His one available eye, which had begun by looking at Arnold's face, dropped slowly downward, and fixed itself, in mute but eloquent expectation, on Arnold's waistcoat pocket. "I understand!" said Arnold. "I promised to pay you for the Patmos eh? There you are!" Mr. Bishopriggs pocketed the money with a dreary smile and a sympathetic shake of the head. Other waiters would have returned thanks.
"Richt?" rejoined Bishopriggs, briskly. "He's as far awa' from the truth as John o' Groat's House is from Jericho." "You know nothing of the letter?" "Deil a bit I know o' the letter. The first I ha' heard o' it is what I hear noo." Blanche's heart sank within her. Had she defeated her own object, and cut the ground from under Sir Patrick's feet, for the second time? Surely not!
Geoffrey Delamayn, in that case, the gentleman who had passed as her husband at the inn? Bishopriggs rose to his gouty feet with all possible alacrity, and hobbled away to make the necessary inquiries, addressing himself, not to the men-servants at the dinner-table, who would be sure to insist on his joining them, but to the women-servants left in charge of the empty house.
Toward evening, on the day after she reached Perth, the news came to Anne that Bishopriggs was in service at the inn known as the Harp of Scotland. The landlord of the hotel at which she was staying inquired whether he should send a message for her. She answered, "No, I will take my message myself. All I want is a person to show me the way to the inn."
"Nobody here!" exclaimed Arnold, looking round. "Where is she?" Mr. Bishopriggs pointed to the bedroom door. "Eh! yer good leddy's joost in the bedchamber, nae doot!" Arnold started. But the result of putting the deception in practice was, to say the least of it, a little embarrassing at first.
Am just doostin' the things; and setin' the room in decent order for ye." "For me? Did you hear what the landlady said?" Mr. Bishopriggs advanced confidentially, and pointed with a very unsteady forefinger to the purse which Anne still held in her hand. "Never fash yoursel' aboot the landleddy!" said the sage chief of the Craig Fernie waiters. "Your purse speaks for you, my lassie.
As he took up the knife, his one wary eye detected a morsel of crumpled paper, lying lost between the table and the wall. It was the letter from Geoffrey, which Anne had flung from her, in the first indignation of reading it and which neither she nor Arnold had thought of since. "What's that I see yonder?" muttered Mr. Bishopriggs, under his breath.
But the bridegroom who stood helpless on one side of the door, and the bride who remained locked in on the other, were new varieties of the nuptial species, even in the vast experience of Mr. Bishopriggs himself. "Hoo are ye to get her oot?" he repeated. "I'll show ye hoo!" He advanced as rapidly as his gouty feet would let him, and knocked at the bedroom door.
"There he is, any way," resumed Mr. Bishopriggs, at the window. "He's loupin' down from his horse. He's turning this way. Lord save us!" he exclaimed, with a start of consternation, "what do I see? That incarnate deevil, Sir Paitrick himself!" Arnold sprang to his feet. "Do you mean Sir Patrick Lundie?" Anne ran to the window. "It is Sir Patrick!" she said. "Hide yourself before he comes in!"
Anne's annoyance at feeling that conclusion forced on her produced the first betrayal of impatience which she had shown yet. She left Arnold at the window, and flung herself on the sofa. "A curse seems to follow me!" she thought, bitterly. "This will end ill and I shall be answerable for it!" In the mean time Mr. Bishopriggs had found the dinner in the kitchen, ready, and waiting for him.