However, I lived through the trial and arrived at Williamsport as the day dawned. I had a good audience at the opera house that evening, and was introduced to many agreeable people, who declared themselves converted to woman suffrage by my ministrations. Among the many new jewels in my crown, I added, that night, Judge Bently.
He brooded over it until he imagined that every one who happened to glance steadily in his direction must be saying, inwardly, "Like father, like son." He knew that Ralph Bently had gone to Mr. Windom with his information. The talebearer had given him an exaggerated account of the interview.
He soon finished his breakfast and repaired to the reception-room, where he drew forth his morning paper to while away the time until Mrs. Bently should appear. But she did not hurry, and he began to grow impatient. Evidently she had no faith in the genuineness of the stones, and had no intention of spoiling her breakfast just to be told what she already knew.
He drew forth a wallet filled with bills, and began to count out the sum he had named. "Wait a moment," said Mrs. Bently, the color mounting to her temples; "I have a handsome case for the ornaments. I will go and get it for you." She turned suddenly and vanished from his presence, before he could tell her he would rather take them in the little box.
Oh, I know I know!" shrieked the unhappy creature, cowering and shrinking from the sight as if blinded by it, and sinking upon the nearest chair. "Yes, I reckon you do," grimly remarked Detective Rider, for it was he, "and this clears up the Bently affair of Chicago, for here, on the back of the settings, is the very mark which Mr. Arnold of that city put upon them more than three years ago.
His train was a trifle late and the roll of the jury had already been called, and the perennial excuses heard, when he entered the court room; but the clerk, who knew him, nodded in a welcoming manner, checked him off as present and dropped his name card in the revolving wheel. It was a well-known scene to Bently, a veteran of fifteen years' service.
These three were mates from habit and not necessity, for it was all shallow sinking where they worked. They were poking down pot-holes in the scrub in the vicinity of the racecourse, where the sinking was from ten to fifteen feet. Dave had theories 'ideers' or 'notions' he called them; Jim Bently laid claim to none he ran by sight, not scent, like a kangaroo-dog.
The rest of them watched and missed no slightest gesture. So they saw the plot of Bently Brown unfold, scene by scene; unfold in violence and malevolent intrigue and zip and much fighting.
"Well, then Nannie," said Phil, in a martyrlike tone. "Ben can escort the comic valentine." "Oh, I say, Bently," exclaimed his friend, "you needn't talk about the girl that way! She can't help being so plain!" "That's so. It's brutal of me, and I'm sorry I said that. But she might at least be jolly," answered Phil. "You wouldn't want to take a girl that wasn't even "
When he perceived that Luck's eyes twinkled more and more while they watched him, and that Luck's smile was threatening to explode into laughter, Bently Brown shook his fist at the two of them, shrilled something about seeing his lawyer at once, and went out and slammed the door. "Lor-dee! He'd make a hit in comedy, that fellow," Luck observed placidly, and lighted the cigar he had been holding.