Part 16 out of 18
Mr Thumble was neither seen nor heard of again in the parish during the
MRS ARABIN IS CAUGHT
One morning about the middle of April Mr Toogood received a telegram
from Venice which caused him instantly to leave his business in Bedford
Row and take the first train for Silverbridge. 'It seems to me that this
job will be a deal of time and very little money,' said his partner to
him, when Toogood on the spur of the moment was making arrangements for
his sudden departure and uncertain period of absence. 'That's about it,'
said Toogood. 'A deal of time, some expense, and no returns. It is not
the kind of business a man can live upon, is it?' The partner growled,
and Toogood went. But we must go with Mr Toogood down to Silverbridge,
and as we cannot make the journey in this chapter, we will just indicate
his departure and then go back to John Eames, who, as will be
remembered, was just starting for Florence when we last saw him.
Our dear old friend Johnny had been rather proud of himself as he
started from London. He had gotten an absolute victory over Sir Raffle
Buffle, and that alone was gratifying to his feelings. He liked the
excitement of a journey, and especially a journey to Italy; and the
importance of the cause of his journey was satisfactory to him. But
above all things he was delighted at having found that Lily Dale was
pleased at his going. He had seen clearly that she was much pleased, and
that she had made something of a hero of him because of his alacrity in
the cause of his cousin. He had partially understood--and had understood
in a dim sort of way--that his want of favour in Lily's eyes had come
from some deficiency of his own in this respect. She had not found him
to be a hero. She had known him first as a boy, with boyish belongings
around him, and she had seen him from time to time as he became a man,
almost with too much intimacy for the creation of that love with which
he wished to fill her heart. His rival had come before her eyes for the
first time with all the glories of Pall Mall heroism about him, and Lily
in her weakness had been conquered by them. Since that she had learned
how weak she had been--how silly, how childish, she would say to herself
when she allowed her memory to go back to the details of her own story;
but not the less on that account did she feel the want of something
heroic in a man before she could teach herself to look upon him as more
worthy of her regard than other men. She had still unconsciously hoped
in regard to Crosbie, but now that hope had been dispelled as
unconsciously, by simply by his appearance. There had been moments in
which John Eames had almost risen to the necessary point--had almost
made good his footing on the top of some moderate, but still sufficient
mountain. But there had still be a succession of little tumbles
--unfortunately slips for which he himself should not always have been
held responsible; and he had never quite stood upright on his pinnacle,
visible to Lily's eyes as being really excelsior. Of all this John Eames
himself had an inkling which had often made him uncomfortable. What the
mischief was it she wanted of him; and what was he to do? The days for
plucking glory from the nettle danger were clean gone by. He was well
dressed. He knew a good many of the right sort of people. He was not in
debt. He had saved an old nobleman's life once upon a time, and had been
a good deal talked about on that score. He had even thrashed the man who
had ill-treated her. His constancy had been as the constancy of Jacob!
What was it that she wanted of him? But in a certain way he did know
what was wanted; and now, as he started for Florence, intending to stop
nowhere till he reached that city, he hoped that by this chivalrous
journey he might even yet achieve the thing necessary.
But on reaching Paris he heard tidings of Mrs Arabin which induced him
to change his plans and make for Venice instead of for Florence. A
banker at Paris, who whom he had brought a letter, told him that Mrs
Arabin would now be found at Venice. This did not perplex him at all. It
would have been delightful to have seen Florence--but was more
delightful still to see Venice. His journey was the same as far as
Turin; but from Turin he proceeded through Milan to Venice, instead of
going to Bologna to Florence. He had fortunately come armed with an
Austrian passport--as was necessary in those bygone days of Venice's
thraldom. He was almost proud of himself, as though he had done
something great, when he tumbled in to his inn at Venice, without having
been in bed since he left London.
But he was barely allowed to swim in a gondola, for on reaching Venice
he found that Mrs Arabin had gone back to Florence. He had been directed
to the hotel which Mrs Arabin had used, and was there told that she had
started the day before. She had received some letter, from her husband
as the landlord thought, and had done so. That was all the landlord
knew. Johnny was vexed, but became a little prouder than before as he
felt it to be his duty to go on to Florence before he went to bed. There
would be another night in a railway carriage, but he would live through
it. There was just time to have a tub, and a breakfast, to swim in a
gondola, to look at the outside of the Doge's palace, and to walk up and
down the piazza before he started again. It was hard work, but I think
he would have been pleased had he heard that Mrs Arabin had retreated
from Florence to Rome. Had such been the case, he would have folded his
cloak around him, and have gone on--regardless of brigands--thinking of
Lily, and wondering whether anybody else had ever done so much before
without going to bed. As it was, he found that Mrs Arabin was at the
hotel in Florence--still in bed, as he had arrived early in the morning.
So he had another tub, another breakfast, and sent up his card--'Mr John
Eames'--and across the top of it he wrote, 'has come from England about
Mr Crawley.' Then he threw himself on a sofa in the hotel reading-room,
and went fast to sleep.
John had found an opportunity of talking to a young lady in the
breakfast-room, and had told her of his deeds. 'I only left London on
Tuesday night, and I have come here taking Venice on the road.'
'Then you have travelled fast,' said the young lady.
'I haven't seen a bed, of course,' said John.
The young lady immediately afterwards told her father. 'I suppose he
must be one of the Foreign Office messengers,' said the young lady.
'Anything but that,' said the gentleman. 'People never talk about their
own trades. He's probably a clerk with a fortnight's leave of absence,
seeing how many towns he can do in the time. It's the usual way of
travelling nowadays. When I was young and there were no railways, I
remember going from Paris to Vienna without sleeping.' Luckily for his
present happiness, John did not hear this.
He was still fast asleep when a servant came to him from Mrs Arabin to
say that she would see him at once. 'Yes, yes; I'm quite ready to go
on,' said Johnny, jumping up, and thinking of the journey to Rome. But
there was no journey to Rome before him. Mrs Arabin was almost in the
next room, and there he found her.
The reader will understand that they had never met before, and hitherto
knew nothing of each other. Mrs Arabin had never heard the name of John
Eames till John's card was put into her hands, and would not have known
of his business with her had he not written those few words upon it.
'You have come about Mr Crawley?' she said to him eagerly. 'I have heard
from my father that somebody was coming.'
'Yes, Mrs Arabin; as hard as I could travel. I had expected to find you
'Have you been to Venice?'
'I have just arrived from Venice. They told me at Paris I should find
you here. However, that does not matter, as I have found you here. I
wonder whether you can help us?'
'Do you know Mr Crawley? Are you a friend of his?'
'I never saw him in my life; but he married my cousin.'
'I gave him the cheque, you know,' said Mrs Arabin.
'What!' exclaimed Eames, literally almost knocked backwards by the
easiness of the words which contained a solution for so terrible a
difficulty. The Crawley case had assumed such magnitude, and the
troubles of the Crawley family had been so terrible, that it seemed to
him to be almost sacrilegious that words so simply uttered should
suffice to cure everything. He had hardly hoped--had at least barely
hoped--that Mrs Arabin might be able to suggest something which would
put them all on a track towards the discovery of the truth. But he found
that she had the clue in her hand, and that the clue was one which
required no further delicacy of investigation. There would be nothing
more to unravel; no journey to Jerusalem would be necessary!
'Yes,' said Mrs Arabin, 'I gave it to him. They have been writing to my
husband about it, and never wrote to me; and till I received a letter
about it from my father, and another from my sister, at Venice the day
before yesterday, I knew nothing of the particulars of Mr Crawley's
'Had you not heard that he had been taken before the magistrates?'
'No; not so much even as that. I had seen in "Galignani" something
about a clergyman, but I did not know what clergyman; and I heard that
there was something wrong about Mr Crawley's money, but there has always
been something wrong about money with poor Mr Crawley; and as I knew
that my husband had been written to also, I did not interfere, further
than to ask the particulars. My letters have followed me about, and I
only heard at Venice, just before I came here, what was the nature of
'And did you do anything?'
'I telegraphed at once to Mr Toogood, who I understand is acting as Mr
Crawley's solicitor. My sister sent me his address.'
'He is my uncle.'
'I telegraphed to him, telling him that I had given Mr Crawley the
cheque, and then I wrote to Archdeacon Grantly giving him the whole
history. I was obliged to come here before I could return home, but I
intended to start this evening.'
'And what is the whole history?' asked John Eames.
The history of the gift of the cheque was very simple. It has been told
how Mr Crawley in his dire distress had called upon his old friend at
the deanery asking for pecuniary assistance. This he had done with so
much reluctance that his spirit had given way while he was waiting in
the dean's library, and he had wished to depart without accepting what
the dean was quite willing to bestow upon him. From this cause it had
come to pass there had been no time for explanatory words, even between
the dean and his wife--from whose private funds had in truth come the
money which had been given to Mr Crawley. For the private wealth of the
family belonged to Mrs Arabin, and not to the dean; and was left
entirely in Mrs Arabin's hands, to be disposed of as she might please.
Previously to Mr Crawley's arrival at the deanery this matter had been
discussed between the dean and his wife, and it had been agreed between
them that a sum of fifty pounds should be given. It should be given by
Mrs Arabin, but it was thought that the gift would come with more
comfort to the recipient from the hands of his old friend than from
those of his wife. There had been much discussion between them as to the
mode in which this might be done with the least offence to the man's
feelings--for they knew Mr Crawley and his peculiarities well. At last
it was agreed that the notes should be put into an envelope, which
envelope the dean should have ready with him. But when the moment came
the dean did not have the envelope ready, and was obliged to leave the
room to seek his wife. And Mrs Arabin explained to John Eames that even
she had not had it ready, and had been forced to go to her own desk to
fetch it. Then, at the last moment, with the desire of increasing the
good to be done to people who were so terribly in want, she put the
cheque for twenty pounds, which was in her possession as money of her
own, along with the notes, and in this way the cheque had been given by
the dean to Mr Crawley. 'I shall never forgive myself for not telling
the dean,' she said. 'Had I done that all this trouble would have been
'But where did you get the cheque?' Eames asked with natural curiosity.
'Exactly,' said Mrs Arabin. 'I have got to show now that I did not
steal it--have I not? Mr Soames will indict me now. And, indeed, I have
had some trouble to refresh my memory as to all the particulars, for you
see it is more than a year past.' But Mrs Arabin's mind was clearer on
such matters than Mr Crawley's, and she was able to explain that she had
taken the cheque as part of the rent due to her from the landlord of
'The Dragon of Wantly', which inn was her property, having been the
property of her first husband. For some years past there had been a
difficulty about the rent, things not having gone at 'The Dragon of
Wantly' as smoothly as they had used to go. At once time the money had
been paid half-yearly by the landlord's cheque on the bank of
Barchester. For the last year-and-a-half this had not been done, and the
money had come into Mrs Arabin's hands at irregular periods and in
irregular sums. There was at this moment rent due for twelve months, and
Mrs Arabin expressed her doubt whether she would get it on her return to
Barchester. On the occasion to which she was now alluding, the money had
been paid into her own hands, in the deanery breakfast-parlour, by a man
she knew very well--not the landlord himself, but one bearing the
landlord's name, whom she believed to the landlord's brother, or at
least his cousin. The man in question was named Daniel Stringer, and he
had been employed in 'The Dragon of Wantly', as a sort of clerk or
managing man, as long as she had known it. The rent had been paid to her
by Daniel Stringer quite as often as by Daniel's brother or cousin, John
Stringer, who was, in truth, the landlord of the hotel. When questioned
by John respecting the persons employed at the inn, she said that she
did believe that there had been rumours of something wrong. The house
had been in the hands of the Stringers for many years--before the
property had been purchased by her husband's father--and therefore had
been an unwillingness to remove them; but gradually, so she said, there
had come upon her and her husband a feeling that the house must be put
into other hands. 'Yes, I said a good deal about it. I asked why a
cheque of Mr Soames's was brought to me, instead of being taken to the
bank for money; and Stringer explained to me that they were not very
fond of going to the bank, as they owed money there, but that I could
pay it into my account. Only I kept my account at the other bank.'
'You might have paid it in there?' said Johnny.
'I suppose I might, but I didn't. I gave it to poor Mr Crawley
instead--like a fool, as I know now that I was. And so I have brought
all this trouble on him and on her; and now I must rush home, without
waiting for the dean, as fast as the trains will carry me.'
Eames offered to accompany her, and this offer was accepted. 'It is
hard upon you, though,' she said; 'you will see nothing of Florence.
Three hours in Venice, and six in Florence, and no hours at all anywhere
else, will be a hard fate to you on your first trip to Italy.' But
Johnny said 'Exelsior' to himself once more, and thought of Lily Dale,
who was still in London, hoping that she might hear of his exertions;
and he felt, perhaps, also, that it would be pleasant to return with a
dean's wife, and never hesitated. Nor would it do, he thought, for him
to be absent in the excitement caused by the news of Mr Crawley's
innocence and injuries. 'I don't care a bit about that,' he said. 'Of
course, I should like to see Florence, and, of course, I should like to
go to bed; but I will live in hopes that I may do both some day.' And so
there grew to be a friendship between him and Mrs Arabin even before
He had driven through Florence; he saw the Venus de' Medici, and he saw
the Seggolia; he looked up from the side of the Duomo to the top of the
Campanile, and he walked round the back of the cathedral itself; he
tried to inspect the doors of the Baptistry, and declared that the
'David' was very fine. Then he went back to the hotel, dined with Mrs
Arabin, and started for England.
The dean was to have joined his wife at Venice, and then they were to
have returned together, coming round by Florence. Mrs Arabin had not,
therefore, taken her things away from Florence when she left it, and had
been obliged to return to pick them up on her journey homewards. He--the
dean--had been delayed in his Eastern travels. Neither Syria or
Constantinople had got themselves done as quickly as he had expected,
and he had, consequently, twice written to his wife, begging her to
pardon the transgression of his absence for even yet a few days longer.
'Everything, therefore,' as Mrs Arabin said, 'has conspired to
perpetuate this mystery, which a word from me would have solved. I owe
more to Mr Crawley than I can ever pay him.'
'He will be very well paid, I think,' said John, 'when he hears the
truth. If you could see the inside of his mind at this moment, I'm sure
you'd find that he thinks he stole the cheque.'
'He cannot think that, Mr Eames. Besides, at this moment I hope he has
heard the truth.'
'That may be, but he did think so. I do believe that he had not the
slightest notion where he got it; and, which is more, not a single
person in the whole county had a notion. People thought that he had
picked it up, and used it in his despair. And the bishop has been so
hard upon him.'
'Oh, Mr Eames, that is the worst of all.'
'So I am told. The bishop has a wife, I believe.'
'Yes, he has a wife, certainly,' said Mrs Arabin.
'And people say that she is not very good-natured.'
'There are some of us at Barchester who do not love her very dearly. I
cannot say that she is one of my own especial friends.'
'I believe she has been very hard on Mr Crawley,' said John Eames.
'I should not be in the least surprised,' said Mrs Arabin.
Then they reached Turin, and there, taking up 'Galignani's Messenger' in
the reading-room of Trompetta's Hotel, John Eames saw that Mrs Proudie
was dead. 'Look at that,' said he, taking the paragraph to Mrs Arabin;
'Mrs Proudie is dead!' 'Mrs Proudie dead!' she exclaimed. 'Poor woman!
Then there will be peace at Barchester!' 'I never knew her very
intimately,' she afterwards said to her companion, 'and I do not know
that I have a right to say that she ever did me an injury. But I
remember well her first coming into Barchester. My sister's
father-in-law, the late bishop, was just dead. He was a mild, kind, dear
old man, whom my father loved beyond all the world, except his own
children. You may suppose we were all a little sad. I was not specially
connected with the cathedral then, except through my father'--and Mrs
Arabin, as she told all this, remembered that in the days of which she
was speaking she was a young mourning widow--'but I think I can never
forget the sort of harsh-toned paean of low-church trumpets with which
that poor woman made her entry into the city. She might have been more
lenient, as we had never sinned by being very high. She might, at any
rate, have been more gentle with us at first. I think we had never
attempted much beyond decency, good-will and comfort. Our comfort she
utterly destroyed. Good-will was not to her taste. And as for decency,
when I remember some things, I must say that when the comfort and
good-will went, the decency went along with them. And now she is dead! I
wonder how the bishop will get on without her.'
'Like a house in fire, I should think,' said Johnny.
'Fie, Mr Eames; you shouldn't speak in such a way on such a subject.'
Mrs Arabin and Johnny became fast friends as they journeyed home. There
was a sweetness in his character which endeared him readily to women;
though, as we have seen, there was a want of something to make one woman
cling to him. He could be soft and pleasant-mannered. He was fond of
making himself useful, and was a perfect master of all those little
caressing modes of behaviour in which the caress is quite impalpable,
and of which most women know the value and appreciate the comfort. By
the time that they had reached Paris John had told the whole story of
Lily Dale and Crosbie, and Mrs Arabin had promised to assist him, if any
assistance might be in her power.
'Of course I have heard of Lily Dale,' she said, 'because we know the De
Courcys.' Then she turned away her face, almost blushing, as she
remembered the first time that she had seen that Lady Alexandrina De
Courcy whom Mr Crosbie had married. It had been at Mr Thorne's house at
Ullathorne, and on that day she had done a thing which she had never
since remembered without blushing. But it was an old story now, and a
story of which her companion knew nothing--of which he never could know
anything. That day at Ullathorne Mrs Arabin, the wife of the Dean of
Barchester, than whom there was no more discreet clerical matron in the
diocese, had--boxed a clergyman's ears!
'Yes,' said John, speaking of Crosbie, 'he was a wise fellow; he knew
what he was about; he married an earl's daughter.'
'And now I remember hearing that somebody gave him a terrible beating.
Perhaps it was you?'
'It wasn't terrible at all,' said Johnny.
'Then it was you?'
'Oh, yes; it was I.'
'Then it was you who saved poor old Lord De Guest from the bull?'
'Go on, Mrs Arabin. There is no end to the grand things I've done.'
'You're quite a hero of romance.'
He bit his lip as he told himself that he was not enough of a hero. 'I
don't know about that,' said Johnny. 'I think what a man ought to do in
these days is to seem not to care what he eats and drinks, and to have
his linen very well got up. Then he'll be a hero.' But that was hard
'Is that what Miss Dale requires?' said Mrs Arabin.
'I was not thinking about her particularly,' said Johnny, lying.
They slept a night at Paris, as they had done also at Turin--Mrs Arabin
not finding herself able to accomplish such marvels in the way of
travelling as her companion had achieved--and then arrived in London in
the evening. She was taken to a certain quiet clerical hotel at the top
of Suffolk Street, much patronised by bishops and deans of the better
sort, expecting to find a message there from her husband. And there was
the message--just arrived. The dean had reached Florence three days
after her departure; and as he would do the journey home in twenty-four
hours less than she had taken, he would be there, at the hotel, on the
day after tomorrow. 'I suppose I may wait for him, Mr Eames?' said Mrs
'I will see Mr Toogood tonight, and I will call here tomorrow, whether I
see him or not. At what hour will you be in?'
'Don't trouble yourself to do that. You must take care of Sir Raffle
Buffle, you know.'
'I shan't go near Sir Raffle Buffle tomorrow, nor yet the next day. You
mustn't suppose that I am afraid of Sir Raffle Buffle.'
'You are only afraid of Lily Dale.' From all which it may be seen that
Mrs Arabin and John Eames had become very intimate on their way home.
It was then arranged that he should call on Mr Toogood that same night
or early next morning, and that he should come to the hotel at twelve
o'clock on the next day. Going along one of the passages he passed two
gentlemen in shovel hats, with very black new coats and knee-breeches;
and Johnny could not but hear a few words which one clerical gentleman
said to the other. 'She was a woman of great energy, of wonderful
spirit, but a firebrand, my lord--a complete firebrand!' Then Johnny
knew that the Dean of A was talking to the Bishop of B about the late
MR TOOGOOD AT SILVERBRIDGE
We will now go back to Mr Toogood as he started for Silverbridge, on the
receipt of Mrs Arabin's telegram from Venice. 'I gave cheque to Mr
Crawley. It was part of a sum of money. Will write to Archdeacon Grantly
today, and return home at once.' That was the telegram which Mr Toogood
received at his office, and on receiving which he resolved that he must
start to Barchester immediately. 'It isn't certainly what you would call
a paying business,' he said to his partner, who continued to grumble;
'but it must be done all the same. If it don't get into the ledger in
one way it will in another.' So Mr Toogood started for Silverbridge,
having sent to his house in Tavistock Square for a small bag, a clean
shirt, and a toothbrush. And as he went down to the railway-carriage,
before he went to sleep, he turned it all over in his mind. 'Poor devil!
I wonder whether any man suffered so much before. And as for that
woman--it's ten thousand pities that she should have died before she
heard it. Talk of heart-complaint!; she'd have had a touch of heart-
complaint if she had known this!' Then, as he was speculating how Mrs
Arabin could have come possessed of the cheque he went to sleep.
He made up his mind that the first person to be seen was Mr Walker, and
after that he would, if possible, go to Archdeacon Grantly. He was at
first minded to go at once to Hogglestock; but when he remembered how
very strange Mr Crawley was in all his ways, and told himself
professionally that telegrams were but bad sources of evidence on which
to depend for details, he thought that it would be safer if he were
first to see Mr Walker. There would be very little delay. In a day or
two the archdeacon would receive his letter, and in a day or two after
that Mrs Arabin would probably be at home.
It was late in the evening before Mr Toogood reached the house of the
Silverbridge solicitor, having the telegram carefully folded in his
pocket; and he was shown into the dining-room while the servant took his
name up to Mr Walker. The clerks were gone, and the office was closed;
and persons coming on business at such times--as they often did come to
that house--were always shown into the parlour. 'I don't know whether
master can see you tonight,' said the girl; 'but if he can, he'll come
When the card was brought up to Mr Walker he was sitting alone with his
wife. 'It's Toogood,' said he; 'poor Crawley's cousin.'
'I wonder whether he has found anything out,' said Mrs Walker. 'May he
not come up here?' Then Mr Toogood was summoned into the drawing-room,
to the maid's astonishment; for Mr Toogood had made no toilet sacrifices
to the goddess of grace who presides over evening society in provincial
towns--and presented himself with the telegram in his hand. 'We have
found out all about poor Crawley's cheque,' he said, before the
maid-servant had closed the door. 'Look at that,' and he handed the
telegram to Mr Walker. The poor girl was obliged to go, though she would
have given one her ears to know the exact contents of that bit of paper.
'Walker, what is it?' said his wife, before Walker had had time to make
the contents of the document his own.
'He got it from Mrs Arabin,' said Toogood.
'No!' said Mrs Walker. 'I thought that was it all along.'
'It's a pity you didn't say so before,' said Mr Walker.
'So I did; but a lawyer thinks that nobody can ever seen anything but
himself;--begging your pardon, Mr Toogood, but I forgot you were one of
us. But, Walker, do read it.' Then the telegram was read; 'I gave the
cheque to Mr Crawley. It was part of a sum of money'--with the rest of
it. 'I knew it would come out,' said Mrs Walker. 'I was quite sure of
'But why the mischief didn't he say so?' said Walker.
'He did say he got it from the dean,' said Toogood.
'But he didn't get it from the dean; and the dean clearly knew nothing
'I'll tell you what it is,' said Mrs Walker; 'it has been some private
transaction between Mr Crawley and Mrs Arabin, which the dean knew
nothing about; and so he wouldn't tell. I must say I honour him.'
'I don't think it has been that,' said Walker. 'Had he known all
through that it had come from Mrs Arabin, he would never have said that
Mr Soames gave it to him, and then that the dean gave it to him.'
'The truth has been that he has known nothing about it,' said Toogood;
'and we shall have to tell him.'
At that moment Mary Walker came into the room, and Mrs Walker could not
constrain herself. 'Mary, Mr Crawley is all right. He didn't steal the
cheque. Mrs Arabin gave it to him.'
'Who says so? How do you know? Oh, dear; I am so happy, if it's true.'
Then she saw Mr Toogood and curtseyed.
'It is quite true, my dear,' said Mr Walker. 'Mr Toogood has had a
message by the wires from Mrs Arabin at Venice. She is coming home at
once, and no doubt everything will be put right. In the meantime, it may
be a question whether we should not hold our tongues. Mr Crawley
himself, I suppose, knows nothing of it yet?'
'Not a word,' said Toogood.
'Papa, I must tell Miss Prettyman,' said Mary.
'I should think that probably all Silverbridge knows it by this time,'
said Mrs Walker, 'because Jane was in the room when the announcement was
made. You may be sure that every servant in the house has been told.'
Mary Walker, not waiting for any further command from her father,
hurried out of the room to convey the secret to her special circle of
It was known throughout Silverbridge that night, and indeed it made so
much commotion that it kept many people for an hour out of their beds.
Ladies who were not in the habit of going out late at night without the
fly from the 'George and Vulture', tied their heads up in their
handkerchiefs, and hurried up and down the street to tell each other
that the great secret had been discovered, and that in truth Mr Crawley
had not stolen the cheque. The solution of the mystery was not known to
all--was known on that night only to the very select portion of the
aristocracy of Silverbridge to whom it was communicated by Mary Walker
or Miss Anne Prettyman. For Mary Walker, when earnestly entreated by
Jane, the parlour-maid, to tell her something more of the great news,
had so far respected her father's caution as to say not a word about Mrs
Arabin. 'Is it true, Miss Mary, that he didn't steal it?' Jane asked
imploringly. 'It is true. He did not steal it.' 'And who did, Miss Mary?
Indeed I won't tell anybody.' 'Nobody. But don't ask any more questions,
for I won't answer them. Get me my hat at once, for I want to go up to
Miss Prettyman's.' Then Jane got Miss Walker's hat, and immediately
afterwards scampered into the kitchen with the news. 'Oh, law, cook,
it's all come out! Mr Crawley's as innocent as the unborn babe. The
gentleman upstairs what's just come, and was here once before--for I
know'd him immediate--I heard him say so. And master said so too.'
'Did master say so his own self?' asked the cook.
'Indeed he did; and Miss Mary told me the same this moment.'
'If master said so, then there ain't a doubt as they'll find him
innocent. And who took'd, Jane?'
'Miss Mary says as nobody didn't steal it.'
'That's nonsense, Jane. It stands to reason as somebody had it as
hadn't ought to have had it. But I'm glad as anything as how the poor
reverend gent'll come off;--I am. They tells me it's weeks sometimes
before a bit of butcher's meat finds its way into his house.' Then the
groom and the housemaid and the cook, one after another, took occasion
to slip out of the back-door, and poor Jane, who had really been the
owner of the news, was left to answer the bell.
Miss Walker found the two Miss Prettymans sitting together over their
accounts in the elder Miss Prettyman's private room. And she could see
at once by signs which were not unfamiliar to her that Miss Anne
Prettyman was being scolded. It often happened that Miss Anne Prettyman
was scolded, especially when the accounts were brought out upon the
table. 'Sister, they are illegible,' Mary Walker heard, as the servant
opened the door for her.
'I don't think it's quite so bad as that,' said Miss Anne, unable to
restrain her defence. Then, as Mary entered the room, Miss Prettyman the
elder laid her hands down on certain books and papers as though to hide
them from profane eyes.
'I am glad to see you, Mary,' said Miss Prettyman gravely.
'I've brought such a piece of news,' said Mary. 'I knew you'd be glad
to hear it, so I ventured to disturb you.'
'Is it good news?' said Anne Prettyman.
'Very good news. Mr Crawley is innocent.'
Both the ladies sprang on to their legs. Even Miss Prettyman herself
jumped up on to her legs. 'No!' said Anne. 'Your father has discovered
it?' said Miss Prettyman.
'Not exactly that. Mr Toogood has come down from London to tell him.
Mr Toogood, you know, is Mr Crawley's cousin; and he is a lawyer, like
papa.' It may be observed that ladies belonging to the families of
solicitors always talk about lawyers, and never about attorneys or
'And does Mr Toogood say that Mr Crawley is innocent?' asked Miss
'He has heard it by a message from Mrs Arabin. But you mustn't mention
this. You won't, please, because papa asked me not. I told him that I
should tell you.' Then, for the first time, the frown passed away
entirely from Miss Prettyman's face, and the papers and account books
were pushed aside, as being of no moment. Mary continued her story
almost in a whisper. 'It was Mrs Arabin who sent the cheque to Mr
Crawley. She says so herself. So that makes Mr Crawley quite innocent. I
am so glad.'
'But isn't it odd he didn't say so?' said Miss Prettyman.
'Nevertheless, it's true.' said Mary.
'Perhaps he forgot,' said Anne Prettyman.
'Men don't forget such things as that,' said the elder sister.
'I really do think that Mr Crawley could forget anything,' said the
'You may be sure it's true,' said Mary Walker, 'because papa said so.'
'If he said so, it must be true,' said Miss Prettyman; 'and I am
rejoiced. I really am rejoiced. Poor man! Poor ill-used man! And nobody
has ever believed that he has really been guilty, even though they may
have thought that he spent the money without any proper right to it. And
now he will get off. But, dear me, Mary, Mr Smithe told me yesterday
that he had already given up his living, and that Mr Spooner, the minor
canon, was trying to get it from the dean. But that was because Mr
Spooner and Mrs Proudie had quarrelled; and as Mrs Proudie is gone, Mr
Spooner very likely won't want to move now.'
'They'll never go and put anybody in Hogglestock, Annabella, over Mr
Crawley's head,' said Anne.
'I didn't say that they would. Surely I may be allowed to repeat what I
hear, like another person, without being snapped up.'
'I didn't mean to snap you up, Annabella.'
'You're always snapping me up. But if this is true, I cannot say how
glad I am. My poor Grace! Now, I suppose, there will be no difficulty,
and Grace will become a great lady.' Then they discussed very minutely
the chances of Grace Crawley's promotion.
John Walker, Mr Winthrop, and several others of the chosen spirits of
Silverbridge, were playing whist at a provincial club, which had
established itself in the town, when the news was brought to them.
Though Mr Winthrop was the partner of the great Walker, and though John
Walker was the great man's son, I fear that the news reached their ears
in but an underhand sort of way. As for the great man himself, he never
went near the club, preferring his slippers and tea at home. The
Walkerian groom, rushing up the street to the 'George and Vulture',
paused a moment to tell his tidings to the club porter; from the club
porter it was whispered respectfully to the Silverbridge apothecary,
who, by special grace, was a member of the club--and was by him repeated
with much cautious solemnity over the card-table. 'Who told you that,
Balsam?' said John Walker, throwing down his cards.
'I've just heard it,' said Balsam.
'I don't believe it,' said John.
'I shouldn't wonder if it's true,' said Winthrop. 'I always said that
something would turn up.'
'Will you bet three to one he is not found guilty?' said John Walker.
'Done,' said Winthrop; 'in pounds.' That morning the odds in the club
against the event had been only two to one. But as the matter was
discussed, the men in the club began to believe the tidings, and before
he went home, John Walker would have been glad to hedge his bet on any
terms. After he had spoken to his father, he gave his money up for lost.
But Mr Walker--the great Walker--had more to do that night before his
son came home from the club. He and Mr Toogood agreed that it would be
right that they should see Dr Tempest at once, and they went over
together to the rectory. It was past ten at this time, and they found
the doctor almost in the act of putting out the candles for the night.
'I could not but come to you, doctor,' said Mr Walker, 'with the news
that my friend has brought. Mrs Arabin gave the cheque to Crawley. Here
is a telegram from her saying so.' And the telegram was handed to the
He stood perfectly silent for a few minutes, reading it over and over
again. 'I see it all,' he said, when he spoke at last. 'I see it all
now; and I must own I was never before so much puzzled in my life.'
'I own I can't see why she should have given him Mr Soames's cheque,'
said Mr Walker.
'I can't say where she got it, and I own I don't much care,' said Dr
Tempest. 'But I don't doubt but what she gave him without telling the
dean, and that Crawley thought it came from the dean. I'm very glad. I
am, indeed, very glad. I do not know that I ever pitied a man so much in
my life as I have pitied Mr Crawley.'
'It must have been a hard case when it has moved him,' said Mr Walker to
Toogood as they left the clergyman's house; and then the Silverbridge
attorney saw the attorney from London home to the inn.
It was the general opinion at Silverbridge that the news from Venice
ought to be communicated to the Crawleys by Major Grantly. Mary Walker
had expressed this opinion very strongly, and her mother had agreed with
her. Miss Prettyman also felt that poetical justice, or, at least, the
romance of justice, demanded this; and, as she told her sister Anne
after Mary Walker left her, she was of the opinion that such an
arrangement might tend to make things safe. 'I do think he is an honest
man and a fine fellow,' said Miss Prettyman; 'but, my dear, you know
what the proverb says, "There's many a slip 'twixt cup and lip".' Miss
Prettyman thought than anything which might be done to prevent a slip
ought to be done. The idea that the pleasant task of taking the news out
to Hogglestock ought to be confided to Major Grantly was very general;
but then Mr Walker was of the opinion that the news ought not to be
taken to Hogglestock at all till something more certain than the
telegram had reached them. Early on the following morning the two
lawyers should go over at once to Barchester, and that the Silverbridge
lawyer should see Major Grantly. Mr Toogood was still of the opinion
that with due diligence something might yet be learned as to the cheque
by inquiry among the denizens of 'The Dragon of Wantly'; and his opinion
to this effect was stronger than ever when he learned from Mr Walker
that the 'Dragon of Wantly' belonged to Mrs Arabin.
Mr Walker, after breakfast, had himself driven up in his open carriage
to Cosby Lodge, and, as he entered the gates, observed that the
auctioneer's bills as to the sale had been pulled down. The Mr Walkers
of the world know everything, and our Mr Walker had quite understood
that the major was leaving Cosby Lodge because of some misunderstanding
with his father. The exact nature of the misunderstanding he did not
know, even though he was Mr Walker, but had little doubt that it
referred in some to Grace Crawley. It the archdeacon's objection to
Grace arose from the imputation against the father, that objection would
now be removed, but the abolition of the posters could not as yet have
been owing to any such cause as that. Mr Walker found the major at the
gate of the farmyard attached to Cosby Lodge, and perceived that at that
very moment he was engaged in superintending the abolition of sundry
other auctioneer's bills from sundry posts. 'What is all this about?'
said Mr Walker, greeting the major. 'Is there to be no sale after all?'
'It has been postponed,' said the major.
'Postponed for good, I hope? Bill to be read again this day six
months!' said Mr Walker.
'I rather think not. But circumstances have induced me to have to put
Mr Walker had got out of the carriage, and had taken Major Grantly
aside. 'Just come a little further,' he said; 'I've something special to
tell you. News reached me last night which will clear Mr Crawley
altogether. We know now where he got the cheque.'
'You don't tell me so!'
'Yes, I do. And though the news had reached us in such a way that we
cannot act upon it till it's confirmed, I do not in the least doubt it.'
'And how did he get it?'
'You cannot guess?'
'Not in the least,' said the major; 'unless, after all, Soames gave it
'Soames did not give it to him, but Mrs Arabin did.'
'Yes, Mrs Arabin.'
'Not the dean?'
'No, not the dean. What we know is this, that your aunt has telegraphed
to Crawley's cousin, Toogood, to say that she gave Crawley the cheque,
and that she has written to your father about it at length. We do not
like to tell Crawley till that letter has been received. It is so easy,
you know, to misunderstand a telegram, and the wrong copying of a word
may make such a mistake!'
'When was it received?'
'Toogood received it in London only yesterday morning. Your father will
not get his letter, as I calculate, till the day after tomorrow. But,
perhaps, you had better go over to see him, and prepare him for it.
Toogood has gone to Barchester this morning.' To this proposition
Grantly made no immediate answer. He could not but remember the terms on
which he had left his father; and though he had, most unwillingly,
pulled down the auctioneer's bills, in compliance with his mother's last
prayer to him--and, indeed, had angrily told the auctioneer to send him
his bill when the auctioneer had demurred to these proceedings--
nevertheless he was hardly prepared to discuss the matter of Mr Crawley
with his father in pleasant words--in words which should be full of
rejoicing. It was a great thing for him, Henry Grantly, that Mr Crawley
should be innocent, and he did rejoice; but he had intended his father
to understand that he meant to persevere, whether Mr Crawley were
innocent or guilty, and thus he would now lose an opportunity for
establishing his obstinacy--an opportunity which had not been without a
charm for him. He must console himself as best he might with the
returning prospect of assured prosperity, and with his renewed hopes as
to the Plumstead foxes! 'We think, major, that when the time comes you
ought to be the bearer of the news to Hogglestock,' said Mr Walker. Then
the major did undertake to convey the news to Hogglestock, but he made
no promise as to going over to Plumstead.
MR TOOGOOD AT 'THE DRAGON OF WANTLY'
In accordance with his arrangement with Mr Walker, Mr Toogood went over
to Barchester early in the morning and put himself up at 'The Dragon of
Wantly'. He now knew the following facts: that Mr Soames, when he lost
the cheque, had had with him one of the servants from that inn--that the
man who had been with Mr Soames had gone to New Zealand--that the cheque
had found its way into the hands of Mrs Arabin, and that Mrs Arabin was
the owner of the inn in question. So much he believed to be within his
knowledge, and if his knowledge should prove to be correct, his work
would be done as far as Mr Crawley was concerned. If Mr Crawley had not
stolen the cheque, and if that could be proved, it would be a question
of no great moment to Mr Toogood who had stolen it. But he was a
sportsman in his own line who liked to account for his own fox. As he
was down at Barchester, he thought that he might as well learn how the
cheque had got into Mrs Arabin's hands. No doubt that for her own
possession of it she would be able to account on her return. But it
might be well that he should be prepared with any small circumstantial
details which he might be able to pick up at the inn.
He reached Barchester before breakfast, and in ordering his tea and
toast, reminded the old waiter with the dirty towel of his former
acquaintance with him. 'I remember you, sir,' said the old waiter. 'I
remember you very well. You was asking questions about the cheque which
Mr Soames lost before Christmas.' Mr Toogood certainly had asked one
question on the subject. He had inquired whether a certain man who had
gone to New Zealand had been the post-boy who accompanied Mr Soames when
the cheque was lost; and the waiter had professed to know nothing about
Mr Soames or the cheque. He now perceived at once that the gist of the
question had remained in the old man's mind, and that he was recognised
as being in some way connected with the lost money.
'Did I? Ah, yes; I think I did. And I think you told me that he was
'No, sir; I never told you that.'
'Then you told me he wasn't.'
'Nor I didn't tell you that neither,' said the waiter angrily.
'Then what the devil did you tell me?' To this further question the
waiter sulkily declined to give any answer, and soon afterwards left the
room. Toogood, as soon as he had done his breakfast, rang the bell, and
the same man appeared. 'Will you tell Mr Stringer that I should be glad
to see him if he's disengaged,' said Mr Toogood. 'I know he's bad with
the gout, and therefore if he'll allow me, I'll go to him instead of his
coming to me.' Mr Stringer was the landlord of the inn. The waiter
hesitated a moment, and then declared that to the best of his belief his
master was not down. He would go and see. Toogood, however, would not
wait for that; but rising quickly and passing the waiter, crossed the
hall from the coffee-room, and entered what was called the bar. The bar
was a small room connected with the hall by a large open window, at
which orders for rooms were given and cash was paid, and glasses of beer
were consumed--and a good deal of miscellaneous conversation was carried
on. The barmaid was here at the window, and there was also, in the
corner of the room, a man at a desk with a red nose. Toogood knew that
the man at the desk with the red nose was Mr Stringer's clerk. So much
he had learned in his former rummaging about the inn. And he also
remembered at this moment that he had observed the man with the red nose
standing under a narrow archway in the close as he was coming out of the
deanery, on the occasion of his visit to Mr Harding. It had not occurred
to him then that the man with the red nose was watching him, but it did
occur to him now that the man with the red nose had been there, under
the arch, with the express purpose of watching him on that occasion. Mr
Toogood passed quickly through the bar into the inner parlour, in which
was sitting Mr Stringer, the landlord, propped among his cushions.
Toogood, as he entered the hotel, had seen Mr Stringer so placed,
through the two doors, which at that moment had both happened to be
open. He knew therefore that his old friend the waiter had not been
quite true to him in suggesting that his master was not as yet down. As
Toogood cast a glance of his eye on the man with the red nose, he told
himself the old story of the apparition under the archway.
'Mr Stringer,' said Mr Toogood to the landlord, 'I hope I'm not
'Oh dear, no sir,' said the forlorn man. 'Nobody ever intrudes coming
in here. I'm always happy to see gentlemen--only, mostly, I'm so bad
with the gout.'
'Have you got a sharp touch of it now, Mr Stringer?'
'Not just today, sir. I've been a little easier since Saturday. The
worst of this burst is over. But Lord bless you, sir, it don't leave
me--not for a single fortnight at a time, now; it don't. And it ain't
what I drink, nor it ain't what I eat.'
'Constitutional, I suppose?' said Toogood.
'Look here, sir'; and Stringer showed his visitor the chalk stones in
all his knuckles. 'They say I'm a mass of chalk. I sometimes think
they'll break me up to mark the scores behind my own door with.' And Mr
Stringer laughed at his own wit.
Mr Toogood laughed too. He laughed loud and cheerily. And then he
asked a sudden question, keeping his eye as he did so upon a little
square open window which communicated between the landlord's private
room and the bar. Through this small aperture he could see as he stood a
portion of the hat worn by the man with the red nose. Since he had been
in the room with the landlord, the man with the red nose had moved his
head twice, on each occasion drawing himself closer into his corner; but
Mr Toogood, by moving also, had still contrived to keep a morsel of that
hat in sight. He laughed cheerily at the landlord's joke, and then he
asked a sudden question--looking at the morsel of that hat as he did so.
'Mr Stringer,' said he, 'how do you pay your rent, and to whom do you
pay it?' There was immediately a jerk in the hat, and then it
disappeared. Toogood, stepping to the open door, saw that the red-nosed
clerk had taken his hat off and was very busy at his accounts.
'How do I pay my rent?' said Mr Stringer, the landlord. 'Well, sir,
since this cursed gout has been so bad, it's hard enough to pay it at
all sometimes. You ain't here to look for it, sir, are you?'
'Not I,' said Toogood. 'It was only a chance question.' He felt that
he had nothing more to do with Mr Stringer, the landlord. Mr Stringer,
the landlord, knew nothing about Mr Soames's cheque. 'What's the name of
your clerk?' said he.
'The name of my clerk?' said Mr Stringer. 'Why do you want to know the
name of my clerk?'
'Does he ever pay the rent for you?'
'Well, yes; he does, at times. He pays it into the bank for the lady as
owns this house. Is there any reason for you asking these questions,
sir. It isn't usual, you know, for a stranger, sir.'
Toogood the whole of this time was standing with his eye upon the
red-nosed man, and the red-nosed man could not move. The red-nosed man
heard all the questions and the landlord's answers, and could not even
pretend that he did not hear them. 'I am my cousin's clerk,' said he,
putting on his hat, and coming up to Mr Toogood with a swagger. 'My name
is Dan Stringer, and I'm Mr John Stringer's cousin. I've lived with Mr
John Stringer for twelve year and more, and I'm a'most as well known in
Barchester as himself. Have you anything to say to me, sir?'
'Well, yes; I have,' said Toogood.
'I believe you're the one of them attorneys from London?' said Mr Dan
'That's true. I am an attorney from London.'
'I hope there's nothing wrong?' said the gouty man, trying to get off
his chair, but not succeeding. 'If there is anything wronger than usual,
Dan, do tell me. Is there anything wrong, sir?' and the landlord
appealed piteously to Mr Toogood.
'Never you mind, John,' said Dan. 'You keep yourself quiet, and don't
answer none of his questions. He's one of them low sort, he is. I know
him. I knowed him for what he is directly I saw him. Ferreting
about--that's his game; to see if there's anything to be got.'
'But what is he ferreting for?' said Mr John Stringer.
'I'm ferreting for Mr Soames's cheque for twenty pounds,' said Mr
'That's the cheque the parson stole,' said Dan Stringer. 'He's to be
tried for it at the 'sizes.'
'You've heard about Mr Soames and his cheque, and about Mr Crawley, I
daresay?' said Mr Toogood.
'I've heard a deal about them,' said the landlord.
'And so, I daresay, have you?' said Toogood, turning to Dan Stringer.
But Dan Stringer did not seem inclined to carry on the conversation any
further. When he was hardly pressed, he declared that he just had heard
that there was some parson in trouble about a sum of money; but that he
knew no more about it than that. He didn't know whether it was a cheque
or a note that the parson had taken, and had never been sufficiently
interested in the matter to make any inquiry.
'But you've just said that Mr Soames's cheque was the cheque the parson
stole,' said the astonished landlord, turning with open eyes, upon his
'You be blowed,' said Dan Stringer, the clerk, to Mr John Stringer, the
landlord; and then walked out of the room back to the bar.
'I understand nothing about it--nothing at all,' said the gouty man.
'I understand nearly all about it,' said Mr Toogood, following the
red-nosed clerk. There was no necessity that he should trouble the
landlord any further. He left the room, and went through the bar, and as
he passed out along the hall, he found Dan Stringer with his hat on
talking to the waiter. The waiter immediately pulled himself up, and
adjusted his dirty napkin under his arm, after the fashion of waiters,
and showed that he intended to be civil to the customers of the house.
But he of the red nose cocked his hat, and looked with insolence at Mr
Toogood, and defied him. 'There's nothing I do hate so much as them
low-bred Old Bailey attorneys,' said Mr Dan Stringer to the waiter, in a
voice intended to reach Mr Toogood's ears. Then Mr Toogood told himself
that Dan Stringer was not the thief himself, and that it might be very
difficult to prove that Dan had even been the receiver of stolen goods.
He had, however, no doubt in his own mind but that such was the case.
He first went to the police office, and there explained his business.
Nobody at the police office pretended to forget Mr Soames's cheque, or
Mr Crawley's position. The constable went so far as to swear that there
wasn't a man, woman, or child in all Barchester who was not talking of
Mr Crawley at that present moment. Then Mr Toogood went with the
constable to the private house of the mayor, and had a little
conversation with the mayor. 'Not guilty!' said the mayor, with
incredulity, when he first heard the news about Crawley. But when he
heard Mr Toogood's story, or as much of it as it was necessary that he
should hear, he yielded reluctantly. 'Dear, dear!' he said. 'I'd have
bet anything 'twas he who stole it.' And after that he mayor was quite
sad. Only let us think what a comfortable excitement it would create
throughout England if it was surmised that an archbishop had forged a
deed; and how England would lose when it was discovered that the
archbishop was innocent! As the archbishop and his forgery would be to
England, so was Mr Crawley and the cheque for twenty pounds to
Barchester and its mayor. Nevertheless, the mayor promised his
assistance to Mr Toogood.
Mr Toogood, still neglecting his red-nosed friend, went next to the
deanery, hoping that he might again see Mr Harding. Mr Harding was, he
was told, too ill to be seen. Mr Harding, Mrs Baxter said, could never
be seen now by strangers, nor yet by friends, unless they were very old
friends. 'There's been a deal of change since you were here last, sire.
I remember you coming, sir. You were talking to Mr Harding about the
poor clergyman as is to be tried.' He did not stop to tell Mrs Baxter
the whole story of Mr Crawley's innocence; but having learned that a
message had been received to say that Mrs Arabin would be home on the
next Tuesday--this being Friday--he took his leave of Mrs Baxter. His
next visit was to Mr Soames, who lived three miles out in the country.
He found it very difficult to convince Mr Soames. Mr Soames was more
staunch in his belief of Mr Crawley's guilt than anyone whom Toogood had
yet encountered. 'I never took the cheque out of his house,' said Mr
Soames. 'But you have not stated that on oath,' said Mr Toogood. 'No,'
rejoined the other; 'and I never will. I can't swear to it; but yet I'm
sure of it.' He acknowledged that he had been driven by a man named
Scuttle, and that Scuttle might have picked up the cheque, if it had
been dropped in the gig. But the cheque had not been dropped in the gig.
The cheque had been dropped in Mr Crawley's house. 'Why did he say then
that I paid it to him?' said Mr Soames, when Mr Toogood spoke
confidently of Mr Crawley's innocence. 'Ah, why indeed?' answered
Toogood. 'If he had not been fool enough to do that, we should have been
saved all this trouble. All the same, he did not steal your money, Mr
Soames; and Jem Scuttle did steal it. Unfortunately, Jem Scuttle is in
New Zealand by this time.' 'Of course, it is possible,' said Mr Soames,
as he bowed Mr Toogood out. Mr Soames did not like Mr Toogood.
That evening a gentleman with a red nose asked at the Barchester station
for a second-class ticket for London by the up night-mail train. He was
well-known at the station, and the station-master made some little
inquiry. 'All the way to London tonight, Mr Stringer?' he said.
'Yes--all the way,' said the red-nosed man sulkily.
'I don't think you'd better go up to London tonight, Mr Stringer,' said
a tall man, stepping out of the door of the booking-office. 'I think
you'd better come back with me to Barchester. I do indeed.' There was
some little argument on the occasion; but the stranger, who was a
detective policeman, carried his point, and Mr Dan Stringer did return
THERE IS COMFORT AT PLUMSTEAD
Henry Grantly had written the following short letter to Mrs Grantly when
he had made up his mind to pull down the auctioneer's bills. 'DEAR
MOTHER--I have postponed the sale, not liking to refuse you anything. As
far as I can see, I shall be forced to leave Cosby Lodge, as I certainly
shall do all I can to make Grace Crawley my wife. I say this that there
may be no misunderstanding with my father. The auctioneer has promised
to have the bills removed.--Your affectionate son, HENRY GRANTLY'
This had been written by the major on the Friday before Mr Walker had
brought up to him the tidings of Mr Toogood and Mrs Arabin's solution of
the Crawley difficulty; but it did not reach Plumstead till the
following morning. Mrs Grantly immediately took the glad news about the
sale to her husband--not of course showing him the letter, being far too
wise for that, and giving him credit for being too wise to ask for it.
'Henry has arranged with the auctioneer,' she said joyfully; 'and the
bills have been all pulled down.'
'How do you know?'
'I've just heard from him. He has told me so. Come, my dear, let me
have the pleasure of hearing you say that things shall be pleasant again
between you and him. He has yielded.'
'I don't see much yielding in it.'
'He has done what you wanted. What more can he do?'
'I want him to come over here, and take an interest in things, and not
treat me as though I were a nobody.' Within an hour of this the major
had arrived at Plumstead, laden with the story of Mrs Arabin and the
cheque, and of Mr Crawley's innocence--laden not only with such tidings
as he had received from Mr Walker, but also with further details, which
had received from Mr Toogood. For he had come through Barchester, and
had seen Mr Toogood on his way. This was on the Saturday morning, and he
had breakfasted with Mr Toogood at 'The Dragon of Wantly'. Mr Toogood
had told him of his suspicions--how the red-nosed man had been stopped
and had been summoned as a witness for Mr Crawley's trial--and how he
was now under surveillance of the police. Grantly had not cared very
much about the red-nosed man, confining his present solicitude to the
question whether Grace Crawley's father would certainly be shown to have
been innocent of the theft. 'There's not a doubt about it, major,' said
Mr Toogood; 'no a doubt on earth. But we'd better be a little quiet till
your aunt comes home--just a little quiet.' In spite of his desire for
quiescence Mr Toogood consented to a revelation being at once made to
the archdeacon and Mrs Grantly. 'And I'll tell you what, major; as soon
as ever Mrs Arabin is here, and has given us her own word to act on, you
and I will go over to Hogglestock and astonish them. I should like to go
myself, because, you see, Mrs Crawley is my cousin, and we have taken a
little trouble about this matter.' To this the major assented; but he
altogether declined to assist in Mr Toogood's speculations respecting
the unfortunate Dan Stringer. It was agreed between them that for the
present no visit should be made to the palace, as it was thought that Mr
Thumble had better be allowed to go to Hogglestock duties on the next
Sunday. As matters went, however, Mr Thumble did not do so. He had paid
his last visit to Hogglestock.
It may be as well to explain here that the unfortunate Mr Snapper was
constrained to go out to Hogglestock on the Sunday which was now
approaching--which fell out as follows. It might be all very well for Mr
Toogood to arrange that he would not tell this person or that person of
the news which he had brought down from London; but as he had told the
police at Barchester, of course the tale found its way to the palace. Mr
Thumble heard it, and having come by this time thoroughly to hate
Hogglestock and all that belonged to it, he pleaded to Mr Snapper that
this report offered ample reason why he need not again visit that
detested parish. Mr Snapper did not see it in the same light. 'You may
be sure Mr Crawley will not get into the pulpit after his resignation,
'His resignation means nothing,' said Thumble.
'It means a great deal,' said Snapper; 'and the duties must be provided
'I won't provide for them,' said Thumble; 'and so you may tell the
bishop.' In these days Mr Thumble was very angry with the bishop, for
the bishop had not yet seen him since the death of Mrs Proudie.
Mr Snapper had no alternative but to go to the bishop. The bishop in
these days was very mild to those whom he saw, given but to few words,
and a little astray--as though he had had one of his limbs cut off--as
Mr Snapper expressed it to Mrs Snapper. 'I shouldn't wonder if he felt
as though all his limbs were cut off,' said Mrs Snapper; 'you must give
him time, and he'll come round by-and-by.' I am inclined to think that
Mrs Snapper's opinion of the bishop's feelings and condition was
correct. In his difficulty respecting Hogglestock and Mr Thumble, Mr
Snapper went to the bishop, and spoke perhaps a little too harshly of Mr
'I think, upon the whole, Snapper, that you had better go yourself,'
said the bishop.
'Do you think so, my lord?' said Snapper. 'It will be inconvenient.'
'Everything is inconvenient; but you'd better go. And look here,
Snapper, if I were you, I wouldn't say anything out at Hogglestock about
the cheque. We don't know what it may come to yet.' Mr Snapper, with a
heavy heart, left his patron, not at all liking the task that was before
him. But his wife encouraged him to be obedient. He was the owner of a
one-horse carriage, and the work was not, therefore, so hard to him as
it would have been and had been to poor Mr Thumble. And, moreover, his
wife promised to go with him. Mr Snapper and Mrs Snapper did go over to
Hogglestock, and the duty was done. Mrs Snapper spoke a word or two to
Mrs Crawley, and Mr Snapper spoke a word or two to Mr Crawley; but not a
word was said about the news as to Mr Soames's cheque, which was now
almost current in Barchester. Indeed, no whisper about it had as yet
'One word with you, reverend sir,' said Mr Crawley to the chaplain, as
the latter was coming out of the church, 'as to the parish work, sir,
during the week--I should be glad if you would favour me with your
'About what Mr Crawley?'
'Whether you think that I may be allowed, without scandal, to visit the
sick--and to give instruction in the school.'
'Surely--surely, Mr Crawley. Why not?'
'Mr Thumble gave me to understand that the bishop was very urgent that I
should interfere in no way in the ministrations of the parish. Twice he
did enjoin on me that I should not interfere--unnecessarily, as it
seemed to me.'
'Quite unnecessary,' said Mr Snapper. 'And the bishop will be obliged
to you, Mr Crawley, if you'll just see that things go on all straight.'
'I wish it were possible to know with accuracy what his idea of
straightness is,' said Mr Crawley to his wife. 'It may be that things
are straight to him when they are buried as it were out of sight, and
put away without trouble. I hope it be not so with the bishop.' When he
went into his school and remembered--as he did remember through every
minute of his teaching--that he was to receive no portion of the poor
stipend which was allotted for the clerical duties of the parish, he
told himself that there was gross injustice in the way in which things
were being made straight at Hogglestock.
But we must go back to the major and the archdeacon at Plumstead--in
which comfortable parish things were generally made straight more easily
than at Hogglestock. Henry Grantly went over from Barchester to
Plumstead in a gig from the 'The Dragon', and made his way at once into
his father's study. The archdeacon was seated there with sundry
manuscripts before him, and with one half-finished manuscript--as was
his wont on every Saturday morning. 'Hallo, Harry,' he said. 'I didn't
expect you in the least.' It was barely an hour since he had told Mrs
Grantly that his complaint against his son was that he wouldn't come and
make himself comfortable at the rectory.
'Father,' said he, giving the archdeacon his hand, 'you have heard
nothing yet about Mr Crawley?'
'No,' said the archdeacon, jumping up; 'nothing new;--what is it?' Many
ideas about Mr Crawley at that moment flitted across the archdeacon's
mind. Could it be that the unfortunate man had committed suicide,
overcome by his troubles?
'It has all come out. He got the cheque from my aunt.'
'From your aunt Eleanor?'
'Yes; from my aunt Eleanor. She has telegraphed over from Venice to say
that she gave the identical cheque to Crawley. That is all we know at
present--except that she has written an account of the matter to you,
and that she will be here herself as quick as she can come.'
'Who got the message, Henry?'
'Crawley's lawyer--a fellow named Toogood, a cousin of his wife's--a
very decent fellow,' added the major, remembering how necessary it was
that he should reconcile his father to all the Crawley belongings. 'He's
to be over here on Monday, and then will arrange what is to be done.'
'Done in what way, Henry?'
'There's a great deal to be done yet. Crawley does not know himself at
this moment how the cheque got into his hands. He must be told and
something must be settled about the living. They've taken the living
away from him among them. And then the indictment must be quashed, or
something of that kind done. Toogood has got hold of the scoundrel at
Barchester who really stole the cheque from Soames;--or thinks he has.
It's that Dan Stringer.'
'He's got hold of a regular scamp, then. I never knew any good of Dan
Stringer,' said the archdeacon.
Then Mrs Grantly was told, and the whole story was repeated again, with
many expressions of commiseration in reference to all the Crawleys. The
archdeacon did not join in these at first, being rather shy on that
head. It was very hard for him to have to speak to his son about the
Crawleys as though they were people in all respects estimable and
well-conducted, and satisfactory. Mrs Grantly understood this so well,
that every now and then she said some half-laughing word respecting Mr
Crawley's peculiarities, feeling that in this way she might ease her
husband's difficulties. 'He must be the oddest man that ever lived,'
said Mrs Grantly, 'not to have known where he got the cheque.' The
archdeacon shook his head, and rubbed his hands as he walked about the
room. 'I suppose too much learning has upset him,' said the archdeacon.
'They say he's not very good at talking English, but put him in Greek
and he never stops.'
The archdeacon was perfectly aware that he had to admit Mr Crawley to
his goodwill, and that as for Grace Crawley--it was essentially
necessary that she should be admitted to his heart of hearts. He had
promised as much. It must be acknowledged that Archdeacon Grantly always
kept his promises, and especially such promises as these. And indeed it
was the nature of the man that when he had been angry with those he
loved, he should be unhappy till he had found some escape from his
anger. He could not endure to have to own to himself that he had been
wrong, but he could be content with a very incomplete recognition of his
having been in the right. The posters had been pulled down and Mr
Crawley, as he was now told, had not stolen the cheque. That was
sufficient. If his son would only drink a glass or two of wine with him
comfortably, and talk dutifully about the Plumstead foxes, all should be
held to be right, and Grace Crawley should be received with lavish
paternal embraces. The archdeacon had kissed Grace once, and he felt
that he could do so again without an unpleasant strain upon his
'Say something to your father about the property after dinner,' said Mrs
Grantly to her son when they were alone together.
'About what property?'
'About this property, or any property; you know what I mean;--something
to show that you are interested about his affairs. He is doing the best
he can to make things right.' After dinner, over the claret, Mr Thorne's
terrible sin in reference to the trapping of foxes was accordingly again
brought up, and the archdeacon became beautifully irate, and expressed
his animosity--which he did not in the least feel--against an old
friend with an energy which would have delighted his wife, if she could
have heard him. 'I shall tell Thorne my mind, certainly. He and I are
very old friends; we have known each other all our lives; but I cannot
put up with this kind of thing--and I will not. It's all because he's
afraid of his own gamekeeper.' And yet the archdeacon had never ridden
after a fox in his life, and never meant to do so; nor had in truth been
always so very anxious that foxes should be found in his covers. That
fox which had been so fortunately trapped just outside the Plumstead
property afforded a most pleasant escape for the steam of his anger.
When he began to talk to his wife about Mr Thorne's wicked gamekeeper,
she was so sure that all was right, that she said a word of her extreme
desire to see Grace Crawley.
'If he's to marry her, we might as well have her over here,' said the
'That's just what I was thinking,' said Mrs Grantly. And thus things at
the rectory got themselves arranged.
On the Sunday morning the expected letter from Venice came to hand, and
was read on that morning very anxiously, not only by Mrs Grantly and the
major, but by the archdeacon also, in spite of the sanctity of the day.
Indeed the archdeacon had been very stoutly anti-sabbatarial when the
question of stopping the Sunday post to Plumstead had been mooted in the
village, giving those who on that occasion were the special friends of
the postman to understand that he considered them to be numbskulls, and
little better than idiots. The postman, finding the parson to be against
him, had seen that there was no chance for him, and had allowed the
matter to drop. Mrs Arabin's letter was long and eager, and full of
repetitions, but it did explain clearly to him the exact manner in which
the cheque had found its way into Mr Crawley's hand. 'Francis came up to
me,' she said in her letter--Francis being her husband, the dean--'and
asked me for the money, which I had promised to make up in a packet. The
packet was not ready, and he would not wait, declaring that Mr Crawley
was in such a flurry that he did not like to leave him. I was therefore
to bring it down to the door. I went to my desk, and thinking that I
could spare the twenty pounds as well as the fifty, I put the cheque
into the envelope, together with the notes, and handed the packet to
Francis at the door. I think I told Francis afterwards that I put
seventy pounds into the envelope, instead of fifty, but of this I will
not be sure. At any rate Mr Crawley got Mr Soames's cheque from me.'
These last words she underscored, and then went on to explain how the
cheque had been paid to her a short time before by Dan Stringer.
'Then Toogood was right about the fellow,' said the archdeacon.
'I hope they'll hang him,' said Mrs Grantly. 'He must have known all
the time what dreadful misery he was bringing upon this unfortunate
'I don't suppose Dan Stringer cared much about that,' said the major.
'Not a straw,' said the archdeacon, and then all hurried off to church;
and the archdeacon preached the sermon in the fabrication of which he
had been interrupted by his son, and which therefore barely enabled him
to turn a quarter of an hour from the giving out of his text. It was his
constant practice to preach for a full twenty minutes.
As Barchester lay on the direct road from Plumstead to Hogglestock, it
was thought well that word should be sent to Mr Toogood, desiring him
not to come out to Plumstead on the Monday morning. Major Grantly
proposed to call for him at the 'Dragon', and to take him from thence to
Hogglestock. 'You had better take your mother's horses all through,'
said the archdeacon. The distance was very nearly twenty miles, and it
was felt by both the mother and the son, that the archdeacon must be in
a good humour when he made such a proposition as that. It was not often
that the rectory carriage-horses were allowed to make long journeys. A
run into Barchester and back, which was altogether under ten miles, was
generally the extent of their work. 'I meant to have posted from
Barchester,' said the major. 'You may as well take the horses through,'
said the archdeacon. 'Your mother will not want them. And I suppose you
might as well bring your friend Toogood back to dinner. We'll give him a
'He must be a good sort of man,' said Mrs Grantly; 'for I suppose he has
done this all for love?'
'Yes; and spent a lot of money out of his own pocket too!' said the
major enthusiastically. 'And the joke of it is, that he has been
defending Crawley in Crawley's teeth. Mr Crawley had refused to employ
counsel; but Toogood had made up his mind to have a barrister, on
purpose that there might be a fuss about it in court. He thought that it
would tell with the jury in Crawley's favour.'
'Bring him here, and we'll hear all about that from himself,' said the
archdeacon. The major, before he started, told his mother that he should
call at Framley Parsonage on his way back; but he said nothing on this
subject to his father.
'I'll write to her in a day or two,' said Mrs Grantly, 'and we'll have
things settled pleasantly.'
THE CRAWLEYS ARE INFORMED
Major Grantly made an early start, knowing that he had a long day's work
before him. He had written over-night to Mr Toogood, naming the hour at
which he would reach 'The Dragon', and was there punctual to the moment.
When the attorney came out and got into the open carriage, while the
groom held the steps for him, it was plain to see that the respect in
which he was held at 'The Dragon' was greatly increased. It was already
known that he was going to Plumstead that night, and it was partly
understood that he was engaged with the Grantly and Arabin faction in
defending Mr Crawley the clergyman against the Proudie faction. Dan
Stringer, who was still at the inn, as he saw his enemy get into the
Plumstead carriage, felt himself to be one of the palace party, and felt
that if Mrs Proudie had only lived till after the assizes all this heavy
trouble would not have befallen him. The waiter with the dirty napkin
stood at the door and bowed, thinking perhaps that as the Proudie party
was going down in Barchester, it might be as well to be civil to Mr
Toogood. The days of the Stringers were probably drawing to a close at
the 'The Dragon of Wantly', and there was no knowing who might be the
Henry Grantly and the lawyer found very little to say to each other on
their long way out to Hogglestock. They were thinking, probably, much of
the coming interview, and hardly knew how to express their thoughts to
each other. 'I will not take the carriage up to the house,' said the
major, as there were entering the parish of Hogglestock; 'particularly
as the man must feed the horses.' So they got out of a farmhouse about
half a mile from the church, where the offence of the carriage and the
livery-servant would be well out of Mr Crawley's sight, and from thence
walked towards the parsonage. The church, and the school close to it,
lay on their way, and as they passed by the school door they heard
voices within. 'I'll bet twopence he's there,' said Toogood. 'They tell
me he's always either in one shop or the other. I'll slip in and bring
him out.' Mr Toogood had assumed a comfortable air, as though the day's
work was to be good pastime, and even made occasional attempts at
drollery. He had had his jokes about Dan Stringer, and had attempted to
describe the absurdities of Mr Crawley's visit to Bedford Row. All this
would have angered the major, had he not seen that it was assumed to
cover something below of which Mr Toogood was a little ashamed, but of
which, as the major thought, Mr Toogood had no cause to be ashamed.
When, therefore, Toogood proposed to go into the school and bring Mr
Crawley out, as though the telling of their story would be the easiest
thing in the world, the major did not stop him. Indeed he had no plan of
his own ready. His mind was too intent on the tragedy which had
occurred, and which was now to be brought to a close, to enable him to
form any plan as to the best way of getting up the last scene. So Mr
Toogood, with quick and easy steps, entered the school, leaving the
major still standing in the road. Mr Crawley was in the school--as also
was Jane Crawley. 'So here you are,' said Toogood. 'That's fortunate. I
hope I find you pretty well?'
'If I am not mistaken in the identity, my wife's relative, Mr Toogood?'
said Mr Crawley, stepping down from his humble desk.
'Just so, my friend,' said Toogood, with his hand extended, 'just so;
and there's another gentleman outside who wants to have a word with you.
Perhaps you won't mind stepping out. These are the young
Hogglestockians; are they?'
The young Hogglestockians stared at him, and so did Jane. Jane, who had
before heard of him, did not like him at first sight, seeing that her
father was clearly displeased by the tone of the visitor's address. Mr
Crawley was displeased. There was a familiarity about Mr Toogood which
made him sore, as having been exhibited before his pupils. 'If you will
be pleased to step out, sir, I will follow you,' he said, waving his
hand towards the door. 'Jane, my dear, if you will remain with the
children I will return to you presently. Bobby Studge has failed in
saying his Belief. You had better set him on again from the beginning.
Now, Mr Toogood.' And again he waved his hand towards the door.
'So that's my young cousin, is it?' said Toogood, stretching over and
just managing to touch Jane's fingers--of which act of touching Jane was
very chary. Then he went forth, and Mr Crawley followed him. There was
the major standing in the road and Toogood was anxious to be the first
to communicate the good news. It was the only reward he had proposed to
himself for the money he had expended and the time he had lost and the
trouble he had taken. 'It's all right, old fellow,' he said, clapping
his hand on Mr Crawley's shoulder. 'We've got the right sow by the ear
at last. We know all about it.' Mr Crawley could hardly remember the
time when he had been called an old fellow last, and now he did not like
it; nor, in the confusion of his mind, could he understand the allusion
to the right sow. He supposed that Toogood had come to him about his
trial, but it did not occur to him that the lawyer might be bringing him
news which might make the trial altogether unnecessary. 'If my eyes are
not mistaken, there is my friend, Major Grantly,' said Mr Crawley.
'There he is, as large as life,' said Toogood. 'But stop a moment
before you go to him, and give me your hand. I must have the first shake
of it.' Hereupon Crawley extended his hand. 'That's right. And now let
me tell you we know all about the cheque--Soames's cheque. We know where
you got it. We know who stole it. We know how it came to the person who
gave it to you. It's all very well talking, but when you're in trouble
always go to a lawyer.'
By this time Mr Crawley was looking full into Mr Toogood's face, and
seeing that his cousin's eyes were streaming with tears began to get
some insight into the man's character, and also some very dim insight
into the facts which the man intended to communicate to himself. 'I do
not as yet fully understand you, sir,' he said, 'being perhaps in such
matters somewhat dull of intellect, but it seemeth to me that you are
the messenger of glad tidings, whose feet are beautiful upon the
'Beautiful!' said Toogood. 'By George, I should think they are
beautiful! Don't you hear me tell you that we have found out all about
the cheque, and that you're as right as a trivet?' They were still on
the little causeway leading from the school up the road, and Henry
Grantly was waiting for them at the small wicket-gate. 'Mr Crawley,'
said the major, 'I congratulate you with all my heart. I could not but
accompany my friend, Mr Toogood, when he brought you this good news.'
'I do not even yet altogether comprehend what has been told to me,' said
Crawley, now standing out on the road between the other two men. 'I am
doubtless dull--very dull. May I beg some clearer word of explanation
before I ask you to go with me to my wife?'
'The cheque was given to you by my aunt Eleanor.'
'Your aunt Eleanor!' said Crawley, now altogether in the clouds. Who was
the major's aunt Eleanor? Though he had, no doubt, at different times
heard all the circumstances of the connection, he had never realised the
fact that his daughter's lover was the nephew of his old friend Arabin.
'Yes; by my aunt, Mrs Arabin.'
'She put it into the envelope with the notes,' said Toogood--'slipped
it in without saying a word to anyone. I never heard of a woman doing
such a thing in my life before. If she had died, or if we hadn't caught
her, where should we all have been? Not but what I think I should have
run Dan Stringer to ground too, and worked it out of him.'
'Then, after all, it was given to me by the dean?' said Crawley.
'It was in the envelope, but the dean did not know it,' said the major.
'Gentlemen,' said Mr Crawley. 'I was sure of it. I knew it. Weak as my
mind may be--and at times it is very weak--I was certain that I could
not have erred in such a matter. The more I struggled with my memory the
more fixed with me became the fact--which I had forgotten but for a
moment--that the document had formed a part of that small packet handed
to me by the dean. But look you, sirs--bear with me yet for a moment. I
said that it was so, and the dean denied it.'
'The dean did not know it, man,' said Toogood, almost in a passion.
'Bear with me yet awhile. So far have I been misdoubting the dean--whom
I have long known to be in all things a true and honest gentleman--that
I postponed the elaborated result of my own memory to his word. And I
felt myself the more constrained to do this, because in a moment of
forgetfulness, I had allowed myself to make a false
statement--unwittingly false, indeed, nonetheless very false,
unpardonably false. I had declared without thinking, that the money had
come to me from the hands of Mr Soames, thereby seeming to cast a
reflection upon that gentleman. When I had been guilty of so great a
blunder, of so gross a violation of that ordinary care which should
govern all words between man and man, especially when any question of
money may be in doubt--how could I expect that anyone should accept my
statement when contravened by that made by the dean? Gentlemen, I did
not believe my own memory. Though all the little circumstances of that
envelope, with its rich but perilous freightage, came back upon me from
time to time with an exactness that has appeared to me to be almost
marvellous, yet I have told myself that it was not so! Gentlemen, if you
please, we will go into the house; my wife is there, and should not
longer be left in suspense.' They passed on in silence for a few steps,
till Crawley spoke again. 'Perhaps you will allow me the privilege to be
alone with her for one minute--but for a minute. Her thanks shall not be
delayed, where thanks are so richly due.'
'Of course,' said Toogood, wiping his eyes with a large red bandana
handkerchief. 'By all means. We'll take a little walk. Come, along,
major.' The major had turned his face away, and he also was weeping. 'By
George! I never heard such a thing in all my life,' said Toogood. 'I
wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it. I wouldn't indeed. If I
were to tell that up in London, nobody would believe me.'
'I call that man a hero,' said Grantly.
'I don't know about being a hero. I never quite knew what makes a hero,
if it isn't having three or four girls dying in love for you at once.
But to find a man who was going to let everything in the world go
against him, because he believed another fellow better than himself!
There's many a chap thinks another man is wool-gathering; but this man
has thought he was wool-gathering himself! It's not natural; and the
world wouldn't go on if there many like that. He's beckoning us, and we
had better go in.'
Mr Toogood went first, and the major followed him. When they entered
the front door at the end of the passage, and on entering the room to
the left they found Mr Crawley alone. 'She has fled, as though from an
enemy,' he said, with a little attempt at a laugh; 'but I will pursue
her, and bring her back.'
'No, Mr Crawley, no,' said the lawyer. 'She's a little upset, and all
that kind of thing. We know what women are. Let her alone.'
'Nay, Mr Toogood; but then she would be angered with herself afterwards,
and would lack the comfort of having spoken a word of gratitude. Pardon
me, Major Grantly; but I would not have you leave us till she has seen
you. It is as her cousin says. She is somewhat over-excited. But still,
it will be the best that she should see you. Gentlemen, you will excuse
Then he went out to fetch his wife, and while he was away not a word was
spoken. The major looked out of one window and Mr Toogood out of the
other, and they waited patiently till they heard the coming steps of the
husband and wife. When the door was opened, Mr Crawley appeared, leading
his wife by the hand. 'My dear,' he said, 'you know Major Grantly. This
is your cousin, Mr Toogood. It is well that you know him too, and
remember his great kindness to us.' But Mrs Crawley could not speak. She
could only sink on the sofa, and hide her face, while she strove in vain
to repress her sobs. She had been very strong through all her husband's
troubles--very strong in bearing for him what he could not bear for
himself, and in fighting on his behalf battles in which he was
altogether unable to couch a lance; but the endurance of so many
troubles and the great overwhelming sorrow at last had so nearly
overpowered her, that she could not sustain the shock of this turn in
their fortunes. 'She was never like this, sirs, when ill news came to
us,' said Mr Crawley, standing somewhat apart from her.
The major sat himself by her side, and put his hand upon hers, and
whispered some word to her about her daughter. Upon this she threw her
arms around him, and kissed his face, and then his hands, and then
looked up into his face through her tears. She murmured some few words,
or attempted to do so. I doubt whether the major understood their
meaning, but he knew very well what was in her heart.
'And now I think we might as well be moving,' said Mr Toogood. 'I'll see
about having the indictment quashed. I'll arrange all that with Walker.
It may be necessary that you should go into Barchester the first day the
judges sit; and if so, I'll come and fetch you. You may be sure I won't
leave the place till it's all square.'
As they were going, Grantly--speaking now altogether with indifference
to Toogood's presence--asked Mr Crawley's leave to be the bearer of
these tidings to his daughter.
'She can hear it in no tones that can be more grateful to her,' said Mr
'I shall ask her for nothing for myself now,' said Grantly. 'It would
be ungenerous. But hereafter--in a few days--when she shall be more at
ease, may I then use your permission--?'
'Major Grantly,' said Mr Crawley solemnly. 'I respect you so highly,
and esteem you so thoroughly, that I give willingly that which you ask.
If my daughter can bring herself to regard you, as a woman should regard
her husband, with the love that can worship and cling and be constant,
she will, I think, have a fair promise of worldly happiness. And for
you, sir, in giving you my girl--if so be it that she is given to you--I
shall bestow upon you a great treasure.' Had Grace been a king's
daughter, with a queen's dowry, the permission to address her could not
have been imparted to her lover with a more thorough appreciation of the
value of privilege conferred.
'He's a rum one,' said Mr Toogood, as they got into the carriage
together; 'but they say he's a very good 'un to go.'
After their departure Jane was sent for, that she might hear the family
news; and when she expressed some feeling not altogether in favour of Mr
Toogood, Mr Crawley thus strove to correct her views. 'He is a man, my
dear, who conceals a warm heart, and an active spirit, and healthy
sympathies, under an affected jocularity of manner, and almost with a
touch of vulgarity. But when the jewel itself is good, any fault in the
casket may be forgiven.'
'Then, papa, the next time I see him I'll like him--if I can,' said
The village of Framley lies slightly off the road from Hogglestock to
Barchester--so much so as to add perhaps a mile to the journey if the
traveller goes by the parsonage gate. On their route to Hogglestock our
two travellers had passed Framley without visiting the village, but on
the return journey the major asked Mr Toogood's permission to make the
deviation. 'I'm not in a hurry,' said Toogood. 'I never was more
comfortable in my life. I'll just light a cigar while you go in and see
your friends.' Toogood lit his cigar, and the major, getting down from
the carriage, entered the parsonage. It was his fortune to find Grace
alone. Robarts was in Barchester, and Mrs Robarts was across the road,
at Lufton Court. 'Miss Crawley is certainly in,' the servant told him,
and he soon found himself in Miss Crawley's presence.
'I have only called to tell you the news about your father,' said he.
'We have just come from Hogglestock--your cousin Mr Toogood, that is,
and myself. They have found out all about the cheque. My aunt, Mrs
Arabin, the dean's wife, you know--she gave it to your father.'
'Oh, Major Grantly!'
'It seems so easily settled, does it not?'
'And is it settled?'
'Yes; everything. Everything about that.' Now he had hold of her hand
as if he were going. 'Good-bye. I told your father that I would just
call and tell you.'
'It seems almost more than I can believe.'
'You may believe it; indeed you may.' He still held her hand. 'You will
write to your mother I daresay tonight. Tell her I was here. Good-bye
'Good-bye,' she said. Her hand was still in his, as she looked up into
'Dear, dear, Grace! My darling Grace!' Then he took her into his arms
and kissed her, and went his way without another word, feeling that he
had kept his word to her father like a gentleman. Grace, when she was
left alone, thought that she was the happiest girl in Christendom. If
she could only get to her mother, and tell everything, and be told
everything! She had no idea of any promise that her lover may have made
to her father, nor did she make inquiry of her own thoughts as to the
reasons for staying with her so short a time; but looking back at it all
she thought his conduct had been perfect.
In the meantime, the major, with Mr Toogood, was driven home to dinner
MADALINA'S HEART IS BLEEDING
John Eames, as soon as he had left Mrs Arabin at the hotel and had taken
his travelling-bag to his own lodgings, started off for his uncle
Toogood's house. There he found Mrs Toogood, not in the most serene
state of mind as to her husband's absence. Mr Toogood had now been at
Barchester for the best part of a week--spending a good deal of money
at the inn. Mrs Toogood was quite sure that he must be doing that.
Indeed, how could he help himself? Johnny remarked that he did not see
how in such circumstances his uncle was to help himself. And then Mr
Toogood had only written one short scrap of a letter--just three words,
and they were written in triumph. 'Crawley is all right, and I think
I've got the real Simon Pure by the heels.' 'It's all very well, John,'
Mrs Toogood said; 'and of course it would be a terrible thing of the
family if anybody connected with it were made out to be a thief.' 'It
would be quite dreadful,' said Johnny. 'Not that I ever looked upon the
Crawleys as connections of ours. But, however, let that pass. I'm sure
I'm very glad that your uncle should have been able to be of service to
them. But there's reason in the roasting of eggs, and I can tell you
that money is not so plenty in this house that your uncle can afford to
throw it in the Barchester gutters. Think what twelve children are,
John. It might be all very well if Toogood were a bachelor, and if some
lord had left him a fortune.' John Eames did not stay very long in
Tavistock Square. His cousins Polly and Lucy were gone to the play with
Mr Summerkin, and his aunt was not in one of her best humours. He took
his uncle's part as well as he could, and then left Mrs Toogood. The
little allusion to Lord De Guest's generosity had not been pleasant to
him. It seemed to rob him of all his own merit. He had been rather proud
of his journey to Italy, having contrived to spend nearly forty pounds
in ten days. He had done everything in the most expensive way, feeling
that every napoleon wasted had been laid out on behalf Mr Crawley. But,
as Mrs Toogood had just told him, all this was nothing to what Toogood
was doing. Toogood with twelve children was living at his own charges at
Barchester and was neglecting his business besides. 'There's Mr Crump,'
said Mrs Toogood. 'Of course he doesn't like it, and what can I say when
he comes to me?' This was not quite fair on the part of Mrs Toogood, as
Mr Crump had not troubled her even once as yet since her husband's
What was Johnny to do, when he left Tavistock Square? His club was open
to him. Should he go to his club, play a game of billiards, and have
some supper? When he asked himself the question he knew that he would
not go to his club, and yet he pretended to doubt about it, as he made
his way to a cabstand in Tottenham Court Road. It would be slow, he told
himself, to go to his club. He would have gone to Lily Dale, only that
his intimacy with Mrs Thorne was not sufficient to justify his calling
at her house between nine and ten o'clock at night. But, as he must go
somewhere--and as his intimacy with Lady Demolines was, he thought,
sufficient to justify almost anything--he would go to Bayswater. I
regret to say that he had written a mysterious not from Paris to
Madalina Demolines, saying that he should be in London on this very
night, and that it was just on the cards that he might make his way up
to Porchester Terrace before he went to bed. The note was mysterious,
because it had neither beginning nor ending. It did not contain even
initials. It was written like a telegraph message, and was about as
long. It was the kind of thing Miss Demolines liked, Johnny thought; and
there could be no reason why he should not gratify her. It was her
favourite game. Some people like whist, some like croquet, and some like
intrigue. Madalina probably would have called it romance--because she
was by nature romantic. John, who was made of sterner stuff, laughed at
this. He knew that there was no romance in it. He knew that he was only
amusing himself, and gratifying her at the same time, by a little
innocent pretence. He told himself that it was his nature to prefer the
society of women to that of men. He would have liked the society of Lily
Dale, no doubt, much better than that of Miss Demolines; but as the
society of Lily Dale was not to be had at that moment, the society of
Miss Demolines was the best substitute within his reach. So he got into
a cab and had himself driven to Porchester Terrace. 'Is Lady Demolines
at home?' he said to the servant. He always asked for Lady Demolines.
But the page who was accustomed to open the door for him was less false,
being young, and would now tell him, without any further fiction, that
Miss Madalina was in the drawing-room. Such was the answer he got from
the page on this evening. What Madalina did with her mother on these
occasions he had never yet discovered. There used to be some little
excuses given about Lady Demolines' state of health, but latterly
Madalina had discontinued her references to her mother's headaches. She
was standing in the centre of the drawing-room when he entered it, with
both her hands raised, and an almost terrible expression of mystery in
her face. Her hair, however, had been very carefully arranged so as to
fall with copious carelessness down her shoulders, and altogether she
was looking her best. 'Oh, John,' she said. She called him John by
accident in the tumult of the moment. 'Have you heard what has happened?
But of course you have heard it.'
'Heard what? I have heard nothing,' said Johnny, arrested almost in the
doorway by the nature of the question--and partly also, no doubt, by the
tumult of the moment. He had no idea how terrible a tragedy was in truth
in store for him; but he perceived that the moment was to be tumultuous,
and that he must carry himself accordingly.
'Come in and close the door,' she said. He came in and closed the door.
'Do you mean to say that you haven't heard what has happened in Hook
'No;--what has happened in Hook Court?' Miss Demolines threw herself
back into an arm-chair, closed her eyes, and clasped both her hands upon
her forehead. 'What has happened in Hook Court?' said Johnny, walking up
'I do not think I can bring myself to tell you.'
Then he took one of her hands down from her forehead and held it in
his--which she allowed passively. She was thinking, no doubt, of
something far different from that.
'I never saw you looking better in your life,' said Johnny.
'Don't,' said she. 'How can you talk in that way, when my heart is
bleeding--bleeding.' Then she pulled away her hand, and again clasped it
with the other upon her forehead.
'But why is your heart bleeding? What has happened in Hook Court?'
Still she answered nothing, but she sobbed violently and the heaving of
her bosom showed how tumultuous was the tumult within it. 'You don't
mean to say that Dobbs Broughton has come to grief--that he's to be sold
'Man,' said Madalina, jumping up from her chair, standing at her full
height, and stretching out both her arms, 'he has destroyed himself!'
The revelation was at last made with so much tragic propriety, in so
excellent a tone, and with such an absence of all the customary
redundancies of commonplace relation, that I think that she must have
rehearsed the scene--either with her mother or with the page. Then there
was a minute's silence, during which she did not move even an eyelid.
She held her outstretched hands without dropping a finger half an inch.
Her face was thrust forward, her chin projecting, with tragic horror;
but there was no vacillation even in her chin. She did not wink an eye,
or alter to the breadth of a hair the aperture of her lips. Surely she
was a great genius if she did it all without previous rehearsal. Then,
before he had thought of words in which to answer her, she let her hands
fall to her side, she closed her eyes, and shook her head, and fell back
again into her chair. 'It's too horrible to be spoken of--or to be
thought about,' she said. 'I could not have brought myself to tell the
tale to a living being--except to you.'
This would naturally have been flattering to Johnny had it not been that
he was in truth absorbed by the story which he had heard.
'Do you mean to tell me,' he said, 'that Broughton has--committed
suicide?' She could not speak of it again, but nodded her head at him
thrice, while her eyes were still closed. 'And how was the manner of
it?' said he, asking the question in a low voice. He could not even as
yet bring himself to believe it. Madalina was so fond of a little
playful intrigue, that even this story might have something in the
nature of fiction. He was not quite sure of the facts, and yet he was
shocked by what he had heard.
'Would you have me repeat to you all the bloody details of that terrible
scene?' she said. 'It is impossible. Go to your friend Dalrymple. He
will tell you. He knows it all. He has been with Maria all through. I
wish--I wish it had not been so.' But nevertheless she did bring herself
to narrate all the details with something more of circumstance than
Eames desired. She soon succeeded in making him understand the tragedy
of Hook Court was a reality, and that poor Dobbs Broughton had brought
his career to an untimely end. She had heard everything--having indeed
gone to Musselboro in the City, and having penetrated even to the
sanctum of Mr Bangles--the reader may remember him, Burton and Bangles,
who kept the stores for Himalaya wines at 22 shillings and 6 pence the
dozen, in Hook Court--was a bachelor, and rather liked the visit, and
told Miss Demolines very freely all he had seen. And when she suggested
that it might be expedient for the sake of the family that she should
come back to Mr Bangles for further information at a subsequent period,
he very politely assured her that she would 'do him proud', whenever she
might please to call at Hook Court. And then he saw her in Lombard
Street, and put her into an omnibus. She was therefore well qualified to
tell Johnny all the particulars of the tragedy--and she did so far
overcome her horror as to tell them all. She told her tale somewhat
after the manner of Aeneas, not forgetting the 'quorum pars magna fui.'
'I feel that it almost makes an old woman of me,' she said, when she had
'No,' said Johnny, remonstrating, 'not that.'
'But it does. To have been concerned in so terrible a tragedy takes
more of life out of one than ten years of tranquil existence.' As she
had told him nothing of her intercourse with Bangles--with Bangles who
had literally picked the poor wretch up--he did not see how she herself
had been concerned in the matter; but he said nothing about that,
knowing the character of Madalina. 'I shall see--that--body, floating
before my eyes while I live,' she said, 'and the gory wound, and--and--'
'Don't,' said Johnny, recoiling in truth from the picture by which he
was revolted. 'Never again,' she said, 'never again! But you forced it
from me, and now I shall not close my eyes for a week.'
She then became very comfortably confidential, and discussed the affairs
of poor Mrs Dobbs Broughton with a great deal of satisfaction. 'I went
to see her, of course, but she sent me down word to say that the shock
would be too much for her. I do not wonder that she should not see me.
Poor Maria! She came to me for advice, you know, when Dobbs Broughton
first proposed to her; and I was obliged to tell her what I really
thought. I knew her character well? "Dear Maria," I said, "if you think
that you can love him, take him!" "I think I can," she replied. "But,"
said I, "make yourself quite sure about the business." And how has it
turned out? She never loved him. What heart she has she has given to
that wretched Dalrymple.'
'I don't see that he is particularly wretched,' said Johnny, pleading
for his friend.
'He is wretched, and so you'll find. She gave him her heart after
giving her hand to poor Dobbs; and as for the business, there isn't as
much left as will pay for her mourning. I don't wonder that she could
not bring herself to see me.'
'And what has become of the business?'
'It belongs to Mrs Van Siever--to her and Musselboro. Poor Broughton
had some little money, and it has gone among them. Musselboro, who never
had a penny, will be a rich man. Of course you know that he is going to
'I always told you that it would be so. And now you may perhaps
acknowledge that Conway Dalrymple's prospects are not very brilliant. I
hope he likes being cut out by Mr Musselboro! Of course he will have to
marry Maria. I do not see how he can escape. Indeed, she is too good for
him;--only after such a marriage as that, there would be an end to all
his prospects as an artist. The best thing for them would be to go to
John Eames certainly liked these evenings with Miss Demolines. He sat at
his ease in a comfortable chair, and amused himself by watching her
different little plots. And then she had bright eyes, and she flattered
him, and allowed him to scold her occasionally. And now and again there
might be some more attraction, when she would admit him to take her
hand--or the like. It was better than to sit smoking with men at his
club. But he could not sit up all night even with Madalina Demolines,
and at eleven he got up to take his leave. 'When shall you see Miss
Dale?' she asked him suddenly.
'I do not know,' he answered, frowning at her. He always frowned at her
when she spoke to him of Miss Dale.
'I do not in the least care for your frowns,' she said playfully,
putting up her hands to smooth his brows. 'I think I know you intimately
enough to name your goddess to you.'
'She isn't my goddess.'
'A very cold goddess, I should think, from what I hear. I wish to ask
you for a promise respecting her.'
'Will you grant it to me?'