When I heard of the treasure she's so foolish as to keep on her sideboard, I felt sure that your father had made up his mind to rob Miss Stivergill with the help of that bad man Bill Stiggs all the more w'en I see how your father jumped w'en I mentioned Rosebud Cottage. Now, Tottie, we must save your father.
Stiggs was becoming almost tired of her lodger, although the payment made for her was not ungenerous and was as punctual as the sun. In truth, the tongue of the landlady of the Three Honest Men was potential in those parts, and was very bitter against Sam and his sister.
He was by no means indisposed to go into Salisbury in the ordinary course of things; and on this occasion absolutely did see Mr. Chamberlaine, the dean, his saddler, and the clerk at the Fire Insurance Office, as well as Mrs. Stiggs and Carry Brattle. If, therefore, anyone had said that on this day he had gone into Salisbury simply to see Carry Brattle, such person would have maligned him.
But she had still left the house always at that time; and once, when Mrs. Stiggs had asked some question on the subject, she had replied almost in anger that she was not a prisoner. On this occasion she made changes in her dress which were not usual, and therefore she was careful to avoid being seen as she went; but had she been interrogated she would have persevered. Who had a right to stop her?
Stiggs knew nothing of her departure. When they examined the room in which she slept, they found that she had taken what little money she possessed and her best clothes. She had changed her frock and put on a pair of strong boots, and taken her cloak with her. Mrs.
He would send her books, and she was to be diligent in needle-work on behalf of the Stiggs family. And then he begged her to go to the daily service in the cathedral, not so much because he thought that the public worship was necessary for her, as that thus she would be provided with a salutary employment for a portion of her day. Carry, as she bade him farewell, said very little.
Fenwick had seen Brattle, and had learned that such was to be the case. The old man said nothing to his own people about it till the Monday afternoon, up to which time Fanny was prepared to accompany her sister. He was then told, when he came in from the mill for his tea, that word had come down from the vicarage that there would be two bed-rooms for them at Mrs. Stiggs' house.
Stiggs acknowledged that had she seen the girl going forth thus provided, her suspicions would have been aroused; but Carry had managed to leave the house without being observed. Then the constable went on to say that Mrs. Stiggs had told him that she had been sure that Carry would go.
"Ever since young Stiggs coming from that unfort'nt v'y'ge of his, when he was gone four years and a half, with only three barrels of ile, was found dead in my first floor back, with his harpoon in his side; ever since then I allow no boarders to take sich dangerous weepons in their rooms at night. So, Mr. But the chowder; clam or cod to-morrow for breakfast, men?"
When Carry murmured something about the cost of her living the Vicar boldly declared that she need not fret herself about that, as he had money of hers in hand. He would some day explain all about that, but not now. Then he interrogated Mrs. Stiggs as to Carry's life. Mrs. Stiggs expressed her belief that Carry wouldn't stand it much longer.