Page:Court Royal.djvu/231

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Then Joanna seated herself by the bed, and watched the sufferer. Her face, generally brimming with intelligence and full of self-assurance, was now kindled with an expression of tenderness and pity such as it had not borne before. She knew the whole story of this dying woman. She had been brought to look upon a heart—a man’s heart—enduring unutterable agony. She put out her finger and touched the bedclothes where moistened; she knew what had moistened them—tears of contrition and humiliation wrung from the heart of an honourable man. She bent her head to the ear of Palma, and whispered, ‘Will you send a message to Emmanuel Lazarus?’

The eyes opened and looked dimly at her, but no answer came.

Lord Saltcombe lingered in the street. He would not leave the neighbourhood of the house. The night was cold, and the wind raw; a fog blew up from the sea, and stole in filmy coils along the street, drifting past the lamps and forming halos about them. He walked faster, up and down, up and down, turning his eyes ever at the lighted window. The clock struck four—it struck five, and he was still there. Before dawn the cold became keener, eating into the marrow. Then the chimes of St. Andrew’s played ‘Home, sweet Home,’ and as they played, against the lighted window appeared the shadow of a black cross.

Lord Saltcombe removed his hat, and stood with folded hands looking at the cross; then up, with dim eyes, through the fog above.


CHAPTER XXXI.
A SPOKE IN THE WHEEL.

Mr. Rigsby had taken a handsome house for the winter at Stoke, above Devonport, or rather between Devonport and Plymouth. The house commanded a view over the entire harbour, with Maker Point and Mount Edgcumbe. A more beautiful bay is not to be found the world over. The hills are bold, some bare, others richly wooded; the creeks are numerous, the beautiful Hamoaze opening into the bay is like a hand, every finger of which is a lovely blue estuary, and this fair