'Then--who brought her?'
'I really don't know whether I ought to tell you who brought her.'
To James, who knew that it was Swithin, this answer appeared incomprehensible.
'Why!' he stammered, 'you know that-----' but he stopped, suddenly perceiving his danger.
'Well,' he said, 'if you don't want to tell me, I suppose you won't! Nobody tells me anything.'
Somewhat to his surprise Bosinney asked him a question.
'By the by,' he said, 'could you tell me if there are likely to be any more of you coming down? I should like to be on the spot!'
'Any more?' said James bewildered, 'who should there be more? I don't know of any more. Good-bye.'
Looking at the ground he held out his hand, crossed the palm of it with Bosinney's, and taking his umbrella just above the silk, walked away along the terrace.
Before he turned the corner he glanced back, and saw Bosinney following him slowly--'slinking along the wall' as be put it to himself, 'like a great cat.' He paid no attention when the young fellow raised his hat.
Outside the drive, and out of sight, he slackened his pace still more. Very slowly, more bent than when he came, lean, hungry, and disheartened, he made his way back to the station.
The Buccaneer, watching him go so sadly home, felt sorry perhaps for his behaviour to the old man.
SOAMES AND BOSINNEY CORRESPOND
JAMES said nothing to his son of this visit to the house; but, having occasion to go to Timothy's one morning on a matter connected with a drainage scheme which was being forced by the sanitary authorities on his brother, he mentioned it there.
It was not, he said, a bad house. He could see that a good deal could be made of it. The fellow was clever in his way, though what it was going to cost Soames before it was done with he didn't know.