en-fr  THE BISHOP'S SECRET by FERGUS HUME - Chapter 32 Hard
Pour plus d'info, merci de regarder l'onglet"discussion" en cliquant sur le titre de ce chapitre.

CHAPITRE XXXII - LES INITIALES
Comme il a déjà été mentionné, le Dr Graham eut une autre conversation avec son ami tourmenté, dans laquelle il lui conseillait de supporter la présence de Cargrim jusqu'à ce que Baltic eût capturé le véritable criminel. C'est également lors de cette seconde entrevue que l’évêque demanda à Graham s'il devait dire la vérité à George. Le petit docteur répondit immédiatement à cette question par la négative.
— À quoi bon le lui dire ? chicana-t-il ; cela vous rendra mal à l'aise et George très malheureux.
— Mais George doit apprendre la vérité tôt ou tard.
— Je ne vois pas la nécessité de l'informer du tout, répliqua Graham, avec obstination, et en tout état de cause, vous n'avez pas à exposer les faits jusqu'à ce que vous soyez contraint de le faire. Une chose à la fois, monseigneur. Dans l'immédiat, votre tâche consiste à détourner Cargrim et à déloger la canaille de la maison quand le meurtrier sera trouvé. Ensuite, nous aborderons la question du mariage avec Mlle Pendle.
— Graham ! …l'exclamation de l'évêque surgit comme un cri de douleur... Je ne peux pas... J'ose à peine en parler à Amy !
— Vous le devez, Pendle, puisqu'elle est la première personne concernée dans cette affaire. Vous savez comment Gabriel a appris la vérité par la description fortuite de son premier mari. Eh bien, quand Mme Pendle reviendra à Beorminster, elle pourrait... je ne dis pas qu'elle le fera, bien sûr... mais elle pourrait à nouveau parler de Krant, puisque, pour elle, il n'est pas nécessaire de garder secret son premier mariage.
— Sauf qu'elle pourrait ne pas avoir envie de se remémorer des jours malheureux, glissa doucement l'évêque. — En effet, il serait étonnant qu'Amy puisse être amenée spontanément à parler de Krant à son fils et à moi.
— Les femmes, mon ami, font et disent des choses qui les étonnent elles-même, dit cyniquement le misogyne ; Mme Pendle a agi sur l'impulsion du moment, et a immédiatement regretté les mots qui lui sont sortis de la bouche. Néanmoins, elle peut de nouveau décrire Krant quand elle reviendra, et son interlocuteur peut être aussi habile que l'était Gabriel à établir le rapprochement, et faire le lien entre le premier mari de votre femme et Krant. Si une telle chose se produisait — et la probabilité est grande — votre secret serait étalé sur cette place publique médisante, et votre situation finale serait encore pire que la première. Aussi, dit Graham, avec l'air d'une personne qui arbitrerait un débat, si vous et Mme Pendle deviez vous séparer, mon pauvre ami, il faudrait lui exposer les raisons d'une telle séparation.
— Se séparer ! répondit en écho l'évêque indigné. Ma chère Amy et moi ne nous séparerons jamais, docteur. Je m'étonne que vous puissiez suggérer une telle chose. Maintenant que Krant est mort sans le moindre doute, j'épouserai immédiatement sa veuve.
— Absolument et à juste titre, approuva catégoriquement Graham, avec emphase ; mais dans ce cas, comme vous pouvez vous en rendre compte, vous devez lui dire que le premier mariage est nul et non avenu, afin de justifier de la nécessité d'une seconde cérémonie. Le docteur fit une pause et réfléchit. — Quel vieil étourdi je suis, dit-il en haussant les épaules, j'avais totalement oublié cet obstacle. Un second mariage ! Bien sûr ! et votre casse-tête est résolu.
— Aucun doute, en ce qui nous concerne Amy et moi, dit sombrement Pendle, mais une cérémonie si tardive ne légitimera pas nos enfants. En Angleterre, le mariage n'est pas un acte rétroactif.
— Ils gèrent mieux ces choses en France, estima Graham, de la même façon que Sterne ; là, un homme peut légitimer ses enfants nés hors mariage s'il le souhaite. On a débattu de l'opportunité de modifier la loi anglaise de la même manière ; mais, bien sûr, les braves gens aux vilaines idées ont hurlé avec obstination, comme ils savent faire, contre la légalisation de l'immoralité. Cependant, poursuivit le docteur d'un ton plus joyeux, je ne vois pas que vous ayez besoin de vous inquiéter sur ce point, Monseigneur. Vous pouvez compter sur Gabriel et moi pour tenir nos langues ; vous n'avez pas besoin d'en informer Lucy et George, et quand vous épouserez votre femme pour la seconde fois, tout reprendra comme avant. — Ce que l'œil ne voit pas, le cœur ne s'en afflige pas, vous savez.
— Mais mon œil voit, et mon cœur s'attriste, gémit l'évêque.
— Vous faites chier ! ne soumettez pas votre conscience à l'inquisition, Pendle. Vous n'avez fait aucun mal ; comme la grandeur s'impose à certains, le mal s'est imposé à vous
— J'ai certainement péché par innocence, Graham.
— Bien sûr, vous avez raison ; mais maintenant que nous avons trouvé le remède tout est bien qui finit bien. Attendez que le meurtrier de Jentham soit trouvé, mettez alors Cargrim dehors, épousez Mme Krant dans quelque paroisse à l'extérieur et faites un nouveau testament en faveur de vos enfants. Et voilà, monseigneur ! Ne vous embêtez pas davantage avec ce problème.
— Ne croyez-vous pas que je ferais bien de parler de ça à Brace... ?
Je ne pense pas que vous devriez porter tort à votre fille aux yeux de son futur mari, répondit avec véhémence le docteur, épousez votre femme et tenez votre langue. Même l'Ange au Registre peut ne pas faire attention à un parcours si manifestement juste.
— Je pense que vous avez raison, Graham, dit l'évêque, en serrant la main de son ami avec une expression de soulagement. En l'honneur de mes enfants, je dois me taire. Je vais faire ce que vous préconisez.
— Cela étant, vous êtes à nouveau un homme, dit Graham gaiement, et maintenant vous pouvez envoyer chercher George pour qu'il vous rende visite.
Pensez-vous que ce soit vraiment nécessaire, Graham? Le fait de le voir...
Vous fera du bien, Pendle. Cessez de vous torturer et de considérer vos enfants comme autant de preuves flagrantes du péché. Foutaises ! Je vous dis, ce sont des foutaises ! s'écria le docteur, avec une vigueur un tantinet sans-gêne. Faites venir George ainsi que Mme Pendle et Lucy et envoyez balader aux quatre vents toutes ces idées noires. Si vous ne le faites pas, ajouta Graham brandissant un doigt menaçant, je rédigerai une ordonnance pour le transfert du plus intelligent des évêques d'Angleterre dans un asile d'aliénés.
— Bon, eh bien ! je ne vais pas prendre ce risque, dit l'évêque en souriant. — George reviendra immédiatement.
Et tout ira pour le mieux, pour citer l'immortel Boz. Bonne journée, Monseigneur ! Je vous ai prescrit le médicament, à vous de veiller à le prendre.
— Vous êtes vous-même un remontant, Graham.
— Tous les hommes de bon sens le sont, Pendle. Ils sont le sel de la terre, l'oxygène de l'atmosphère morale. Si ce n'était contraire à mon bon sens Monseigneur, dit le docteur, avec un clin d'œil, je crois que j'aurais la faiblesse de venir assister à votre prêche.
Monseigneur Pendle se mit à rire. — J'ai peur que le temps des miracles ne soit révolu, mon ami. En tant qu'évêque je devrais vous réprimander, mais...
— Mais en tant que bon et fidèle ami, vous suivrez mon conseil. Hé bien, hé bien, Monseigneur, j'ai eu des patients plus obstinés que mon camarade de collège. Bonne journée, au revoir, et le petit docteur sortit de la bibliothèque, l'œil vif, en hochant joyeusement de la tête, laissant l'évêque soulagé, souriant et profondément reconnaissant pour la solution apportée à l'énigme de son existence. En cet instant, le noble verset des Psaumes était dans son esprit et sur ses lèvres: « Dieu est notre refuge et notre force, un secours dans les détresses. » L'évêque Pendle prouvait la vérité de ce texte.
Ainsi l'amoureux exilé avait la permission de revenir à Beorminster, et était ravi de se retrouver encore une fois dans le voisinage de sa bien-aimée. Après avoir félicité l'évêque pour avoir retrouvé sa bonne humeur et sa tranquillité, George mit en avant le nom de Mab, et fut heureux de voir que son père n'était en aucun cas opposé au mariage comme il l'avait été autrefois. Monseigneur Pendle admettait encore que Mab était une jeune dame particulièrement charmante, et que son fils pouvait faire une plus mauvaise affaire que de l'épouser. Les évènements récents avaient considérablement rabaissé l'orgueil de l'évêque ; et de savoir que George était un bâtard, l'amenait à envisager plus favorablement Mlle Arden comme épouse pour le jeune homme. Elle au moins était une dame, et non une serveuse comme Bell Mosk ; ainsi le fait regrettable de Gabriel rendit son cœur si lourd en comparaison du meilleur choix de George avec un mariage nettement plus brillant. Sur ces critères, l'évêque fit savoir au capitaine Pendle que, tout bien considéré, il était disposé à fermer les yeux sur les rumeurs concernant la réputation douteuse du père de Mlle Arden, et qu'il l'acceptait comme belle-fille. Ce fut sur ces excellentes nouvelles que George, tout rouge d'impatience, comme pouvait l'être un amoureux, fit son apparition le matin suivant à la maison de Jenny Wren.
— Dieu merci, l''évêque est raisonnable, s'écria Mlle Whichello, quand George expliqua la nouvelle situation. — Je savais que Mab finirait par gagner son cœur.
— Elle a gagné le mien à l'origine, dit le capitaine George, et cela, après tout, c'est le principal.
— Comment ! votre propre cœur, égoïste ! Le mien ne compte-t-il pour rien ?
— Oh ! dit George, glissant les bras autour de sa taille, si nous attaquons le sujet, mon discours sera aussi long que le Credo d'Athanasius et tout aussi dévot.
— Capitaine Pendle ! S'exclama Mlle Wichello, scandalisée à la fois par l'embrassade et le discours, mais aussi davantage en tant que grenouille de bénitier.
— Mlle Whichello, fit le galant enjoué en imitant son intonation, ne suis-je pas reçu dans la famille sous le nom de George ?
— Cela dépend de votre comportement, capitaine Pendle. Mais je suis à la fois heureuse et soulagée que l'évêque consente au mariage.
— Tantine ! s'écria Mab en rougissant un peu, n'en parlez pas comme si c'était une faveur. Je ne me considère pas comme une moins-que-rien*, en aucune sorte.
— Moins-que-rien ! répéta George gaiement, aussi n'y a-t-il que paillettes d'or pur et diamants, et point de cailloux. Vous êtes la beauté de l'univers, ma chérie, et moi votre plus humble esclave. Il se jeta à ses pieds. — Posez votre joli pied sur ma nuque, ma reine !
— Capitaine Pendle, dit Miss Whichello en s'efforçant d'étouffer un rire, si vous ne vous levez pas et ne vous comportez pas correctement, je quitterai la pièce.
— Si vous le faites, tante, il fera pire, sourit Mab en ébouriffant ce que le coiffeur avait laissé des cheveux de son bien-aimé. — Relevez-vous immédiatement, vous... vous fou de Roméo.
George se releva docilement, et s'épousseta les genoux. — Juliette, J'obéi, dit-il avec emphase ; mais non, vous n'êtes pas la Juliette du jardin, vous êtes Cléopâtre ! Sémiramis ! La femme la plus impériale et la plus royale de toutes. D'où vous vient votre riche beauté orientale, Mab ? Que faites-vous, princesse arabe, dans notre occident froid et gris. Vous êtes comme une reine aux noirs sourcils. Une sœur de Bohème ! Une sorcière Rom !
Mab éclata de rire, mais Mlle Whichello poussa un bref soupir d'impatience, comme si ces allusions orientales l'agaçaient. Georges avait inconsciemment fait des remarques qui lui blessaient le cœur ; et incapable de contrôler ses sentiments, elle marmonna quelque vague excuse, et se hâta de s'éclipser de la pièce. Avec l'égoïsme inhérent à l'amour, ni George ni Mab n'avaient remarqué son émotion ni son départ, mais ils roucoulaient, souriaient et se caressaient l'un l'autre, tout au bonheur de leur doux isolement. George passa une heure dorée au paradis, à laquelle il ne put s'arracher qu'à contrecœur. Seul Shakespeare aurait pu rendre justice à la passion de leur séparation. Les baisers, les soupirs, les ultimes regards, les dernières étreintes, puis George dans la lumière du soleil du parc, avec Mab agitant son mouchoir de la fenêtre ouverte. Mais, hélas ! la prose journalière réussit toujours la rime d'Arcadie, et avec le soleil couchant meurt la gloire du jour.
L'esprit oscillant entre un paradis et une terre imaginaires, comme le cercueil de Mahomet, George descendit lentement la rue, jusqu'à ce que, tel un aigle atteint par un coup de feu, il fût ramené sur terre par une main sur son épaule. Immédiatement, car il n'y a rien de plus désagréable qu'un tel salut d'huissier, George se retourna, une réplique énergique sur le bout de la langue, mais la retint quand il se trouva face à Sir Harry Brace.
— Oh, c'est vous ! dit le capitaine Pendle sans conviction. Eh bien, avec votre expérience, vous devriez savoir qu'il ne faut pas aborder par surprise un homme qui ne s'y attend pas.
— Vous vous exprimez par énigmes, mon cher George, dit Harry qui le fixa, sans surprise, avec de grands yeux suite à ce discours incompréhensible.
— Je viens juste de quitter mademoiselle Arden, expliqua George, nullement décontenancé, car il ne se souciait pas que le monde entier apprenne son amour.
— Oh, veuillez m'excuser, je comprends, répliqua Brace avec un large sourire, mais vous devez me pardonner, vieux frère. J'ai... j'ai perdu l'habitude ces derniers temps, voyez-vous. «Mon amour est en Allemagne», comme le dit la vieille chanson. Je désire vous parler.
— D'accord. Où voulez-vous que nous allions ?
— Au club. Je dois vous parler en privé.
Le club de Beorminster n'était qu'à courte distance au bout de la rue, George passa donc ses portails hospitaliers à la suite d'Harry pour s'installer finalement dans un fauteuil confortable du fumoir qui, heureusement pour les desseins de Brace, était vide à cette heure. Les deux jeunes hommes commandèrent un vin blanc avec de l'eau gazeuse et allumèrent deux cigarettes de qualité supérieure qui provenaient de la poche de George, le prodigue. Ils commencèrent alors à discuter, et Harry ouvrit la discussion par une question.
— George, dit-il avec un air sérieux sur son visage habituellement joyeux, étiez-vous sur la lande de Southberry la nuit où ce pauvre misérable a été assassiné ?
— Oh, oui, répondit le capitaine Pendle, quelque peu étonné par la question. Je suis allé à cheval jusqu'au campement des gitans afin d'acheter un anneau bien spécifique à la Mère Jael.
— Pour mademoiselle Arden, je présume ?
— Oui, je désirais donner un symbole nécromancien à nos fiançailles.
— Avez-vous entendu ou vu quoi que ce soit en rapport avec le meurtre ?
— Seigneur, non ! s'écria Georges surpris, en se redressant vivement sur son siège. J'aurais été auditionné si j'avais été témoin du meurtre ou même si j'avais entendu le coup de feu.
— Aviez-vous un pistolet sur vous, cette nuit-là ?
— Comme je ne chevauchais pas au beau milieu de l'Afrique centrale, non. À quoi riment toutes ces étranges questions ?
Pour toute réponse, Brace glissa la main dans sa poche de poitrine et en sortit un joli petit pistolet, de la taille d'un jouet, mais parfaitement efficace dans la main d'un bon tireur. — C'est à vous ? demanda-t-il, en le tendant vers le capitaine Pendle afin qu'il l'examine.
— Assurément, dit George, manipulant l'arme, voici mes initiales sur la crosse. Où l'avez-vous eue ?
— Il a été trouvé par la Mère Jael sur le lieu où Jentham a été assassiné.
Le capitaine Pendle posa brusquement le pistolet sur la table avec une exclamation de stupeur. — A-t-il été tué avec ça, Harry ?
— Sans aucun doute ! répondit gravement Harry. En conséquence, comme il vous appartient, je souhaite savoir comment il a été amené à être utilisé dans ce but.
— Grand Dieu, Brace ! Vous ne pensez pas que j'aie pu tuer cette canaille ?
— Je ne pense rien d'aussi ridicule, protesta Sir Harry d'un ton irrité.
— Cependant, vous vous exprimez comme c'était le cas, répliqua judicieusement George. J'ai rossé cet animal de Jentham pour avoir insulté Mab, mais je ne lui ai pas tiré dessus.
— Mais c'est votre pistolet.
— Je l'admets, mais... Seigneur ! s'écria le capitaine Pendle qui se leva d'un bond.
— Qu'y a-t-il donc ? demanda Brace qui pâlit et se figea sur l'instant.
— Gabriel ! Gabriel ! Je... je lui ai donné ce pistolet.
— Vous avez donné ce pistolet à Gabriel ? Quand ? Où ?
— À Londres, expliqua rapidement George. Quand il était à Whitechapel je savais qu'il côtoierait des tas de voyous et de voleurs, alors j'ai insisté pour qu'il emporte ce pistolet pour sa sécurité. Tout d'abord il n'a pas voulu, mais finalement je l'ai persuadé de le mettre dans sa poche. Jusqu'à ce jour je n'ai pas vu cette arme.
— Et on l'a trouvée près du cadavre de Jentham, grommela Brace.
Les deux jeunes hommes se regardèrent, horrifiés et silencieux, pensant la même chose. Le pistolet avait été en possession de Gabriel et celui-ci avait été près du lieu du crime la nuit du meurtre.
— C'est... c'est impossible, murmura George, presque sans voix, Gabriel peut expliquer.
— Gabriel doit expliquer, dit Brace fermement; c'est une question de vie ou de mort !
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For more info, please see "discussion tab" by clicking on the title of this chapter.
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CHAPTER XXXII - THE INITIALS.
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This question the little doctor answered promptly in the negative.
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'For what is the use of telling him?'
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'But George must learn the truth sooner or later.
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One thing at a time, bishop.
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Then we can discuss the matter of the marriage with Mrs Pendle.
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'Graham!
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'You must, Pendle, since she is the principal person concerned in the matter.
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'Except that she may not wish to recall unhappy days,' put in the bishop, softly.
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'Indeed, I wonder that Amy could bring herself to speak of Krant to her son and mine.
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'Part!'
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echoed the bishop, indignantly.
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'My dear Amy and I shall never part, doctor.
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I wonder that you can suggest such a thing.
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Now that Krant is dead beyond all doubt, I shall marry his widow at once.
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The doctor paused and reflected.
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'Old scatterbrain that I am,' said he, with a shrug, 'I quite forgot that way out of the difficulty.
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A second marriage!
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Of course!
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and there is your riddle solved.
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In England, marriage is not a retrospective act.
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"What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve at," you know.
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'But my eye sees, and my heart grieves,' groaned the bishop.
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'Pish!
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don't make an inquisition of your conscience, Pendle.
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You have done no wrong; like greatness, evil has been thrust upon you.
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'I am certainly an innocent sinner, Graham.
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'Of course you are; but now that we have found the remedy, that is all over and done with.
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There you are, bishop!
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Don't worry any more about the matter.
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'You don't think that I should tell Brace that—?
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Even the Recording Angel can take no note of so obviously just a course.
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'In justice to my children, I must be silent.
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I shall act as you suggest.
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'Do you think there is any necessity, Graham?
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The sight of him—.
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'Will do you good, Pendle.
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Don't martyrise yourself and look on your children as so many visible evidences of sin.
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Bosh!
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I tell you, bosh!'
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cried the doctor, vigorously if ungallantly.
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'Send for George, send for Mrs Pendle and Lucy, and throw all these morbid ideas to the wind.
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'Well, well, I won't risk that,' said the bishop, smiling.
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'George shall come back at once.
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'And all will be gas and gaiters, to quote the immortal Boz.
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Good-day, bishop!
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I have prescribed your medicine; see that you take it.
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'You are a tonic in yourself, Graham.
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'All men of sense are, Pendle.
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They are the salt of the earth, the oxygen in the moral atmosphere.
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Dr Pendle laughed.
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'I am afraid the age of miracles is past, my friend.
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As a bishop, I should reprove you, but—.
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'But, as a good, sensible fellow, you'll take my advice.
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Well, well, bishop, I have had more obstinate patients than my college chum.
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Bishop Pendle was proving the truth of that text.
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'Thank God the bishop is reasonable,' cried Miss Whichello, when George explained the new position.
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'I knew that Mab would gain his heart in the end.
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'What!
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your own heart, egotist!
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Does mine then count for nothing?
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'Oh!'
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'Captain Pendle!'
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'That depends on your behaviour, Captain Pendle.
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But I am both pleased and relieved that the bishop consents to the marriage.
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'Aunty!'
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cried Mab, reddening a trifle,'don't talk as though it were a favour.
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I do not look upon myself as worthless, by any means.
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'Worthless!'
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echoed George, gaily; 'then is gold mere dross, and diamonds but pebbles.
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You are the beauty of the universe, my darling, and I your lowest slave.'
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He threw himself at her feet.
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'Set your pretty foot on my neck, my queen!
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'Get up at once, you—you mad Romeo.
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George rose obediently, and dusted his knees.
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'Juliet, I obey,' said he, tragically; 'but no, you are not Juliet of the garden; you are Cleopatra!
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Semiramis!
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the most imperious and queenly of women.
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Where did you get your rich eastern beauty from, Mab?
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What are you, an Arabian princess, doing in our cold grey West?
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You are like some dark-browed queen!
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A daughter of Bohemia!
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A Romany sorceress!
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George spent one golden hour in paradise, then unwillingly tore himself away.
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Only Shakespeare could have done justice to the passion of their parting.
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But, alas!
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workaday prose always succeeds Arcadian rhyme, and with the sinking sun dies the glory of the day.
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'Oh, it's you!'
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said Captain Pendle, lamely.
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'Well, with your experience, you should know better than to pull up a fellow unawares.
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I am—I am out of practice lately, you see.
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"My love she is in Germanee," as the old song says.
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I wish to speak with you.
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'All right.
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Where shall we go?
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'To the club.
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I must see you privately.
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Then they began to talk, and Harry opened the conversation with a question.
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'Oh, yes,' replied Captain Pendle, with some wonder at the question.
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'I rode over to the gipsy camp to buy a particular ring from Mother Jael.
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'For Miss Arden, I suppose?
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'Yes; I wished for a necromantic symbol of our engagement.
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'Did you hear or see anything of the murder?
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'Good Lord, no!'
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cried the startled George, sitting up straight.
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'I should have been at the inquest had I seen the act, or even heard the shot.
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'Did you carry a pistol with you on that night?
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'As I wasn't riding through Central Africa, I did not.
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What is the meaning of these mysterious questions?
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'Is this yours?'
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he asked, holding it out for Captain Pendle's inspection.
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'Certainly it is,' said George, handling the weapon; 'here are my initials on the butt.
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Where did you get this?
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'It was found by Mother Jael near the spot where Jentham was murdered.
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Captain Pendle clapped down the pistol on the table with an ejaculation of amazement.
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'Was he shot with this, Harry?
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'Without doubt!'
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replied Brace, gravely.
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'Therefore, as it is your property, I wish to know how it came to be used for that purpose.
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'Great Scott, Brace!
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you don't think that I killed the blackguard?
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'I think nothing so ridiculous,' protested Sir Harry, testily.
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'You talk as if you did, though,' retorted George, smartly.
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'I thrashed that Jentham beast for insulting Mab, but I didn't shoot him.
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'But the pistol is yours.
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'I admit that, but—Good Lord!'
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cried Captain Pendle, starting to his feet.
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'What now?'
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asked Brace, turning pale and cold on the instant.
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'Gabriel!
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Gabriel!
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I—I gave this pistol to him.
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'You gave this pistol to Gabriel?
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When?
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Where?
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'In London,' explained George, rapidly.
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He was unwilling to do so at first, but in the end I persuaded him to slip it into his pocket.
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I have not seen it from that day to this.
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'And it was found near Jentham's corpse,' said Brace, with a groan.
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The two young men looked at one another in horrified silence, the same thoughts in the mind of each.
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'It—it is impossible,' whispered George, almost inaudibly, 'Gabriel can explain.
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'Gabriel must explain,' said Brace, firmly; 'it is a matter of life and death!
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gaelle044 • 5157  translated  unit 188  8 months, 3 weeks ago
gaelle044 • 5157  translated  unit 187  8 months, 4 weeks ago
gaelle044 • 5157  translated  unit 184  8 months, 4 weeks ago
gaelle044 • 5157  commented on  unit 148  8 months, 4 weeks ago
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Bouchka • 3709  commented on  unit 9  8 months, 4 weeks ago

Petit résumé relatif à la question du vouvoiement-tutoiement. Nous pourrons toujours le modifier si nécessaire.
- La plupart des personnages se vouvoient comme sans doute on le faisait à cette époque.
- Les époux se vouvoient
- Les enfants vouvoient leurs parents
- Les parents tutoient leurs enfants
- Le docteur Graham tutoie Harry Brace et les enfants de l'évêque
- Les fiancés ? au début ils se vouvoyaient puis il me semble qu'on a glissé vers le tutoiement
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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 ago

For more info, please see "discussion tab" by clicking on the title of this chapter.

CHAPTER XXXII - THE INITIALS.
As has before been stated, Dr Graham had another conversation with his persecuted friend, in which he advised him to tolerate the presence of Cargrim until Baltic captured the actual criminal. It was also at this second interview that the bishop asked Graham if he should tell George the truth. This question the little doctor answered promptly in the negative.
'For what is the use of telling him?' said he, argumentatively; 'doing so will make you uncomfortable and George very unhappy.
'But George must learn the truth sooner or later.
'I don't see that it is necessary to inform him of it at all,' retorted Graham, obstinately, 'and at all events you need not explain until forced to do so. One thing at a time, bishop. At present your task is to baffle Cargrim and kick the scoundrel out of the house when the murderer is found. Then we can discuss the matter of the marriage with Mrs Pendle.
'Graham!'—the bishop's utterance of the name was like a cry of pain—'I cannot—I dare not tell Amy!
'You must, Pendle, since she is the principal person concerned in the matter. You know how Gabriel learned the truth from her casual description of her first husband. Well, when Mrs Pendle returns to Beorminster, she may—I don't say that she will, mind you—but she may speak of Krant again, since, so far as she is concerned, there is no need for her to keep the fact of her first marriage secret.
'Except that she may not wish to recall unhappy days,' put in the bishop, softly. 'Indeed, I wonder that Amy could bring herself to speak of Krant to her son and mine.
'Women, my friend, do and say things at which they wonder themselves,' said the misogynist, cynically; 'probably Mrs Pendle acted on the impulse of the moment and regretted it immediately the words were out of her mouth. Still, she may describe Krant again when she comes back, and her listener may be as clever as Gabriel was in putting two and two together, and connecting your wife's first husband with Krant. Should such a thing occur—and it might occur—your secret would become the common property of this scandalmongering place, and your last condition would be worse than your first. Also,' continued Graham, with the air of a person clinching an argument, 'if you and Mrs Pendle are to part, my poor friend, she must be told the reason for such separation.
'Part!' echoed the bishop, indignantly. 'My dear Amy and I shall never part, doctor. I wonder that you can suggest such a thing. Now that Krant is dead beyond all doubt, I shall marry his widow at once.
'Quite so, and quite right,' assented Graham, emphatically; 'but in that case, as you can see for yourself, you must tell her that the first marriage is null and void, so as to account for the necessity of the second ceremony.' The doctor paused and reflected. 'Old scatterbrain that I am,' said he, with a shrug, 'I quite forgot that way out of the difficulty. A second marriage! Of course! and there is your riddle solved.
'No doubt, so far as Amy and I are concerned,' said Pendle, gloomily, 'but so late a ceremony will not make my children legitimate. In England, marriage is not a retrospective act.
'They manage these things better in France,' opined Graham, in the manner of Sterne; 'there a man can legitimise his children born out of wedlock if he so chooses. There was a talk of modifying the English Act in the same way; but, of course, the very nice people with nasty ideas shrieked out in their usual pig-headed style about legalised immorality. However,' pursued the doctor, in a more cheerful tone, 'I do not see that you need worry yourself on that point, bishop. You can depend upon Gabriel and me holding our tongues; you need not tell Lucy or George, and when you marry your wife for the second time, all things can go on as before. "What the eye does not see, the heart does not grieve at," you know.
'But my eye sees, and my heart grieves,' groaned the bishop.
'Pish! don't make an inquisition of your conscience, Pendle. You have done no wrong; like greatness, evil has been thrust upon you.
'I am certainly an innocent sinner, Graham.
'Of course you are; but now that we have found the remedy, that is all over and done with. Wait till Jentham's murderer is found, then turn Cargrim out of doors, marry Mrs Krant in some out-of-the-way parish, and make a fresh will in favour of your children. There you are, bishop! Don't worry any more about the matter.
'You don't think that I should tell Brace that—?
'I certainly don't think that you should disgrace your daughter in the eyes of her future husband,' retorted the doctor, hotly; 'marry your wife and hold your tongue. Even the Recording Angel can take no note of so obviously just a course.
'I think you are right, Graham,' said the bishop, shaking his friend's hand with an expression of relief. 'In justice to my children, I must be silent. I shall act as you suggest.
'Then that being so, you are a man again,' said Graham, jocularly, 'and now you can send for George to pay you a visit.
'Do you think there is any necessity, Graham? The sight of him—.
'Will do you good, Pendle. Don't martyrise yourself and look on your children as so many visible evidences of sin. Bosh! I tell you, bosh!' cried the doctor, vigorously if ungallantly. 'Send for George, send for Mrs Pendle and Lucy, and throw all these morbid ideas to the wind. If you do not,' added Graham, raising a threatening finger, 'I shall write out a certificate for the transfer of the cleverest bishop in England to a lunatic asylum.
'Well, well, I won't risk that,' said the bishop, smiling. 'George shall come back at once.
'And all will be gas and gaiters, to quote the immortal Boz. Good-day, bishop! I have prescribed your medicine; see that you take it.
'You are a tonic in yourself, Graham.
'All men of sense are, Pendle. They are the salt of the earth, the oxygen in the moral atmosphere. If it wasn't for my common sense, bishop,' said the doctor, with a twinkle, 'I believe I should be weak enough to come and hear you preach.
Dr Pendle laughed. 'I am afraid the age of miracles is past, my friend. As a bishop, I should reprove you, but—.
'But, as a good, sensible fellow, you'll take my advice. Well, well, bishop, I have had more obstinate patients than my college chum. Good-day, good-day,' and the little doctor skipped out of the library with a gay look and a merry nod, leaving the bishop relieved and smiling, and devoutly thankful for the solution of his life's riddle. At that moment the noble verse of the Psalmist was in his mind and upon his lips—'God is our refuge and our strength: a very present help in trouble.' Bishop Pendle was proving the truth of that text.
So the exiled lover was permitted to return to Beorminster, and very pleased he was to find himself once more in the vicinity of his beloved. After congratulating the bishop on his recovered cheerfulness and placidity, George brought forward the name of Mab, and was pleased to find that his father was by no means so opposed to the match as formerly. Dr Pendle admitted again that Mab was a singularly charming young lady, and that his son might do worse than marry her. Late events had humbled the bishop's pride considerably; and the knowledge that George was nameless, induced him to consider Miss Arden more favourably as a wife for the young man. She was at least a lady, and not a barmaid like Bell Mosk; so the painful fact of Gabriel setting his heart so low made George's superior choice quite a brilliant match in comparison. On these grounds, the bishop intimated to Captain Pendle that, on consideration, he was disposed to overlook the rumours about Miss Arden's disreputable father and accept her as a daughter-in-law. It was with this joyful news that George, glowing and eager, as a lover should be, made his appearance the next morning at the Jenny Wren house.
'Thank God the bishop is reasonable,' cried Miss Whichello, when George explained the new position. 'I knew that Mab would gain his heart in the end.
'She gained mine in the beginning,' said Captain George, fondly, 'and that, after all, is the principal thing.
'What! your own heart, egotist! Does mine then count for nothing?
'Oh!' said George, slipping his arm round her waist, 'if we begin on that subject, my litany will be as long as the Athanasian Creed, and quite as devout.
'Captain Pendle!' exclaimed Miss Whichello, scandalised both by embrace and speech—both rather trying to a religious spinster.
'Miss Whichello,' mimicked the gay lover, 'am I not to be received into the family under the name of George?
'That depends on your behaviour, Captain Pendle. But I am both pleased and relieved that the bishop consents to the marriage.
'Aunty!' cried Mab, reddening a trifle,'don't talk as though it were a favour. I do not look upon myself as worthless, by any means.
'Worthless!' echoed George, gaily; 'then is gold mere dross, and diamonds but pebbles. You are the beauty of the universe, my darling, and I your lowest slave.' He threw himself at her feet. 'Set your pretty foot on my neck, my queen!
'Captain Pendle,' said Miss Whichello, striving to stifle a laugh, 'if you don't get up and behave properly I shall leave the room.
'If you do, aunty, he will get worse,' smiled Mab, ruffling what the barber had left of her lover's hair. 'Get up at once, you—you mad Romeo.
George rose obediently, and dusted his knees. 'Juliet, I obey,' said he, tragically; 'but no, you are not Juliet of the garden; you are Cleopatra! Semiramis! the most imperious and queenly of women. Where did you get your rich eastern beauty from, Mab? What are you, an Arabian princess, doing in our cold grey West? You are like some dark-browed queen! A daughter of Bohemia! A Romany sorceress!
Mab laughed, but Miss Whichello heaved a quick, impatient sigh, as though these eastern comparisons annoyed her. George was unconsciously making remarks which cut her to the heart; and almost unable to control her feelings, she muttered some excuse and glided hastily from the room. With the inherent selfishness of love, neither George nor Mab paid any attention to her emotion or departure, but whispered and smiled and caressed one another, well pleased at their sweet solitude. George spent one golden hour in paradise, then unwillingly tore himself away. Only Shakespeare could have done justice to the passion of their parting. Kisses and sighs, last looks, final handclasps, and then George in the sunshine of the square, with Mab waving her handkerchief from the open casement. But, alas! workaday prose always succeeds Arcadian rhyme, and with the sinking sun dies the glory of the day.
With his mind hanging betwixt a mental heaven and earth, after the similitude of Mahomet's coffin, George walked slowly down the street, until he was brought like a shot eagle to the ground by a touch on the shoulder. Now, as there is nothing more annoying than such a bailiff's salute, George wheeled round with some vigorous language on the tip of his tongue, but did not use it when he found himself facing Sir Harry Brace.
'Oh, it's you!' said Captain Pendle, lamely. 'Well, with your experience, you should know better than to pull up a fellow unawares.
'You talk in riddles, my good George,' said Harry, staring, as well he might, at this not very coherent speech.
'I have just left Miss Arden,' explained George, quite unabashed, for he did not care if the whole world knew of his love.
'Oh, I beg your pardon, I understand,' replied Brace, with a broad smile; 'but you must excuse me, old chap. I am—I am out of practice lately, you see. "My love she is in Germanee," as the old song says. I wish to speak with you.
'All right. Where shall we go?
'To the club. I must see you privately.
The Beorminster Club was just a short distance down the street, so George followed Harry into its hospitable portals and finally accepted a comfortable chair in the smoking-room, which, luckily for the purpose of Brace, was empty at that hour. The two young men each ordered a cool hock-and-soda and lighted two very excellent cigarettes which came out of the pocket of extravagant George. Then they began to talk, and Harry opened the conversation with a question.
'George,' he said, with a serious look on his usually merry face, 'were you on Southberry Heath on the night that poor devil was murdered?
'Oh, yes,' replied Captain Pendle, with some wonder at the question. 'I rode over to the gipsy camp to buy a particular ring from Mother Jael.
'For Miss Arden, I suppose?
'Yes; I wished for a necromantic symbol of our engagement.
'Did you hear or see anything of the murder?
'Good Lord, no!' cried the startled George, sitting up straight. 'I should have been at the inquest had I seen the act, or even heard the shot.
'Did you carry a pistol with you on that night?
'As I wasn't riding through Central Africa, I did not. What is the meaning of these mysterious questions?
Brace answered this query by slipping his hand into his breast-pocket and producing therefrom a neat little pistol, toy-like, but deadly enough in the hand of a good marksman. 'Is this yours?' he asked, holding it out for Captain Pendle's inspection.
'Certainly it is,' said George, handling the weapon; 'here are my initials on the butt. Where did you get this?
'It was found by Mother Jael near the spot where Jentham was murdered.
Captain Pendle clapped down the pistol on the table with an ejaculation of amazement. 'Was he shot with this, Harry?
'Without doubt!' replied Brace, gravely. 'Therefore, as it is your property, I wish to know how it came to be used for that purpose.
'Great Scott, Brace! you don't think that I killed the blackguard?
'I think nothing so ridiculous,' protested Sir Harry, testily.
'You talk as if you did, though,' retorted George, smartly. 'I thrashed that Jentham beast for insulting Mab, but I didn't shoot him.
'But the pistol is yours.
'I admit that, but—Good Lord!' cried Captain Pendle, starting to his feet.
'What now?' asked Brace, turning pale and cold on the instant.
'Gabriel! Gabriel! I—I gave this pistol to him.
'You gave this pistol to Gabriel? When? Where?
'In London,' explained George, rapidly. 'When he was in Whitechapel I knew that he went among a lot of roughs and thieves, so I insisted that he should carry this pistol for his protection. He was unwilling to do so at first, but in the end I persuaded him to slip it into his pocket. I have not seen it from that day to this.
'And it was found near Jentham's corpse,' said Brace, with a groan.
The two young men looked at one another in horrified silence, the same thoughts in the mind of each. The pistol had been in the possession of Gabriel; and Gabriel on the night of the murder had been in the vicinity of the crime.
'It—it is impossible,' whispered George, almost inaudibly, 'Gabriel can explain.
'Gabriel must explain,' said Brace, firmly; 'it is a matter of life and death!