They don't mostly come unless they know what they comes for." With a horrid spasm across her heart, which seemed ready to kill her, so sharp was the pain, Lizzie recovered the use of her legs and followed Mrs. Carbuncle into the dining-room. She had been hardly conscious of hearing; but she had heard, and it had seemed to her that the robbery spoken of was something distinct from her own affair.
Carbuncle would decline to pay it, as she was informed that all moneys possessed by Lady Eustace were now confiscated to the Crown by reason of the PERJURIES, the word was doubly scored in Mrs. Carbuncle's note, which Lady Eustace had committed. This, of course, was unpleasant; but Mrs. Carbuncle did not have the honours of the battle all to herself.
Steele, a learned and aged man from England, built a crazy-looking house in a lonely spot on Mount Tom, and was soon as much a mystery as the noises, for it was known that he had come to this country to stop them by magic and to seize the great carbuncle in the cave if he could find it.
He clad himself in iron hose and a trusty hauberk, set a helm of steel, gold-circled, on his head, and having girt his sword about him, leapt on his steed without so much as touching stirrup, and rode up to the Soudan's pavilion. He well knew it from the rest, since on the top thereof flashed a great carbuncle stone.
Any such argument was trash to her, and she knew that it was trash to Mrs. Carbuncle also. What was one man in her bedroom more than another? She could see a dozen doctors if she pleased, and if so, why not this man, whose real powers of doctoring her would be so much more efficacious? "You would want to see him alone, too," continued Mrs. Carbuncle, "and, of course, the police would hear of it.
They went on side by side, and halted for the night forty miles from Bulteel's farm. They slept in a Boer's out-house, and the vrow was civil, and lent Staines a jackal's skin. In the morning he bought it for a diamond, a carbuncle, and a score of garnets; for a horrible thought had occurred to him, if they stopped at any place where miners were, somebody might buy the great diamond over his head.
Everywhere there was the pathos of a waning autumn day, and a soft haze creeping out of the west was making a blood-red carbuncle of the sun, set as a jewel on the amber-veiled bosom of the sky. The air was soft, wooing the spirit to a still, sweet peace. The two were at the outskirts of Lagonda Ledge now.
But might it not be probable that Mrs. Carbuncle would come to suspect that she did not know the whole secret? Mrs. Carbuncle had already, on more than one occasion, said a little word or two which had been unpleasant. Such was Lizzie's condition when Mr. Bunfit came, with his authoritative request to be allowed to inspect Lizzie's boxes, and when Mrs.
Now-a-days, thanks to the labors of the scientists, this malady had become quite rare, and tends more and more to disappear. For a long time it has been known that carbuncle has been due to a particular microbe, but it was not known how it was propagated. M. Pasteur has demonstrated that this propagation was due, in part at least, to the longevity of the germs.
"And then all this trouble about the diamonds and the robberies will be over," continued Mrs. Carbuncle. Lizzie looked at her very intently. What should make Mrs. Carbuncle suppose that there need be, or, indeed, could be, any further trouble about the diamonds? "So; that's your advice," said Lizzie. "I'm half inclined to take it, and perhaps I shall.