en-fr  THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME - Chapter 18 Hard
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LE SECRET DE L'ÉVÊQUE de FERGUS HUME (1900).

CHAPITRE XVIII - L'AUMÔNIER SUR LE SENTIER DE LA GUERRE.
L'aveu sans détour de Miss Whichello de s'être rendue à la morgue laissa M. Cargrim perplexe. À cause du voile, il avait supposé qu'elle souhaitait que sa visite demeure secrète, auquel cas sa conduite aurait semblé très suspecte, puisqu'elle était censée tout ignorer au sujet de Jentham ou de son meurtre. Mais cette prompte reconnaissance des faits montrait clairement qu'elle n'avait rien à cacher. Cargrim, malgré toute sa perspicacité, n'avait pas deviné que de deux maux Miss Whichello avait choisi le moindre. En vérité, elle ne souhaitait pas que sa visite à la morgue soit connue, mais comme Mme Pansey était au courant, elle jugeait plus sage d'annihiler tout le mal que cette dame pourrait faire en admettant que sa déclaration initiale était exacte. Cette honnêteté couperait l'herbe sous les pieds de Mme Pansey et l’empêcherait de transformer un fait reconnu en une fiction faite de malice insidieuse. De plus, Miss Whichello était prête à donner à M. Cargrim un motif valable à sa visite afin qu'il n'ait pas à en inventer un. Ce n'est qu'en avouant si ouvertement cette visite qu'elle pourrait garder secret le fait qu'elle connaissait le défunt depuis trente ans. En général, la vieille dame menue haïssait les subterfuges mais en l’occurrence, sa seule chance de s'en sortir était de battre Pansey, Cargrim et compagnie à leur propre jeu. Et qui peut dire qu'elle agissait mal ?
— Oui, M. Cargrim, répéta-t-elle, le regardant droit dans les yeux, Mme Pansey a raison. J'étais à la morgue et je suis allée voir le corps de Jentham. Je suppose que vous, et Mme Pansey, vous demandez pourquoi ?
— Oh, chère Madame ! protesta l’aumônier embarrassé, absolument pas ; savoir cela ne nous concerne pas... c'est-à-dire, ne me concerne pas.
— Vous vous en préoccupez, cependant ! observa abruptement mademoiselle Whichello, sinon vous n'auriez pas pris la peine de m'informer des remarques inappropriées de Mme Pansey sur mes occupations personnelles. Eh bien, M. Cargrim, je suppose que vous savez que ce clochard a attaqué ma nièce sur la grand-route.
— Oui, mademoiselle Whichello, je suis au courant.
— Fort bien ; comme je considérais que cet homme était d'un personnage dangereux, j'ai pensé qu'il devrait être forcé de quitter Beorminster ; je me suis donc rendue au Derby Winner le soir où vous m'avez rencontrée afin de...
— De voir madame Mosk ! interrompit doucement Cargrim, espérant la piéger.
— Dans le but de voir Mme Mosk et dans celui de voir Jentham. J'avais l'intention de lui dire que s'il ne quittait pas Beorminster sur le champ, je devrais informer la police de son agression contre mademoiselle Arden. De même, comme j'avais le désir de lui donner une chance de racheter sa conduite, j'étais disposée à lui donner une petite somme d'argent en échange de son départ immédiat. Cependant, je ne l'ai pas vu ce soir-là car il s'était rendu dans le camp des gitans. Quand j'ai appris qu'il était mort, je pouvais à peine le croire, donc pour m'en assurer et pour me convaincre que Mab ne risquerait plus de subir ses insolences quand elle sortait, je me suis rendue à la morgue et j'ai vu sa dépouille. Ceci, Monsieur Cargrim, était l'unique motif de ma visite, et comme elle ne regardait que moi, j'ai porté un voile afin de ne pas susciter de commentaires. Il semble que j'avais tort puisque Mme Pansey en a parlé. Cependant, j'espère que vous allez la rassurer en lui racontant ce que je vous ai dit.
— Vraiment, chère mademoiselle Whichello, vous êtes bien grave, je vous assure que toutes ces explications sont inutiles.
— Pas tant que Madame Pansey sera une telle langue de vipère, Monsieur Cargrim. Elle est parfaitement capable de déformer mon innocent souhait de m'assurer que Mab était en sécurité face à cet homme par une allégation extraordinaire sans une once de vérité. Je ne serais pas surprise si Mme Pansey vous avait laissé entendre que j'avais tué cette créature.
Comme c'était précisément ce que la veuve de l'archidiacre avait fait, Gargrim se sentit extrêmement mal à l'aise face à l'indignation légitime et méprisante de mademoiselle Whichello. Il rougit, sourit faiblement, et murmura de faibles excuses qui furent toutes accueillies avec le même dédain suprême par mademoiselle Whichello. M. Cargrim, par cette conversation cancanière, avait baissé dans son estime, et elle n'allait pas le laisser en paix sans une réprimande sanglante pour ce bavardage infondé. Coupant court à ses murmures, elle entreprit d'étouffer dans l'œuf toutes les déclarations supplémentaires que lui ou Mme Pansey auraient pu répandre en relation avec le meurtre en expliquant beaucoup plus qu'il n'était nécessaire.
— Et si Mme Pansey venait à apprendre que le Capitaine Pendle était sur la route de Southberry Heath, dimanche soir, continua-t-elle, je suis sûre qu'elle ne l'accuserait pas d'avoir tiré sur l'homme, même si je sais, et vous le savez aussi, M. Cargrim, qu'elle serait parfaitement capable de le faire.
— Le Capitaine Pendle était sur la Southberry Heath ? demanda Cargrim qui connaissait déjà ce fait, même s'il ne pensa pas nécessaire de le dire à Mme Whichello. Vraiment ?
— Oui, il y était ! Il est allé à cheval jusqu'au campement des gitans pour acheter une bague de fiançailles pour mademoiselle Arden à la Mère Jael. Cette bague est maintenant à son doigt.
— Mademoiselle Arden est donc fiancée au Capitaine Pendle, s'écria Cargrim avec démonstration. Mes félicitations, à vous, à elle et à lui.
— Merci, M. Cargrim, dit mademoiselle Whichello avec raideur.
Je présume que le capitaine Pendle n'a rien remarqué sur Jentham au campement Gipsy ?
— Non ! Il n'a pas aperçu l'homme de toute la soirée.
— A-t-il entendu le coup de feu ?
— Évidemment pas ! S'écria mademoiselle Whichello, rageusement. — Comment aurait-il pu entendre avec le bruit de la tempête ? Vous pourriez aussi vous demander si l'évêque l'a fait ; il était sur Southberry Heath cette nuit-là.
— Oh, oui, mais il n'a rien entendu, chère madame ; il me l'a dit.
— Vous semblez être très intéressé par ce meurtre, monsieur Cargrim, dit la demoiselle avec un regard affuté.
— Évidemment, tout le monde à Beorminster s'y est intéressé. J'espère que le coupable sera arrêté.
— Je l'espère aussi ; connaissez-vous son identité ?
— Moi ? chère madame, comment le saurais-je ?
— Je me disais que madame Pansey aurait pu vous le dire ! retorqua mademoiselle Whichello, froidement. — Elle sait tout ce qui se passe, et ce n'est pas une bonne affaire . Mais vous pouvez lui dire que le capitaine Pendle et moi-même sommes innocents, malgré ma visite à la morgue, et la présence du Capitaine Pendle sur la route Southberry Heath lorsque le crime a été commis.
— Vous êtes très sévère, chère madame ! ajouta Cargrim, prenant congé, alors qu'il était soucieux de se débarrasser de sa position très inconfortable et choquante.
— Salomon a été plus sévère encore, monsieur Cargrim. Il a dit : "Des lèvres brûlantes et un cœur mauvais sont comme un vase de terre recouvert d'une crasse d'argent". Je suppose qu'il existait des madames Pansey en ce temps-là, M. Cargrim.
Devant ce proverbe choisi, M. Cargrim battit rapidement en retraite. Tout compte fait, mademoiselle Whichello se révélait trop coriace pour lui et, pour la première fois dans sa vie, il ne savait comment dissimuler sa défaite. Il ne retrouva son sentiment de supériorité qu'à son arrivée dans le bureau de Tinkler. Il sentait qu'il pouvait traiter avec un homme, qui plus est, socialement inférieur, mais qui peut se mesurer à la langue acérée d'une femme ? Elle est à la fois son épée et son bouclier, sa bouche est un arc, ses mots sont les flèches, et l'homme qui espère résister à un tel arsenal d'armes fatales est un sacré crétin. Cargrim n'en était pas un, mais dans sa rage d'avoir été contraint à prendre la fuite, il se mit à en détester la cause presque autant que Mme Pansey. Mademoiselle Whichello avait certainement remporté une victoire, mais elle s'était aussi fait un ennemi.
— L'enquête est donc terminée, Monsieur l'inspecteur, dit Cargrim, réajustant sa mise désordonnée.
— Bel et bien finie, monsieur, et le corps repose maintenant six pieds sous terre.
— Une triste fin, Monsieur l'inspecteur, et une triste vie. Passer pour un vagabond aux yeux de tous, être violemment éliminé sans absolution des péchés, être enseveli aux frais d'une paroisse inconnue, quel triste sort pour un chrétien.
— Ne prenez pas cela si à cœur, monsieur Cargrim ! dit Tinkler, d'un air grave. — Il y avait une très peu de religion dans ce Jentham, et il a été enterré d'une façon bien plus honorable que celle qu'il méritait et pas par la paroisse.
Cargrim leva les yeux soudainement. — Qui alors a payé ses funérailles ?
— Une charitable da... personne, monsieur, dont il ne m'est pas permis de répéter le nom, à quiconque, à sa demande.
— À sa demande, dit l'aumônier, relevant le lapsus de Tinkler et en tirant les conclusions avec une rapidité fulgurante. Ah, Miss Whichello est vraiment une personne généreuse.
— Saviez-vous... savez-vous... êtes-vous au courant que Miss Whichello l'a fait enterré, monsieur ? balbutia l'inspecteur, extrêmement surpris.
— Je viens juste de chez elle, déclara Cargrim, répondant positivement à la question de manière implicite.
— Eh bien monsieur, elle m'avait demandé de ne le dire à personne, mais comme elle vous en a informé, je suppose que je peux vous dire qu'elle a fait enterré le corps à grands frais.
— Il ne faut pas s'en étonner au vu de l'intérêt qu'elle a porté à cette pauvre créature, déclara Cargrim, avançant délicatement à tâtons. J'espère que la vue de son cadavre à la morgue n'a pas ébranlé ses nerfs.
— Vous a-t-elle dit qu'elle s'était rendue à la morgue ? demanda Tinkler, écarquillant de plus en plus les yeux au fur et à mesure des révélations de l'aumônier.
— Bien sûr qu'elle me l'a dit, répondit Cargrim, et ce fut le plus véridique de ses propos.
Tinkler frappa son bureau d'un poing lourd et retentissant. — Que je sois béni, Monsieur Cargrim, si j'arrive à comprendre ce qu'elle voulait dire en me demandant de tenir ma langue.
— Ah, M. l'Inspecteur, cette bonne dame est l'une de ces grandes âmes pour qui « la vertu est sa propre récompense. »
Cela semble un peu stupide d'agir ainsi, Monsieur !
— Nous ne sommes pas tous des grandes âmes, Tinkler.
— Je ne sais pas ce que serait le monde si nous l'étions, M. Cargrim, avec votre respect. Mais mademoiselle Whichello semblait tellement soucieuse que je tienne ma langue à propos de sa visite et de l'enterrement que je ne comprends pas pourquoi elle en a parlé, à vous ou à quiconque.
— Personnellement, je n'arrive pas à saisir la raison de sa discrétion inutile, M. l'Inspecteur, à moins qu'elle ne souhaite que le meurtrier soit découvert.
— Eh bien, elle ne peut pas le trouver, dit Tinkler avec énergie, car tout ce qu'elle sait sur Jentham remonte à trente ans.
Cargrim réprima avec peine un sursaut devant cette information inattendue. Mademoiselle Whichello savait donc, en définitive, quelque chose sur le défunt et, sans doute, son rapport avec Jentham était lié au secret de l’évêque. Cargrim sentit qu'il était à deux doigts d'une découverte importante, car Tinkler, qui pensait que mademoiselle Whichello s'était confiée à l’aumônier, bavardait innocemment, sans deviner que son auditeur attentif profitait de lui. Le haussement d'épaules par lequel Cargrim apprécia sa dernière remarque incita Tinkler à poursuivre.
— De plus! dit-il avec emphase, que sait mademoiselle Whichello ? Juste que, trente auparavant, l'homme était violoniste et qu'il s’appelait Amaru. Ces détails n'éclairent en rien ce meurtre, M. Cargrim, si je peux me permettre.
L'aumônier nota mentalement les anciens nom et profession de Jentham et secoua la tête. — De telles informations sont parfaitement inutiles, déclara-t-il avec gravité, et les personnes avec lesquelles Amaru alias Jentham a été en contact sont sans doute toutes mortes à l'heure qu'il est.
— Eh bien, mademoiselle Whichello n'a mentionné aucun de ses amis, Monsieur, mais j'imagine que ce ne serait pas d'une grande utilité qu'elle le fasse. Hormis les anciens nom et travail de violoniste de l'homme, elle ne m'a rien dit. Je suppose, Monsieur, qu'elle ne vous a rien dit susceptible de nous aider ?
— Non ! Je ne pense pas que le passé puisse apporter de l'aide au présent, M. Tinkler. Mais qu'elle est votre opinion sincère sur l'affaire ?
— Je pense que c'est un mystère, M. Cargrim, si je peux me permettre, et qu'il est probable qu'elle le reste.
— Vous ne prévoyez pas que le meurtrier puisse être trouvé ?
— Non ! répondit brutalement M. l'Inspecteur. Pas du tout.
— Mosk, chez qui logeait Jentham, ne peut-il pas vous éclairer ?
Tinkler secoua la tête; — Mosk a dit que Jentham lui devait de l'argent et qu'il a promis de le payer cette semaine mais je crois que tout ceci était des balivernes.
— Mais Jentham aurait pu attendre une entrée d'argent, M. l'Inspector ?
— Pas lui, M. Cargrim, si vous permettez. Il ne connaissait personne qui lui aurait prêté ou donné un sou. Il n'avait pas d'argent sur lui quand on a trouvé son corps.
— Pourtant on lui a fait les poches !
— Oh oui, c'est certain, le corps a été fouillé car on a trouvé ses poches retournées. Mais le meurtrier n'a pu s'emparer que des bricoles que l'on peut s'attendre à trouver sur un vagabond.
— Pensez-vous, Monsieur l'Inspecteur que des papiers aient été dérobés ?
— Des papiers ! répéta Tinkler en se grattant la tête. Quels papiers ?
— Eh bien ! dit Cargrim, éludant une réelle explication, des papiers susceptibles de révéler son véritable nom et la raison pour laquelle il rôdait dans Beorminster.
— Je ne pense pas qu'il aurait pu y avoir le moindre papier, M. Cargrim, avec votre respect. S'il y en avait eu, nous les aurions trouvés. Le meurtrier n'aurait pas dérobé des bêtises de ce genre.
— Mais pourquoi l'homme a-t-il été tué ? insista l'aumônier.
— Il a été tué lors d'une dispute, dit Tinkler sur un ton décisif, c'est mon hypothèse. La Mère Jael a dit qu'il était dans les vignes du Seigneur lorsqu'il quitté le campement, donc je suppose qu'il a rencontré un saisonnier qui s'est disputé avec lui et a utilisé son pistolet.
— Mais est-il possible qu'un saisonnier ait eu un pistolet sur lui ?
— Pourquoi pas ? Ces moissonneurs ne se font pas confiance entre eux et il est aussi possible que l'un d'entre eux possédât un pistolet pour protéger sa propriété d'un autre, qu'il ne l'ait pas.
— Des recherches ont-elles été faites pour trouver le pistolet ?
— Oui, en effet, et aucun pistolet n'a été trouvé. Je vais vous dire, M. Cargrim, dit Tinkler, se levant avec une raideur toute militaire, mon opinion est que l'on parle trop de cette affaire. Jentham a été abattu lors d'une bagarre entre ivrognes, et le meurtrier a pris la poudre d'escampette. C'est toute l'explication sur cette affaire.
— Je dirais que vous avez raison, Monsieur l'inspecteur, soupira Cargrim en mettant son chapeau. Nous sommes tous enclin à donner à une banale affaire une aura romantique.
— Ou de faire d'une taupinière une montagne, ce qui est typiquement anglais, dit Tinkler. Au revoir, Monsieur Cargrim.
— Au revoir, Tinkler, et grand merci pour votre exposé limpide sur cette affaire. Je ne doute pas que Monseigneur se ralliera à votre opinion très sensée sur cette affaire.
Comme il était déjà tard, M. Cargrim retourna au palais, pas mécontent de son après-midi de travail. Il avait appris que mademoiselle Whichello s'était rendue à la morgue, qu'elle avait connu le défunt en tant que violoniste, sous le nom d'Amaru, et qu'elle l'avait fait enterré à ses frais en souvenir de cette ancienne relation. Il avait également appris que le capitaine Pendle et son frère Gabriel étaient sur la route de Southberry Heath cette nuit-là et à peu près à l'heure où l'homme avait été abattu. Avec tous ces éléments, M. Cargrim espérait donc, tôt ou tard, monter un joli petit dossier contre l’évêque. Si mademoiselle Whichello était liée à cette affaire, tant mieux. À cet instant, les réflexions de M. Cargrim furent interrompues par la voix du docteur Graham.
— Vous êtes justement l'homme dont j'ai besoin, Cargrim. L'évêque m'a écrit pour me demander de passer le voir ce soir. Dites-lui que j'ai un engagement ce soir mais que je serai à son service demain matin à dix heures.
— Oh ! Oh ! soliloqua Cargrim lorsque le docteur, de toute évidence extrêmement pressé, partit, ainsi Monseigneur veut voir le docteur Graham. Je me demande qu'elle en est la raison ?
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THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME (1900).
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CHAPTER XVIII - THE CHAPLAIN ON THE WARPATH.
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But her ready acknowledgment of the fact apparently showed that she had nothing to conceal.
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And who can say that she was acting wrongly?
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'Yes, Mr Cargrim,' she repeated, looking him directly in the face, 'Mrs Pansey is right.
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I was at the dead-house and I went to see the corpse of the man Jentham.
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I suppose you—and Mrs Pansey—wonder why I did so?
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'Oh, my dear lady!'
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'You have made it your business, however!'
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Well, Mr Cargrim, I suppose you know that this tramp attacked my niece on the high road.
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'Yes, Miss Whichello, I know that.
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'To see Mrs Mosk!'
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interrupted Cargrim, softly, hoping to entrap her.
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'In order to see Mrs Mosk, and in order to see Jentham.
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On that night, however, I did not see him, as he had gone over to the gipsy camp.
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It seems that I was wrong, since Mrs Pansey has been discussing me.
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However, I hope you will set her mind at rest by telling her what I have told you.
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'Not while Mrs Pansey has so venomous a tongue, Mr Cargrim.
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I shouldn't be surprised if Mrs Pansey had hinted to you that I had killed this creature.
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'Was Captain Pendle on Southberry Heath?'
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'You don't say so?
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'Yes, he was!
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He rode over to the gipsy camp to purchase an engagement ring for Miss Arden from Mother Jael.
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That ring is now on her finger.
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'So Miss Arden is engaged to Captain Pendle,' cried Cargrim, in a gushing manner.
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'I congratulate you, and her, and him.
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'Thank you, Mr Cargrim,' said Miss Whichello, stiffly.
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'I suppose Captain Pendle saw nothing of Jentham at the gipsy camp?
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'No!
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he never saw the man at all that evening.
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'Did he hear the shot fired?
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'Of course he did not!'
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cried Miss Whichello, wrathfully.
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'How could he hear with the noise of the storm?
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You might as well ask if the bishop did; he was on Southberry Heath on that night.
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'Oh, yes, but he heard nothing, dear lady; he told me so.
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'Naturally, everyone in Beorminster is interested in it.
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I hope the criminal will be captured.
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'I hope so too; do you know who he is?
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'I?
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my dear lady, how should I know?
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'I thought Mrs Pansey might have told you!'
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said Miss Whichello, coolly.
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'She knows all that goes on, and a good deal that doesn't.
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'You are very severe, dear lady!'
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'Solomon was even more severe, Mr Cargrim.
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He said, "Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross."
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I fancy there were Mrs Panseys in those days, Mr Cargrim.
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In the face of this choice proverb Mr Cargrim beat a hasty retreat.
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Not until he was in Tinkler's office did he recover his feeling of superiority.
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Miss Whichello had certainly gained a victory, but she had also made an enemy.
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'So the inquest is over, Mr Inspector,' said the ruffled Cargrim, smoothing his plumes.
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'Over and done with, sir; and the corpse is now six feet under earth.
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'A sad end, Mr Inspector, and a sad life.
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'Don't you take on so, Mr Cargrim, sir!'
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said Tinkler, grimly.
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Cargrim looked up suddenly.
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'Who paid for his funeral then?
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'A charitable la—person, sir, whose name I am not at liberty to tell anyone, at her own request.
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'Ah, Miss Whichello is indeed a good lady.
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'Did you—do you know—are you aware that Miss Whichello buried him, sir?'
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stammered the inspector, considerably astonished.
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'I trust that the sight of his body in the dead-house didn't shock her nerves.
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'Did she tell you she visited the dead-house?'
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asked Tinkler, his eyes growing larger at the extent of the chaplain's information.
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'Of course she did,' replied Cargrim, and this was truer than most of his remarks.
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Tinkler brought down a heavy fist with a bang on his desk.
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'Seems a kind of silly to go on like that, sir!
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'We are not all rare spirits, Tinkler.
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'I don't know what the world would be if we were, Mr Cargrim, sir.
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Cargrim could scarcely suppress a start at this unexpected information.
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'Besides!'
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said he, expansively, 'what does Miss Whichello know?
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Only that the man was a violinist thirty years ago, and that he called himself Amaru.
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Those details don't throw any light on the murder, Mr Cargrim, sir.
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The chaplain mentally noted the former name and former profession of Jentham and shook his head.
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Beyond the man's former name and business as a fiddler she told me nothing.
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I suppose, sir, she didn't tell you anything likely to help us?
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'No!
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I don't think the past can help the present, Mr Tinkler.
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But what is your candid opinion about this case?
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'I think it is a mystery, Mr Cargrim, sir, and is likely to remain one.
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'You don't anticipate that the murderer will be found?
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'No!'
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replied Mr Inspector, gruffly.
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'I don't.
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'Cannot Mosk, with whom Jentham was lodging, enlighten you?
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Tinkler shook his head.
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'But Jentham might have expected to receive money, Mr Inspector?
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'Not he, Mr Cargrim, sir.
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He knew no one here who would lend or give him a farthing.
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He had no money on him when his corpse was found!
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'Yet the body had been robbed!
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'Oh, yes, the body was robbed sure enough, for we found the pockets turned inside out.
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But the murderer only took the rubbish a vagabond was likely to have on him.
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'Were any papers taken, do you think, Mr Inspector?
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'Papers!'
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echoed Tinkler, scratching his head.
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'What papers?
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'Well!'
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'I don't think there could have been any papers, Mr Cargrim, sir.
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If there had been, we'd ha' found 'em.
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The murderer wouldn't have taken rubbish like that.
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'But why was the man killed?'
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persisted the chaplain.
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'He was killed in a row,' said Tinkler, decisively, 'that's my theory.
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'But is it likely that a labourer would have a pistol?
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'Why not?
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'Was search made for the pistol?
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'Yes, it was, and no pistol was found.
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Jentham was shot in a drunken row, and the murderer has cleared out of the district.
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That is the whole explanation of the matter.
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'I daresay you are right, Mr Inspector,' sighed Cargrim, putting on his hat.
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'We are all apt to elevate the commonplace into the romantic.
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'Or make a mountain out of a mole hill, which is plain English,' said Tinkler.
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'Good-day, Mr Cargrim.
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'Good-day, Tinkler, and many thanks for your lucid statement of the case.
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I have no doubt that his lordship, the bishop, will take your very sensible view of the matter.
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As it was now late, Mr Cargrim returned to the palace, not ill pleased with his afternoon's work.
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If Miss Whichello was mixed up with the matter, so much the better.
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At this moment Mr Cargrim's meditation was broken in upon by the voice of Dr Graham.
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'You are the very man I want, Cargrim.
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The bishop has written asking me to call to-night and see him.
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'Oh!
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ho!'
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I wonder what that is for?
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francevw • 14127  commented  1 year, 3 months ago

For those who are interested in listening to the novel: https://librivox.org/the-bishops-secret-by-fergus-hume/

by francevw 1 year, 2 months ago

THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME (1900)

This text will be uploaded on Translatihan, one chapter at a time, starting from chapter XVI, as the former chapters were translated on Duolingo before. Please follow each chapters’ link to the Translatihan text. Good translation.

List of the characters:
1. Miss Daisy Norsham, Belgravian spinster
2. Mrs. Pansey, an archdeacon's widow
3. Mr. George Pendle, Bishop, Dr. Pendle
4. Mrs. Amy Pendle, the bishop's wife, formerly Mrs. Creagth (widow)
5. Mr. George Pendle, bishop's son, officer, in love with Mab Arden
6. Mr. Gabriel Pendle, bishop's son, curate, allegedly chasing Miss Mosk
7. Miss Lucy Pendle, bishop's daughter
8. Sir Harry Brace, engaged to Lucy Pendle
9. Miss Mab Arden, most beautiful girl in Beorminster
10. Miss Whichello, Mab Arden's aunt
11. Mr. Michael Cargrim, bishop's chaplain, also likes Mab Arden
12. Dr. Graham, doctor, atheist, sceptic
13. Mr. William Mosk, the owner of the The Derby Winner pub
14. Mrs Mosk, his wife
15. Miss Bell Mosk, their daughter
16. Mr. Alder, dean, Dr. Alder
17. Miss Tancred, keeps telling the story about her lost purse
18. John, bishop's servant
19. Mr. Jentham, the man with the scar, the bearer of the bad news

Synopsis:
Bishop Pendle is the Church of England bishop in a small fictitious English cathedral town. Several years into his work, he receives a visit from a disreputable-looking visitor. The bishop is much upset. What transpired between them that has so upset the good churchman? And then there is the murder. Fergus Hume was one of the most prolific and most popular of 19th century novelists. "Mr. Hume won a reputation second to none for plot of the stirring, ingenious, misleading, and finally surprising kind, and for working out his plot in vigorous and picturesque English. In "The Bishop's Secret," while there is no falling off in plot and style, there is a welcome and marvelous broadening out as to the cast of characters, representing an unusually wide range of typical men and women. These are not laboriously described by the author, but are made to reveal themselves in action and speech in a way that has, for the reader, all the charm of personal intercourse with living people…."

TABLE OF CONTENTS https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Bishop%27s_Secret
PREFACE.
CHAPTER I. 'Enter Mrs Pansey As Chorus'
CHAPTER II. The Bishop Is Wanted
CHAPTER III. The Unforeseen Happens
CHAPTER IV. The Curiosity Of Mr Cargrim
CHAPTER V. The Derby Winner
CHAPTER VI. The Man With The Scar
CHAPTER VII. An Interesting Conversation
CHAPTER VIII. On Saturday Night
CHAPTER IX. An Exciting Adventure
CHAPTER X. Morning Service In The Minster
CHAPTER XI. Miss Whichello's Luncheon-party
CHAPTER XII. Bell Mosk Pays A Visit
CHAPTER XIII. A Stormy Night
CHAPTER XIV. 'Rumour Full Of Tongues'
CHAPTER XV. The Gipsy Ring
CHAPTER XVI. The Zeal Of Inspector Tinkler
CHAPTER XVII. A Clerical Detective
CHAPTER XVIII. The Chaplain On The Warpath
CHAPTER XIX. The Bishop's Request
CHAPTER XX. Mother Jael
CHAPTER XXI. Mrs Pansey's Festival
CHAPTER XXII. Mr Mosk Is Indiscreet
CHAPTER XXIII. In The Library
CHAPTER XXIV. The Bishop Asserts Himself
CHAPTER XXV. Mr Baltic, Missionary
CHAPTER XXVI. The Amazement Of Sir Harry Brace
CHAPTER XXVII. What Mother Jael Knew
CHAPTER XXVIII. The Return Of Gabriel
CHAPTER XXIX. The Confession Of Bishop Pendle
CHAPTER XXX. Blackmail
CHAPTER XXXI. Mr Baltic On The Trail
CHAPTER XXXII. The Initials
CHAPTER XXXIII. Mr Baltic Explains Himself
CHAPTER XXXIV. The Wages Of Sin
CHAPTER XXXV. The Honour Of Gabriel
CHAPTER XXXVI. The Rebellion Of Mrs Pendle
CHAPTER XXXVII. Dea Ex Machinâ
CHAPTER XXXVIII. Exit Mr Cargrim
CHAPTER XXXIX. All's Well That Ends Well

by francevw 1 year, 3 months ago

Welcome dear translators, this is a novel we started to translate on Duolingo.
If you join us without having already worked on this novel, you will find some interesting informations about the characters, the former chapters and the synopsis in the « discussion » tab of this text.

THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME (1900).

CHAPTER XVIII - THE CHAPLAIN ON THE WARPATH.
Miss Whichello's frank admission that she had visited the dead-house rather disconcerted Mr Cargrim. From the circumstance of the veil, he had presumed that she wished her errand there to be unknown, in which case her conduct would have appeared highly suspicious, since she was supposed to know nothing about Jentham or Jentham's murder. But her ready acknowledgment of the fact apparently showed that she had nothing to conceal. Cargrim, for all his acuteness, did not guess that of two evils Miss Whichello had chosen the least. In truth, she did not wish her visit to the dead-house to be known, but as Mrs Pansey was cognisant of it, she judged it wiser to neutralise any possible harm that that lady could do by admitting the original statement to be a true one. This honesty would take the wind out of Mrs Pansey's sails, and prevent her from distorting an admitted fact into a fiction of hinted wickedness. Furthermore, Miss Whichello was prepared to give Cargrim a sufficient reason for her visit, so that he might not invent one. Only by so open a course could she keep the secret of her thirty-year-old acquaintance with the dead man. As a rule, the little old lady hated subterfuge, but in this case her only chance of safety lay in beating Pansey, Cargrim and Company with their own weapons. And who can say that she was acting wrongly?
'Yes, Mr Cargrim,' she repeated, looking him directly in the face, 'Mrs Pansey is right. I was at the dead-house and I went to see the corpse of the man Jentham. I suppose you—and Mrs Pansey—wonder why I did so?
'Oh, my dear lady!' remonstrated the embarrassed chaplain, 'by no means; such knowledge is none of our business—that is, none of my business.
'You have made it your business, however!' observed Miss Whichello, dryly, 'else you would scarcely have informed me of Mrs Pansey's unwarrantable remarks on my private affairs. Well, Mr Cargrim, I suppose you know that this tramp attacked my niece on the high road.
'Yes, Miss Whichello, I know that.
'Very good; as I considered that the man was a dangerous character I thought that he should be compelled to leave Beorminster; so I went to The Derby Winner on the night that you met me, in order to—.
'To see Mrs Mosk!' interrupted Cargrim, softly, hoping to entrap her.
'In order to see Mrs Mosk, and in order to see Jentham. I intended to tell him that if he did not leave Beorminster at once that I should inform the police of his attack on Miss Arden. Also, as I was willing to give him a chance of reforming his conduct, I intended to supply him with a small sum for his immediate departure. On that night, however, I did not see him, as he had gone over to the gipsy camp. When I heard that he was dead I could scarcely believe it, so, to set my mind at rest, and to satisfy myself that Mab would be in no further danger from his insolence when she walked abroad, I visited the dead-house and saw his body. That, Mr Cargrim, was the sole reason for my visit; and as it concerned myself alone, I wore a veil so as not to provoke remark. It seems that I was wrong, since Mrs Pansey has been discussing me. However, I hope you will set her mind at rest by telling her what I have told you.
'Really, my dear Miss Whichello, you are very severe; I assure you all this explanation is needless.
'Not while Mrs Pansey has so venomous a tongue, Mr Cargrim. She is quite capable of twisting my innocent desire to assure myself that Mab was safe from this man into some extraordinary statement without a word of truth in it. I shouldn't be surprised if Mrs Pansey had hinted to you that I had killed this creature.
As this was precisely what the archdeacon's widow had done, Cargrim felt horribly uncomfortable under the scorn of Miss Whichello's justifiable indignation. He grew red, and smiled feebly, and murmured weak apologies; all of which Miss Whichello saw and heard with supreme contempt. Mr Cargrim, by his late tittle-tattling conversation, had fallen in her good opinion; and she was not going to let him off without a sharp rebuke for his unfounded chatter. Cutting short his murmurs, she proceeded to nip in the bud any further reports he or Mrs Pansey might spread in connection with the murder, by explaining much more than was needful.
'And if Mrs Pansey should hear that Captain Pendle was on Southberry Heath on Sunday night,' she continued, 'I trust that she will not accuse him of shooting the man, although as I know, and you know also, Mr Cargrim, she is quite capable of doing so.
'Was Captain Pendle on Southberry Heath?' asked Cargrim, who was already acquainted with this fact, although he did not think it necessary to tell Miss Whichello so. 'You don't say so?
'Yes, he was! He rode over to the gipsy camp to purchase an engagement ring for Miss Arden from Mother Jael. That ring is now on her finger.
'So Miss Arden is engaged to Captain Pendle,' cried Cargrim, in a gushing manner. 'I congratulate you, and her, and him.
'Thank you, Mr Cargrim,' said Miss Whichello, stiffly.
'I suppose Captain Pendle saw nothing of Jentham at the gipsy camp?
'No! he never saw the man at all that evening.
'Did he hear the shot fired?
'Of course he did not!' cried Miss Whichello, wrathfully. 'How could he hear with the noise of the storm? You might as well ask if the bishop did; he was on Southberry Heath on that night.
'Oh, yes, but he heard nothing, dear lady; he told me so.
'You seem to be very interested in this murder, Mr Cargrim,' said the little lady, with a keen look.
'Naturally, everyone in Beorminster is interested in it. I hope the criminal will be captured.
'I hope so too; do you know who he is?
'I? my dear lady, how should I know?
'I thought Mrs Pansey might have told you!' said Miss Whichello, coolly. 'She knows all that goes on, and a good deal that doesn't. But you can tell her that both I and Captain Pendle are innocent, although I did visit the dead-house, and although he was on Southberry Heath when the crime was committed.
'You are very severe, dear lady!' said Cargrim, rising to take his leave, for he was anxious to extricate himself from his very uncomfortable and undignified position.
'Solomon was even more severe, Mr Cargrim. He said, "Burning lips and a wicked heart are like a potsherd covered with silver dross." I fancy there were Mrs Panseys in those days, Mr Cargrim.
In the face of this choice proverb Mr Cargrim beat a hasty retreat. Altogether Miss Whichello was too much for him; and for once in his life he was at a loss how to gloss over his defeat. Not until he was in Tinkler's office did he recover his feeling of superiority. With a man—especially with a social inferior—he felt that he could deal; but who can contend with a woman's tongue? It is her sword and shield; her mouth is her bow; her words are the arrows; and the man who hopes to withstand such an armoury of deadly weapons is a superfine idiot. Cargrim, not being one, had run away; but in his rage at being compelled to take flight, he almost exceeded Mrs Pansey in hating the cause of it. Miss Whichello had certainly gained a victory, but she had also made an enemy.
'So the inquest is over, Mr Inspector,' said the ruffled Cargrim, smoothing his plumes.
'Over and done with, sir; and the corpse is now six feet under earth.
'A sad end, Mr Inspector, and a sad life. To be a wanderer on the face of the earth; to be violently removed when sinning; to be buried at the expense of an alien parish; what a fate for a baptised Christian.
'Don't you take on so, Mr Cargrim, sir!' said Tinkler, grimly. 'There was precious little religion about Jentham, and he was buried in a much better fashion than he deserved, and not by the parish either.
Cargrim looked up suddenly. 'Who paid for his funeral then?
'A charitable la—person, sir, whose name I am not at liberty to tell anyone, at her own request.
'At her own request,' said the chaplain, noting Tinkler's slips and putting two and two together with wondrous rapidity. 'Ah, Miss Whichello is indeed a good lady.
'Did you—do you know—are you aware that Miss Whichello buried him, sir?' stammered the inspector, considerably astonished.
'I have just come from her house,' replied Cargrim, answering the question in the affirmative by implication.
'Well, she asked me not to tell anyone, sir; but as she told you, I s'pose I can say as she buried that corpse with a good deal of expense.
'It is not to be wondered at, seeing that she took an interest in the wretched creature,' said Cargrim, delicately feeling his way. 'I trust that the sight of his body in the dead-house didn't shock her nerves.
'Did she tell you she visited the dead-house?' asked Tinkler, his eyes growing larger at the extent of the chaplain's information.
'Of course she did,' replied Cargrim, and this was truer than most of his remarks.
Tinkler brought down a heavy fist with a bang on his desk. 'Then I'm blest, Mr Cargrim, sir, if I can understand what she meant by asking me to hold my tongue.
'Ah, Mr Inspector, the good lady is one of those rare spirits who "do good by stealth and blush to find it fame".
'Seems a kind of silly to go on like that, sir!
'We are not all rare spirits, Tinkler.
'I don't know what the world would be if we were, Mr Cargrim, sir. But Miss Whichello seemed so anxious that I should hold my tongue about the visit and the burial that I can't make out why she talked about them to you or to anybody.
'I cannot myself fathom her reason for such unnecessary secrecy, Mr Inspector; unless it is that she wishes the murderer to be discovered.
'Well, she can't spot him,' said Tinkler, emphatically, 'for all she knows about Jentham is thirty years old.
Cargrim could scarcely suppress a start at this unexpected information. So Miss Whichello did know something about the dead man after all; and doubtless her connection with Jentham had to do with the secret of the bishop. Cargrim felt that he was on the eve of an important discovery; for Tinkler, thinking that Miss Whichello had made a confidant of the chaplain, babbled on innocently, without guessing that his attentive listener was making a base use of him. The shrug of the shoulders with which Cargrim commented on his last remark made Tinkler talk further.
'Besides!' said he, expansively, 'what does Miss Whichello know? Only that the man was a violinist thirty years ago, and that he called himself Amaru. Those details don't throw any light on the murder, Mr Cargrim, sir.
The chaplain mentally noted the former name and former profession of Jentham and shook his head. 'Such information is utterly useless,' he said gravely, 'and the people with whom Amaru alias Jentham associated then are doubtless all dead by this time.
'Well, Miss Whichello didn't mention any of his friends, sir, but I daresay it wouldn't be much use if she did. Beyond the man's former name and business as a fiddler she told me nothing. I suppose, sir, she didn't tell you anything likely to help us?
'No! I don't think the past can help the present, Mr Tinkler. But what is your candid opinion about this case?
'I think it is a mystery, Mr Cargrim, sir, and is likely to remain one.
'You don't anticipate that the murderer will be found?
'No!' replied Mr Inspector, gruffly. 'I don't.
'Cannot Mosk, with whom Jentham was lodging, enlighten you?
Tinkler shook his head. 'Mosk said that Jentham owed him money, and promised to pay him this week; but that I believe was all moonshine.
'But Jentham might have expected to receive money, Mr Inspector?
'Not he, Mr Cargrim, sir. He knew no one here who would lend or give him a farthing. He had no money on him when his corpse was found!
'Yet the body had been robbed!
'Oh, yes, the body was robbed sure enough, for we found the pockets turned inside out. But the murderer only took the rubbish a vagabond was likely to have on him.
'Were any papers taken, do you think, Mr Inspector?
'Papers!' echoed Tinkler, scratching his head. 'What papers?
'Well!' said Cargrim, shirking a true explanation, 'papers likely to reveal his real name and the reason of his haunting Beorminster.
'I don't think there could have been any papers, Mr Cargrim, sir. If there had been, we'd ha' found 'em. The murderer wouldn't have taken rubbish like that.
'But why was the man killed?' persisted the chaplain.
'He was killed in a row,' said Tinkler, decisively, 'that's my theory. Mother Jael says that he was half seas over when he left the camp, so I daresay he met some labourer who quarrelled with him and used his pistol.
'But is it likely that a labourer would have a pistol?
'Why not? Those harvesters don't trust one another, and it's just as likely as not that one of them would keep a pistol to protect his property from the other.
'Was search made for the pistol?
'Yes, it was, and no pistol was found. I tell you what, Mr Cargrim,' said Tinkler, rising in rigid military fashion, 'it's my opinion that there is too much tall talk about this case. Jentham was shot in a drunken row, and the murderer has cleared out of the district. That is the whole explanation of the matter.
'I daresay you are right, Mr Inspector,' sighed Cargrim, putting on his hat. 'We are all apt to elevate the commonplace into the romantic.
'Or make a mountain out of a mole hill, which is plain English,' said Tinkler. 'Good-day, Mr Cargrim.
'Good-day, Tinkler, and many thanks for your lucid statement of the case. I have no doubt that his lordship, the bishop, will take your very sensible view of the matter.
As it was now late, Mr Cargrim returned to the palace, not ill pleased with his afternoon's work. He had learned that Miss Whichello had visited the dead-house, that she had known the dead man as a violinist under the name of Amaru, and had buried him for old acquaintance sake at her own expense. Also he had been informed that Captain Pendle and his brother Gabriel had been on Southberry Heath on the very night, and about the very time, when the man had been shot; so, with all these materials, Mr Cargrim hoped sooner or later to build up a very pretty case against the bishop. If Miss Whichello was mixed up with the matter, so much the better. At this moment Mr Cargrim's meditation was broken in upon by the voice of Dr Graham.
'You are the very man I want, Cargrim. The bishop has written asking me to call to-night and see him. Just tell him that I am engaged this evening, but that I will attend on him to-morrow morning at ten o'clock.
'Oh! ho!' soliloquised Cargrim, when the doctor, evidently in a great hurry, went off, 'so his lordship wants to see Dr Graham. I wonder what that is for?