Now he stood abashed and awkward. That Willett should be going seemed to Harris of small matter a matter of course. He wished himself again in Willett's place. "How soon can you let me be going?" he asked Bentley. "We could have had you out by this time if you'd only quit fretting," was the gruff reply.
"The Candy Man wanted to know where you stayed when you weren't here," she remarked at length. Miss Bentley came out of her brown study in great surprise. Who in the world was the Candy Man? "Why, you know the Candy Wagon on the Y.M.C.A. corner! And don't you remember how you fell in the mud, and the Candy Man helped you up, and I gave you your bag, and the Miser was there too?"
I remember the minister in Madison, he was a putty-faced man with indigestion, and when he prayed he used to close his eyes and try to look pious, but he never fooled me. He never made me believe he knew anything about God. And don't think for a minute he'd have done what you and Miss Grower and Mr. Bentley did!
Bentley should have sought in his conversation to dissipate something of the hideous blackness of a tragedy which must have moved him profoundly. How fortunate, he declared, that they should have arrived before it was too late!
Restraint fell upon them, brought about by the memory of the intimacy of their former meeting, further complicated on Hodder's part by his new attitude toward her father, and his finding her in the company, of all persons, of Mr. Bentley. Unuttered queries pressed on the minds of both. "Tell me about Mr. Bentley," she said. Hodder hesitated.
Yet conjectural criticism has been of great use in the learned world; nor is it my intention to depreciate a study, that has exercised so many mighty minds, from the revival of learning to our own age, from the Bishop of Aleria to English Bentley. The criticks on ancient authours have, in the exercise of their sagacity, many assistances, which the editor of Shakespeare is condemned to want.
He merely said he saw a great deal of you. Martha Preston told me. She is still here, and goes to church occasionally. She was much surprised to learn that you were in the city. "I am still living in the parish house," he said. "I am taking my vacation." "With Mr. Bentley?" Her eyes were still on his face. "With Mr. Bentley," he replied. He had spoken without bitterness.
Giddings, hesitating with his opiates, and assisting the indomitable Miss Grower to hold his patient. In the midst of the paroxysm Mr. Bentley entered and stood over her by the bedside, and suddenly her struggles ceased. At first she lay intensely still, staring at him with wide eyes of fear. He sat down and took her hand, and spoke to her, quietly and naturally, and her pupils relaxed.
For a moment it dominated all other sound. "For heaven's sake, doctor," cried Archer to the assistant, "can't you and Bentley devise something to still that poor creature? Has she lost her mind, too?" "Sounds like it, sir. There's only one thing that will bring it back that's those babies." "If anybody can get 'em it will be Stannard," answered the general prayerfully.
It was but natural that I should take to him much more kindly than to Drummle, and that, even in the earliest evenings of our boating, he and I should pull homeward abreast of one another, conversing from boat to boat, while Bentley Drummle came up in our wake alone, under the overhanging banks and among the rushes.