He took it and stepped to the ground, concealing himself among the trees that lined the drive. The buggy proceeded slowly. Orme followed afoot, on a parallel course, keeping well back among the trees. At a certain point, after the buggy passed, a figure stepped out into the drive, and stood looking after it. From his build and the peculiar agility of his motions, he was recognizable as Maku.
If this marriage takes place I cannot do very much for her in the way of money; she will understand that. Something I can of course." And then Mrs. Orme stood over the fire, looking at the hot coals, and thinking what Lady Mason's answer would be.
Belknap spurred in between them. "Here, you men," he commanded with swift sternness. "Into your places. I'm in command here, and I'll shoot the first man who raises a hand. Mr. Orme, take your place at the wagons. Auberry, keep with me. We'll have fighting enough without anything of this." "He murdered that Sioux, Lieutenant," reiterated Auberry.
Orme, the owner of that hand might know everything. The secret had been told, and there was no longer need for pretence. As she could now expose to view the whole load of her wretchedness, so also could she make known the strength that was still left for endurance.
Arima, meantime, spoke rapidly in Japanese to Maku. Perhaps he, as commander of the situation, was giving precise orders as to what was to be done. Orme looked over his shoulder at the girl. She was clutching the door of the tonneau and leaning forward, staring with horrified eyes. "Keep cool," he counseled. Her answer was a moan of anguish, and he realized that she feared for him.
My mother sat in the low rocker which had been brought to her, and opposite her, leaning forward, was Mrs. Sheraton, tall, thin, her black eyes fixed upon the men. Orme, also standing, his hands behind him, regarded the troubled men intently.
"Shall I tell you, if I were a man and I wanted revenge upon such a man as Sir Stephen Orme, what I should do, father?" she asked, in a low voice, and looking straight before her as if she were meditating. "You can if you like. What would you do?" he replied, with a touch of sarcastic amusement. She looked round her and over her shoulder.
What was the girl doing out there in mid-lake in the company of her enemy? Orme had seen her enter the house of her friends in Evanston; had bidden her good-night with the understanding that she was to make no further move in the game before the coming morning. She must have left the house soon after he walked away. Had she known all the time where the Japanese was?
It was declared as a fact by Lady Staveley that there was to be a marriage between Sir Peregrine Orme and his guest, and all in the room expressed their sorrow. The women were especially indignant. "I have no patience with her," said Mrs. Arbuthnot. "She must know that such a marriage at his time of life must be ridiculous, and injurious to the whole family."
Peregrine Orme followed, a little to the right of the lady's passage, so that he might have room for himself, and do no mischief in the event of Miss Tristram or her horse making any mistake at the leap. He also got well over. But, alas! in spite of such early success he was destined to see nothing of the hunt that day!