Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/182

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166
The Sinner's Comedy.
 

Anna fell asleep in her chair while Legge watched the clock. At a quarter to twelve Sacheverell arrived.

"I suppose," he said, "you had given me up?"

"No," said Legge, "I knew you would come."

Sacheverell just noticed that a pale woman with grey eyes murmured something to the sick man, and left the room. In some way she seemed a remarkable woman—quite unlike any other woman he had ever seen. As he looked at her, it seemed like reading an unfinished tragedy—with the catastrophe to be written. When she had gone, Legge turned to him and sighed.

"That is my Dearest's niece," he said, "the one whose mother—had a history—you remember. I should feel so glad—if it were not for her. I am not much to her, but when I am gone she will have no one. She has had a terrible life. I wanted to tell you some of it—I am afraid I'm hardly strong enough—to-night." He spoke with great difficulty, and between long pauses. "A brave woman—and good. Strange—you were stopping—with the Vallences. Never mention—Kilcoursie—if you met him. I don't seem able—to say much—now you have come ... a lot of things—good of you to come. I shall not forget. . . . I knew you would. The children——" He closed his eyes, but said presently: "I have been waiting to see my Dearest—so long. She will think I have changed." A faint smile moved his lips. "I am rather sleepy. You don't mind?"

Sacheverell sat down by his side and waited.

Mrs. Grimmage and Anna, in the meantime, were talking with some show of blithesomeness in the next room.