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Part 17 B

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« on: December 25, 2022, 03:07:56 am »

'Of course,' said Miss Hillyard, in a hard, sarcastic voice, 'if you think private loyalties should come before loyalty to one's job....'

('Couched as to spring, proper.') That was what he had been waiting for, then. One could almost see the silken fur ripple.

'Of course, I don't say that one should be disloyal to one's job for private reasons,' said Miss Lydgate. 'But surely, if one takes on personal responsibilities, one owes a duty in that direction. If one's job interferes with them perhaps one should give up the job.'

'I quite agree,' said Miss Hillyard. 'But then, my private responsibilities are few, and possibly I have no right to speak. What is your opinion, Mrs. Goodwin?'

There was a most unpleasant pause.

'If you mean that personally,' said the Secretary, getting up and facing the Tutor, 'I am so far of your opinion that I have asked Dr. Baring to accept my resignation. Not because of any of the monstrous allegations that have been made about me, but because I realise that under the circumstances I can't do my work as well as I ought. But you are all very much mistaken if you think I am at the bottom of the trouble in this college. I'm going now, and you can say what you like about me--but may I say that anybody with a passion for facts will do better to collect them from unprejudiced sources. Miss Barton at least will admit that mental health is a fact like another.'

Into the horrified silence that followed, Peter dropped three words like lumps of ice.

'Please don't go.'

Mrs. Goodwin stopped short with her hand on the door.

'It would be a great pity,' said the Warden, 'to take anything personally that is said in a general discussion. I feel sure Miss Hillyard meant nothing of that kind. Naturally, some people have better opportunities than others for seeing both sides of a question. In your own line of work, Lord Peter, such conflicts of loyalty must frequently occur.'

'Oh, yes. I once thought I had the agreeable choice between hanging my brother or my sister. Fortunately, it came to nothing.'

'But supposing it had come to something?' demanded Miss Barton, pinning the argumentum ad hominem with a kind of relish.

'Oh, well--What does the ideal detective do then, Miss Vane?'

'Professional etiquette,' said Harriet, 'would suggest an extorted confession, followed by poison for two in the library.'

'You see how easy it is, when you stick to the rules,' said Wimsey. 'Miss Vane feels no compunction. She wipes me out with a firm hand, rather than damage my reputation. But the question isn't always so simple. How about the artist of genius who has to choose between letting his family starve and painting pot-boilers to keep them?'

'He's no business to have a wife and family,' said Miss Hillyard.

'Poor devil! Then he has the further interesting choice between repressions and immorality. Mrs. Goodwin, I gather, would object to the repressions and some people might object to the immorality.'

'That doesn't matter,' said Miss Pyke. 'You have hypothesised a wife and family. Well--he could stop painting. That, if he really is a genius, would be a loss to the world. But he mustn't paint bad pictures--that would be really immoral.'

'Why?' asked Miss Edwards. 'What do a few bad pictures matter, more or less?'

'Of course they matter,' said Miss Shaw. She knew a good deal about painting. 'A bad picture by a good painter is a betrayal of truth--his own truth.'

'That's only a relative kind of truth,' objected Miss Edwards.

The Dean and Miss Burrows fell headlong upon this remark, and Harriet, seeing the argument in danger of getting out of hand, thought it time to retrieve the ball and send it back. She knew now what was wanted, though not why it was wanted.

'If you can't agree about painters, make it someone else. Make it a scientist.'

'I've no objection to scientific pot-boilers,' said Miss Edwards. 'I mean, a popular book isn't necessarily unscientific.'

'So long,' said Wimsey, 'as it doesn't falsify the facts. But it might be a different kind of thing. To take a concrete instance--somebody wrote a novel called The Search--'

'C. P. Snow,' said Miss Burrows. 'It's funny you should mention that. It was the book that the--'

'I know,' said Peter. 'That's possibly why it was in my mind.'

'I never read the book,' said the Warden.

'Oh, I did,' said the Dean. 'It's about a man who starts out to be a scientist and gets on very well till, just as he's going to be appointed to an important executive post, he finds he's made a careless error in a scientific paper. He didn't check his assistant's results, or something. Somebody finds out, and he doesn't get the job. So he decides he doesn't really care about science after all.'

'Obviously not,' said Miss Edwards. 'He only cared about the post.'

'But,' said Miss Chilperic, 'if it was only a mistake--'

'The point about it,' said Wimsey, 'is what an elderly scientist says to him. He tells him: "The only ethical principle which has made science possible is that the truth shall be told all the time. If we do not penalise false statements made in error, we open up the way for false statements by intention. And a false statement of fact, made deliberately, is the most serious crime a scientist can commit." Words to that effect. I may not be quoting quite correctly.'

'Well, that's true, of course. Nothing could possibly excuse deliberate falsification.'

'There's no sense in deliberate falsification, anyhow,' said the Bursar. 'What could anybody gain by it?'

'It has been done,' said Miss Hillyard, 'frequently. To get the better of an argument. Or out of ambition.'

'Ambition to be what?' cried Miss Lydgate. 'What satisfaction could one possibly get out of a reputation one knew one didn't deserve? It would be horrible.'

Her innocent indignation upset everybody's gravity.

'How about the Forged Decretals ... Chatterton ... Ossian ... Henry Ireland ... those Nineteenth-Century Pamphlets the other day ...'

'I know,' said Miss Lydgate, perplexed. 'I know people do it. But why? They must be mad.'

'In the same novel,' said the Dean, 'somebody deliberately falsifies a result--later on, I mean--in order to get a job. And the man who made the original mistake finds it out. But he says nothing, because the other man is very badly off and has a wife and family to keep.'

'These wives and families!' said Peter.

'Does the author approve?' inquired the Warden..

'Well,' said the Dean, 'the book ends there, so I suppose he does.'

'But does anybody here approve? A false statement is published and the man who could correct it lets it go, out of charitable considerations. Would anybody here do that? There's your test case, Miss Barton, with no personalities attached.'

'Of course one couldn't do that,' said Miss Barton. 'Not for ten wives and fifty children.'

'Not for Solomon and all his wives and concubines? I congratulate you, Miss Barton, on striking such a fine, unfeminine note. Will nobody say a word for the women and children?'

('I knew he was going to be mischievous,' thought Harriet.)

'You'd like to hear it, wouldn't you?' said Miss Hillyard.

'You've got us in a cleft stick,' said the Dean. 'If we say it, you can point out that womanlinesss unfits us for learning; and if we don't, you can point out that learning makes us unwomanly.'

'Since I can make myself offensive either way,' said Wimsey, 'you have nothing to gain by not telling the truth.'

'The truth is,' said Mrs. Goodwin, 'that nobody could possibly defend the indefensible.'

'It sounds, anyway, like a manufactured case,' said Miss Allison, briskly. 'It could seldom happen; and if it did--'

'Oh, it happens,' said Miss de Vine. 'It has happened. It happened to me. I don't mind telling you--without names, of course. When I was at Flamborough College, examining for the professorial theses in York University, there was a man who sent in a very interesting paper on a historical subject. It was a most persuasive piece of argument; only I happened to know that the whole contention was quite untrue, because a letter that absolutely contradicted it was actually in existence in a certain very obscure library in a foreign town. I'd come across it when I was reading up something else. That wouldn't have mattered, of course. But the internal evidence showed that the man must have had access to that library. So I had to make an inquiry, and I found that he really had been there and must have seen the letter and deliberately suppressed it.'

'But how could you be so sure he had seen the letter?' asked Miss Lydgate anxiously. 'He might carelessly have overlooked it. That would be a very different matter.'

'He not only had seen it,' replied Miss de Vine; 'he stole it. We made him admit as much. He had come upon that letter when his thesis was nearly complete, and he had no time to rewrite it. And it was a great blow to him apart from that, because he had grown enamoured of his own theory and couldn't bear to give it up.'

'That's the mark of an unsound scholar, I'm afraid,' said Miss Lydgate in a mournful tone, as one speaks of an incurable cancer.

'But here is the curious thing,' went on Miss de Vine. 'He was unscrupulous enough to let the false conclusion stand; but he was too good a historian to destroy the letter. He kept it.'

'You'd think,' said Miss Pyke, 'it would be as painful as biting on a sore tooth.'

'Perhaps he had some idea of rediscovering it some-day,' said Miss de Vine, 'and setting himself right with his conscience. I don't know, and I don't think he knew very well himself.'

'What happened to him?' asked Harriet.

'Well, that was the end of him, of course. He lost the professorship, naturally, and they took away his M.A. degree as well. A pity, because he was brilliant in his own way--and very good-looking, if that has anything to do with it.'

'Poor man!' said Miss Lydgate. 'He must have needed the post very badly.'

'It meant a good deal to him financially. He was married and not well off. I don't know what became of him. That was about six years ago. He dropped out completely. One was sorry about it, but there it was.'

'You couldn't possibly have done anything else,' said Miss Edwards.

'Of course not. A man as undependable as that is not only useless, but dangerous. He might do anything.'

'You'd think it would be a lesson to him,' said Miss Hillyard. 'It didn't pay, did it? Say he sacrificed his professional honour for the women and children we hear so much about--but in the end it left him worse off.'

'But that,' said Peter, 'was only because he committed the extra sin of being found out.'

'It seems to me,' began Miss Chilperic, timidly--and then stopped.

'Yes?' said Peter.

'Well,' said Miss Chilperic, 'oughtn't the women and children to have a point of view? I mean--suppose the wife knew that her husband had done a thing like that for her, what would she feel about it?'

'That's a very important point,' said Harriet. 'You'd think she'd feel too ghastly for words.'

'It depends,' said the Dean. 'I don't believe nine women out of ten would care a dash.'

'That's a monstrous thing to say,' cried Miss Hillyard.

'You think a wife might feel sensitive about her husband's honour--even if it was sacrificed on her account?' said Miss Stevens. 'Well--I don't know.'

'I should think,' said Miss Chilperic, stammering a little in her earnestness, 'she would feel like a man who--I mean, wouldn't it be like living on somebody's immoral earnings?'

'There,' said Peter, 'if I may say so, I think you are exaggerating. The man who does that--if he isn't too far gone to have any feelings at all--is hit by other considerations, some of which have nothing whatever to do with ethics. But it is extremely interesting that you should make the comparison.' He looked at Miss Chilperic so intently that she blushed.

'Perhaps that was rather a stupid thing to say.'

'No. But if it ever occurs to people to value the honour of the mind equally with the honour of the body, we shall get a social revolution of a quite unparalleled sort--and very different from the kind that is being made at the moment.'

Miss Chilperic looked so much alarmed at the idea of fostering social revolution that only the opportune entry of two Common-Room scouts to remove the coffee-cups and relieve her of the necessity of replying seemed to have saved her from sinking through the floor.

'Well,' said Harriet, 'I agree absolutely with Miss Chilperic. If anybody did a dishonourable thing and then said he did it for one's own sake, it would be the last insult. How could one ever feel the same to him again?'

'Indeed,' said Miss Pyke, 'it must surely vitiate the whole relationship.'

'Oh, nonsense!' cried the Dean. 'How many women care two hoots about anybody's intellectual integrity? Only over-educated women like us. So long as the man didn't forge a cheque or rob the till or do something socially degrading, most women would think he was perfectly justified. Ask Mrs. Bones the Butcher's Wife or Miss Tape the Tailor's Daughter how much they would worry about suppressing a fact in a mouldy old historical thesis.'

'They'd back up their husbands in any case,' said Miss Allison. 'My man, right or wrong, they'd say. Even if he did rob the till.'

'Of course they would,' said Miss Hillyard. 'That's what the man wants. He wouldn't say thank you for a critic on the hearth.'

'He must have the womanly woman, you think?' said Harriet. 'What is it, Annie? My coffee-cup? Here you are ... Somebody who will say, "The greater the sin the greater the sacrifice--and consequently the greater devotion." Poor Miss Schuster-Slatt!... I suppose it is comforting to be told that one is loved whatever one does.'

'Ah, yes,' said Peter, in his reediest, wood-wind voice:

    'And these say: "No more now my knight
    Or God's knight any longer"--you,
    Being than they so much more white,
    So much more pure and good and true,

    'Will cling to me for ever--

William Morris had his moments of being a hundred-per-cent manly man.'

'Poor Morris!' said the Dean.

'He was young at the time,' said Peter, indulgently. 'It's odd, when you come to think of it, that the expressions "manly" and "womanly" should be almost more offensive than their opposites. One is tempted to believe that there may be something indelicate about sex after all.'

'It all comes of this here eddication,' pronounced the Dean, as the door shut behind the last of the coffee-service. 'Here we sit round in a ring, dissociating ourselves from kind Mrs. Bones and that sweet girl, Miss Tape--'

'Not to mention,' put in Harriet, 'those fine, manly fellows, the masculine Tapes and Boneses--'

'And clacking on in the most unwomanly manner about intellectual integrity.'

'While I,' said Peter, 'sit desolate in the midst, like a lodge in a garden of cucumbers.'

'You look it,' said Harriet, laughing. 'The sole relic of humanity in a cold, bitter and indigestible wilderness.'

There was a laugh, and a momentary silence. Harriet could feel a nervous tension in the room--little threads of anxiety and expectation strung out, meeting, crossing, quivering. Now, they were all saying to themselves, now something is going to be said about IT. The ground has been surveyed, the coffee has been cleared out of the road, the combatants are stripped for action--now, this amiable gentleman with the well-filed tongue will come out in his true colours as an inquisitor, and it is all going to be very uncomfortable.

Lord Peter took out his handkerchief, polished his monocle carefully, readjusted it, looked rather severely at the Warden, and lifted up his voice in emphatic, pained and querulous complaint about the Corporation dump.


The Warden had gone, expressing courteous thanks to Miss Lydgate for the hospitality of the Senior Common Room, and graciously inviting his lordship to call upon her in her own house at any convenient time during his stay in Oxford. Various dons rose up and drifted away, murmuring that they had essays to look through before they went to bed. The talk had ranged pleasantly over a variety of topics. Peter had let the reins drop from his hands and let it go whither it would, and Harriet, realising this, had scarcely troubled to follow it. In the end, there remained only herself and Peter, the Dean, Miss Edwards (who seemed to have taken a strong fancy to Peter's conversation), Miss Chilperic, silent and half-hidden in an obscure position and, rather to Harriet's surprise, Miss Hillyard.

The clocks struck eleven. Wimsey roused himself and said he thought he had better be getting along. Everybody rose. The Old Quad was dark, except for the gleam of lighted windows; the sky had clouded, and a rising wind stirred the boughs of the beech trees.

'Well, good night,' said Miss Edwards. 'I'll see that you get a copy of that paper about blood-groups. I think you'll find it of interest.'

'I shall, indeed,' said Wimsey. 'Thank you very much.'

Miss Edwards strode briskly away.

'Good night, Lord Peter.'

'Good night, Miss Chilperic. Let me know when the social revolution is about to begin and I'll come to die upon the barricades.'

'I think you would,' said Miss Chilperic, astonishingly, and, in defiance of tradition, gave him her hand.

'Good night,' said Miss Hillyard, to the world in general, and whisked quickly past them with her head high.

Miss Chilperic flitted off into the darkness like a pale moth, and the Dean said, 'Well!' And then, interrogatively, 'Well?'

'Pass, and all's well,' said Peter, placidly.

'There were one or two moments, weren't there?' said the Dean. 'But on the whole--as well as could be expected.'

'I enjoyed myself very much,' said Peter, with the mischievous note back in his voice.

'I bet you did,' said the Dean. 'I wouldn't trust you a yard. Not a yard.'

'Oh, yes, you would,' said he. 'Don't worry.'


The Dean, too, was gone.

'You left your gown in my room yesterday,' said Harriet. 'You'd better come and fetch it.'

'I brought yours back with me and left it at the Jowett Walk Lodge. Also your dossier. I expect they've been taken up.'

'You didn't leave the dossier lying about!'

'What do you take me for? It's wrapped up and sealed.'

They crossed the quad slowly.

'There are a lot of questions I want to ask, Peter.'

'Oh, yes. And there's one I want to ask you. What is your second name? The one that begins with a D?'

'Deborah, I'm sorry to say. Why?'

'Deborah? Well, I'm damned. All right. I won't call you by it. There's Miss de Vine, I see, still working.'

The curtains of the Fellow's window were drawn back this time, and they could see her dark untidy head, bent over a book.

'She interests me very much,' said Peter.

'I like her, you know.'

'So do I.'

'But I'm afraid those are her kind of hairpins.'

'I know they are,' said he. He took his hand from his pocket and held it out. They were close under Tudor, and the light from an adjacent window showed a melancholy, spraddle-legged hairpin lying across his palm. 'She shed this on the dais after dinner. You saw me pick it up.'

'I saw you pick up Miss Shaw's scarf.'

'Always the gentleman. May I come up with you, or is that against the regulations!'

'You can come up.'

There were a number of students scurrying about the corridors in undress, who looked at Peter with more curiosity than annoyance. In Harriet's room, they found her gown lying on the table, together with the dossier. Peter picked up the book, examined the paper and string and the seals which secured them, each one stamped with the crouching cat and arrogant Wimsey motto.

'If that's been opened, I'll make a meal of hot sealing-wax.'

He went to the window and looked out into the quad.

'Not a bad observation post--in its way. Thanks. That's all I wanted to look at.'

He showed no further curiosity, but took the gown she handed to him and followed her downstairs again.

They were half-way across the quad when he said suddenly:

'Harriet. Do you really prize honesty above every other thing?'

'I think I do. I hope so. Why?'

'If you don't, I am the most blazing fool in Christendom. I am busily engaged in sawing off my own branch. If I am honest, I shall probably lose you altogether. If I am not--'

His voice was curiously rough, as though he were trying to control something; not, she thought, bodily pain or passion, but something more fundamental.

'If you are not,' said Harriet, 'then I shall lose you, because you wouldn't be the same person, would you?'

'I don't know. I have a reputation for flippant insincerity. You think I'm honest?'

'I know you are. I couldn't imagine your being anything else.'

'And yet at this moment I'm trying to insure myself against the effects of my own honesty. "I have tried if I could reach that great resolution, to be honest without a thought of heaven or hell." It looks as though I should get hell either way, though; so I need scarcely bother about the resolution. I believe you mean what you say--and I hope I should do the same thing if I didn't believe a word of it.'

'Peter, I haven't an idea what you're talking about.'

'All the better. Don't worry. I won't behave like this another time. "The Duke drained a dipper of brandy-and-water and became again the perfect English gentleman." Give me your hand.'

She gave it to him, and he held it for a moment in a firm clasp, and then drew her arm through his. They moved on into the New Quad, arm in arm, in silence. As they passed the archway at the foot of the Hall stairs, Harriet fancied she heard somebody stir in the darkness and saw the faint glimmer of a watching face; but it was gone before she could draw Peter's attention to it.

Padgett unlocked the gate for them; Wimsey, stepping preoccupied over the threshold, tossed him a heedless good night.

'Good night, Major Wimsey, sir!'

'Hullo!' Peter brought back the foot that was already in St. Cross Road, and looked closely into the porter's smiling face.

'My god, yes! Stop a minute. Don't tell me. Caudry--1918--I've got it! Padgett's the name. Corporal Padgett.'

'Quite right, sir.'

'Well, well, well. I'm damned glad to see you. Looking dashed fit, too. How are you keeping?'

'Fine, thank you, sir.' Padgett's large and hairy paw closed warmly over Peter's long fingers. 'I says to my wife, when I 'eard you was 'ere, "I'll lay you anything you like," I says, "the Major won't have forgotten."'

'By Jove, no. Fancy finding you here! Last time. I saw you, I was being carried away on a stretcher.'

'That's right, sir. I 'ad the pleasure of 'elping to dig you out.'

'I know you did. I'm glad to see you now, but I was a dashed sight gladder to see you then.'

'Yes, sir. Gorblimey, sir--well, there! We thought you was gone that time. I says to Hackett--remember little Hackett, sir?'

'The little red-headed blighter? Yes, of course. What's become of him?'

'Driving a lorry over at Reading, sir, married and three kids. I says to Hackett, "Lor' lumme!" I says, "there's old Winderpane gawn"--excuse me, sir--and he says, "'Ell! wot ruddy luck!" So I says, "Don't stand there grizzlin'--maybe 'e ain't gawn after all." So we--'

'No,' said Wimsey. 'I fancy I was more frightened than hurt. Unpleasant sensation, being buried alive.'

'Well, sir! W'en we finds yer there at the bottom o' that there old Boche dug-out with a big beam acrost yer, I says to Hackett, "Well," I says, "'e's all 'ere, anyhow." And he says, "Thank gawd for Jerry!" 'e says--meanin', if it 'adn't been for that there dug-out--'

'Yes,' said Wimsey. 'I had a bit of luck there. We lost poor Mr. Danbury, though.'

'Yes, sir. Bad thing, that was. A nice young gentleman. Ever see anything of Captain Sidgwick nowadays, sir?'

'Oh, yes. I saw him only the other day at the Bellona Club. He's not very fit these days, I'm sorry to say. Got a dose of gas, you know. Lungs groggy.'

'Sorry to hear that, sir. Remember how put about 'e was over that there pig--'

'Hush, Padgett. The less said about that pig, the better.'

'Yes, sir. Nice bit o' crackling that pig 'ad on 'im. Coo!' Padgett smacked reminiscent lips. 'You 'eard wot 'appened to Sergeant-Major Toop?'

Toop? No--I've quite lost sight of him. Nothing unpleasant, I hope. Best sergeant-major I ever had.'

'Ah! he was a one.' Padgett's grin widened. 'Well, sir, 'e found 'is match all right. Little bit of a thing--no 'igher than that, but lummy!'

'Go on, Padgett. You don't say so.'

'Yes, sir. When I was workin' in the camel 'ouse at the Zoo--'

'Good God, Padgett!'

'Yes, sir--I see them there and we passed the time o' day. Went round to look 'em up afterwards. Well, there! She give 'im sergeant-major all right. Put 'im through the 'oop proper. You know the old song: Naggin' at a feller as is six foot three--'

'And her only four foot two! Well, well! How are the mighty fallen! By the bye, I'll tell you who I ran into the other day--now, this will surprise you--'

The stream of reminiscence ran remorselessly on, till Wimsey, suddenly reminded of his manners, apologised to Harriet and plunged hastily out, with a promise to return for another chat over old times, Padgett, still beaming, swung the heavy gate to, and locked it.

'Ah!' said Padgett, 'he ain't changed much, the major 'asn't. He was a lot younger then, o' course--only just gazetted--but he was a regular good officer for all that--and a terror for eye-wash, And shavin'--lumme!'

Padgett, supporting himself with one hand against the brickwork of the lodge, appeared lost in the long ago.

'"Now, men," 'e'd say, when we was expectin' a bit of a strafe, "if you gotter face your Maker, fer Gawd's sake, face 'Im with a clean chin." Ah! Winderpane, we called 'im, along of the eyeglass, but meanin' no disrespect. None on us wouldn't 'ear a word agin 'im. Now, there was a chap came to us from another unit--'ulkin' foul-mouthed fellow, wot nobody took to much--'Uggins, that was the name, 'Uggins. Well, this bloke thinks 'e's goin' to be funny, see--and 'e starts callin' the major Little Percy, and usin' opprobrious epithets--'

Here Padgett paused, to select an epithet fit for a lady's ear, but, failing, repeated,

'Opprobrious epithets, miss. And I says to 'im--mind you, this was afore I got my stripes; I was jes a private then, same as 'Uggins--I says to 'im. "Now, that's quite enough o' that." And 'e says to me--Well, anyway, the end of it was, we 'ad a lovely scrap, all round the 'ouses.'

'Dear me,' said Harriet.

'Yes, miss. We was in rest at the time, and next morning, when the sergeant-major falls us in for parade--coo, lummy! we was a pair o' family portraits. The sergeant-major--Sergeant-Major Toop, that was, 'im wot got married like I was sayin'--'e didn't say nothin'--'e knew. And the adjutant, 'e knew too, and 'e didn't say nothin' neither. And blest if, in the middle of it all, we don't see the Major comin' strollin' out. So the adjutant forms us up into line, and I stands there at attention, 'oping as 'Uggins's face looked worse nor what mine did. "Morning," says the Major; and the adjutant and Sergeant-Major Toop says, "Morning, sir." So 'e starts to chat casual-like to the sergeant-major, and I see 'is eye goin' up and down the line. "Sergeant-Major!" says he, all of a sudden. "Sir!" says the sergeant-major. "What's the man there been doin' to 'imself?" says 'e, meanin' me. "Sir?" says the sergeant-major, starin' at me like 'e was surprised to see me. "Looks as if he'd had a nasty accident," says the Major. "And what about that other fellow? Don't like to see that sort of thing. Not smart. Fall 'em out." So the sergeant-major falls us both out. "H'm," says the Major. "I see. What's this man's name?" "Padgett, sir," says the sergeant-major. "Oh," says he. "Well, Padgett, what have you been doing to get yourself into a mess like that?" "Fell over a bucket, sir," says I, starin' 'ard over 'is shoulder with the only eye I could see out of. "Bucket?" says 'e, "very awkward things, buckets. And this other man--I suppose he trod on the mop, eh, sergeant-major?" "Major wants to know if you trod on the mop," says Sergeant-Major Toop. "Yessir," says 'Uggins, talkin' like 'is mouth 'urt 'im. "Well," says the Major, "when you've got this lot dismissed, give these two men a bucket and a mop a-piece and put 'em on fatigue. That'll learn 'em to 'andle these dangerous implements." "Yessir," says Sergeant-Major Toop. "Carry on," says the Major. So we carries on. 'Uggins says to me arterwards. "D'you think 'e knew!" "Knew?" says I, "course 'e knew. Ain't much 'e don't know." Arter that, 'Uggins kep' 'is epithets to 'isself.'

Harriet expressed due appreciation of this anecdote, which was delivered with a great deal of gusto, and took leave of Padgett. For some reason, this affair of a mop and a bucket seemed to have made Padgett Peter's slave for life. Men were very odd.

There was nobody under the Hall arches as she returned, but as she passed the West end of the Chapel, she thought she saw something dark pass like a shadow into the Fellows' Garden. She followed it. Her eyes were growing accustomed to the dimness of the summer night and she could see the figure walking swiftly up and down, up and down, and hear the rustle of its long skirt upon the grass.

There was only one person in College who had worn a trailing frock that evening, and that was Miss Hillyard. She walked in the Fellows' Garden for an hour and a half.

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