Page:Court Royal.djvu/238

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‘Do so; he will not deny what occurred.’

‘I should like to know, sir, what your motive is in coming here and troubling me with these stories. If you hold one or two of the mortgages you ought not to regret the chance of having them paid off. Why do you seek to set me against the Marquess?’

‘The woman he ran away with was my wife.’ When Lazarus said this he rose. ‘Now you understand why I put a spoke in his wheel! Is he to be happy, released from his cares, and I to be miserable, weighed down with trouble? Is he to have a wife and home, and children on his knees, and I to have a cold and solitary hearth?’ Lazarus stood in the door. ‘I have said my say. Act as you think best for the happiness of your child.’

He bowed and left the room. Mr. Rigsby laid his brow on the table, groaned, and said, ‘I wish I were back in Ceylon!’


Mr. Rigsby started from his seat, threw on his overcoat, pulled on his boots, took his hat and stick, and sallied forth. He had a vague hope of coming to some decision if he walked. He could come to none seated in his snuggery. At one moment he flared up with anger and resentment, then he grew cold with apprehension. How would his dear Dulcina bear to be parted from the Marquess with whom she was so much in love? It would break her heart, which was as frail as her constitution. It would bring on an attack of jaundice. Strong emotion, a great shock, congested the liver; the breaking off of her engagement would certainly congest her liver. Would it be wise to prepare her for the news with calomel? He would consult a doctor. Podophyllin! since he had come to England he had been told that podophyllin touched the liver, and was milder than calomel! He did not believe in podophyllin. He knew better; as an old Indian he ought to know what the liver is, and what touches it. No podophyllin for him; no, thank you. He had heard of a spectre who, when fired at,