Slowly and carefully he wrote the address of the longest letter wrote it, as he thought, for the last time Mrs. Luttrell, Netherglen, Dunmuir. Then he stole quietly out of the house, and slipped it into the nearest pillar-box. The other letter a few lines merely he put in his pocket, unaddressed.
Then all was still. They carried him upstairs again, handling him gently, and trying to discover the extent of his injuries; but they did not guess until, in the earliest hours of the day, a doctor came from Dunmuir to Netherglen that Hugo Luttrell's hours on earth were numbered. He had broken his back, and although he might linger in agony for a short time, the inevitable end was near.
They had arrived at Dunmuir the previous day, and located themselves at the hotel. Arthur Fane had come with them, but he was at present in the smoking-room, and the two friends had their parlour to themselves. "Exactly. Sent word she was ill." "Through whom?" "A servant. A man whom I have seen with Luttrell several times. Stevens, they call him." "Did you see Hugo Luttrell?" "No.
In the afternoon he went to Dunmuir, and was away for some hours; and more than one telegram arrived for him in the course of the day, exciting Mrs. Heron's fears lest something should have "gone wrong" with his business affairs in London. But he assured her, on his return, with his usual impatient frown, that everything was going exactly as he would like it to do.
And she scarcely spoke, except to the children. "I wonder how poor Mrs. Luttrell is to-day," Isabel Heron was saying. "It is sad that she should be so ill." "Yes, I wondered yesterday what was the matter, when I met Hugo," said Kitty. "He looked quite pale and serious. He was staying at Dunmuir, he told me. I suppose he does not find the house comfortable while his aunt is ill."
It is his right, nobody can keep him out. But not alone. Tell him not to come alone." It was with these words ringing in his ears that Rupert was driven back to Dunmuir. Brian and his wife arrived about nine o'clock in the evening, as they had said in the letter which Mr. Colquhoun had received.
"I am so sorry John is not at home; but there is scarcely time to let him know." "I can go perfectly well by myself," said Kitty. "You must put me into the train at the station, Mrs. Baxter, under the care of the guard, if you like, and I shall be met at Muirside." "Where is Muirside?" asked Jessie Baxter, a girl of Kitty's age. "Five miles from Dunmuir. I suppose papa was sketching or something.
Hugo, after staying for some days at the hotel in Dunmuir, ventured rather timidly back to Netherglen. Now that Dino was out of the way, he did not see why he should not make use of his opportunities.
But Kitty's crowning offence was her behaviour at a dinner-party, on the occasion of the christening of Mrs. Heron's little girl. Hugo Luttrell and the two young Grants from Dunmuir were amongst the guests; and with them Kitty amused herself.
And she had seemed ready enough to render them. She had wanted to go with him and Mr. Heron to London, and help him to prepare for the voyage. But he would not allow her to leave Strathleckie. He had only a couple of days to spare, and he should be hurried and busy. He preferred saying good-bye to her at Dunmuir.