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    Receiving an answer, the general, a little skinny man, chewed, thought for a moment and said, addressing one of the officers:

    She caught him by the arm, and drew him away from the crowded colonnade into the solitary middle space of the square. ‘Now tell me!’ she said eagerly. ‘Here, where nobody is near us. How am I interested in it? How? how?’

    "But why, oh! why did it have to happen just 6now?" wailed Patricia, refusing to be comforted.

    "It absolutely beats me why you don't believe it," I said. "You know we've been pals for years. You must be aware that, except at the moment when you caused me to do a nose dive into the Drones' swimming bath, an incident which I long since decided to put out of my mind and let the dead past bury its dead about, if you follow what I mean--except on that one occasion, as I say, I have always regarded you with the utmost esteem. Why, then, if not for the motives I have outlined, should I knock you to Angela? Answer me that. Be very careful."

    "Oh come on, you bleeding hearts," says Ronnie, in an exasperated voice strong and angry enough to end the conversation. "I knew Rabbit longer than either of you. I knew him since we were kids in knickers snitching penny candy off the counter at Lennert's Variety Store. That conceited showboat never loved a soul outside his own thick skin. His mother had spoiled him rotten."


    And do you not think (added Socrates) that a corps of young able-bodied Athenians, accoutred with lighter arms,306 and holding our natural mountain rampart in possession, would prove at once a thorn in the enemy’s side offensively, whilst defensively they would form a splendid bulwark to protect the country?

    ‘You need not mind Mr Appleby,’ returned Pitman. ‘He knows all.’

    As we leave the Wakefield Tower we pass down under the archway of the Bloody Tower, and, in going eastwards and turning to the left a few yards farther on, come to the foot of the grassy slope at the top of which stands the great White Tower, tinkered at by Wren, but otherwise, to-day, much as the Conqueror left it. In this now open ground, where has been placed the gun-carriage on which the body of Queen Victoria was carried from Windsor railway station to St. George’s Chapel on that memorable 2nd of February, 1901, rose, in Plantagenet and Tudor days, the Royal Palace in the Tower, and the Hall in which the Courts of Justice sat. The Court of Common Pleas was held in this great hall by the river, a Gothic building, dating, probably, from the reign of Henry III.; the Court of King’s Bench being held in the Lesser Hall “under the east turret of{109} the Keep”—or White Tower. At certain times “the right of public entry” of all citizens to the Tower was insisted on. But a certain ceremonial had to be observed beforehand. The “aldermen and commoners met in Allhallows Barking Church, on Tower Hill, and chose six sage persons to go as a deputation to the Tower, and ask leave to see the King, and demand free access for all people to the courts of law held within the Tower.” It was also “to be granted that no guard should keep watch over them, or close the gates”—a most necessary precaution. Their request being granted by the King “the six messengers returned to Barking Church ... and the Commons then elected three men of standing to act as spokesmen. Great care was taken that no person should go into the royal presence who was in rags or shoeless. Every one was to have his hair cut close and his face newly shaved. Mayor, aldermen, sheriff, cryer, beadles, were all to be clean and neat, and every one was to lay aside his cape and cloak, and put on his coat and surcoat.”

    Then he took out a cigar and lit it, and his mental readjustment followed quickly. "Mr. Madeira," he said, puffing slowly at the cigar, the match's yellow light on his face showing that he was pale, "I am sorry that you made me do that, sir. Still, I must add this to what I've said,--don't, please, ever try to pull me along with you again. I guess I'm going in a different direction. This leaves everything settled between us. Our paths aren't apt to cross again. You aren't hurt, I hope? There is nothing that I can do for you?"

    All was still and sunshiny about the pavilion as we turned to re-enter it; even the gulls had flown in a wider circuit, and were seen flickering along the beach and sand-hills; and this loneliness terrified me more than a regiment under arms. It was not until the door was barricaded that I could draw a full inspiration and relieve the weight that lay upon my bosom. Northmour and I exchanged a steady glance; and I suppose each made his own reflections on the white and startled aspect of the other.

    The younger man's voice trembled as he spoke.

    Chapter 10

    “At least,” said Granny, “we don’t come of half-depraved stock.”


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