"I don't know," he said, with curt reluctance to discuss such a subject. "One hears all sorts of things."
At that moment a tap came at the door, and a young officer entered with a heavily sealed envelope which he handed to Lord Estair.
Her vexation of mind, her disturbance of conscience, the annoying delay, the scene with Guy on the river, had all combined to harass her nerves and distort her perceptions; and now her companion's perturbing suggestion filled her with dread. Nevertheless her spirit rose up in defence of her husband.
Würzburg, July 22, 1875.
“I saw him—my husband—you must have seen him too?”
“There might be a possibility of upsetting such a will?”
When Uncle Berry demanded an explanation of his rider he learned that Dick, who professed to be a conjurer, or spiritualist, had frightened the boy by threatening that if he attempted to pass ahead of him until they ran a mile and a quarter, he would lift him out of his saddle, or throw down his mare by a mere motion of his whip, which the boy fully believed. Most negroes at that time, and some white people in this enlightened age, believe in these absurdities. The speed of Maria was wonderful. She and the famous quarter race horse, Saltram, were trained by Uncle Berry at the same time, and he often “brushed” them through the quarter stretch, “and they always came out locked.” Whichever one got the start kept the lead.
Woodroffe had stopped fidgeting. "But look here, Bob, old man," he said. "As a matter of fact, I can't go yet, not for a month or two."
The bearded man's face grew purple.
The questions asked by the commander were principally about how they came to embark on the powerboat in some Grecian sea town, and what caused them to decide to try and effect the capture of the lawless craft. These events would make a brave showing in his report of the night’s work; for Captain Zenos had long been a thorn in the flesh of the Allies, carrying many a cargo of arms and explosives past their lines into Turkish camps.
“We soon learned the secret of the thing. Forrest had made one of his characteristic raids around Nashville, captured and burned our stores at Gallatin and Murfreesboro, and was sweeping on towards Bragg’s army at Tullahoma. In his sweep he simply scooped us up while we were down in the woods of Marshall County, running a pumpkin fair, a goose show and a pacing meeting. But he was in a big hurry himself, for nearly all of Buell’s cavalry were after him. He had no time to do anything but take all we had, including our horses, the gate receipts and the book money and parole us and push on. But he never got Mack and the other horse, and to this day I have always wished that he had waited five minutes longer. I’d give ten dollars now,” he added, “to know whether Mack or the other horse would have won that last heat. But we never knew, for we were soon forced to the front again; forgot all about our paroles, for we never did think we were fairly captured, and I never saw Mack or his rider again. I stayed the war out, but I never went to see any more pacing races in the enemy’s country,” he laughed.
Votbinnik had Jandorf practically in Zugzwang (his pieces all tied up, Bill explained) and the Argentinian would be busted shortly. Through the glasses Sandra could see Jandorf's thick chest rise and fall as he glared murderously at the board in front of him. By contrast Votbinnik looked like a man lost in reverie.
"We got to understand it wouldn't do, that's all," Joe Kenyon said, "not to quarrel among ourselves, that is. Esther was inclined to make mischief in the old days. I don't know whether I ought to be telling you all this. Anyhow, we soon saw that it would never do for us to be jealous of one another. We had to find a modus vivendi and—and take our chance. That was after Catherine married Charles and they had come to live with us. The idea at that time was that Charles was going into the Diplomatic later on."
"Tell him I want to see him," he said; "tell him to try and come over this afternoon."
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