of his ability to deal with the bishop to be daunted by looks, and with his sleek head on one side and a suave smile on his pale lips, he waited for the thunders from the episcopalian throne. However, the bishop was just as diplomatic as his chaplain, and too wise to give way to the temper he felt at so downright a request, approached the matter in an outwardly mild spirit.
'Heathcroft is a large parish,' said his lordship, meditatively.
'And therefore needs a hard-working young rector, replied Cargrim. 'I am, of course, aware of my own deficiencies, but these may be remedied by prayer and by a humble spirit.
'Mr Cargrim,' said the bishop, with a smile, 'do you remember the rather heterodox story of the farmer's comment on prayer being offered up for rain? "What is the use of praying for rain," said he, "when the wind is in this quarter?" I am inclined,' added Dr Pendle, looking very intently at Cargrim, 'to agree with the farmer.
'Does that mean that your lordship will not give me the living?
'We will come to that later, Mr Cargrim. At present I mean that no prayers will remedy our deficiencies unless the desire to do so begins in our own breasts.
'Will your lordship indicate the particular deficiencies I should remedy?' asked the chaplain, outwardly calm, but inwardly raging.
'I think, Mr Cargrim,' said the bishop, gently, 'that your ambition is apt to take precedence of your religious feelings, else you would hardly adopt so extreme a course as to ask me so bluntly for a living. If I deemed it advisable that you should be rector of Heathcroft, I should bestow it on you without the necessity of your asking me to give it to you; but to be plain with you, Mr Cargrim, I have other designs when the living becomes vacant.
'In that case, we need say no more, your lordship.
'Pardon me, you must permit me to say this much,' said Dr Pendle, in his most stately manner, 'that I desire you to continue in your present position until you have more experience in diocesan work. It is not every young man, Mr Cargrim, who has so excellent an opportunity of acquainting himself with the internal management of the Catholic Church. Your father was a dear friend of mine,' continued the bishop, with emotion, 'and in my younger days I owed him much. For his sake, and for your own, I wish to help you as much as I can, but you must permit me to be the best judge of when and how to advance your interests. These ambitions of yours, Michael, which I have observed on several occasions, are dangerous to your better qualities. A clergyman of our Church is a man, and—being a priest—something more than a man; therefore it behoves him to be humble and religious and intent upon his immediate work for the glory of God. Should he rise, it must be by such qualities that he attains a higher post in the Church; but should he remain all his days in a humble position, he can die content, knowing he has thought not of himself but of his God. Believe me, my dear young friend, I speak from experience, and it is better for you to leave your future in my hands.
These sentiments, being the antithesis to those of Cargrim, were of course extremely unpalatable to one of his nature. He knew that he was more ambitious than religious; but it was galling to think that Dr Pendle should have been clever enough to gauge his character so truly. His mask of humility and deference had been torn off, and he was better known to the bishop than was at all agreeable to his cunning nature. He saw that so far as the Heathcroft living was concerned he would never obtain it as a free gift from Dr Pendle, therefore it only remained to adopt the worser course, and force the prelate to accede to his request. Having thus decided, Mr Cargrim, with great self-control, smoothed his face to a meek smile, and even displayed a little emotion in order to show the bishop how touched he was by the kindly speech which had crushed his ambition.
'I am quite content to leave my future in your hands,' he said, with all possible suavity, 'and indeed, my lord, I know that you are my best—my only friend. The deficiency to which you allude shall be conquered by me if possible, and I trust that shortly I shall merit your lordship's more unreserved approbation.
'Why,' said the bishop, shaking him heartily by the hand, 'that is a very worthy speech, Michael, and I shall bear it in mind. We are still friends, I trust, in spite of what I consider it was my duty to say.
'Certainly we are friends, sir; I am honoured by the interest you take in me. And now, my lord,' added Cargrim, with a sweet smile, 'may I prefer a little request which was in my mind when I came to see you?
'Of course! of course, Michael; what is it?
'I have some business to transact in London, my lord; and I should like, with your permission, to be absent from my duties for a few days.
'With pleasure,' assented the bishop; 'go when you like, Cargrim. I am only too pleased that you should ask me for a holiday.
'Many thanks, your lordship,' said Cargrim, rising. 'Then I shall leave the palace to-morrow morning, and will return towards the end of the week. As there is nothing of particular importance to attend to, I trust your lordship will be able to dispense with my services during my few days' absence without trouble to yourself.
'Set your mind at rest, Cargrim; you can take your holiday.
'I again thank your lordship. It only remains for me to say that if—as I have heard—your lordship intends to make Mr Gabriel rector of Heathcroft, I trust he will be as earnest and devout there as he has been in Beorminster.
'I have not yet decided how to fill up the vacancy,' said the bishop, coldly, 'and let me remind you, Mr Cargrim, that as yet the present rector of Heathcroft still holds the living.
'I do but anticipate the inevitable, my lord,' said Cargrim, preparing to drive his sting into the bishop, 'and certainly, the sooner Mr Gabriel is advanced to the living the better it will be for his matrimonial prospects.
Dr Pendle stared. 'I don't understand you!' he said stiffly.
'What!' Mr Cargrim threw up his hands in astonishment. 'Has not Mr Gabriel informed your lordship of his engagement?
'Engagement!' echoed the bishop, half rising, 'do you mean to tell me that Gabriel is engaged, and without my knowledge!
'Oh, your lordship!—I thought you knew—most indiscreet of me,' murmured Cargrim, in pretended confusion.
'To whom is my son engaged?' asked the bishop, sharply.
'To—to—really, I feel most embarrassed,' said the chaplain. 'I should not have taken—.
'Answer at once, sir,' cried Dr Pendle, irritably. 'To whom is my son Gabriel engaged? I insist upon knowing.
'In that case, I must tell your lordship that Mr Gabriel is engaged to marry Miss Bell Mosk!
The bishop bounded out of his chair. 'Bell Mosk! the daughter of the landlord of The Derby Winner?
'Yes, your lordship.
'The—the—the—barmaid! My son!—oh, it is—it is impossible!
'I had it from the lips of the young lady herself,' said Cargrim, delighted at the bishop's annoyance. 'Certainly Miss Mosk is hardly fitted to be the wife of a future rector—still, she is a handsome—.
'Stop, sir!' cried the bishop, imperiously, 'don't dare to couple my son's name with that of—of—of a barmaid. I cannot—I will not—I dare not believe it!
'Nevertheless, it is true!
'Impossible! incredible! the boy must be mad!
'He is in love, which is much the same thing,' said Cargrim, with more boldness than he usually displayed before Dr Pendle; 'but to assure yourself of its truth, let me suggest that your lordship should question Mr Gabriel yourself. I believe he is in the palace.
'Thank you, Mr Cargrim,' said the bishop, recovering from his first surprise. 'I thank you for the information, but I am afraid you have been misled. My son would never choose a wife out of a bar.
'It is to be hoped he will see the folly of doing so, my lord,' replied the chaplain, backing towards the door, 'and now I shall take my leave, assuring your lordship that I should never have spoken of Mr Gabriel's engagement had I not believed that you were informed on the point.
The bishop made no reply, but sank into a chair, looking the picture of misery. After a glance at him, Cargrim left the room, rubbing his hands. 'I think I have given you a very good Roland for your Oliver, my lord!' he murmured.