Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/212

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Two days later, Sacheverell received a letter from Mrs. Grimmage.

"Sir,—Mrs. Christian died suddenly this morning. She sent for me, poor dear lady. I am too upset to write more. My lord, your obedient,

"E. Grimmage."

"Have you got bad news, Peter?" said Mrs. Molle. They were sitting at the luncheon-table. He had already told her of Anna's illness, and she had guessed the rest—or enough. As the woman was dying (by a Special Providence), she viewed the situation with complacency. "Is it bad news?" she repeated.

"I expected it," he said, briefly, and left the room.

The blow had fallen: he could weep—a little. The heart-breaking anxiety, the terrible despair of the past four months vanished like evil spirits: he felt and believed that she was with him: that they were together as they had never been when life seemed fairest. And, as he looked into the Past, he saw how they both—by silent agreement—had left the end unimagined. With them each day had been but a beginning.

And now it was finished.

When Sacheverell entered the chamber of death he