Page:The Wheel of Time, Collaboration, Owen Wingrave (New York, Harper & Brothers, 1893).djvu/169

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161
OWEN WINGRAVE

of the influence exerted at least in intention by Miss Wingrave. Indeed, the picture of this short visit remained with the observant little man a curious one—the vision of an impoverished Jacobean house, shabby and remarkably "creepy," but full of character still and full of felicity as a setting for the distinguished figure of the peaceful old soldier. Sir Philip Wingrave, a relic rather than a celebrity, was a small, brown, erect octogenarian, with smouldering eyes and a studied courtesy. He liked to do the diminished honors of his house, but even when with a shaky hand he lighted a bed room candle for a deprecating guest, it was impossible not to feel that beneath the surface he was a merciless old warrior. The eye of the imagination could glance back into his crowded Eastern past—back at episodes in which his scrupulous forms would only have made him more terrible.

Mr. Coyle remembered also two other figures—a faded, inoffensive Mrs. Julian, domesticated there by a system of frequent visits as the widow of an officer and a particular friend of Miss Wingrave, and a re-