en-fr  THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME - Chapter 28
Notre adorable Belge veut juste vous dire qu'il peut y avoir des informations importantes à connaître. Donc cliquez sur le titre ici en bleu vous verrez apparaître "discussion" en bleu aussi. Et les informations qui peuvent vous être utiles.
CHAPITRE XXVIII - LE RETOUR DE GABRIEL.
— Ma chère Daisy, je suis peinée que vous partiez, cela a été un grand plaisir pour moi de vous avoir à la maison. J'espère que vous me rendrez à nouveau visite l'année prochaine et que vous aurez plus de chance.
Mme Pansey, qui savait à l'occasion distiller son venin, tel un scorpion, fit ce petit discours aimable à Mlle Norsham sur le quai de la gare de Beorminster. Après un séjour de deux mois, la rate des villes repartait comme elle était venue, une jeune femme célibataire ; et le dernier mot de Mme Pansey était destiné à lui rappeler l'échec. Daisy était assez vive pour le comprendre, mais , blessée par la raillerie, elle décida de l'interpréter d'une autre manière plus bienveillante, de façon à déconcerter son amie malveillante.
— Quelle chance ! Oh, chère Mme Pansey, j'ai eu beaucoup de chance ces temps-ci. Vraiment, vous avez été très aimable ; vous m'avez offert tout ce que je désirais.
— Sauf un mari, ma chère, ajouta la veuve de l'archidiacre, décidée cette fois à ne pas être mal comprise.
— Ah ! Ce n'était pas dans votre pouvoir de me donner un époux, murmura Daisy en grimaçant.
— Tout à fait exact, ma chère; sauf qu'il n'était pas en votre pouvoir d'en trouver un vous-même. Néanmoins, je suis désolée que le Docteur Alder ne vous l'ait pas proposé.
Bien sûr ! Daisy redressa la tête. — Je l'aurais certainement refusé s'il l'avait fait. Une femme ne doit pas épouser son grand-père.
— Une femme ne pourrait pas, mais une femme le ferait, plutôt que de rester célibataire, persifla Mme Pansey, très méchamment.
Mlle Norsham inséra précautionneusement le coin d'un ridicule petit mouchoir dans un œil. — Oh, ma chère, je trouve méchant de votre part de me parler comme ça, dit-elle en larmes. Vous n'allez pas croire, comme le font tous les hommes, que chaque femme désire se marier. Bien sûr que non !
La vieille femme eut un rictus à cet horrible mensonge, mais pensant qu'elle avait été un peu sévère vis-à-vis de son hôte qui partait, elle se hâta de s'excuser. — Je suis certaine que vous ne le voulez pas, ma chère, et c'est très aimable à vous de le dire. Si j'en juge par ma propre expérience avec l'archidiacre, je ne conseillerais jamais à personne de se marier.
— Vous êtes sage après coup, grommela Daisy, avec quelque rancœur, mais voici mon train, merci, Mme Pansey. Elle se glissa dans la voiture de première classe, manifestement en colère et sur la défensive. Échouer dans sa recherche d'un mari était assez vexant, mais être moquée pour son échec était insupportable Daisy ne se demandait plus pourquoi Mme Pansey était détestée dans Beorminster, ses propres sentiments en ce moment même l'incitaient à pousser la bonne dame sous les roues de la locomotive.
— Eh bien, ma chère, je vais vous dire au revoir, dit Mme Pansey en changeant son rictus en un aimable sourire. — Je compte sur vous pour transmettre toute mon affection à votre mère, ma chère, et les deux femmes s'embrassèrent avec cette ostentation indiquant que ces deux dames ne n'appréciaient guère.
— Quelle vieille bique ! se dit Daisy, et elle agita son mouchoir quand le train se mit en branle.
— Mon Dieu ! comme cette fille me déplait, soliloqua-t-elle, lorsqu'elle secoua son réticule en guise d'adieu à Daisy. Eh bien ! Eh bien ! Nul ne pourra dire que je n'ai pas fait mon devoir avec elle, et très satisfaite d'elle-même, la bonne dame sortit d'un pas majestueux de la gare, aux aguets pour agripper et ennuyer n'importe quelle de ses amies autour d'elle. Pour ses péchés, la Providence envoya Gabriel dans ses filets, et Mme Pansey fut frappée d'étonnement en le voyant sortir de la gare.
— M. Pendle ! dit-elle, s'interposant directement sur son trajet, je pensais que vous étiez à Nauheim. Qu'est-ce qui ne va pas ? Votre mère est-elle malade ? Va-t-elle rentrer ? Avez-vous des ennuis ?
Gabriel ne pouvait parvenir à répondre à toutes ces questions, ou même à une seule d'entre elles pour le moment, car l'apparition soudaine et le discours de la mouche du coche de Beorminster l'avaient pris au dépourvu. Il paraissait hagard et pâle et il avait des cernes noirs sous les yeux, comme s'il souffrait d'un manque de sommeil. Toutefois, le voyage depuis Nauheim pouvait être la raison de son air las, et cette explication aurait suffi à n'importe qui de moins suspicieux que Mme Pansey, mais notre bonne dame flairait un mystère et voulait une explication. Ce que Gabriel, avec moins de courtoisie que de coutume, refusa de lui fournir. Cependant, afin de lui donner du grain à moudre, il répondit catégoriquement à ses questions.
— Je viens juste de rentrer de Nauheim, Mme Pansey, dit-il rapidement. Il n'y a aucun problème à ma connaissance. Ma mère va beaucoup mieux et les bains profitent grandement à sa santé. Elle revient avant la fin du mois, et je n'ai pas d'ennuis. Y a-t-il autre chose que vous désirez savoir ?
— Oui, M. Pendle, tout à fait, dit Mme Pansey, pas le moins du monde décontenancée. Pourquoi avez-vous l'air si malade ?
— Je ne suis pas malade mais j'ai eu une longue traversée maritime, un trajet ferroviaire épuisant, et j'ai chaud, je me sens sale et je suis exténué. Naturellement, dans ces circonstances, je n'ai pas l'air en bonne santé.
— Hum ! les voyages à l'étranger ne vous réussissent pas.
Gabriel salua, et se retourna afin de diriger le porteur pour placer sa malle dans un cab. Offusquée de ce silence, Mme Pansey, secoua ses jupons et rejeta sa zibeline en arrière. — Vous n'avez pas ramené la politesse française, jeune homme, dit Mme Pansey avec rudesse.
— Je suis allé en Allemagne, répliqua Gabriel, comme si ce fait expliquait son manque de courtoisie. — Pour l'heure, je vous salue, Mme Pansey ; je m'excuserai de mes lacunes lorsque je me serai remis de mon voyage.
— Oh, vous le ferez, n'est ce pas ? gronda la veuve de l'archidiacre, comme Gabriel soulevait son chapeau et s'en allait : — vous ferez plus que des excuses, jeune homme, vous vous expliquerez. Prétentieux ! En voilà du culot, et Mme Pansey son bec crochu au vent, se sauva, en se demandant avec son esprit curieux, quelle pouvait être la raison du retour soudain de Gabriel.
Sa curiosité aurait été satisfaite si elle avait été présente au cabinet du Dr Graham une heure plus tard ; car après que Gabriel eût pris un bain et se fût rafraîchi à son meublé, il rendit immédiatement visite à son cher docteur. Il se trouvait que Graham était chez lui car il n'avait pas commencé sa tournée de visites, et il fut aussi étonné que Mme Pansy lorsque le curé fit son apparition. De même, comme Mme Pansey, fut-il frappé par l'épuisement apparent du jeune homme
— Comment ! Gabriel, s'écria-t-il lorsque le curé entra, quelle bonne surprise ! Tu sembles malade, mon garçon !
— Je le suis, répondit Gabriel, en se laissant tomber sur un chaise l'air très las. Je suis très inquiet, et je suis venu vous demander conseil.
— Ravi de le faire pour toi, mon garçon, mais pourquoi ne pas demander à l'évêque ?
— Mon père est la dernière personne au monde que je consulterais, docteur.
— C'est un étrange discours, Gabriel, dit Graham, avec intérêt.
— C'est le prélude d'une étrange histoire ! Je suis venu me confier à vous car vous me connaissez depuis toujours, docteur, et parce que vous êtes l'ami le plus intime de mon père.
T'es-tu fourré dans les ennuis ?
— Non. Mon histoire concerne davantage mon père qu'elle ne me concerne.
— Concerne ton père ! répéta le docteur, en se souvenant soudain du secret de l'évêque. Es-tu sûr que je sois la bonne personne à qui t'adresser ?
— J'en suis certain. Je sais... je sais ... bon, ce que je sais c'est une chose dont je n'ai pas le courage de parler à mon père. Pour l'amour de Dieu, docteur, laissez moi vous dire mes soupçons et avoir votre avis.
— Tes soupçons ! répéta Graham, bondissant de sa chaise, le sang glacé. — Au sujet... au sujet de... ce... ce meurtre ?
— Bonté divine, docteur. Non ! pas au sujet du meurtre, mais au sujet de la victime.
— Jentham ?
— Oui, au sujet de celui qui se faisait appeler Jentham. Êtes-vous certain qu'il n'y a aucune oreille indiscrète ici, docteur ?
Graham opina et se dirigea vers la porte pour la fermer à clef. Puis il revint s'asseoir et scruta le visage troublé du jeune homme. — Votre père sait-il que vous êtes de retour ? demanda-t-il.
— Personne ne sait que je suis ici sauf Mme Pansey.
— Alors cela ne restera pas longtemps un secret, dit sèchement Graham, cette vieille pie équivaut au crieur public. Comment se portait votre mère à votre départ ?
— Parfaitement bien, et Lucy, également. J'ai inventé une excuse pour revenir.
— Alors, votre mère et votre sœur ne savent pas ce que vous êtes sur le point de me raconter ?
Gabriel fit un geste horrifié. — Dieu nous préserve ! répéta-t-il, puis il porta les mains à son visage livide et se lança dans un discours à moitié hystérique. — Oh, quelle horreur, quelle horreur ! gémit-il. Si ce que je sais est vrai, alors nos vies à tous sont ruinées.
— Est-ce vraiment si terrible, mon garçon ?
— Si terrible que je n'ose pas poser la question à mon père ! Je dois vous le dire, car vous seul pouvez nous conseiller et tous nous aider. Docteur ! Docteur L'idée même me rend fou ... en fait, je me sens déjà à moitié fou.
— Vous êtes épuisé, Gabriel. Attendez un moment.
Le docteur voyait que les nerfs de son visiteur étaient surmenés, et que, à moins que la tension ne se relâche, cela allait finir par une crise d'hystérie. Le pauvre jeune homme, né d'une mère absente, était extrêmement névrotique, et il avait un côté féminin, qui le rendait inapte à faire face à une difficulté ou à l'anxiété. Alors qu'il était assis là, tremblant et livide, une crise de nerfs survint, agitant, tétanisant et torturant chaque fibre de son être, jusqu'à ce qu'un torrent de sanglots vienne le soulager et le laisser, quasi évanoui, reposer inerte dans son fauteuil. Graham lui remua une forte dose de valériane, sentit son pouls et le fit allonger sur le canapé. En outre, il assombrit la pièce et plaça un mouchoir humide sur le front du curé. Gabriel ferma les yeux et s'allongea sur le divan aussi immobile qu'un cadavre, tandis que le docteur, qui savait ce qu'il endurait, le regardait avec une infinie pitié.
— Pauvre garçon ! murmura-t-il, tenant la main de Gabriel fermement et chaleureusement entre les siennes. La vocation est effectivement une belle-mère dure avec toi. Avec vos nerfs, les piqûres de la vie sont autant de coups de poignard. Tu te sens mieux maintenant ? demanda-t-il alors que Gabriel ouvrait les yeux avec un soupir alangui. — Beaucoup mieux et plus calme, répondit le curé blafard en s'asseyant. Vous m'avez donné un médicament miraculeux.
— On peut bien dire ça. Cette préparation particulière de valériane est du népenthès pour les nerfs. Mais tu n'es pas encore complètement rétabli ; la houle reste après la tempête, tu sais. Pourquoi ne pas remettre à plus tard ton histoire ?
— Ça m'est impossible ! Je n'ose pas ! dit Gabriel avec le plus grand sérieux. — Je dois libérer mon esprit en vous la racontant. Docteur, savez-vous que le visiteur qui a incommodé mon père le soir de la réception était Jentham ?
— Non, mon garçon, je ne le savais pas. Qui vous l'a dit ?
— John, notre vieux serviteur, qui l'a laissé entrer. ll m'a parlé de Jentham juste avant d'aller à Nauheim.
— Jentham a-t-il mentionné son nom?
— Non, mais John, comme beaucoup d'autres personnes, a vu le corps à la morgue. Il a reconnu, là, Jentham, à son air bohémien et à la cicatrice sur son visage. Eh bien, Docteur, je me demandais ce que l'homme avait pu dire pour bouleverser ainsi l'évêque, mais bien sûr, je n'ai pas osé le lui demander. Au moment où je suis arrivé en Allemagne, l'épisode m'est sorti de l'esprit.
— Et qu'est-ce qui vous l'a rappelé ?
— Quelque chose que ma mère a dit. Nous étions dans le parc thermal, écoutant l'orchestre, quand un étudiant de Heidelberg, le visage cousu de cicatrices, balafré de toutes parts, est passé devant nous.
— Je sais, les étudiants en Allemagne sont fiers de ces cicatrices obtenues lors de duels. Eh bien, Gabriel, alors ?
Le curé frissonnait de partout et, au lieu de répondre directement, posa ce qui semblait être une question non pertinente. — Saviez-vous que ma mère était veuve quand mon père l'a épousée ? demanda-t-il à voix basse.
— Bien sûr que oui, répondit Graham gentiment. J'exerçais alors à Marylebone, et ton père était vicaire de Saint Benoît. Voyons, j'étais à son mariage, Gabriel, et ta mère était très jolie. Elle fut Mme Krant, dont le mari avait été tué alors qu'il servait comme volontaire dans la guerre franco-prussienne !
— Avez-vous connu son époux ?
—Non, elle n'est pas venue à Marylebone jusqu'à ce qu'il l'ait quittée. Le sale type avait abandonné la pauvre petite et était parti combattre à l'étranger. Mais pourquoi toutes ces questions ? Elles ne peuvent être que douloureuses.
— Parce que le visage de cet étudiant rappelait son premier époux à ma mère. Elle a dit que Krant avait une longue cicatrice sur la joue. J'ai tout de suite pensé à Jentham.
— Bon Dieu ! s'écria Graham, en repoussant sa chaise. Que veux-tu dire, mon garçon ?
— Attendez ! — Attendez ! dit fiévreusement Gabriel. J'ai demandé à ma mère de décrire les traits de son premier mari. Ne suspectant pas la raison de ma demande, elle l'a fait. Krant, m'a-t-elle dit, était grand, mince, basané et les yeux noirs, avec une balafre sur la joue droite allant de l'oreille à la bouche . Docteur ! cria Gabriel, en saisissant la main de Graham, c'est exactement le portrait de Jentham.
— Gabriel ! Chuchota le petit docteur, veux tu dire ...
Je veux dire que Krant n'était pas mort, que Jentham était Krant, et que quand il a parlé à mon père il lui est apparu comme un revenant. Il est mort maintenant, mais il était vivant quand ma mère a épousé mon pèere.
— Impossible ! — Impossible ! répéta Graham, devenant pâle comme cendre, et décontenancé de son calme habituel. Krant est mort ... mort à Sedan. Ton père y est allé et a vu sa tombe !
— Oui mais, il n'a pas vu son corps. Je vous dit que j'ai raison, Docteur. Krant n'était pas mort. Ma mère n'est pas l'épouse de mon père, et nous ... nous ... George, Lucy, et moi ne sommes, aux yeux de la loi, les enfants de personne. Le curé émit ces derniers mots presque en hurlant, et retomba sur sa couche, se couvrant la figure de ses mains tremblantes.
Graham se tenait assis en face de lui avec une expression d'horreur absolue sur sa figure brune parcheminée Il se souvint du malaise soudain de Pendle après la visite fatale de Jentham, son refus de confesser la véritable cause de cette crise, l'aveu qu'il avait un secret qu'il n'osait pas révéler, même à son plus vieil ami, et son étrange comportement en renvoyant sa femme et sa fille à Nauheim. Tous ces éléments venaient étayer les supputations de Gabriel indiquant que Jentham était revenu d'entre les morts. Mais après tout ce n'étaient que de simples suppositions, fondées sur aucun fait précis.
— Il n'y a aucune preuve, dit Graham d'un ton rauque, aucune preuve.
— Interrogez mon père pour les preuves, murmura Gabriel. Je n'ose le faire !
Le docteur comprenait parfaitement ce discours, et voyait clairement la raison pour laquelle Gabriel avait choisi de lui parler plutôt qu'à l'évêque. C'était peut-être vrai après tout, cette histoire horrible, pensa-t-il, et comme dans un éclair, il vit la ruine, le désastre, la honte et la terreur se répandre suite à cette révélation. Tel était donc le secret de l'évêque, et Graham, prompt à la décision, jugea que celui-ci devait être préservé par tous les moyens, ne fût-ce que pour le bien de Mme Pendle et de ses enfants. La première étape afin d'atteindre ce but était de voir l'évêque et d'entendre sa confirmation ou son démenti de vive voix. Une fois que Graham connaîtrait tous les éléments, il espérait qu'il pourrait d'une manière ou d'une autre — il ne savait pas pour l'instant comment — aider son infortuné ami. Avec sa diligence habituelle, il décida sur-le-champ comment réagir.
— Gabriel, dit-il, se penchant sur le jeune homme malheureux, je vais immédiatement aller en discuter avec ton père. Je ne peux pas, je ne veux pas croire que c'est vrai, sauf s'il confirme de sa bouche l'identité de Krant comme étant celle de Jentham. Attends ici mon retour, et dors si tu le peux.
— Dormir ! gémit Gabriel. Oh, mon Dieu ! Dormirai-je jamais à nouveau ?
— Mon ami, dit solennellement le petit docteur, tu ne peux douter de l'honneur de ton père avant d'avoir entendu ce qu'il a à dire. Il est possible que Jentham ne soit pas Krant comme tu le suspectes. Cela peut être une ressemblance fortuite.
Gabriel secoua la tête. — Vous ne pouvez pas débattre de ce que je sais être vrai, marmonna-t-il en regardant le sol, les yeux hagards, sans la moindre larme. Voyez mon père et dites-lui ce que je vous ai dit. Il ne pourra pas nier sa honte et la disgrâce de ses enfants.
— Que nous vivrons, dit Graham avec une sérénité qu'il était loin de ressentir. — Je le verrai sans tarder. Gabriel, mon garçon, sois optimiste !
Une nouvelle fois, le curé secoua la tête et, avec un gémissement, se jeta sur le divan, le visage contre le mur. Voyant que les paroles étaient vaines, le docteur jeta un regard de pitié sur sa silhouette prostrée, et, avec un soupir, sortit de la pièce.
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For more info, please see "discussion tab" by clicking on the title of this chapter.
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CHAPTER XXVIII - THE RETURN OF GABRIEL.
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I hope you will visit me again next year, and then you may be more fortunate.
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'Fortunate!
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Oh, dear Mrs Pansey, I have been very fortunate this time.
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Really, you have been most kind; you have given me everything I wanted.
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'Ah!
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it was out of your power to give me a husband,' murmured Daisy, wincing.
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'Quite true, my dear; just as it was out of your power to gain one for yourself.
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Still, I am sorry that Dr Alder did not propose.
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'Indeed!'
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Daisy tossed her head.
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'I should certainly have refused him had he done so.
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A woman may not marry her grandfather.
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Miss Norsham carefully inserted a corner of a foolish little handkerchief into one eye.
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'Oh, dear, I do call it nasty of you to speak to me so,' said she, tearfully.
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'You needn't think, like all men do, that every woman wants to be married.
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I'm sure I don't.
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'I'm sure you don't, dear, and very sensible it is of you to say so.
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Judging from my own experience with the archdeacon, I should certainly advise no one to marry.
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and she slipped into a first-class carriage, looking decidedly cross and very defiant.
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To fail in husband-hunting was bad enough, but to be taunted with the failure was unbearable.
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'Well, dear, I'll say good-bye,' said Mrs Pansey, screwing her grim face into an amiable smile.
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'Horrid old cat!'
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said Daisy to herself, as she waved her handkerchief from the now moving train.
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'Dear me!
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how I dislike that girl,' soliloquised Mrs Pansey, shaking her reticule at the departing Daisy.
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'Well!
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well!
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'Mr Pendle!'
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she said, placing herself directly in his way, 'I thought you were at Nauheim.
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What is wrong?
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Is your mother ill?
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Is she coming back?
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Are you in trouble?
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This, Gabriel, with less than his usual courtesy, declined to furnish.
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However, to give her some food for her mind, he answered her questions categorically.
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'I have just returned from Nauheim, Mrs Pansey,' he said hurriedly.
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'There is nothing wrong, so far as I am aware.
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My mother is much better, and is benefiting greatly by the baths.
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She is coming back within the month, and I am not in trouble.
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Is there anything else you wish to know?
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'Yes, Mr Pendle, there is,' said Mrs Pansey, in no wise abashed.
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'Why do you look so ill?
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Naturally, under the circumstances, I don't look the picture of health.
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'Humph!
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trips abroad don't do you much good.
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Gabriel bowed, and turned away to direct the porter to place his portmanteau in a fly.
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Offended by his silence, Mrs Pansey shook out her skirts and tossed her sable plumes.
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'You have not brought back French politeness, young man,' said Mrs Pansey, acridly.
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'I have been in Germany,' retorted Gabriel, as though that fact accounted for his lack of courtesy.
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'Oh, you will, will you?'
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Hoity-toity!
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Also, like Mrs Pansey, he was struck by the young man's worn looks.
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'What!
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Gabriel,' he cried, when the curate entered, 'this is an unexpected pleasure.
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You look ill, lad!
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'I am ill,' replied Gabriel, dropping into a chair with an air of fatigue.
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'I feel very much worried, and I have come to ask for your advice.
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'Very pleased to give it to you, my boy, but why not consult the bishop?
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'My father is the last man in the world I would consult, doctor.
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'That is a strange speech, Gabriel,' said Graham, with a keen look.
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'It is the prelude to a stranger story!
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'Have you been getting into trouble?
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'No.
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My story concerns my father more than it does me.
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'Concerns your father!'
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repeated the doctor, with a sudden recollection of the bishop's secret.
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'Are you sure that I am the proper person to consult?
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'I am certain of it.
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unit 94
For God's sake, doctor, let me tell you my suspicions and hear your advice.
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'Your suspicions!'
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said Graham, starting from his chair, with a chill in his blood.
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'About—about—that—that murder?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'God forbid, doctor.
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No!
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not about the murder, but about the man who was murdered.
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'Jentham?
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'Yes, about the man who called himself Jentham.
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Are you sure we are quite private here, doctor?
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Graham nodded, and walking to the door turned the key.
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Then he came back to his seat and fixed his eyes on the perturbed face of the young man.
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'Does your father know that you are back?'
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he asked.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'No one knows that I am here save Mrs Pansey.
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'Then it won't be a secret long,' said Graham, drily; 'that old magpie is as good as the town-crier.
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You left your mother well?
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'Quite well; and Lucy also.
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I made an excuse to come back.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'Then your mother and sister do not know what you are about to tell me?
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Gabriel made a gesture of horror.
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'God forbid!'
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said he again, then clasped his hands over his white face and burst into half hysterical speech.
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'Oh, the horror of it, the horror of it!'
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he wailed.
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'If what I know is true, then all our lives are ruined.
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'Is it so very terrible, my boy?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'So terrible that I dare not question my father!
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I must tell you, for only you can advise and help us all.
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Doctor!
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doctor!
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the very thought drives me mad—indeed, I feel half mad already.
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'You are worn out, Gabriel.
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Wait one moment.
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Graham mixed him a strong dose of valerian, felt his pulse, and made him lie down on the sofa.
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Also, he darkened the room, and placed a wet handkerchief on the curate's forehead.
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'Poor lad!'
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he murmured, holding Gabriel's hand in his firm, warm clasp.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'Nature is indeed a harsh stepmother to you.
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With your nerves, the pin-prickles of life are so many dagger-thrusts.
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Do you feel better now?'
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he asked, as Gabriel opened his eyes with a languid sigh.
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'Much better and more composed,' replied the wan curate, sitting up.
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unit 141
'You have given me a magical drug.
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unit 142
'You may well call it that.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 143
This particular preparation of valerian is nepenthe for the nerves.
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unit 144
But you are not quite recovered yet; the swell remains after the storm, you know.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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Why not postpone your story?
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unit 146
'I cannot!
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I dare not!'
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 148
said Gabriel, earnestly.
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unit 149
'I must ease my mind by telling it to you.
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unit 151
'No, my boy, I did not know that.
3 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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Who told you?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'John, our old servant, who admitted him.
2 Translations, 5 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 154
He told me about Jentham just before I went to Nauheim.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 155
'Did Jentham give his name?
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 156
'No, but John, like many other people, saw the body in the dead-house.
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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He there recognised Jentham by his gipsy looks and the scar on his face.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 159
By the time I got to Germany the episode passed out of my mind.
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unit 160
'And what recalled it?
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'Something my mother said.
1 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 163
'I know; students in Germany are proud of those duelling scars.
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Well, Gabriel, and what then?
1 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'Did you know that my mother was a widow when my father married her?'
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he demanded in low tones.
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unit 168
'Of course I did,' replied Graham, cheerily.
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unit 169
'I was practising in Marylebone then, and your father was vicar of St Benedict's.
1 Translations, 2 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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Why, I was at his wedding, Gabriel, and very pretty your mother looked.
2 Translations, 4 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
unit 172
'Did you ever see her husband?
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'No; she did not come to Marylebone until he had left her.
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The rascal deserted the poor young thing and went abroad to fight.
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But why do you ask all these questions?
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They cannot but be painful.
2 Translations, 3 Upvotes, Last Activity 9 months, 3 weeks ago
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'Because the sight of that student's face recalled her first husband to my mother.
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She said that Krant had a long scar on the right cheek.
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I immediately thought of Jentham.
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'Good God!'
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cried Graham, pushing back his chair.
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'What do you mean, lad?
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'Wait!
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wait!'
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said Gabriel, feverishly.
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'I asked my mother to describe the features of her first husband.
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Not suspecting my reason for asking, she did so.
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Doctor!'
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cried Gabriel, clutching Graham's hand, 'that is the very portrait of the man Jentham.
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'Gabriel!'
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whispered the little doctor, hoarsely, 'do you mean to say—.
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He is dead now, but he was alive when my mother became my father's wife.
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'Impossible!
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Impossible!'
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repeated Graham, who was ashy pale, and shaken out of his ordinary self.
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'Krant died—died at Sedan.
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Your father went over and saw his grave!
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'He did not see the corpse, though.
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I tell you I am right, doctor.
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Krant did not die.
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unit 208
'There is no proof of it,' said Graham, hoarsely; 'no proof.
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'Ask my father for the proof,' murmured Gabriel.
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'I dare not!
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With characteristic promptitude he decided on the spot how to act.
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'Gabriel,' he said, bending over the unhappy young man, 'I shall see your father about this at once.
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You wait here until I return, and sleep if you can.
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'Sleep!'
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groaned Gabriel.
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'Oh, God!
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shall I ever sleep again?
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Jentham may not be Krant as you suspect.
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It may be a chance likeness—a—.
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Gabriel shook his head.
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unit 229
'See my father and tell him what I have told you.
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He will not be able to deny his shame and the disgrace of his children.
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'That we shall see,' said Graham, with a cheerfulness he was far from feeling.
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'I shall see him at once.
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Gabriel, my boy, hope for the best!
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"!"
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"!"
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francevw • 13970  commented  9 months, 3 weeks 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 9 months, 3 weeks ago

For more info, please see "discussion tab" by clicking on the title of this chapter.
CHAPTER XXVIII - THE RETURN OF GABRIEL.
'My dear Daisy, I am sorry you are going away, as it has been a great pleasure for me to have you in my house. I hope you will visit me again next year, and then you may be more fortunate.
Mrs Pansey made this amiable little speech—which nevertheless, like a scorpion, had a sting in its tail—to Miss Norsham on the platform of the Beorminster railway station. After a stay of two months, the town mouse was departing as she had come—a single young woman; and Mrs Pansey's last word was meant to remind her of failure. Daisy was quick enough to guess this, but, displeased at the taunt, chose to understand it in another and more gracious sense, so as to disconcert her spiteful friend.
'Fortunate! Oh, dear Mrs Pansey, I have been very fortunate this time. Really, you have been most kind; you have given me everything I wanted.
'Excepting a husband, my dear,' rejoined the archdeacon's widow, determined that there should be no misunderstanding this time.
'Ah! it was out of your power to give me a husband,' murmured Daisy, wincing.
'Quite true, my dear; just as it was out of your power to gain one for yourself. Still, I am sorry that Dr Alder did not propose.
'Indeed!' Daisy tossed her head. 'I should certainly have refused him had he done so. A woman may not marry her grandfather.
'A woman may not, but a woman would, rather than remain single,' snapped Mrs Pansey, with considerable spite.
Miss Norsham carefully inserted a corner of a foolish little handkerchief into one eye. 'Oh, dear, I do call it nasty of you to speak to me so,' said she, tearfully. 'You needn't think, like all men do, that every woman wants to be married. I'm sure I don't.
The old lady smiled grimly at this appalling lie, but thinking that she had been a little hard on her departing guest, hastened to apologise. 'I'm sure you don't, dear, and very sensible it is of you to say so. Judging from my own experience with the archdeacon, I should certainly advise no one to marry.
'You are wise after the event,' muttered Daisy, with some anger, 'but here is my train, Mrs Pansey, thank you!' and she slipped into a first-class carriage, looking decidedly cross and very defiant. To fail in husband-hunting was bad enough, but to be taunted with the failure was unbearable. Daisy no longer wondered that Mrs Pansey was hated in Beorminster; her own feelings at the moment urged her to thrust the good lady under the wheels of the engine.
'Well, dear, I'll say good-bye,' said Mrs Pansey, screwing her grim face into an amiable smile. 'Be sure you give my love to your mother, dear,' and the two kissed with that show of affection to be seen existing between ladies who do not love one another over much.
'Horrid old cat!' said Daisy to herself, as she waved her handkerchief from the now moving train.
'Dear me! how I dislike that girl,' soliloquised Mrs Pansey, shaking her reticule at the departing Daisy. 'Well! well! no one can say that I have not done my duty by her,' and much pleased with herself, the good lady stalked majestically out of the station, on the lookout to seize upon and worry any of her friends who might be in the vicinity. For his sins Providence sent Gabriel into her clutches, and Mrs Pansey was transfixed with astonishment at the sight of him issuing from the station.
'Mr Pendle!' she said, placing herself directly in his way, 'I thought you were at Nauheim. What is wrong? Is your mother ill? Is she coming back? Are you in trouble?
Gabriel could not answer all, or even one of these questions on the instant, for the sudden appearance and speech of the Beorminster busybody had taken him by surprise. He looked haggard and white, and there were dark circles under his eyes, as though he suffered from want of sleep. Still, the journey from Nauheim might account for his weary looks, and would have done so to anyone less suspicious than Mrs Pansey; but that good lady scented a mystery, and wanted an explanation. This, Gabriel, with less than his usual courtesy, declined to furnish. However, to give her some food for her mind, he answered her questions categorically.
'I have just returned from Nauheim, Mrs Pansey,' he said hurriedly. 'There is nothing wrong, so far as I am aware. My mother is much better, and is benefiting greatly by the baths. She is coming back within the month, and I am not in trouble. Is there anything else you wish to know?
'Yes, Mr Pendle, there is,' said Mrs Pansey, in no wise abashed. 'Why do you look so ill?
'I am not ill, but I have had a long sea-passage, a weary railway journey, and I feel hot, and dirty, and worn out. Naturally, under the circumstances, I don't look the picture of health.
'Humph! trips abroad don't do you much good.
Gabriel bowed, and turned away to direct the porter to place his portmanteau in a fly. Offended by his silence, Mrs Pansey shook out her skirts and tossed her sable plumes. 'You have not brought back French politeness, young man,' said Mrs Pansey, acridly.
'I have been in Germany,' retorted Gabriel, as though that fact accounted for his lack of courtesy. 'Good-bye for the present, Mrs Pansey; I'll apologise for my shortcomings when I recover from my journey.
'Oh, you will, will you?' growled the archdeacon's widow, as Gabriel lifted his hat and drove off; 'you'll do more than apologise, young man, you'll explain. Hoity-toity! here's brazen assurance,' and Mrs Pansey, with her Roman beak in the air, marched off, wondering in her own curious mind what could be the reason of Gabriel's sudden return.
Her curiosity would have been gratified had she been present in Dr Graham's consulting-room an hour later; for after Gabriel had bathed and brushed up at his lodgings, he paid an immediate visit to the little doctor. Graham happened to be at home, as he had not yet set out on his round of professional visits, and he was as much astonished as Mrs Pansey when the curate made his appearance. Also, like Mrs Pansey, he was struck by the young man's worn looks.
'What! Gabriel,' he cried, when the curate entered, 'this is an unexpected pleasure. You look ill, lad!
'I am ill,' replied Gabriel, dropping into a chair with an air of fatigue. 'I feel very much worried, and I have come to ask for your advice.
'Very pleased to give it to you, my boy, but why not consult the bishop?
'My father is the last man in the world I would consult, doctor.
'That is a strange speech, Gabriel,' said Graham, with a keen look.
'It is the prelude to a stranger story! I have come to confide in you because you have known me all my life, doctor, and because you are the most intimate friend my father has.
'Have you been getting into trouble?
'No. My story concerns my father more than it does me.
'Concerns your father!' repeated the doctor, with a sudden recollection of the bishop's secret. 'Are you sure that I am the proper person to consult?
'I am certain of it. I know—I know—well, what I do know is something I have not the courage to speak to my father about. For God's sake, doctor, let me tell you my suspicions and hear your advice.
'Your suspicions!' said Graham, starting from his chair, with a chill in his blood. 'About—about—that—that murder?
'God forbid, doctor. No! not about the murder, but about the man who was murdered.
'Jentham?
'Yes, about the man who called himself Jentham. Are you sure we are quite private here, doctor?
Graham nodded, and walking to the door turned the key. Then he came back to his seat and fixed his eyes on the perturbed face of the young man. 'Does your father know that you are back?' he asked.
'No one knows that I am here save Mrs Pansey.
'Then it won't be a secret long,' said Graham, drily; 'that old magpie is as good as the town-crier. You left your mother well?
'Quite well; and Lucy also. I made an excuse to come back.
'Then your mother and sister do not know what you are about to tell me?
Gabriel made a gesture of horror. 'God forbid!' said he again, then clasped his hands over his white face and burst into half hysterical speech. 'Oh, the horror of it, the horror of it!' he wailed. 'If what I know is true, then all our lives are ruined.
'Is it so very terrible, my boy?
'So terrible that I dare not question my father! I must tell you, for only you can advise and help us all. Doctor! doctor! the very thought drives me mad—indeed, I feel half mad already.
'You are worn out, Gabriel. Wait one moment.
The doctor saw that his visitor's nerves were overstrained, and that, unless the tension were relaxed, he would probably end in having a fit of hysteria. The poor young fellow, born of a weakly mother, was neurotic in the extreme, and had in him a feminine strain, which made him unequal to facing trouble or anxiety. Even as he sat there, shaking and white-faced, the nerve-storm came on, and racked and knotted and tortured every fibre of his being, until a burst of tears came to his relief, and almost in a swoon he lay back limply in his chair. Graham mixed him a strong dose of valerian, felt his pulse, and made him lie down on the sofa. Also, he darkened the room, and placed a wet handkerchief on the curate's forehead. Gabriel closed his eyes, and lay on the couch as still as any corpse, while the doctor, who knew what he suffered, watched him with infinite pity.
'Poor lad!' he murmured, holding Gabriel's hand in his firm, warm clasp. 'Nature is indeed a harsh stepmother to you. With your nerves, the pin-prickles of life are so many dagger-thrusts. Do you feel better now?' he asked, as Gabriel opened his eyes with a languid sigh. 'Much better and more composed,' replied the wan curate, sitting up. 'You have given me a magical drug.
'You may well call it that. This particular preparation of valerian is nepenthe for the nerves. But you are not quite recovered yet; the swell remains after the storm, you know. Why not postpone your story?
'I cannot! I dare not!' said Gabriel, earnestly. 'I must ease my mind by telling it to you. Doctor, do you know that the visitor who made my father ill on the night of the reception was Jentham?
'No, my boy, I did not know that. Who told you?
'John, our old servant, who admitted him. He told me about Jentham just before I went to Nauheim.
'Did Jentham give his name?
'No, but John, like many other people, saw the body in the dead-house. He there recognised Jentham by his gipsy looks and the scar on his face. Well, doctor, I wondered what the man could have said to so upset the bishop, but of course I did not dare to ask him. By the time I got to Germany the episode passed out of my mind.
'And what recalled it?
'Something my mother said. We were in the Kurgarten listening to the band when a Hiedelberg student, with his face all seamed and slashed, walked past us.
'I know; students in Germany are proud of those duelling scars. Well, Gabriel, and what then?
The curate quivered all over, and instead of replying directly, asked what seemed to be an irrelevant question. 'Did you know that my mother was a widow when my father married her?' he demanded in low tones.
'Of course I did,' replied Graham, cheerily. 'I was practising in Marylebone then, and your father was vicar of St Benedict's. Why, I was at his wedding, Gabriel, and very pretty your mother looked. She was a Mrs Krant, whose husband had been killed while serving as a volunteer in the Franco-Prussian War!
'Did you ever see her husband?
'No; she did not come to Marylebone until he had left her. The rascal deserted the poor young thing and went abroad to fight. But why do you ask all these questions? They cannot but be painful.
'Because the sight of that student's face recalled her first husband to my mother. She said that Krant had a long scar on the right cheek. I immediately thought of Jentham.
'Good God!' cried Graham, pushing back his chair. 'What do you mean, lad?
'Wait! wait!' said Gabriel, feverishly. 'I asked my mother to describe the features of her first husband. Not suspecting my reason for asking, she did so. Krant, she said, was tall, lean, swart and black-eyed, with a scar on the right cheek running from the ear to the mouth. Doctor!' cried Gabriel, clutching Graham's hand, 'that is the very portrait of the man Jentham.
'Gabriel!' whispered the little doctor, hoarsely, 'do you mean to say—.
'I mean to say that Krant did not die, that Jentham was Krant, and that when he called on my father he appeared as one from the dead. He is dead now, but he was alive when my mother became my father's wife.
'Impossible! Impossible!' repeated Graham, who was ashy pale, and shaken out of his ordinary self. 'Krant died—died at Sedan. Your father went over and saw his grave!
'He did not see the corpse, though. I tell you I am right, doctor. Krant did not die. My mother is not my father's wife, and we—we—George, Lucy and myself are in the eyes of the law—nobody's children.' The curate uttered these last words almost in a shriek, and fell back on the couch, covering his face with two trembling hands.
Graham sat staring straight before him with an expression of absolute horror on his withered brown face. He recalled Pendle's sudden illness after Jentham had paid that fatal visit; his refusal to confess the real cause of his attack; his admission that he had a secret which he did not dare to reveal even to his oldest friend, and his strange act in sending away his wife and daughter to Nauheim. All these things gave colour to Gabriel's supposition that Jentham was Krant returned from the dead; but after all it was a supposition merely, and quite unsupported by fact.
'There is no proof of it,' said Graham, hoarsely; 'no proof.
'Ask my father for the proof,' murmured Gabriel. 'I dare not!
The doctor could understand that speech very well, and now saw the reason why Gabriel had chosen to speak to him rather than to the bishop. It might be true, after all, this frightful fact, he thought, and as in a flash he saw ruin, disaster, shame, terror following in the train of its becoming known. This, then, was the bishop's secret, and Graham in his quick way decided that at all costs it must be preserved, if only for the sake of Mrs Pendle and her children. The first step towards attaining this end was to see the bishop and hear confirmation or denial from his own lips. Once Graham knew all the facts he fancied that he might in some way—at present he knew not how—help his wretched friend. With characteristic promptitude he decided on the spot how to act.
'Gabriel,' he said, bending over the unhappy young man, 'I shall see your father about this at once. I cannot, I dare not believe it to be true, unless with his own lips he confirms the identity of Krant with Jentham. You wait here until I return, and sleep if you can.
'Sleep!' groaned Gabriel. 'Oh, God! shall I ever sleep again?
'My friend,' said the little doctor, solemnly, 'you have no right to doubt your father's honour until you hear what he has to say. Jentham may not be Krant as you suspect. It may be a chance likeness—a—.
Gabriel shook his head. 'You can't argue away what I know to be true,' he muttered, looking at the floor with dry, wild eyes. 'See my father and tell him what I have told you. He will not be able to deny his shame and the disgrace of his children.
'That we shall see,' said Graham, with a cheerfulness he was far from feeling. 'I shall see him at once. Gabriel, my boy, hope for the best!
Again the curate shook his head, and with a groan flung himself down on the couch with his face to the wall. Seeing that words were vain, the doctor threw one glance of pity on his prostrate form, and with a sigh passed out of the room.