"Now," said Helen, nodding towards him graciously, "we don't wish to be unduly inquisitive, but if you may tell us why did Mr. Thurston emigrate to Canada?" Musker was evidently tempted to embark upon a favorite topic, and his wife went out hurriedly. But he hesitated, sitting silent for a minute or two.
Bequeathed in the hope that this will help him to confound his enemies." It was written, signed and witnessed by Musker and the surgeon, then Anthony Thurston asked once more and very faintly for Millicent. He drew her down beside him and took her hand in his thin, gnarled one before he said: "I have done my best for you, Milly and again thank you for the story.
They followed him down a draughty corridor to the black-wainscoted gun-room at the base of the crumbling tower, and when he had lighted a lamp its glow revealed a modern collection of costly guns. There were also trout-rods hung upon the wall, and a few good sporting etchings, at all of which Musker glanced somewhat contemptuously. "These are Mr.
"Some said it was the opposite," interposed his wife; but Musker answered angrily, "Then they didn't tell it right. No woman born could twist Geoffrey Thurston from his path, and when she gave him bad counsel he turned his back on her. A fool these dolts called him. He was a leal, hard man, and what was a light woman's greediness to him?"
Musker straightened his bent shoulders and smiled a slow, almost reluctant smile of pride, while his wife's eyes were grateful as she fixed them on the speaker. "Ay! What Mr. Geoffrey sets his heart on he'll win or ruin himself over. It was the way of all of them; and this is gradely news," he told her.
Musker glanced keenly at his guests. Though, having lived elsewhere, he spoke easy colloquial English, he was a son of the North Country dogged and slow, intensely self-respecting, and, while loyal with feudal fealty to superiors he knew, quick to resent a stranger's assumption of authority.
Thomas Savine, brown-faced, vigorous, a pleasant Colonial gentleman, smiled upon him good-naturedly, and Musker took a cigar awkwardly. Mrs. Savine surveyed the great bare hall with respectful curiosity and evident interest, while Helen, visibly interested, leaned back in her chair. "Maybe you met the master in British Columbia?" Musker hazarded with an eager look in his dim eyes.
Musker stood in the gate to watch the party ride away, and glancing at the coins in his hand said to Margery, "I wish they'd come often. Main interested in my stories they were all of them, and it's double what any of the shooting folks ever gave me. This one came from the young lady, and there's a way about her that puzzles me after seeing her." The late Autumn evening was closing in.
Thurston was not a man of the conventional type one meets and straightway forgets, and she had often thought about him; but, since the night at Crosbie Ghyll, his image had presented itself as she first saw him ragged, hungry, and grim, a worthy descendant of the wild Thurstons about whom Musker had discoursed.
"We just love to hear about wicked barons and witches and all those quaint folk of the olden time." Musker had drawn nearer meanwhile, and Thomas Savine held out the cigar case that lay upon his knee. "If we may smoke in the great hearth there, just help yourself," said he. "My wife is fond of antiquities, and if you have any to talk of, we should be glad of your company."