Hide and Seek | Wilkie Collins | Literary Fiction | Soundbook | English | 2/10

Hide and Seek | Wilkie Collins | Literary Fiction | Audiobook | English | 5/10

book 2 chapter 2 of hide and seek by Wilkie Collins this LibriVox recording is the public domain recording by Anna Simon the protocols returned when Zach reached back Grove Square it was 4:00 in the morning the neighboring church clock struck the hour as he approached his own do immediately after parting with Matt malicious fate so ordained it that he passed one of those late or to speak more correctly early public houses which are opened to customers during the small hours of the morning he was parted with first and the hiccupping fit which had seized him in the company of his new friend had not yet subsided suppose I try out a drop of brandy will do for me thought Zack stopping at the fatal entrance of the public house he went in easily enough but he came out with no little difficulty however he had achieved his purpose of curing the hiccups the remedy employed acted to be sure and his legs as well as stomach but that was a trifling physiological eccentricity quite unworthy of notice he was far too exclusively occupied in chuckling of the remembrance of the agreeably riotous train of circumstances which had brought his new acquaintance and himself together to take any notice of his own personal condition or to observe that his calls over the pavement was of a somewhat sinuous nature as he walked home it was only when he pulled the door key out his pocket and tried to put it into the keyhole that his attention was fairly directed to himself and then he discovered that his hands were helpless and that he was also by no means rigidly steady on his legs there are some men whose minds get drunk and some men whose bodies get drunk under the influence of intoxicating liquor Zack belonged to the second class he was perfectly capable of understanding what was said to him and of knowing what he said himself long after his utterance had grown thick and his gait had become uncertain he was now quite conscious that his visit to the public house had by no means tended to sober him and quite awake to the importance of noises he stealing up to bed but he was at the same time totally unable to put key into the door at the first attempt or to look comfortably for the keyhole without previously leaning against the area railings at his side steady muttered Zack I'm done for if I make any noise here he felt for the keyhole and guided the key elaborately with his left hand into its proper place he next opened the door so quietly that he was astonished for himself entered the passage with marvellous stealthiness then closed the door again and cried Ashe when he found that he had let the lock go a little too noisily he listened before he attempted to light his candle the air the house felt strangely close and hot after the air out of those the dark stillness above and around him was instinct with an awful and virtuous repose and was deepened ominously by the solemn ticktick of the kitchen clock never audible from the passage in the daytime terribly an incomprehensible distinct at this moment I won't build the door he whispered to himself till I've struck a here the unreliability of Branly as a curative agent in cases of fermentation in the stomach was palpably demonstrated by sudden return of the hiccupping fit hush cried Zack for the second time terrified the violence and suddenness of the relapse and clapping his hand to his mouth when it was too late after groping on his knees with extraordinary perseverance all around the rim of his bedroom candlestick which stood on one of the whole chairs he succeeded not in finding the box of matches but in knocking it off the chair and sending it rolling over the stone floor until it was stopped by the opposite wall with some difficulty he captured it and struck a light never in all Zacks experience had any former matches caught flame with such a shrill report as was produced from the one disastrous match which he happened to select to light his candle with the next thing to be done was to build the door he succeeded very well with the build at the top but failed secondly with a bold at the bottom which appeared particularly difficult deal with that night it first of all creaked fiercely on being moved then stuck spitefully just at the entrance of the stable then slipped all of a sudden and their moderate pleasure and ran like lightning into its appointed place with a bang of malicious triumph if that doesn't bring my father down thought Zack listening with all his ears and stuffing the hiccups with all his might he's a harder sleeper than I take him fool but no door opened no voice cold no sound of any kind broke the mysterious stillness of the bedroom Regents Zack sat down on the stairs and took his boots off got up again with some little difficulty listened to his candlestick listened once more whispered to himself now for it and began the perilous ascent to his own room he held tight by the banisters only fully against them and making them crack from top to bottom once before he reached the drawing-room landing he ascended the second flight of stairs without casualties of any kind until he got to the top step close by his father's bedroom door here by a dire fatality the stifled hiccups burst beyond all control and distinctly asserted themselves by one convulsive Yelp which betrayed Zack and a start of horror the starch shook his candlestick the extinguisher which lay loose in it dropped out hope playfully down the stone stairs and rolled over the landing with a loud and lively ring a devilish and brazen flourish of exultation in honor of its own activity Oh Lord faintly ejaculated Zack as he heard somebody's voice speaking and somebody's body moving in the bedroom and remembered that he had to mount another flight of stairs wooden stairs this time before he got to his own quarters on the garret floor he went up however directly with a recklessness of despair every separate stair creaking and cracking under him as if a young elephant had been retiring to bed instead of a young man he blew out his light tore off his clothes and slipping between the sheets began to breathe elaborately as if he was fast asleep in the desperate hope of being still able to deceive his father if mr. Thorpe came upstairs to look after him no sooner had he assumed the recumbent position that a lusty and ceaseless singing began his ears which bewildered and half deafened him his bed the room the house the whole world tour round and round and heaved up and down frantically with him he cease to be a human being he became a giddy atom spinning drunkenly in illimitable space he started up in bed and was recalled to a sense of his humanity by a cold perspiration and a deathly chrome hiccups burst from him no longer but they were succeeded by another and a louder series of sound sounds familiar to everybody who has ever been at sea sounds nautical II and lamentably associated with white basins whirling waves a misery of mortal stomachs wailing an emetic despair in the momentary pauses between the rapidly successive attacks of a malady which now overwhelmed him and which he attributed in afterlife entirely to dyspeptic influences of toasted cheese Zack was faintly conscious of the sound of slippered feet ascending the stairs his back was through the door he had no strength to move no Curt the new ground no voice to raise in supplication he knew that his door was opened the light came into the room that a voice cried degraded beast that a door was suddenly shut again with a bang and that he was left once more in total darkness he did not care for the light or the voice or the banging of the door he did not think of them afterwards he did not mourn over the past or speculated on the future he just sank back on his pillow with a gasp threw the clothes over him with a groan and fell asleep blissfully reckless of the retribution that was to come with the coming daylight when he woke late the next morning conscious of nothing at first except that it was thawing fast out of those and the dative violent headache but gradually recalled her remembrance of the memorable fight in the snobbery by a sense of soreness in his ribs and the Rowen conviction that his nose had become too large for his face Zach's memory began correctly though confusedly to retrace the circumstances attending his return home and his disastrous journey upstairs to bed with these recollections were mingled others of the light which had penetrated into his room after his own Kendall was out of the voice which had denounced him as a degraded beast and of the banging of the door which had followed there could be no doubt that it was his father who had entered the room and apostrophized him in the briefly emphatic terms which was now calling to mind never had missed a soul on any former occasion been known to call names or bang those it was quite clear that he had discovered everything and was exasperated with his son as he had never been exasperated with any other human being before in his life just as Zach arrived at this conclusion he heard the rustling of his mother's dress on the stairs and mrs. thaw with her handkerchief to her eyes presented herself woefully at his bedside profoundly and penitently wretched he tried to gain his mother's forgiveness before he encountered his father's wrath to do him justice he was so thoroughly ashamed to meet her eye that he turned his face to the wall and in that position appealed to his mother's compassion in the most moving terms and with the most of vehement protest ations which had ever addressed to her the only effect he produced on mrs. Thorpe was to make her walk up and down the room in violent agitation sobbing bitterly now and then a few words buzzed lamentably and incoherently from our lips they were just articulate enough for him to gather from them that his father had discovered everything had suffered in consequence from an attack of palpitation of the heart and had felt himself on rising that morning so unequal both in mind and body to deal unaided with the enormity of his son's offense they'd had just gone out to request the cooperation of the Reverend Aaron yollop on discovering this Zach's patents changed instantly into a curious mixture of indignation and alarm he turned around quickly towards his mother but before he could open his lips she informed him speaking with anorexia both severity of tone that he was on no account to think of going to the office as usual but was to wait at home until his father's return and then hurried from the room the fact was that mrs. Thorpe distrusted her own inflexibility if she stayed too long in the presence of her penitent son but Zack could not unhappily know this he could only see that she left him abruptly after delivering an ominous message and could only place the gloomiest interpretation on her conduct when mother turns against me I've lost my last chance he stopped before he ended the sentence and set up in bed deliberating with himself for a minute or two I could make up my mind to bear anything for my father because he has a right to be angry with me after what I've done but if I stand old yollop again I'll be here whatever Zack said was smothered in the sound of a blow expressive of fury and despair which administered to the mattress on which he was sitting having relieved himself thus he jumped out of bed pronouncing at last in real earnest those few words of fatal slang which had often burst from his lips in other days as an empty threat it's all over with me I must build from home he refreshed both mind and body by a good wash but still his resolution did not falter he hurried on his clothes looked out of window listened at his door and all this time his purpose never changed remembering but – well the persecution he had already suffered at the hands of mr. yollop the conviction that it would now be repeated with fourfold severity was enough of itself to keep him firm to his desperate intention when he had done dressing his thoughts were suddenly recalled by the side of his pocketbook to his companion the past night as he reflected on the appointment for Thursday morning his eyes brightened and he said to himself aloud while he turned resolutely to the door that queer fellow talk of going back to America if I can't do anything else I'll go back with him just as his hand was on the lock he was startled by a knock at the door he opened it and found the housemaid on the landing with a letter for him returned to the window he hastily undid the envelope several gaily printed invitation cards who guild etches dropped out there was a letter among them which proved to be a mr. blights handwriting around us Wednesday my dear Zack the enclosed are the tickets for my picture show which I told you about yesterday evening I send them now instead of waiting to give them to you tonight at La Vie suggestion she thinks only three days notice from now the Saturday rather short and considers it advisable to save even a few hours so to enable you to give your friends the most time possible to make their arrangements for coming to my studio post all the invitation tickets therefore that you send about among your connection at once as I am posting mine and you will save a day by that means which is a good deal patty is obliged to pass your house this morning on an errand so I sent my letter by her how conveniently thinks sometimes turn out don't they introduce anybody you like but I should prefer intellectual people my figure subject of Columbus inside of the New World being treated mystically and therefore adapted to text the popular mind to the utmost please warn your friends beforehand that it is a work of high art and that nobody can hope to understand it in a hurry affection eels Raviv life the perusal this letter reminded sac of certain recent aspirations in the direction of the Fine Arts which had escaped his slippery memory all together while he was thinking of his future prospects I'll stick to my first idea he thought and be an artist if Blythe will let me after what's happened if we won't I've got Matt to fullback pawn and I'll run us wild in America has ever heeded reflecting thus Zack descended cautiously to the back parlor which was called the library the open door showed him that no one was in the room he went in and in great haste scrolled the following answer to miss obliged letter My dear Blythe thank you for the tickets I've got into a dreadful scrape haven't been found out coming home tipsy at four in the morning which I did by stealing the family door key my prospects after these are so extremely unpleasant that I'm going to make a bold of it I wrote these lines in a tearing hurry for fear my father should come home before I've done he having gone to your lips to set the parson at me again worse than ever I can't come to you tonight because your house would be the first place they would send to after me but I mean to be an artist if you both deserve me don't my dear fellow I know I'm a scamp but I'll try and be a reformed character if you will only stick by me when you take your walk tomorrow I shall be at the Turnpike in a laburnum Road waiting for you at three o'clock if you won't come there or won't speak to me when you do come I shall leave England and take to something desperate I've got a new friend the best and most interesting fellow in the world he's been half as life in the wilds of America so if you don't give me the go-by I shall bring him to see your picture of Columbus I feel so miserable I've got such a headache that I can't write anymore ever yours see thought june after directing this letter and placing it in his pocket to be put into the post by his own hand Zach looked towards the door and hesitated advanced a step or two to go out and end it by return to the writing table and taking a fresh sheet of paper out of the portfolio before him I can't leave the old lady though she won't forgive me without writing a line to keep up her spirits and say goodbye he thought as he dipped the pen in the ink and began his usual dashing scrolling way but he could not get beyond my dear mother the writing of those three words seemed to have suddenly paralyzed him the strong hand that had struck out so steadily all through the fight trembled now and merely touching a sheet of paper still he tried desperately to write something even if it were only the one word goodbye tried till the tears came into his eyes and made all further effort hopeless he crumpled up the paper and rose hastily brushing away the tears with his hand and feeling a strange dread and distrust of himself as he did so it was rarely very rarely that his eyes were moistened as they were moisten now few human beings have lived to be twenty years of age without shedding more tears than had ever been shed by Zach I can't write to her while I'm at home and I know she's in the next room to me I will send her a letter when I'm out of the house saying it's only for a little time and I'm coming back when the angry part of his infernal business is all blown over such was his resolution as he tore up the crumpled paper and went out quickly into the passage he took his hat from the table his hat no he remembered that it was the head which have been taken from the man of the tavern at the most momentous incident of his life when his heart was bowing down before the thought of his mother when he was leaving home in secret perhaps forever the current of his thoughts could be incomprehensible altered in its course by the influence of such a trifle as this it was thus with him it is thus with all of us our faculties are never more completely at the mercy of the smallest interests of our being than when they appear to be most fully absorbed by the mightiest and it is well for us that there exists this seeming imperfection in our nature the first cure of many a grief after the hour of parting or in the house of death has begun insensibly to ourselves with the first moment when we were betrayed at the thinking of so little a thing even as a daily meal the rain which had accompanied the thaw was falling faster and faster inside the house was dead silence and outside it damn desolation as Zach opened the street door and without hesitating a moment dashed out desperately through mud and wet to cast himself loose on the thronged world of London as a fugitive from his own home he paused before he took a turning out of the square the recollections of weeks months years passed all whirling through his memory in a few moments of time he paused looking through the damp foggy atmosphere at the door which had just left never it might be tarp wrote it again then moved away button this coat over his chest with trembling impatient fingers and saying to himself I've done it and nothing can undo it now turn this back resolutely on Berger of square end of chapter two book two book 2 chapter 3 of hide and seek by Willy Collins this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by honest Iman the search begins the street which mattered chosen for his place of residence in London was situated in a densely popular and by no means respectable neighborhood in kirkuk Street the men of the fustian dexhart and sealskin cap crusted tumultuous round the lintels of the gin shop doors here ballad bellowing and organ riding and voices of costermongers singing of poor man's luxuries never seized all through the hum of thay and penetrated far into the frowzy repose of latest night here on Saturday evenings especially the butcher smacked with appreciating hand the fat carcasses that hung around him and flourishing his steel roared aloud to every woman who passed the shop door with a basket to come in and by by by here with foul frequency the language of the natives was interspersed with such words as reporters indicate in the newspapers by an expressive black line and on this beat more than on most others the night police were chosen from men of mighty strength to protect the silver part of the street community and of notable cunning to persuade the drunken part to retire harmlessly brawling into the seclusion of their own homes such was the place in which Matt had set up his residence after 20 years of wandering amid the wilds of the great American continent never was tenant of any order or degree known to make such conditions for the landlord as were made by this eccentric stranger every household convenience with which the people at lodgings could offer to accommodate him mats considered to be a domestic nuisance which was particularly desirable to get rid of he stipulated that nobody should be allowed to clean his room but himself that the servant of all work should never attempt to make his bed or offered to put sheets on it or venture to cook him a morsel of dinner when he stopped at him and that he should be free to stay away unexpectedly for days and nights together if he chose without either landlord or landlady presuming to be anxious or to make inquiries about him as long as they had his rent in their pockets this Rand he willingly covenant it to pay beforehand week by week as long as he stayed lasted and it was also ready to feed a servant occasionally provided she would engage solemnly not upset his temper by doing anything for him the proprietor of the house and tobacco shop was at first extremely inclined to be distrustful but as he was likewise extremely familiar with poverty he was not proof against the orifice halo which the production of a handful of bribed sovereigns shed gloriously over the oddities of the new lodger the bargain was struck and met went away directly to fetch his personal baggage after an absence of some little time he returned with a large corn sack on his back and a long rifle in his hand this was his luggage firstt putting the rifle on his bed in the back room he cleared away all the little secondhand furniture with which the front room was decorated packing the three rickety chairs together in one corner and turning up the correct round table another then untying a piece of cord which secured the mouth of the corn sack he emptied it over his shoulder into the middle of the room just as a landlady afterwards said as if it was coals coming in instead of luggage among the things which fell out on the floor in a heap were some bear skins and a splendid buffalo hide neatly packed the pipe to red flannel shirts a tobacco pouch and an Indian blanket a leather bag a gunpowder flask two squares of yellow soap a bullet mold and a nightcap a tomahawk the paper of nails a scrubbing brush a hammer and an old gridiron having emptied the SEC Matt took up the buffalo hide and spread it out on his bed with a very expressive sneer at the patchwork counterpane and meagre curtains he next threw the bearskins with the empty sack under them in an unoccupied corner propped up the leather bag between two angles the wall took his pipe from the floor left everything else lying in the middle of the room and sitting down on the bearskins with his back against the bag told the astonished landlord that he was quite settled and comfortable I would thank him to go downstairs and send a pound with the strongest tobacco he had in the shop mats subsequent proceedings during the rest of the day especially such as were connected with his method of laying in a stock of provisions and cooking his own dinner exhibited the same extraordinary disregard of all civilised precedent which had marked his first entry into the lodgings after he had dined he took a nap on his Baskins woke up grumbling at the close air in the confined room smoked a long series of pipes looking out of window all the time with quietly observant constantly attentive eyes and finally rising to the climax of voice previous oddities came down when the tobacco shop was being shut up asked the closing of a neighboring theatre and coolly asked which was his nearest way into the country as he wanted to clear his head and stretch his legs by making a walking night of it in the fresh air he began the next morning by cleaning both his rooms thoroughly with his own hands and seemed to enjoy the occupation mightily in his own grim grave way his dining napping smoking an observant study of the street view from his window followed as on the previous day but that night instead of setting forth into the country as before he wandered into the streets and in the course of his walk happened to pass the door of the snobbery what happened to him there is already known but what became of him afterwards remains to be seen on leaving Zac he walked straight on not slackening his pace not noticing whether he went not turning to go back till daybreak it was past nine o'clock before he presented himself with tobacco shop bringing in with him a goodly share of mud and wet from the thawing ground and rainy sky outside his long walk did not seem to have relieved the uneasiness of mind which had induced him to separate so suddenly from Zac he talked almost perpetually to himself in a muttering incoherent way his heavy brow was contracted and the scars of the old wounds on his face looked angry and red the first thing he did was to make some inquiries of his landlord relating to railway traveling and to the part of London in which a certain terminus that he had been told off was situated finding it not easy to make him understand any directions connected with this latter point the shopkeeper suggested sending for a cab to take him to the railway he briefly assented to that arrangement occupying the time before the vehicle arrived in Woking suddenly backwards and forwards over the pavement in front of the shop dule when the cab came to take him up he insisted with characteristic regardless of appearances on riding upon the roof because he could get more air to blow over him and more space for stretching his legs in there that inside arriving in this irregular and vagabond fashion at the terminus he took his ticket for Dibble Dean a quiet little market town in one of the Midland counties when he was set down at the station he looked about him rather perplexedly at first but soon appeared to recognize a road visible at some little distance which led to the town and towards which he immediately directed his steps scouring all offers of accommodation from the local omnibus it did not happen to remarket day and the Thal looked even more dreary at Dibble Dean than it looked in London down the whole perspective of the High Street there appeared only three human figures a woman in patterns a child and there a large umbrella and a man with a hamper on his back walking towards the yard the principal in Matt had slackened his pace more and more as he approached the town until he slackened it all together at last by coming to a dead standstill under the walls the old church which stood at one extremity of the High Street in what seemed to be the suburban district of Dibble Dean he waited for some time looking over the low parapet wall which divided the church art from the road then slowly approached the gate leading to a path among the gravestones stopped at it apparently changed his purpose and abruptly walked up the high street he did not pause again till he arrived opposite a long low gabled house evidently one of the oldest buildings in the place though brightly painted and whitewashed to look as new and unpicked resk as possible the basement story was divided into two shops which whoever proclaimed themselves bellowing now and having belonged also in former days to one and the same family but for the larger of the two was painted in letters of goodly size Bradford and son laid Joshua rice linen Draper's hosier's attached etc the board on which these words were traced was continued over the smaller shop where it was additionally superscribed thus mrs. Bradford laid Johanna Grice millionnaire and dressmaker regardless of rain and droppings from eaves that trickled heavily down his hat and coat mat stood motionless reading and rereading these inscriptions from the opposite side of the way though the whole man from top to toe was the very impersonation of firmness he nevertheless hesitated most unnaturally now at one moment he seemed to be on the point of entering the shop before him at another he turned half round towards the churchyard which had left behind him at last he decided to go back to the churchyard and retraced his steps accordingly he entered quickly by the gate which get delayed before and pursued the path among the graves a little way then striking off over the grass after a moment's consideration and looking about him he wound his cause hither and thither among the turf mounds and stopped suddenly at a plain flat tombstone raised horizontally above the earth by a foot or so of brickwork bending down over it he read the characters engraving on the slab there were four inscriptions all the simplest and shortest kind comprising nothing but a record of the names ages and birth and death dates of the dead who lay beneath the first two inscriptions notified the death of children joshua rice son of joshua and susan rice of this parish aged four years and Susan Rice daughter the above age 13 years the next death recorded was the mother's and the last was the father's at the age of 62 below this followed a quotation for a New Testament come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest it was on these lines and the record above them of the death of Joshua Christ the elder at the eyes at a lonely reader rested longest his lips murmuring several times as he looked down on the letters he lived to be an old man he lived to be an old man after all there was sufficient vacant space left towards the bottom of the tombstone for two or three more inscriptions and it appeared as if Matt expected to have seen more he looked intently at the vacant space and measured it roughly with his fingers comparing it with the space above which was occupied by letters not there at any rate he said to himself as he left the church out and walked back to the town this time he entered the double shop the hosiery division of it without hesitation no one was there but the young man who served behind the counter and ride glad the young man looked having been long left without a soul to speak to on that rainy morning to see someone even a stranger with an amazing skullcap under his head enter the shop at last what could he serve the gentleman with the gentleman had not come to buy he only desired to know whether Johanna Grise who used to keep the dressmaker's shop was to living still living certainly the young man replied with brisk civility miss Gryce whose brother once had the business now carried on by Bradford and son still resided in the town I was a very curious old person who never went out and let nobody inside her doors most of her old friends were dead and those who were still alive she had broken with she was full of fears wild ways was suspected of being crazy I was execrated by the boys of Dibble Dean as an old Tiger cat in all probability her intellects were a little shaken years ago by a dreadful scandal family which quite crushed them down being very respectable religious people at this point the young man was interrupted in a very uncivil manner by the stranger who desired to hear nothing about the scandal but who had another question to ask this question seemed rather a difficult one to put for he began at two or three times in two or three different forms of words and failed to get on with it at last he ended by asking generally whether any other members of old mr. gryce's family were still alive for a moment or so the Schuchman was stupid and puzzled and asked what other members the gentleman meant old mrs. gryce had died some time ago and there had been two children who died young and whose names were in the churchyard the gentlemen mean the second daughter who lived and grew up beautiful and was as a story went the cause of all the scandal if so the young person ran away and died miserably somehow nobody knew how and was supposed to have been buried like a pauper somewhere nobody knew where unless it was miss Gryce the young man stopped and looked perplexed a sudden change had passed over the strange gentleman's face his swarthy cheeks had turned to a cold clay color through which his two scars seemed to burn fiercer than ever like streaks of fire his heavy hand and arm trembled a little as he leant against the counter was he going to be taken ill no he walked at once from the counter to the door turned round there and asked where Johanna Christ lived the young man answered the second turning to the right down a street which ended in a lane of cottages miss crisis was the last cottage on the left-hand but he could assure the gentleman and it would be quite useless to go there for she let nobody in the gentlemen thanked him and went nevertheless I didn't think it would have took me so mad said walking quickly up the street and it wouldn't if I'd heard it anywhere else but I'm not the man I was now I'm in the old place again over twenty year of hardening don't seem to have hardened me yet he followed the directions given him correctly enough arrived at the last cottage on his left hand and tried the garden gate it was locked and there was no bell to ring but the paling was low and mat was not scrupulous he got over it and advanced to the cottage door it opened like other doors in the country merely by turning the handle of the lock he went in without any hesitation and entered the first room and did the passage let him it was a small parlour and at the back window which looked out on a garden said Johanna Grice a thin dwarfish old woman poring over a big book which looked like a Bible she started from her chair as she heard the sound of footsteps and tottered up fiercely with wild wandering gray eyes and horny threatening hands to meet the intruder he let her come close to him then mentioned the name pronouncing it twice very distinctly she paused instantly livid pale with gaping lips and arms hanging rigid at her side as if that name were the voice in which it had been uttered had frozen up in a moment all the little life left in her then she moved back slowly groping with her hands like one in the dark back till she touched the wall of the room against this she leant trembling violently not speaking her word her wild eyes staring panic-stricken on the man who was confronting her he sat down unbidden and asked if she did not remember him no answer was given no movement made that might serve instead of an answer he asked again a little impatiently this time she nodded her head and stared at him still speechless still trembling he told her what he had heard at the shop and using the shopkins phrases asked whether it was true that the daughter of old mr. Gryce who was the cause of all the scandal in the family had died long since away from her home and in a miserable way there was something in his look as he spoke which seemed to oblige her to answer against her will she said yes and trembled more violently than ever he clapped his hands together his head drooped little dark shadows seemed to move over his bent face and the scars of the old wounds deepened to a livid violet you his silence and hesitation seemed to inspire Johanna cries with sudden confidence and courage she moved a little away from the wall and the gleam of triumph lightened over her face as she reiterated her last answer of her own accord yes the wretch who ruined the good name of the family was dead dead and buried far off in some grave by herself not there in the churchyard with a father and mother No thank God not there he looked up at her instantly when she said those words there was some warning influence in his eye as it rested on her which sent her cowering back again to her former place against the wall mentioning the name for the first time he asked sternly where Mary was buried the reply doled out doggedly and slowly forced from her word by word was that Mary was buried among strangers as she deserved to be at a place called Banbury far away in the next County where she died and where money was sent to bury her his manner became less roughly imperative his eyes softened his voice saddened in tone when he spoke again and yet the next question that he put to Johanna cries seemed to pierce her to the quick to try her to the heart as no questioning had tried her before the muscles were writhing on her Haggard face her breath burst from her in quick fierce pantings as he asked plainly whether it was only suspicion or really the truth that Mary was with child when she left her home no answer was given to him he repeated the question and insisted on having one was it suspicion or truth the reply hissed out at him in one whispered word truth was the child born alive the answer came again in the same harsh whisper yes born alive what became of it she never saw it never asked about it never knew while she replied thus her whispering accents changed and rose suddenly to houris distinct tones but it was not till the questioner spoke to her once more that the smothered fury flashed out into flaming rage then even as he raised his head and opened his lips she staggered with outstretched arms up to the table at which he'd been reading when he came in and struck her bony hands on the open Bible and swore by the word of truth in that book that she would answer him no more heroes calmly and with something of contempt in his look approached the table and spoke but his voice was drowned by hers bursting from her and screams of fury no no no but a word more how dare he come there with his shameless face and his threatening eyes and make her speak of what should never have passed her lips again never till she went up to render her account of the judgment-seat relations let him not speak to her of relations the only kindred she ever care to own lay heartbroken and the great stone in the churchyard relations if they all came to life again this very minute what could she have to do with them whose only relation was death yes death that was father mother brother sister to her now death that was waiting to take her in God's good time what would he stay on in spite of her stay after she'd sworn not to answer him another word yes he was resolved to stay and resolved to no more have Mary left nothing behind her on the day when she fled from her home some suddenly conceived resolution seemed to come the first fury of Joanna Rises passion while he said those were she stretched out her hand quickly and gripped him by the arm and looked up in his face with a wicked exultation in her wild eyes he was bent on knowing what that ruined wretch left behind her well he should see for himself between the leaves of Joanna Crisis Bible there was a key which seemed to be used as a marker she took it out and let the way with toilsome step and hands outstretched for support to the wall on one side and the Bennis tears on the other up the one flight of stairs which communicated with the bedroom story of the college he followed close behind her I was standing by her side when she opened the door and pointed into a room telling him to take what he found there and then go she cared not with her so low as he went from her she descended the stairs again as he entered the room there was a close faint airless smell in it cobwebs pandalus and brown wood dirt hung from the ceiling the grimy window panes satin doll the light that poured through them faintly he looked round him and saw no furniture anywhere no sign that the room had ever been lived in ever entered even for years and years past he looked again more carefully and detected in one dim corner something covered with dust and dirt which looked like a small box he pulled it out towards the window dust threw from it includes loathsome crawling creatures crept from under it and from off it he stirred it with his foot still nearer to the faint light and saw that it was a common deal box quoted he looked closer and through cobwebs and that insects and foul stains of all kinds spelled out a name that was painted on it Mary Bryce at the sight of that name and the pollution which covered it he paused silent and thoughtful and at the same moment heard the parlor door below locked he stooped hastily took up the box by the cord rounded and left the room his hand touched a substance as he grasped the cord which did not feel like wood meaning the box by the clearer light falling on the landing from a window in the roof he discovered a letter nailed to the cover there was something written on it the paper was dusty the ink was faded by time and the characters were hard to decipher by dint of perseverance however he made out from them this inscription justification of my conduct with my niece to be read after my death joanna Grice as he passed the parlor door he heard her voice reading he stopped and listened the words that reached his ears seemed familiar to them and yet he knew not at first what book they came from he listened a little longer his recollections of his boyhood and of home helped him and he knew that the book from which Johanna Gryce was reading aloud to herself was the Bible his face darkened and he went out quickly into the garden but stopped before he reached the paling and turning back to the front window the parlor looked in he saw her sitting with her back to him with elbows on the table and hands working feverishly in her tangled gray hair her voice was still audible but the words it pronounced could no longer be distinguished he waited at the window for a few moments then left it suddenly saying to himself I wonder the book don't strike her dead those were his only words of farewell with that thought in his heart he turned his back on the cottage and on Johanna Grice he went on through the rain taking the box with him and looking about for some sheltered place in which he could open it after walking nearly a mile he saw an old cattle shed a little way off the road a rotten deserted place but it afforded some little shelter even yet so he entered it there was one dry corner left dry enough at least to suit his purpose in that he knelt down and cut the cord around the box hesitated before he opened it and began by tearing away the letter outside from the nail that fastened it to the cover it was a long letter written in a clothes crept hand he ran his eye over it impatiently till his attention was accidentally caught and arrested by two or three lines more clearly pent and the rest near the middle of a page for many years he been unused to reading any written characters but he spelled out resolutely the words in a few lines which first struck his eye and found that they ran thus I have now only to add before proceeding to the miserable confession of our family dishonor that I never afterwards saw and only once heard of the man who tempted my niece to commit the deadly sin which was a ruin in this world and will be her ruin in the next beyond those words he made no effort to read further thrusting letter hastily into his pocket he turned once more to the box it was sealed up with strips of tape but not locked he forced the lid open and saw inside a few simple articles of woman's wearing apparel a little work box lays color with the needle and thread still sticking in it several letters here tied up in a packet they're scattered callously a gaily bound album the quantity of dried ferns and flower leaves that had apparently fallen from between the pages a piece of canvas with a slipper pattern worked on it and a black dress waistcoat with some unfinished embroidery on the collar it was plain to him at a first glance that these things had been thrown into the box anyhow and had been left just as they were thrown for a moment or two he kept his eyes fixed on the sad significance of the confusion displayed before him then turned away his head whispering to himself mournfully and many times that name of Mary which had already pronounced while in the presence of Joanna cries after a little he mechanically picked out the letters that lay scattered about the box mechanically I'd the broken seals and the addresses on each mechanically put them back again and opened until he came to one which felt as if it had something inside it this circumstance stimulated him and unfolding the enclosure and examining what letter might contain nothing but a piece of paper neatly folded he undid the folds and found part of a lock of hair inside which he wrapped up again the moment he saw it as if anxious to conceal from view as soon as possible let reexamine port deliberately losing a woman's handwriting was directed to miss Mary Christ Dibble Dean I was only dated Bond Street London Wednesday the postmark however showed that has been written many years ago it was not very long so he set himself to the task of making it all out from beginning to end this was what he read my dearest Mary I've just sent you your pretty hair bracelet by the coach nicely sealed and packed up by the jeweler I've directed it to you by your own name as I direct this remembering what you told me about your father making it a point of Honor never to open your letters and parcels and forbidding that ugly Ongina of yours ever to do so either I hope you'll receive this and little packet about the same time I will answer for your thinking the pattern of your bracelet much improved since the new hair has been worked in with the old house slyly you will run away to your own room and blush unseen like the flower in the poem when you look at it you may be rather surprised perhaps to see some little gold fastenings introduced as additions but this the jeweler told me was a matter of necessity your poor dear sister's hair being the only material to bracelet when you send it up to me to be altered was very different from the hair that faultless true love of yours which you also sent me worked in with it it was in fact hardly half long enough to plate up properly with poor Susan's from end to end so the jeweler had to join it with little gold clasps as you will see it is very prettily run in along with the old hair though no country jeweler could have done it half as nicely so he did well to send it to London after all I consider myself rather a judge of these things and I say positively that it is now the prettiest hair bracelet I ever saw do you see him as often as ever he ought to be true and faithful to you when he show how dearly you love him by mixing his hair with poor Susan's who you were always so fondly attached to I say he old but you are sure to say he will and I'm quite ready love to believe that you are the wiser of the two I would write more but have no time it is just the regular London season now and we're worked out of our lives I envy you dressmakers in the country and almost wish I was back again at Dibble Dean to be terrorized over from morning tonight by miss Joanna I know she ate her on idea but I can't help saying that I hate her very name ever your affectionate friend Jane Holdsworth PS the jeweler sent back the hair he did not want and I as in duty bound returned it and closed to you it's lawful owner those scars on Matt's face which indicated the stir of strong feelings within him more palpably than either his expression or his manner began to burn readily again while he spelled his way through this letter he crumpled it up hastily around the enclosure instead of folding it and it had been folded before I was about to cast it back sharply into the Box on the side of the wearing apparel and half-finished work lying inside seemed to stay his hand and teach it on a sudden to move tenderly he smooth without the paper with care and place it very gently among the rest letters then looked at the box thoughtfully for a moment or two to crew his pocket the letter laid first examined and dropped it in among the others then suddenly and sharply closed letter the box again I can't touch any more of her things he said to himself I can't so much as look at him somehow without it's making me he stopped to tie up the box straining at the cords I did the mere physical exertion of pulling hard at something or relief to him at the moment I'll open it again and look it over in a day or two when I'm away from the old place here he resumed jerking sharply at the last knot when I'm away from the old place I've got to be my own man again he left the shed regained the road and stopped looking up and down and all around him indecisively where should he go next to the grave where he'd been told that Mary lay buried no not until he had first read all the letters and carefully examined all the objects books back to London and to his promised meeting next morning with Zach yes nothing better was left to be done back to London before nightfall he was journey again to the great city and to his meeting with Zach journeying though a little sorted to the place where the clue lay hid the clue to the mystery of Mary Grice end of chapter 3 of book 2 book 2 chapter 4 of hide and seek by Wilkie Collins this LibriVox recording is in the public domain recording by Anna Simone fate works with Zack for an instrument a quarter of an hour's rapid walking from his father's door took Zack well out of the neighborhood of Biograph Square and launched him in vagabond independence loose on the world he had a silk handkerchief and seven pens half penny in his pockets his available assets consisted of a handsome gold watch and chain his only article of baggage was a black thorn stick and his anger of Hope was the pawnbroker his first action now that he become his own master was to go direct to the nearest station a shop that he could find and there to write the parents a letter to his mother over which is hard it filled him in a library at Bear Grove Square it was about as awkward scrambling and incoherent at epistolary production as ever was composed but Zack felt easier when he had completed it easier still when he had actually dropped it into the post-office along with his other letter to mr. Valentine life the next duty that claimed him was the first great unity of civilized humanity the filling of an empty purse most young gentleman in his station of life would have found the process of pawning a watch in the streets of London and in broad daylight rather an embarrassing one but Zack was born impervious to a sense of respectability he marched into the first poem burgers he came to with a solemn and air of business and marched out again with a serene and expression of satisfaction as if he had just been drawing a handsome salary or just been delivering a heavy deposit into the hands of his banker once provided with pecuniary resources Zack felt himself at liberty to indulge forthwith in a holiday of his own grunting he opened the festival by good long ride in a cap with a bottle of pale ale and a pack of cigars inside to keep the miserable state of the weather from affecting his spirits he closed the festival with a visit to the theatre a supper and mixed company total self oblivion at a tavern and a blinding headache the next morning thus much in brief for the narrative of his holiday the proceedings on his part which followed that festival claimed attention next and are of sufficient importance in the results to which they led to be mentioned in detail the new morning was the beginning of an important day in Zach's life much depended on the interviews he was about to seek with his new friend Matt in Kirk Street and with mr. Blythe and a Turnpike in the laburnum road as he paid his bill at the tavern his conscience was not altogether easy when he recalled certain passage in his letter to his mother which had assured her that he was on the high road to Reformation already I'll make a clean breast of it to Blythe and do exactly what he tells me when I meet him at the Turnpike fortifying himself with this good resolution Zack arrived at Kirk Street and knocked at the private door of tobacconists shop Matt having seen him from the window called to him to come up as soon as the door was opened the moment they shook hands yong-seok noticed that his new friend looked altered his face seemed to have grown downcast and weary heavy and vacant since they at last met what's happened to you asked Zack you've been somewhere in the country haven't you what news do you bring back my dear fellow good I hope bad as can be returned Matt gruffly don't you say another word to me about it if you do we part company again talk or something else anything you like and the sooner the better forbidden to the schools any more concerning his friends Affairs Zack feared about directly and began to the schools concerning his own candor was one of his few virtues and he now confided to Matt the entire history of his tribulations without a single reserved point at any part of the narrative from beginning to end without putting a question or giving an answer without displaying the smallest astonishment or the slightest sympathy Matt stood gravely listening until zakat quite done he then went to the corner of the room where the round table was pulled the upturned lid back upon the pedestal rooo from the breast pocket of his coat a roll of beaver skin slowly undid it displayed upon the table a goodly collection of banknotes and pointed to them set to young soap take what you want it was not easy to surprise Zach but this proceeding so completely astonished him that he stared at the banknotes in speechless amazement Matt took his pipe from a nail in the wall filled the bowl with tobacco and pointing with the stem to the table gruffly repeated take what you want this time Zach found words in which to express himself and use them pretty freely to praise his new friends an example generosity and to decline taking a single farthing Matt deliberately lit his pipe in the first place and then bluntly answered in these terms take my advice yarn and keep all that talking for somebody else it's gibberish to me don't bother and help yourself to what you want money is what you want though you won't own it that's money when it's gone I can go back to California and get more while it lasts make it spin what is that to stare at I told you I'd be brothers with you because of what you've done for me the other night well I'm being brothers with you now get your watch out of porn and shake a loose leg at the world will you take what you want and when you have just tie up the rest and check them over here with those words the man of the black skullcap sat down on his Baskins and sulkily surrounded himself with clouds tobacco smoke finding it impossible to make Matt understand those delicacies and refinements of civilized life which induced one gentleman who is accepting a clergyman at Easter time to decline accepting money from another gentleman as a gift perceiving that he was resolved to receive over monstrance –is as so many declarations of personal enmity and distrust and well knowing moreover that a little money to go on with would be really a very acceptable accommodation under existing circumstances Zack consented to take 210 pound notes as a loan at this reservation Matt chuckled contemptuously but young hope enforce it by tearing a leaf out of his pocketbook and writing an acknowledgement for the Samoyed borrowed Matt roughly and resolutely refused to receive the document but Zack tied it up along with the banknotes and threw the beaver skin roll back to its owner as requested you want the bed to sleep in ask Matt say yes or no at once I won't have no more gibberish I'm not a gentleman and I can't shake up along with them as ah it's no use trying it on with me yawn I'm not much better than a cross between a savage and a Christian I'm a better lonesome scalped old vagabond that's what I am but I'm brothers with you for all that what's mine is yours and if you tell me it isn't again me and you are likely to quarrel do you want a bed to sleep in yes or no yes Zack sudden you wanted a bed but there's one for you remarked Matt pointing through the folding doors into the back room I don't want it I haven't slept in a bed these 20 years or more and I can't do it now I take dog snoozes in this corner and she'll take more dogs news's out of doors in the daytime when the Sun begins to shine I haven't been used to much sleep and I don't want much go in and drive the bed's long enough for you Zack tried to expostulate again but matt interrupted him more gruffly than ever I suppose you don't care sleep next door to such as me he said he wouldn't turn your back on a bit of my blanket though if we were out and alone some places together never mind you won't cotton to me all at once I dare say I cotton to you in spite of that damn the bed take her leave it which you like Zack the reckless who was always ready at 5 minutes notice to make friends with any living being and that a canopy of heaven the gregarious who in his days of roaming the country before he was fettered to an office stool at cotton to every species of rustic vagabond from a traveling tinkerer to resident poacher at once declared that he would sleep in the offered bet that very night by way of showing himself worthy of his hosts assistance and regard if worthy of nothing else greatly relieved by this plain declaration Matt crossed his legs luxuriously on the floor shook his great shoulders with a heart here chuckle than usual and made his young friend free of the premises in these hospitable words there now the brothers over at last I suppose cried Matt pull in the buffalo hide and bring your legs to an anchor any way you like I'm smoking suppose you smoke too I bring up a clean pipe cried this rough diamond in conclusion turning up a loose corner of the carpet and roaring through a crack in the floor into the shop below the pipe was brought sex at down on the buffalo hide and began to ask his queer friend about a life he'd been leading in the worlds of north and south america from short replies at first matt was gradually beguiled into really relating some visa dentures wild barbarous fragments of narrative they were mingling together in one darkly fantastic record fierce triumphs and deadly dangers miseries of cold and hunger and thirst glories of hunters feasts in mighty forests gold findings among desolate rocks galloping for life from the flames of the blazing prairie combats with wild beasts and with men while their still weeks of awful solitude and primeval wastes days and nights of perilous orgies among drunken savages visions of meteors in heaven of hurricanes on earth and of icebergs blinding bright when the sunshine was beautiful with the polar seas young thought listened in a fever of excitement here was a desperate dangerous roving life of which dreamt he longed them already to engage in it he could have listened to descriptions of it all day long but Matt was the last man in the world to earn at anytime on the side of diffuseness in relating the results of his own experience and he now provokingly stopped on a sudden in the middle of an adventure among the wild horses on the pampas declaring that he was tired of feeling his own tongue wag and it got so sick of talking of himself that he was determined not to open his mouth again except to put a rump steak and a pipe in it for the rest of the day finding it impossible to make him alter this resolution Zack thought of his engagement with mr. Blythe and asked what time it was Matt having no watch conveyed this inquiry into the shop by the same process of roaring through the crack in the ceiling which had already employed to produce a clean pipe the answer showed Zack it had barely time enough left to be punctual to his appointment in a laburnum road I must be off to my friend at the Turnpike he said rising and putting on his head but I shall be back again in an hour – I say as he thought seriously yet about going back to America his eyes sparkled eagerly as he put this question there ain't no need to think about it answered Matt I mean to go back but I haven't settled what day yet got something to do first his face darkened and he glanced aside at the books which he had brought from Dibble Dean and which was now covered with one of his bear skins never mind what it is I've got it to do and that's enough don't you go asking again whether I've brought news from the country or whether I haven't don't you ever do that and we shall sail along together easy enough I like you Zach when you don't bother me if you want to go what are you stopping for why don't you clear out at once young thug departed laughing it was a fine clear day and the bright sky showed signs of a return of the frost he was in high spirits as he walked along thinking of Matt's wild adventures what was the happiest painters life after all compared to such a life as he had just heard described Zack was hardly in the laburnum road before he began to doubt whether he had really made up his mind to be guided entirely by mr. blights advice and devote all his energies for the future to the cultivation of the Fine Arts near the Turnpike stood a tall gentleman making a sketch in a notebook of some felt timber lying by the roadside this could be no other than Valentine and Valentine it really was mr. Blythe looked unusually serious as he shook hands with young Thorpe don't begin to justify yourself Zack he said I'm not going to blame you now let's walk on a little I have some news to tell you from bagra square it appeared from the narrative on which Valentine now entered that immediately on the receipt of Zacks letter he had called her mrs. Thorpe with the kindly purpose of endeavoring to make peace between father and son his mission had entirely failed mr. Thorpe had grown more and more irritable as the interview proceeded and it accused his visitor of unwarrantable interference when Valentine suggested the propriety of holding out some prospect of forgiveness to their runaway son this outbreak mr. Blythe had abstained from noticing out of consideration for the agitated state of the speaker's feelings but when the Reverend mr. yollop who had been talking with mrs. Thorpe upstairs came into the room soon afterwards and joined in the conversation words have been spoken which had obliged Valentine to leave the house the reiteration of some arguments on the side of Mercy which had already advanced had caused mr. yollop to hint with extreme politeness and humility that mr. Bligh's profession was not of a nature to render him capable of estimating properly the nature and consequences of moral guilt while mr. Thorpe had referred almost openly to the scandalous reports which had been spread abroad in certain quarters years ago on the subject of madonna's parentage these insinuations had roused Valentine instantly he had denounced them as false in the strongest terms he could employ and had left the house resolve never to hold any communication again either with mr. yollop or mr. Thal about an hour after his return home a letter marked private had been brought to him from mrs. Thorpe the writer referred with many expressions of sorrow to what had occurred at the interview of the morning and earnestly begged mr. Blythe to take into consideration the state of mr. Thorpe's health which was such that the family doctor who had just called had absolutely forbidden him to excite himself in the smallest degree by receiving any visitors or by taking any active steps towards the recovery of his absent son if these rules were not strictly complied with from many days to come the doctor declared at the attack of palpitation of the heart from which mr. Thorpe had suffered on the night of Zak's return might occur again and might be strengthened into a confirmed malady as it was if proper care was taken nothing of an alarming nature and he'd be apprehended heaven refer to her husband in these terms mrs. thaw next reverted to herself she mentioned the receipt of a letter from Zach but said it had done little to its calming her anxiety and alarm feeling certain that mr. Blythe will be the first friend her son would go to she now begged him to use his influence to keep Zach from abandoning himself to any desperate courses or from leaving the country which he greatly feared he might be tempted to do she asked this of mr. Blythe as a favour to herself and hinted that if he would only enable her by granting it to tell her husband without entering into details that their son was under safe guidance for the present half the anxiety from which he was now suffering would be alleviated here the letter ended abruptly a request for a speedy answer being added in the PostScript now Zach said Valentine after he had related the result of his visit to back-row Square and had faithfully reported the contents of mrs. Philips letter I shall only add that whatever has happened between your father and me makes no difference in the respect I have always felt for your mother and they might earnest desire to do her every service in my power I tell you fairly as between friends that I think you have been very much to blame but I have sufficient confidence and faith in you to leave everything to be decided by your own sense of honor and by the infection which I am sure you feel for your mother this appeal and the narrative which have preceded it Heather do you affect on Zak his ardour for a wandering life of excitement imperil began to cool in the quiet temperature the good influences that were now to work within him it shall be my fault blithe if I don't deserve your good opinion he said warmly I know I've behaved badly and I know too that I've had some severe provocations only tell me what you advise and I'll do it I will upon my honor for my Mother's sake that's right that's talking like a man cried Valentine clapping him on the shoulder in the first place it would be no use you're going back home at once even if you were willing which I'm afraid you or not in your father's present state your return to back roof square would do him a great deal of harm and do you no good employed however you must be somehow while you're away from home and what you're fit for unless it's art I'm sure I don't know you have been talking a great deal about wanting to be a painter and now it's a time to test your resolution if I get you an order to draw in the British Museum to fill up your mornings and if I enter you at some private Academy to fill up your evenings mine at home is not half strict enough for you will you stick to it with all my heart or applied sac resolutely dismissing his dreams of life in the wilds to the limbo of oblivion I ask nothing better blithe and to stick to you and your plan for the future Bravo cried Valentine in his old gay hearty manner the heaviest load of anxiety that has been on my shoulders for some time past is off now I will write and comfort your mother this very afternoon give her my love to post Zach giving her your love in the believe of course that you're going to prove yourself worthy to send such a message continued mr. Blythe let us turn walk back at once the sooner I write the easier and happier I shall be by the by there's another important question starts up now which your mother seems to have forgotten in the hurry and agitation of writing a letter what are you going to do about money matters if you thought about a place to live in for the present can I help you in any way these questions admitted off but one candid form of answer would see natural frankness of Zach's character led him to adopt without hesitation he immediately related the whole history of his first meeting with Matt Foreman describing him on this occasion as mr. Matthew marksman and of the visit to Kirk Street which had followed it that very morning though in no way remarkable for excess of caution or for the possession of any extraordinary fund of worldly wisdom mr. Blythe frowned and shook his head suspiciously while he listened to the clearest narrative now addressed him as soon as it was concluded he expressed the most decided disapprobation of the careless readiness with which Zach had allowed a perfect stranger to become intimate with him reminding him the admit his new acquaintance of whom by his own confession he knew next to nothing in a very disreputable place and concluded by earnestly recommending him to break off all connection with so dangerous and associate at the earliest possible opportunity Zach on his side was not slow in mustering arguments to defend his conduct he declared that mr. marksman had gone into the snobbery innocently and had been grossly insulted before he became the originator of the riot there asked his family affairs and his real name he might have good and proper reasons for concealing them which was the more probable as his account of himself in other respects was straightforward and unreserved enough he might be a little eccentric and might have led an adventurous life but it was surely not fair to condemn him on that account only as a bad character ink illusion Zek site Bologna received as a proof that the stranger could not be a swindler at any rate and refer to the evident familiarity with localities and customs in California which he had shown in conversation that afternoon as affording satisfactory proof in support of his own statement that he'd gained his money by gold-digging mr. blight however still held firmly to his original opinion and first offering to advance the money from his own purse suggested that young Thorpe should relieve himself with the obligation which had imprudently contracted by paying back what he had borrowed that very afternoon get out of his death said Valentine earnestly get out of his debt at any rate you don't know him as well as I do replied Zach he wouldn't think twice about knocking me down if I showed I distrusted him in that way and let me tell you Blythe he's one of the few men alive who could really do it this is no laughing matter Zach said fanon tine shaking his head doubtfully I never was more serious in my life rejoined Zach I won't say I should be afraid but I will say I should be ashamed to pay him his money back on the day when I borrowed it why he even refused to accept my written acknowledgment of the loan I only succeeded in forcing it on him unawares by slipping it in among his bank notes and if he finds it there I'll lay you anyway jariya like he tears it up or throws it into the fire mr. Blythe began to look a little puzzled the strangest behavior but the money was rather staggering to say the least of it let me bring him to your picture show pursued Zach judging him yourself before you condemn him surely can't say fairer than that may I bring him to see the pictures or will he come back at once with me to coke Street where he lives I must ride to your mother before I do anything else and I've worked in hand besides for today and tomorrow said Valentine all things considered you'd better bring your friend as he proposed just now but remember the distinction I always make between my public studio and my private house I consider the glorious mission of to apply to everybody so I'm proud to open my painting room to any honest man who wants to look at my pictures the freedom of my other rooms is only for my own friends I can't have strangers brought upstairs remember that of course I shouldn't think of it my dear fellow only you look at all rough and tough and hear him talk and I'll answer for the rest ah Zack Zack I wish you were not so dreadfully careless about whom you get acquainted with I've often warned you that you'll bring yourself or your friends into trouble someday when you least expect it where are you going now back to Clark Street this is my nearest way and I promised Matt remember what you promised me and what I'm going to promise your mother I'll remember everything Blythe goodbye and thank you only wait till we meet on Saturday and you see my new friend and you'll find it all right I hope I shan't find it all wrong sup mr. Blythe foreboding Lee as he followed the road to his own house end of book 2 chapter 4

One thought on “Hide and Seek | Wilkie Collins | Literary Fiction | Audiobook | English | 5/10

  1. Hide and Seek | Wilkie Collins | Literary Fiction | Audiobook | English | 5/10
    14: [00:00:00] – Book II – Chapter II. The prodigal's return
    15: [00:20:05] – Book II – Chapter III. The search begun
    16: [00:53:50] – Book II – Chapter IV. Fate works, with Zack for an instrument

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