on his return to his furnished rooms, all ternwhistle's ambition and enthusiasm concerning the possibility of turning the fotherinton affair to his own account drained out of him.
what had he been thinking? barbourforth was probably not acting alone, although of course he intimated that he was.
if ternwhistle attempted to get the better of some cabal of who knew what powerful forces - it was better not to think of it.
he decided to rest a bit, then make his way to madame ming's.
a couple of pipes was what he needed.
with a sigh, he lay back on his couch.
37. beyond the borders
except for one disastrous and exceedingly boring year at an academy for young ladies, cousin arboreta had never been more than five miles beyond the borders of the fotherinton estate.
strangely, she had little desire to travel outside them, although sometimes she vaguely felt she should have such a desire.
very soon, thought garland, very soon everything - everything - will be revealed.
39. a slender document
under a cloudy and threatening night sky, a solitary traveler approached the grounds of madwood on foot.
he paused when he could finally make out the lights of the house.
there were very few lights, even though the sun had set only an hour ago.
he had heard that the fotherintons were a somnolent lot, but still…
the traveler reached into his inside coat pocket and fingered the slender document lodged in it.
then he proceeded, striking the ground with his walking stick as he did so.
40. shedding light
"really, miss, all this is a bit too mysterious for my old bones. make yourself comfortable, please, while i have some light brought in."
mr barbourforth rang for his servant, and when that worthy appeared, instructed him to bring another light.
craver knew without being told that he was to place the light as close as possible to the young woman, who had settled into a chair, but without taking her coat off or raising the veil of her hat.
"so then." mr barbourforth announced briskly when craver had departed, "state your case."
the young woman paused.
"my name is of no consequence, " she finally began, in a voice more melodious than the one with which she had hitherto addressed mr barbourforth. "but i am descended from an ancient though impoverished race."
41. an interrupted journey
as we all are, thought mr barbourforth, but he only nodded.
"i had resigned myself to my poverty and melancholy fate, and was prepared to accept a position as governess with a family located in the northernmost wilds of scotland, when chance intervened."
the young woman paused again.
"the coachman was just loading my small trunk on to the carriage which was to take me on the first stage of my journey, when the postman appeared."
42. apologies in order
"just a moment, please." grandmother fotherinton held up her hand .
she carefully approached the door of her study, and flung it open -