Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/205

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.
The Sinner's Comedy.

I sent him to pay some bills with he has used for something else. So he wants another thirty. That means I must accept Stock's offer for the black and whites. I am getting so tired—and worried. I am strong really—very strong. I ought to be able to work nine hours a day—but I can't."

"And I can do nothing to help you?" said Sacheverell. "Must I see you toiling like this for that man? Am I powerless? a log? a stone?"

"I shall be all right," she said, "if you write to me every day. You have given me so much courage that nothing seems too hard for me."

Their farewell was in silence.

Her letters for the next week were full of humour—of hope—of plans for the future. "Seventy-two more hours and then I shall see you. I am so glad, that I feel almost afraid to think of it." So she wrote in the morning. That same night she sent another note to say she had received word that her husband was lying seriously ill—at the point of death—alone in his lodgings. "I must go to him," she wound up. "I will do what I can. He has no friend in the world. The very sight of him stifles me. I would sooner house with a rattlesnake than go near him. But he is ill. I have no choice in the matter."

Sacheverell, who knew the horrors of her married life as no one else knew them, read her letter and felt it was her death warrant. He was staring at it when Eleanor rushed into the study waving the Pall Mall Gazette.

"The Bishop of Gaunt is dead," she panted, and looked the rest. He neither heard nor saw her.