His brain is in some condition which is beyond my powers of investigation. Did you ever hear him speak of his wife's brother?"
"Or of a place called Low Lanes?"
She waited for my reply to this last inquiry with an appearance of anxiety that surprised me. I had never heard him speak of Low Lanes.
"Have you any particular interest in the place?" I asked.
She went away to attend on a patient. I retired to my bedroom, and opened my diary. Again and again, I read that remarkable story of the intended poisoning, and of the manner in which it had ended. I sat thinking over this romance in real life, till I was interrupted by the announcement of dinner.
Mr. Philip Dunboyne had returned. In Miss Jillgall's absence we were alone at the table. My appetite was gone. I made a pretence of eating, and another pretence of being glad to see my devoted lover. I talked to him in the prettiest manner. As a hypocrite, he thoroughly matched me: he was gallant, he was amusing. If baseness like ours had been punishable by the law, a prison was the right place for both of us.
Mrs. Tenbruggen came in again, after dinner, still not quite easy about my health. "How flushed you are!" she said. "Let me feel you pulse." I laughed, and left her with Mr. Philip Dunboyne.
Passing my father's door, I looked in, anxious to see if he was in the excitable state which Mrs. Tenbruggen had described. Yes; he was still talking. The attendant told me it had gone on for hours together. On my approaching his chair, he called out: "Which are you? Eunice or Helena?" When I had answered him, he beckoned me to come nearer. "I'm getting stronger every minute," he said. "We will go travelling to-morrow, and see the place where you were born. Low Lanes. What an ugly village! What a stupid name! I dreamt of my brother-in-law, the rector, last night. Do you really think he is dead? Or is it a lie? Suppose we go and see. Don't tell anybody. I believe I am getting young again. Good-bye."
Sad! sad! how will it end?
I wonder whether there is such a place as Low Lanes,