Page:What will he do with it.djvu/639

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WHAT WILL HE DO WITH IT? 629

CHAPTER II.

If. the Lion ever wear the Fox's hide, still he wears it as the Lion.

When Darrell was alone with Lionel and Alban Morley, the calm with which he had before startled them vanished. He poured out his thanks with deep emotion. " Forgive me ; not in the presence of a servant could I say, ' You have saved me from an unnatural strife, and my daughter's husband from a murderer's end.' But by what wondrous mercy did you learn my danger . Were you sent to my aid ? "

Alban briefly explained. " You may judge," he said, in con- clusion, "how great was our anxiety, when, following the instruc- tions of our guide, while our driver rang his alarum at the front portals, we made our entrance into yon ribs of stone, found the doors already opened, and feared we might be too late. But, meanwhile, the poor woman waits without in the carriage that brought us from the station. I must go and relieve her mind."

" And bring her hither," cried Darrell, " to receive my grati- tude. Stay, Alban ; while you leave me with her, you will speak aside to Mills ; tell him that you heard there was an at- tempt to be made on the house, and came to frustrate it, but that your fears were exaggerated ; the man was more a half-in- sane mendicant than a robber. Be sure, at least, that his iden- tity with Losely be not surmised, and bid Mills treat the affair lightly. Public men are exposed, you know, to assaults from crack-brain enthusiasts ; or stay — I was once a lawyer, and (con- tinued Darrell, whose irony had become so integral an attribute of his mind as to be proof against all trial) there are men so out of their wits as to fancy a lawyer has ruined them ! Lionel, tell poor Dick Fairthorn to come to me." When the musician en- tered, Darrell whispered to him, " Go back to your room — open your casement — step out on to the parapet — you will see some- thing white ; it is a scrap of paper wrapped round my old ar- morial seal. Bring it to me just as it is, Dick. That poor young Lionel, we must keep him here a day or two ; mind, no prickles for him, Dick."

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