A horrible smile lighted up Disbrowe's features. "You are the very person I want," he said. "When I would do evil, the fiend rises to my bidding. If I am slain, you know what to do. How shall I requite the service?" "Do not concern yourself about that, captain," rejoined Judith. "I will take care of myself."
On another small table, covered with an exquisitely white napkin, stood a flask of wine, a tall-stemmed glass, and a few cakes on a China dish, evidently placed there for Disbrowe's return. As Parravicin drew near this table, a slip of paper, on which a few lines were traced, attracted his attention, and taking it up, he read as follows: "It is now midnight, and you promised to return early.
Wrapping it round him, and throwing down his hat, he took the lamp and went up stairs. Daring as he was, Parravicin felt his courage desert him, as having found the door of Mrs. Disbrowe's chamber, he cautiously opened it. A single glance showed him that the room was more exquisitely, more luxuriously furnished than that he had just quitted.
What say you to an exchange of mistresses? I am so diverted with your adventure, that I am half inclined to give you the grocer's daughter for Disbrowe's wife. She is a superb creature languid as a Circassian, and passionate as an Andalusian." "I can't agree to the exchange, especially after your rapturous description," returned Parravicin, "but I'll stake Mrs. Disbrowe against Amabel.
His excesses did not, however, prevent him from playing with his usual skill, and he won a large sum from Rochester at hazard. Flushed with success, and heated with wine, he walked up to Disbrowe's residence about an hour after midnight. As he approached the house, he observed a strangely-shaped cart at the door, and, halting for a moment, saw a body, wrapped in a shroud, brought out.
It must be; for it answers exactly to Pillichody's description. A sparkling brunette, with raven hair, and eyes of night. I am on fire to behold her: but I must proceed with prudence, or I may ruin all. Is there nothing of Disbrowe's that I could put on for the nonce? 'Fore Heaven! the very thing I want!" The exclamation was occasioned by his observing a loose silken robe lying across a chair.
I like to be an escalader when the forts of love are stormed." The party then set out. As they proceeded, Parravicin ascertained from the major that Disbrowe's house was situated in a small street leading out of Piccadilly, but as he could not be quite sure that he understood his informant aright, he engaged him to accompany him and point it out.