The general and his staff were soon mounted and riding rapidly toward the masses and long lines of troops that were marshalling on the plain below. Beverly stood at the doorway alone with Philip Searle. He was grave and sad, although the bustle and preparation of an expected battle lent a lustre to his eye.
The light from the street lamp fell full upon his face, and he recognized the features of Philip Searle. At that moment the door was opened, and Philip entered. Arthur would have passed on, but something in the appearance of the house arrested his attention, and, on closer scrutiny, revealed to him its character.
I was quite prepared to assent; but he went on with a fury of frankness, as if it were the first time in his life he had opened himself to any one, as if the process were highly disagreeable and he were hurrying through it as a task. "An honest man, mind you! I know nothing about Mr. Clement Searle! I never expected to see him.
"Quite sure of the main features." "When did you get in?" "Only an hour ago. Their vanguard was close behind. Before noon, I think they will be upon you in three columns from the different roads." "Very well, you may go now. Come to me in half an hour. I shall have work for you. Who is that with you?" "Captain Searle." "Of whom we spoke?" "The same."
A Claude, a Murillo, a Greuze, a couple of Gainsboroughs, hung there with high complacency. Searle strolled about, scarcely speaking, pale and grave, with bloodshot eyes and lips compressed. He uttered no comment on what we saw he asked but a question or two.
He felt that mad, joyous organ spread abruptly, throughout his entire being. She rose up suddenly and turned to greet him. "Why Mr. Van!" she stammered, flushing rosily. "I heard you were in town." He came towards her quietly enough, the jeweler's box in his hand. "I called before," he answered in his off-hand way. "You must have been out with poor old Searle." "Oh," she said, "poor old Searle?
"I say, Searle," and for my benefit, I think, taking me for a native ingenuous enough to be dazzled by his wit, he lifted his voice a little and gave it an ironical ring "in this country it's the inestimable privilege of a loyal citizen, under whatsoever stress of pleasure or of pain, to make a point of eating his dinner." Mr. Searle gave his plate another push. "Anything may happen now.
He turned once more to the trail and started off, in his active manner, together with a thorough indifference as to what became of Bostwick. Beth, with a feeling that something ought yet to be done for Searle, down in the valley with the convicts, cast one helpless glance at the scene of the hold-up, then perforce urged her pony forward. Van halted no more.
He represented to me that I ought in justice to him to come and see how tidy they HAD made it. Half an hour afterwards I was rattling along in a hansom toward Covent Garden, where I heard Madame Bosio in The Barber of Seville. On my return from the opera I went into the coffee-room; it had occurred to me I might catch there another glimpse of Mr. Searle. I was not disappointed.
Opal McCoppet, and one Searle Bostwick, of New York, have stolen my claim by corrupting Lawrence for twenty thousand dollars, running a false reservation line, and maybe putting Culver out of the way because he was square in his business." Christler paused in the act of biting his cracker. "What!" "There's going to be something doing, Bill," Van added, leaning forward on the table.