en-fr  THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME - Chapter 19
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CHAPITRE XIX - LA REQUÊTE DE L’ÉVÊQUE.
Quoi que le révérend Pendle ait pu penser du meurtre de Southberry, il gardait fermement son opinion pour lui. Il est vrai qu'il se déclara horrifié qu'un crime aussi barbare soit survenu dans son diocèse, qu'il parla avec compatissance de la pauvre victime, qu'il souhaitait entendre le résultat de l'enquête, mais chaque fois il faisait attention à ce qu'il disait. Au début, en entendant parler du crime, son visage avait trahi - en tout cas, à l'examen jaloux de Cargrim - une expression de soulagement, mais peu de temps après - à la réflexion comme on pourrait le dire, il lui vint aux yeux une lueur d'appréhension. Ce regard qui semblait s'attendre à l'arrivée de mauvais jours ne le quitta plus, et chaque jour son visage devenait plus mince et plus blanc, sa manière d'être plus agitée et mal à l'aise. Il semblait être aussi mal à l'aise que Damoclès sous l'épée suspendue à un fil.
D'autres gens, à part l'aumônier, remarquèrent le changement, mais, contrairement à Cargrim, ils ne l'attribuèrent pas à une mauvaise conscience, mais à une mauvaise santé. Mme Pendle, qui aimait extrêmement son mari, et était bien informée au sujet des traitements les plus récents et des derniers médicaments à la mode, affirma que l'évêque souffrait des nerfs à cause d'un surmenage et suggéra qu'ils aillent tous deux faire une cure dans une station thermale allemande. Mais l'évêque, en vieux Britannique vigoureux qu'il était, affirma que tant qu'il pourrait rester debout, il ne fallait pas que ses femmes fassent autant d'histoire à son sujet et déclara que ce n'était que le changement de temps qui l'avait amené, comme il le disait, à se sentir un peu patraque.
— Il fait chaud un jour et froid le lendemain, ma chérie, dit-il à sa femme en réponse à ses reproches, comme si le temps perdait la tête. Comment pouvez-vous espérer que le foie d'un vieil homme adipeux et indolent comme moi reste insensible à ces brusques changements de température ?
— Adipeux, l'évêque ! s'écria Mme Pendle, d'un ton contrarié. Vous n'êtes pas adipeux, vous avez une silhouette mince pour un homme de votre âge. Et pour ce qui est de l'indolence, personne dans cette église ne travaille plus que vous. Personne ne peut le nier.
— Vous me flattez, mon amour !
— Vous vous sous-estimez, mon cher. Mais si c'est le foie, pourquoi ne pas essayer le Woodhall Spa ? Je crois que le traitement y est radical et bénéfique. Pourquoi ne pas y aller l'évêque ? Je suis sûre que des vacances ne vous feront pas de mal.
— Je n'ai pas de temps pour les vacances, Amy. Mon foie doit se porter aussi bien qu'il le peut tandis que j'occupe de mes tâches quotidiennes, du moins s'il s'agit de mon foie.
— Je ne le crois pas, remarqua Mme Pendle, ce sont les nerfs, mon cher, rien d'autre. Vous mangez à peine, vous sursautez à la vue de votre propre ombre, et parfois vous êtes trop irrité pour avoir une conversation. Allez à Droitwich pour vos nerfs agités, et essayez les bains d'eau salée.
— Je pense plutôt que vous devriez aller à Nauheim pour votre cœur fragile, mon amour, répondit M. Pendle, replaçant les oreillers de sa femme, en fait, je veux que vous et Lucy y alliez le mois prochain.
— Vraiment, Évêque, je ne ferai pas une telle chose ! Vous n'êtes pas en état de prendre soin de vous-même.
— Alors Graham prendra soin de moi.
— Docteur Graham ! répéta Mme Pendle avec mépris. Ses méthodes sont dépassées et il ignore tout des médecines nouvelles. Non, évêque, vous devez vous rendre à Droitwich.
— Et vous, ma chère, à Nauheim !
À ce moment-là, cette question vira au problème entre eux, car Mme Pendle qui, comme la plupart des gens, possédait un fond de ce que l'on peut appeler de l'entêtement pathologique, refusa catégoriquement de quitter l'Angleterre. De son côté, l'évêque insista avec un enthousiasme peu coutumier pour que Mme Pendle suivit le traitement du docteur Schott à Nauheim. Pendant un moment, les deux parties campèrent sur leurs positions, jusqu'à ce que Mme Pendle y mette fin en éclatant en sanglots et en déclarant que son mari ne la comprenait pas le moins du monde. À quoi, dans l'unique but de la calmer, l'évêque reconnut qu'il avait tort et présenta ses excuses.
Malgré tout, il était convaincu que son épouse devait partir à l'étranger, et pensant qu'elle cèderait à la persuasion d'un avis professionnel, il fit appeler le Docteur Graham. Par l'entremise de Cargrim, un message fut transmis disant que le docteur serait auprès de l'évêque le lendemain matin, alors Pendle, pour éviter toute dispute supplémentaire, n'aborda plus ce sujet avec sa femme. À cet instant, Lucy entra en scène et sembla toute aussi opposée que sa mère à un voyage sur le continent. Elle commença immédiatement à protester contre le séjour proposé.
— Maman se porte mieux aujourd'hui que jamais, dit Lucy, et si elle va à Nauheim, le traitement ne fera que l’affaiblir.
— Il la renforcera sur le long terme, Lucy. J'entends d'excellents avis sur les cures de Nauheim.
— Oh, papa, chacun à Bad dit qu'il guérit plus de patients que partout ailleurs, tout comme chacun à Bad annonce que ses eaux sont plus riches de plus de sel, de sodium ou d'iode, ou tout ce qu'ils l'appellent, que les autres. D'ailleurs, si tu penses vraiment que maman devrait essayer cette cure, elle peut l'avoir à Bath ou à Londres. On dit que c'est aussi bien dans ces deux endroits qu'à Nauheim.
— Je ne le crois pas, Lucy ; et je souhaite que ta mère et toi alliez à l'étranger pendant un mois ou deux. Ma décision est prise à ce propos.
— Pourquoi, papa, s'écria Lucy malicieusement, on croirait que tu cherches à te débarrasser de nous.
L'évêque grimaça et vira en une teinte plus pâle. — Tu parles sans savoir, ma chèrie, dit-il serieusement ; si ce n'était pas pour le bien de ta mère, je n'aurais pas à me priver de votre société.
— Pauvre mère ! soupira Lucy, et pauvre Harry, ajouta-t-elle après coup.
Il n'y a pas besoin de « pauvre Harry » à ce sujet, déclara l'évêque Pendle, assez brusquement. — Si c'est ce qui te dérange, je suis sûr qu'Harry sera heureux de vous accompagner en Allemagne ta mère et toi.
Lucy rosit de plaisir. — Penses-tu vraiment qu'Harry voudra venir ? demanda-t-elle d'une voix tremblante.
— Ce n'est pas un vrai amoureux s'il ne le fait pas, répondit son père avec un pâle sourir. Maintenant, exécution, mon ange, j'ai à faire. Demain, nous réglerons la question de votre départ.
Quand le lendemain arriva, Cargrim, brûlant de curiosité, essaya à tout prix de rester dans la bibliothèque quand le Dr Graham arriva, mais comme l'évêque souhaitait que son entretien fût privé, il l'indiqua assez clairement à son obséquieux chapelain. En fait, il parla si fortement que Cargrim se sentait nettement lésé; mais, pour le contrôle entraîné, il tenait son sang-froid, et il aurait pu dire quelque chose pour montrer au Dr Pendle les soupçons qu'il entretenait. Cependant, le temps n'était pas encore venu pour lui de mettre toutes ses cartes sur table, car il n'avait pas encore conçu une histoire plausible contre l'évêque. Il était sur le point de prononcer le nom «Amaru» pour voir si cela surprendrait le Dr Pendle, mais se souvenant de ses anciens échecs lorsqu'il avait introduit le nom de «Jentham» à l'avis de l'évêque, il était assez sage pour retenir sa langue. Il ne ferait rien pour éveiller les soupçons du révérend Pendle jusqu'à ce qu'il puisse l'accuser clairement d'avoir assassiné cet homme et pourrait produire des preuves pour étayer son accusation. Les preuves que Cargrim souhaitait obtenir étaient celles du talon de chèque et du pistolet mais il ne voyait pas encore le moyen d'entrer en possession de l'un ou de l'autre. En attentant de pouvoir le faire, il se dissimula dans l'herbe comme le serpent qu'il était, prêt à s'attaquer à son bienfaiteur sans méfiance lorsqu'il pourrait le faire efficacement et sans danger.
Conformément à sa résolution sur le sujet, Cargrim fut humble et obséquieux tout le temps qu'il était avec l'évêque, et lorsque le docteur Graham fut annoncé, il se glissa hors de la bibliothèque avec un sourire mielleux. Le docteur Graham répondit d'un rapide signe de tête à son aimable salut et il ferma lui-même la porte avant de s'avancer pour rejoindre l'évêque. Plus encore, son aversion envers le bon M. Cargrim était si violente, qu'il fit quelques remarques sur cet apôtre avant d'en arriver à l'objet de sa visite.
— Si vous étiez un élève de Lavater, Évêque, dit-il en se frottant les mains, vous ne toléreriez pas ce Rodin jésuite près de vous en ce moment.
— Un Rodin jésuite, docteur ! Je ne comprends pas.
Ah, voilà ce que c'est de ne pas lire de romans français, Monseigneur !
— Je n'approuve pas le ton moral de vos romans français, dit l'évêque sèchement.
— Peu de nos pharisiens anglais le font, répondit Graham sèchement; non pas que je vous classe parmi les hypocrites, l'évêque, alors ne prenez pas ma remarque trop au pied de la lettre.
— Je ne suis pas si susceptible ou complexé pour le faire, Graham. Mais que voulez-vous dire par un Rodin jésuite ?
— C'est expliqué dans Le Juif errant d'Eugène Sue, l’évêque. Vous devriez lire ce roman, ne fût-ce que pour parvenir par analogie à la nature profonde de votre chapelain. Rodin est un des personnages de ce roman, et Rodin c'est Cargrim, dit le docteur avec fermeté.
— Vous êtes sévère, docteur. Michael est un estimable jeune homme.
— Michael et le dragon ! dit Graham, faisant un jeu de mot. Hum ! Il ressemble plus au second qu'au premier. M. Michael Cargrim est le jeune serpent alors que Satan est l'ancien.
— J'ai toujours cru que vous considériez Satan comme un mythe, docteur !
Moi aussi ; donc c'est ; un croque-mitaine du moyen-âge et de l'antiquité classique élaboré à partir de Pluton et de Pan. Mais il sert très bien pour illustrer votre prêtre favori.
— Cargrim n'est pas mon favori, répondit froidement l'évêque, et je ne dis pas qu'il est d'une moralité parfaite. Néanmoins, il n'est pas assez mauvais pour être comparé à Satan. Vous parlez hâtivement aussi, docteur, et, si vous me passez l'expression, trop irreligieument.
— Je vous prie de m'excuser, j'ai oublié que je m'adressais à un évêque. Mais en ce qui concerne ce jeune homme, c'est un personnage mauvais et dangereux.
— Docteur, docteur, protesta l'évêque en soulevant une main désapprouvante.
Oui, il l'est, insista Graham ; sa bonté et son humilité sont de simples apparences. Je suis convaincu que c'est une sorte de taupe humaine qui travaille clandestinement et sème la zizanie de façons sournoise. Si vous avez un placard avec un squelette, évêque, veillez à ce que M. Cargrim ne voit pas la clé.
Graham parlait par sous-entendus car depuis l'indisposition de l'évêque Pendle à la suite de la visite de Jentham, il avait la suspicion que l'esprit de l'évêque était troublé et qu'il possédait un secret qui le tourmentait. S'il avait su que l'étrange visiteur ne faisait qu'un avec l'homme assassiné, il est possible qu'il ait continué sur le sujet ; mais le docteur ignorait ceci et, par conséquent il envisageait le secret de l'évêque comme étant beaucoup plus inoffensif qu'il ne l'était réellement. Cependant, ses mots touchèrent vivement son hôte, car l'évêque Pendle commença à devenir nerveux et il eut l'air si hagard et si inquiet que Graham poursuivit son discours sans lui laisser le temps de faire une remarque.
— Toutefois, je ne suis pas venu ici pour parler de Cargrim, dit-il gaiement, mais parce que vous m'avez envoyé chercher. Il était grand temps, dit sombrement Graham, examinant le visage dévasté et les manières embarrassées de l'évêque. Vous semblez aussi malade qu'il est humainement possible. Que vous arrive-t-il ?
— Je n'ai rien. Je me porte bien.
- Ça ce voit, dit ironiquement le docteur. — Bon Dieu, mon ami ! Avec une colère soudaine — pourquoi, au nom des Trente-neuf articles, ne pouvez-vous pas me dire la vérité ?
— La vérité ? répéta l'évèque, faiblement.
— Oui, mon seigneur, j'ai dit la vérité, et je veux dire la vérité. Si ce n'est pas votre corps qui va mal, c'est votre esprit. Un homme ne perd pas sa corpulence, sa bonne mine, son appétit et son sang-froid sans raison. Vous voulez que je vous soigne. Eh bien, je ne peux le faire que si vous m'indiquez la cause de votre problème.
— Je me fais du souci pour une affaire d'ordre privé, confessa Pendle, acculé.
— Quelque chose qui ne va pas ? demanda Graham, haussant les sourcils.
— Oui, quelque chose qui ne va pas du tout.
— Cela peut s'arranger ?
— Je crains que non, répondit l'évêque d'une voix désespérée. — C'est une de ces choses au-delà du pouvoir de l'homme mortel à bien réparer.
— Votre trouble doit être grave, déclara Graham, avec un visage sérieux.
— C'est très grave. Vous ne pouvez pas m'aider. C'est plus fort que moi. Je dois supporter mon chagrin le mieux possible. Après tout, Dieu renforce le dos pour le fardeau.
— Oh, Seigneur ! se lamenta Graham en lui-même, se contenter de cette perspective semble être l'essence même du christianisme. Mais que diable, à quoi bon faire reposer des charges trop lourdes pour les épaules de chacun quand chacun doit se fortifier pour les supporter. — Eh bien, évêque, ajouta-t-il à voix haute, je n'ai pas le droit de demander un coup d'œil furtif de votre cadavre. Mais puis-je vous aider de quelque façon que ce soit ?
— Oui, s'écria l'évêque avec enthousiasme. Je vous ai fait venir pour demander votre aide. Vous pouvez m'aider, Graham, et très concrètement.
— Je suis disposé à le faire. Que dois-je faire ?
— Envoyez ma femme et ma fille à Nauheim sous prétexte que Mme Pendle a besoin des thermes et gardez-les là bas pendant deux mois.
Le Dr Graham eut l'air perplexe, car il ne pouvait en aucun cas imaginer le sens d'une demande si étrange. Comme la plupart des gens, il était habitué à considérer l'évêque et Mme Pendle comme un couple modèle, qui serait aussi misérable qu'un couple de tourtereaux séparés, s'ils se quittaient. Pourtant, ici, était le mari qui exigea à son aide de renvoyer la femme sur ce qu'il a admis était un prétexte transparent. Pour l'instant, il était déconcerté.
— Pardonnez-moi, monseigneur, dit-il délicatement, mais avez-vous eu des mots avec votre femme ?
— Non ! non ! Dieu nous garde, Graham. Elle est aussi bonne et tendre qu'elle l'est toujours: aussi chère à moi que jamais. Mais j'aimerais qu'elle s'en aille pendant un certain temps, et je désire que Lucy l'accompagne. Hier, je leur ai suggéré de partir pour Nauheim, mais toutes deux ne semblaient pas en avoir envie. Pourtant, elles doivent partir ! s'écria l'évêque avec véhémence, et vous devez m'aider dans mes ennuis en insistant sur leur départ immédiat.
Graham était plus perplexe que jamais. —Vos ennuis intimes ont-ils quelque chose à voir avec Mme Pendle ? demanda-t-il, sachant à peine que dire.
— Cela a tout à voir avec elle !
— Le sait-elle ?
— Non, elle ne sait rien, pas même que je garde un secret d'elle ; docteur, dit Pendle en se levant, si je pouvais te dire mes ennuis, mais je ne peux pas; je n'ose pas ! Si vous m'aidez, vous devez le faire avec une confiance implicite en moi, sachant que j'agis pour le mieux.
— Eh bien, monseigneur, vous m'avez plutôt coincé, dit le médecin en regardant le visage agité de l'homme avec ses petits yeux astucieux. — Je n'aime pas agir dans l'ombre. Il faut toujours regarder avant de sauter, vous savez.
Mais, bon Dieu, mon ami ! Je ne vous demande pas de faire quelque chose de mal. Ma demande est parfaitement raisonnable. Je veux que ma femme et ma fille quittent l'Angleterre pendant un certain temps, et vous pouvez les inciter à faire ce voyage.
— Eh bien, dit Graham avec calme, je le ferai.
— Merci, Graham. C'est gentil à vous d'accéder à ma demande.
— Je ne le ferais pas pour tout le monde, déclara Graham brusquement. Et bien que je n'aime pas être éteint de votre confiance, je vous connais assez bien pour vous faire confiance. Quelques mois à Nauheim peuvent faire du bien à votre femme et, comme vous me le dites, vous soulageront.
— Cela va certainement soulager mon esprit, déclara l'évêque avec beaucoup d'emphase.
— Très bien, monseigneur. Je ferai de mon mieux pour persuader Mme Pendle et votre fille d'entreprendre ce voyage.
— Bien sûr, dit Pendle avec angoisse, vous ne leur direz pas tout ce que je vous ai dit ! Je ne veux pas m'expliquer trop minutieusement à elles.
— Je ne suis pas aussi indiscret que vous le pensez, monseigneur, répondit Graham, avec un peu de sécheresse. Votre femme va quitter Beorminster pour Nauheim en pensant que votre désir de son départ est entièrement à cause de sa santé.
— Merci encore, docteur ! et l'évêque lui tendit la main.
— Allons, se dit Graham en lui prenant la main, ce secret ne peut pas être très affreux s'il me tend la main. Monseigneur ! il ajouta à haute voix: Je verrai madame Pendle à la fois. Mais avant de clore cette conversation, je vous donnerais un avertissement.
— Un avertissement ! balbutia l'évêque, en faisant un bond en arrière.
— Un avertissement indispensable, dit le docteur solennellement. Si vous avez un secret, méfiez-vous de Cargrim.
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For more info, please see discussion tab.
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CHAPTER XIX - THE BISHOP'S REQUEST.
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He seemed as uncomfortable as was Damocles under the hair-suspended sword.
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'Fat, bishop!'
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cried Mrs Pendle, in vexed tones.
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'You are not fat; you have a fine figure for a man of your age.
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And as to lazy, there is no one in the Church who works harder than you do.
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No one can deny that.
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'You flatter me, my love!
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'You under-rate yourself, my dear.
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But if it is liver, why not try Woodhall Spa?
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I believe the treatment there is very drastic and beneficial.
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Why not go there, bishop?
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I'm sure a holiday would do you no harm.
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'I haven't time for a holiday, Amy.
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'I don't believe it is,' remarked Mrs Pendle; 'it is nerves, my dear, nothing else.
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Go to Droitwich for those unruly nerves of yours, and try brine baths.
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'Indeed, bishop, I shall do no such thing!
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You are not fit to look after yourself.
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'Then Graham shall look after me.
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'Dr Graham!'
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echoed Mrs Pendle, with contempt.
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'He is old-fashioned, and quite ignorant of the new medicines.
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No, bishop, you must go to Droitwich.
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'And you, my dear, to Nauheim!
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She immediately entered her protest against the proposed journey.
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'It will strengthen her in the long run, Lucy.
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I hear wonderful accounts of the Nauheim cures.
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more salt or sodium or iodine, or whatever they call it, than the rest.
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Besides, if you really think mamma should try this cure she can have it at Bath or in London.
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They say it is just as good in either place as at Nauheim.
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'I think not, Lucy; and I wish you and your mother to go abroad for a month or two.
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My mind is made up on the subject.
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'Why, papa,' cried Lucy, playfully, 'one would think you wanted to get rid of us.
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The bishop winced and turned a shade paler.
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'Poor mother!'
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sighed Lucy, and 'poor Harry,' she added as an afterthought.
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'There need be no "poor Harry" about the matter,' said Dr Pendle, rather sharply.
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Lucy became a rosy red with pleasure.
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'Do you really think Harry will like to come?'
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she asked in a fluttering voice.
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'He is no true lover if he doesn't,' replied her father, with a wan smile.
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'Now, run away, my love, I am busy.
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To-morrow we shall settle the question of your going.
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'Jesuitical Rodin, doctor!
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I do not understand.
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'Ah, that comes of not reading French novels, my lord!
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'I do not approve of the moral tone of French fiction,' said the bishop, stiffly.
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'I am not so thin-skinned or self-conscious as to do so, Graham.
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But your meaning of a Jesuitical Rodin?'
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'It is explained in The Wandering Jew of Eugene Sue, bishop.
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You should read that novel if only to arrive by analogy at the true character of your chaplain.
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Rodin is one of the personages in the book, and Rodin,' said the doctor decisively, 'is Cargrim!
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'You are severe, doctor.
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Michael is an estimable young man.
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'Michael and the Dragon!'
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said Graham, playing upon the name.
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'Humph!
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he is more like the latter than the former.
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Mr Michael Cargrim is the young serpent as Satan is the old one.
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'I always understood that you considered Satan a myth, doctor!
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'So I do; so he is; a bogey of the Middle and Classical Ages constructed out of Pluto and Pan.
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But he serves excellently well for an illustration of your pet parson.
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Still, he is not bad enough to be compared to Satan.
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You speak too hurriedly, doctor, and, if you will pardon my saying so, too irreligiously.
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'I beg your pardon, I forgot that I was addressing a bishop.
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But as to that young man, he is a bad and dangerous character.
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'Doctor, doctor,' protested the bishop, raising a deprecating hand.
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'Yes, he is,' insisted Graham; 'his goodness and meekness are all on the surface!
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If you have a cupboard with a skeleton, bishop, take care Mr Cargrim doesn't steal the key.
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'You are looking about as ill as a man can look.
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What is the matter with you?
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'Nothing is the matter with me.
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I am in my usual health.
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'You look it,' said the doctor, ironically.
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'Good Lord, man!'
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with sudden wrath, 'why in the name of the Thirty-Nine Articles can't you tell me the truth?
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'The truth?'
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echoed the bishop, faintly.
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'Yes, my lord, I said the truth, and I mean the truth.
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If you are not wrong in body you are in mind.
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A man doesn't lose flesh, and colour, and appetite, and self-control for nothing.
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You want me to cure you.
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Well, I can't, unless you show me the root of your trouble.
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'I am worried over a private affair,' confessed Pendle, driven into a corner.
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'Something wrong?'
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asked Graham, raising his eyebrows.
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'Yes, something is very wrong.
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'Can't it be put right?
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'I fear not,' said the bishop, in hopeless tones.
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'It is one of those things beyond the power of mortal man to put right.
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'Your trouble must be serious,' said Graham, with a grave face.
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'It is very serious.
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You can't help me.
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I can't help myself.
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I must endure my sorrow as best I may.
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After all, God strengthens the back for the burden.
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'Oh, Lord!'
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groaned Graham to himself, 'that make-the-best-of-it-view seems to be the gist of Christianity.
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Well, bishop,' he added aloud, 'I have no right to ask for a glimpse of your skeleton.
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But can I help you in any way?
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'Yes,' cried the bishop, eagerly.
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'I sent for you to request your aid.
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You can help me, Graham, and very materially.
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'I'm willing to do so.
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What shall I do?
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Dr Graham looked puzzled, for he could by no means conceive the meaning of so odd a request.
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For the moment he was nonplussed.
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'Pardon me, bishop,' he said delicately, 'but have you had words with your wife?
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'No!
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no!
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God forbid, Graham.
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She is as good and tender as she always is: as dear to me as she ever was.
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But I wish her to go away for a time, and I desire Lucy to accompany her.
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Yet they must go!'
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Graham was more perplexed than ever.
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'Has your secret trouble anything to do with Mrs Pendle?'
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he demanded, hardly knowing what to say.
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'It has everything to do with her!
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'Does she know that it has?
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'I don't like acting in the dark.
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One should always look before he leaps, you know.
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'But, good heavens, man!
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I am not asking you to do anything wrong.
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My request is a perfectly reasonable one.
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'Well,' said Graham, calmly, 'I shall do so.
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'Thank you, Graham.
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It is good of you to accede to my request.
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'I wouldn't do it for everyone,' said Graham, sharply.
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'It will certainly relieve my mind,' said the bishop, very emphatically.
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'Very good, my lord.
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I'll do my very best to persuade Mrs Pendle and your daughter to undertake the journey.
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'Of course,' said Pendle, anxiously, 'you won't tell them all I have told you!
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I do not wish to explain myself too minutely to them.
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'I am not quite so indiscreet as you think, my lord,' replied Graham, with some dryness.
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'Thank you again, doctor!'
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and the bishop held out his hand.
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My lord!'
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he added aloud, 'I shall see Mrs Pendle at once.
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But before closing this conversation I would give you a warning.
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'A warning!'
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stammered the bishop, starting back.
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'A very necessary warning,' said the doctor, solemnly.
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'If you have a secret, beware of Cargrim.
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gaelle044 • 5134  commented on  unit 105  1 year, 1 month ago
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"!"
gaelle044 • 5134  commented on  unit 25  1 year, 1 month ago
francevw • 14085  commented  1 year, 2 months ago

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

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, 2 months ago

For more info, please see discussion tab.
CHAPTER XIX - THE BISHOP'S REQUEST.
Whatever Dr Pendle may have thought of the Southberry murder, he kept his opinion very much to himself. It is true that he expressed himself horrified at the occurrence of so barbarous a crime in his diocese, that he spoke pityingly of the wretched victim, that he was interested in hearing the result of the inquest, but in each case he was guarded in his remarks. At first, on hearing of the crime, his face had betrayed—at all events, to Cargrim's jealous scrutiny—an expression of relief, but shortly afterwards—on second thoughts, as one might say—there came into his eyes a look of apprehension. That look which seemed to expect the drawing near of evil days never left them again, and daily his face grew thinner and whiter, his manner more restless and ill at ease. He seemed as uncomfortable as was Damocles under the hair-suspended sword.
Other people besides the chaplain noticed the change, but, unlike Cargrim, they did not ascribe it to a consciousness of guilt, but to ill health. Mrs Pendle, who was extremely fond of her husband, and was well informed with regard to the newest treatment and the latest fashionable medicine, insisted that the bishop suffered from nerves brought on by overwork, and plaintively suggested that he should take the cure for them at some German Bad. But the bishop, sturdy old Briton that he was, insisted that so long as he could keep on his feet there was no necessity for his women-folk to make a fuss over him, and declared that it was merely the change in the weather which caused him—as he phrased it—to feel a trifle out of sorts.
'It is hot one day and cold the next, my dear,' he said in answer to his wife remonstrances, 'as if the clerk of the weather didn't know his own mind. How can you expect the liver of a fat, lazy old man like me not to respond to these sudden changes of temperature?
'Fat, bishop!' cried Mrs Pendle, in vexed tones. 'You are not fat; you have a fine figure for a man of your age. And as to lazy, there is no one in the Church who works harder than you do. No one can deny that.
'You flatter me, my love!
'You under-rate yourself, my dear. But if it is liver, why not try Woodhall Spa? I believe the treatment there is very drastic and beneficial. Why not go there, bishop? I'm sure a holiday would do you no harm.
'I haven't time for a holiday, Amy. My liver must get well as best it can while I go about my daily duties—that is if it is my liver.
'I don't believe it is,' remarked Mrs Pendle; 'it is nerves, my dear, nothing else. You hardly eat anything, you start at your own shadow, and at times you are too irritable for words. Go to Droitwich for those unruly nerves of yours, and try brine baths.
'I rather think you should go to Nauheim for that weak heart of yours, my love,' replied Dr Pendle, arranging his wife's pillows; 'in fact, I want you and Lucy to go there next month.
'Indeed, bishop, I shall do no such thing! You are not fit to look after yourself.
'Then Graham shall look after me.
'Dr Graham!' echoed Mrs Pendle, with contempt. 'He is old-fashioned, and quite ignorant of the new medicines. No, bishop, you must go to Droitwich.
'And you, my dear, to Nauheim!
At this point matters came to an issue between them, for Mrs Pendle, who like most people possessed a fund of what may be called nervous obstinacy, positively refused to leave England. On his side, the bishop insisted more eagerly than was his custom that Mrs Pendle should undergo the Schott treatment at Nauheim. For some time the argument was maintained with equal determination on both sides, until Mrs Pendle concluded it by bursting into tears and protesting that her husband did not understand her in the least. Whereupon, as the only way to soothe her, the bishop admitted that he was in the wrong and apologised.
All the same, he was determined that his wife should go abroad, and thinking she might yield to professional persuasions, he sent for Dr Graham. By Cargrim a message was brought that the doctor would be with the bishop next morning, so Pendle, not to provoke further argument, said nothing more on the subject to his wife. But here Lucy came on the scene, and seemed equally as averse as her mother to Continental travel. She immediately entered her protest against the proposed journey.
'Mamma is better now than ever she was,' said Lucy, 'and if she goes to Nauheim the treatment will only weaken her.
'It will strengthen her in the long run, Lucy. I hear wonderful accounts of the Nauheim cures.
'Oh, papa, every Bad says that it cures more patients than any other, just as every Bad advertises that its waters have so much per cent. more salt or sodium or iodine, or whatever they call it, than the rest. Besides, if you really think mamma should try this cure she can have it at Bath or in London. They say it is just as good in either place as at Nauheim.
'I think not, Lucy; and I wish you and your mother to go abroad for a month or two. My mind is made up on the subject.
'Why, papa,' cried Lucy, playfully, 'one would think you wanted to get rid of us.
The bishop winced and turned a shade paler. 'You are talking at random, my dear,' he said gravely; 'if it were not for your mother's good I should not deprive myself of your society.
'Poor mother!' sighed Lucy, and 'poor Harry,' she added as an afterthought.
'There need be no "poor Harry" about the matter,' said Dr Pendle, rather sharply. 'If that is what is troubling you, I daresay Harry will be glad to escort you and your mother over to Germany.
Lucy became a rosy red with pleasure. 'Do you really think Harry will like to come?' she asked in a fluttering voice.
'He is no true lover if he doesn't,' replied her father, with a wan smile. 'Now, run away, my love, I am busy. To-morrow we shall settle the question of your going.
When to-morrow came, Cargrim, all on fire with curiosity, tried his hardest to stay in the library when Dr Graham came; but as the bishop wished his interview to be private, he intimated the fact pretty plainly to his obsequious chaplain. In fact, he spoke so sharply that Cargrim felt distinctly aggrieved; and but for the trained control he kept of his temper, might have said something to show Dr Pendle the suspicions he entertained. However, the time was not yet ripe for him to place all his cards on the table, for he had not yet conceived a plausible case against the bishop. He was on the point of pronouncing the name 'Amaru' to see if it would startle Dr Pendle, but remembering his former failures when he had introduced the name of 'Jentham' to the bishop's notice, he was wise enough to hold his tongue. It would not do to arouse Dr Pendle's suspicions until he could accuse him plainly of murdering the man, and could produce evidence to substantiate his accusation. The evidence Cargrim wished to obtain was that of the cheque butt and the pistol, but as yet he did not see his way how to become possessed of either. Pending doing so, he hid himself in the grass like the snake he was, ready to strike his unsuspecting benefactor when he could do so with safety and effect.
In accordance with his resolution on this point, Mr Cargrim was meek and truckling while he was with the bishop, and when Dr Graham was announced he sidled out of the library with a bland smile. Dr Graham gave him a curt nod in response to his gracious greeting, and closed the door himself before he advanced to meet the bishop. Nay, more, so violent was his dislike to good Mr Cargrim, that he made a few remarks about that apostle before coming to the object of his visit.
'If you were a student of Lavater, bishop,' said he, rubbing his hands, 'you would not tolerate that Jesuitical Rodin near you for one moment.
'Jesuitical Rodin, doctor! I do not understand.
'Ah, that comes of not reading French novels, my lord!
'I do not approve of the moral tone of French fiction,' said the bishop, stiffly.
'Few of our English Pharisees do,' replied Graham, dryly; 'not that I rank you among the hypocrites, bishop, so do not take my remark in too literal a sense.
'I am not so thin-skinned or self-conscious as to do so, Graham. But your meaning of a Jesuitical Rodin?'
'It is explained in The Wandering Jew of Eugene Sue, bishop. You should read that novel if only to arrive by analogy at the true character of your chaplain. Rodin is one of the personages in the book, and Rodin,' said the doctor decisively, 'is Cargrim!
'You are severe, doctor. Michael is an estimable young man.
'Michael and the Dragon!' said Graham, playing upon the name. 'Humph! he is more like the latter than the former. Mr Michael Cargrim is the young serpent as Satan is the old one.
'I always understood that you considered Satan a myth, doctor!
'So I do; so he is; a bogey of the Middle and Classical Ages constructed out of Pluto and Pan. But he serves excellently well for an illustration of your pet parson.
'Cargrim is not a pet of mine,' rejoined the bishop, coldly, 'and I do not say that he is a perfect character. Still, he is not bad enough to be compared to Satan. You speak too hurriedly, doctor, and, if you will pardon my saying so, too irreligiously.
'I beg your pardon, I forgot that I was addressing a bishop. But as to that young man, he is a bad and dangerous character.
'Doctor, doctor,' protested the bishop, raising a deprecating hand.
'Yes, he is,' insisted Graham; 'his goodness and meekness are all on the surface! I am convinced that he is a kind of human mole who works underground, and makes mischief in secret ways. If you have a cupboard with a skeleton, bishop, take care Mr Cargrim doesn't steal the key.
Graham spoke with some meaning, for since the illness of Dr Pendle after Jentham's visit, he had suspected that the bishop was worried in his mind, and that he possessed a secret which was wearing him out. Had he known that the strange visitor was one and the same with the murdered man, he might have spoken still more to the point; but the doctor was ignorant of this and consequently conceived the bishop's secret to be much more harmless than it really was. However, his words touched his host nearly, for Dr Pendle started and grew nervous, and looked so haggard and worried that Graham continued his speech without giving him time to make a remark.
'However, I did not come here to discuss Cargrim,' he said cheerfully, 'but because you sent for me. It is about time,' said Graham, grimly, surveying the bishop's wasted face and embarrassed manner. 'You are looking about as ill as a man can look. What is the matter with you?
'Nothing is the matter with me. I am in my usual health.
'You look it,' said the doctor, ironically. 'Good Lord, man!' with sudden wrath, 'why in the name of the Thirty-Nine Articles can't you tell me the truth?
'The truth?' echoed the bishop, faintly.
'Yes, my lord, I said the truth, and I mean the truth. If you are not wrong in body you are in mind. A man doesn't lose flesh, and colour, and appetite, and self-control for nothing. You want me to cure you. Well, I can't, unless you show me the root of your trouble.
'I am worried over a private affair,' confessed Pendle, driven into a corner.
'Something wrong?' asked Graham, raising his eyebrows.
'Yes, something is very wrong.
'Can't it be put right?
'I fear not,' said the bishop, in hopeless tones. 'It is one of those things beyond the power of mortal man to put right.
'Your trouble must be serious,' said Graham, with a grave face.
'It is very serious. You can't help me. I can't help myself. I must endure my sorrow as best I may. After all, God strengthens the back for the burden.
'Oh, Lord!' groaned Graham to himself, 'that make-the-best-of-it-view seems to be the gist of Christianity. What the deuce is the good of laying a too weighty burden on any back, when you've got to strengthen it to bear it? Well, bishop,' he added aloud, 'I have no right to ask for a glimpse of your skeleton. But can I help you in any way?
'Yes,' cried the bishop, eagerly. 'I sent for you to request your aid. You can help me, Graham, and very materially.
'I'm willing to do so. What shall I do?
'Send my wife and daughter over to Nauheim on the pretext that Mrs Pendle requires the baths, and keep them there for two months.
Dr Graham looked puzzled, for he could by no means conceive the meaning of so odd a request. In common with other people, he was accustomed to consider Bishop and Mrs Pendle a model couple, who would be as miserable as two separated love-birds if parted. Yet here was the husband asking his aid to send away the wife on what he admitted was a transparent pretext. For the moment he was nonplussed.
'Pardon me, bishop,' he said delicately, 'but have you had words with your wife?
'No! no! God forbid, Graham. She is as good and tender as she always is: as dear to me as she ever was. But I wish her to go away for a time, and I desire Lucy to accompany her. Yesterday I suggested that they should take a trip to Nauheim, but both of them seemed unwilling to go. Yet they must go!' cried the bishop, vehemently; 'and you must help me in my trouble by insisting upon their immediate departure.
Graham was more perplexed than ever. 'Has your secret trouble anything to do with Mrs Pendle?' he demanded, hardly knowing what to say.
'It has everything to do with her!
'Does she know that it has?
'No, she knows nothing—not even that I am keeping a secret from her; doctor,' said Pendle, rising, 'if I could tell you my trouble I would, but I cannot; I dare not! If you help me, you must do so with implicit confidence in me, knowing that I am acting for the best.
'Well, bishop, you place me rather in a cleft stick,' said the doctor, looking at the agitated face of the man with his shrewd little eyes. 'I don't like acting in the dark. One should always look before he leaps, you know.
'But, good heavens, man! I am not asking you to do anything wrong. My request is a perfectly reasonable one. I want my wife and daughter to leave England for a time, and you can induce them to take the journey.
'Well,' said Graham, calmly, 'I shall do so.
'Thank you, Graham. It is good of you to accede to my request.
'I wouldn't do it for everyone,' said Graham, sharply. 'And although I do not like being shut out from your confidence, I know you well enough to trust you thoroughly. A couple of months at Nauheim may do your wife good, and—as you tell me—will relieve your mind.
'It will certainly relieve my mind,' said the bishop, very emphatically.
'Very good, my lord. I'll do my very best to persuade Mrs Pendle and your daughter to undertake the journey.
'Of course,' said Pendle, anxiously, 'you won't tell them all I have told you! I do not wish to explain myself too minutely to them.
'I am not quite so indiscreet as you think, my lord,' replied Graham, with some dryness. 'Your wife shall leave Beorminster for Nauheim thinking that your desire for her departure is entirely on account of her health.
'Thank you again, doctor!' and the bishop held out his hand.
'Come,' said Graham to himself as he took it, 'this secret can't be anything very dreadful if he gives me his hand. My lord!' he added aloud, 'I shall see Mrs Pendle at once. But before closing this conversation I would give you a warning.
'A warning!' stammered the bishop, starting back.
'A very necessary warning,' said the doctor, solemnly. 'If you have a secret, beware of Cargrim.