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HOME > Classical Novels > Red Money > CHAPTER XX. THE DESTINED END.
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 As might have been anticipated, Lord Garvington was in anything but a happy frame of mind. He left Silver in almost a fainting condition, and returned to The feeling very sick himself. The two cowardly little men had not the necessary pluck of , and now that there seemed to be a very good chance that their doings would be made public they were both in deadly fear of the consequences. Silver was in the worst , since he was well aware that the law would consider him to be an accessory after the fact, and that, although his neck was not in danger, his liberty assuredly was. He was so by the storm which had broken so unexpectedly over his head, that he had not even the sense to run away. All grit—what he of it—had been knocked out of him, and he could only whimper over the fire while waiting for Lambert to act.  
Garvington was not quite so downhearted, as he knew that his cousin was anxious to consider the fair fame of the family. Thinking thus, he felt a trifle , for the forged letter could not be made public without a being cast on the name. Then, again, Garvington knew that he was innocent of designing Pine's death, and that, even if Lambert did inform the police, he could not be arrested. It is only just to say that had the little man known of Miss Greeby's intention to murder the millionaire, he would never have written the letter which the man to his . And for two reasons: in the first place he was too cowardly to risk his neck; and in the second Pine was of more value to him alive than dead. Comforting himself with this reflection, he managed to maintain a fairly calm before his wife.
But on this night Lady Garvington was particularly , for she constantly asked questions which the husband did not feel inclined to answer. Having heard that Lambert was in the village, she wished to know why he had not been asked to stay at The Manor, and defended the young man when Garvington out that an person who had robbed Agnes of two millions could not be tolerated by the man—Garvington meant himself—he had wronged. Then Jane inquired why Lambert had brought Chaldea to the house, and what had passed in the library, but received no answer, save a . Finally she insisted that Freddy had lost his appetite, which was true.
"And I thought you liked that way of a fish so much, dear," was her . "I never seem to quite hit your taste."
"Oh, bother: leave me alone, Jane. I'm worried."
"I know you are, for you have eaten so little. What is the matter?"
"Everything's the matter, confound your . Hasn't Agnes lost all her money because of this selfish marriage with Noel, hang him? How the dickens do you expect us to carry on unless we borrow?"
"Can't you get some money from the person who now inherits?"
"Jarwin won't tell me the name."
"But I know who it is," said Lady Garvington . "One of the servants who went to the gypsy camp this afternoon told my maid, and my maid told me. The gypsies are greatly excited, and no wonder."
Freddy stared at her. "Excited, what about?"
"Why, about the money, dear. Don't you know?"
"No, I don't!" shouted Freddy, breaking a glass in his . "What is it? Bother you, Jane. Don't keep me hanging on in ."
"I'm sure I never do, Freddy, dear. It's Hubert's money which has gone to his mother."
Garvington jumped up. "Who—who—who is his mother?" he demanded, furiously.
"That dear old Gentilla Stanley."
"What! What! What!"
"Oh, Freddy," said his wife . "You make my head ache. Yes, it's quite true. Celestine had it from William the footman. Fancy, Gentilla having all that money. How lucky she is."
"Oh, damn her; damn her," Garvington, breaking another glass.
"Why, dear. I'm sure she's going to make good use of the money. She says—so William told Celestine—that she would give a million to learn for certain who murdered poor Hubert."
"Would she? would she? would she?" Garvington's gooseberry eyes nearly dropped out of his head, and he , and burbled, and choked, and spluttered, until his wife was quite alarmed.
"Freddy, you always eat too fast. Go and lie down, dear."
"Yes," said Garvington, rapidly making up his mind to adopt a certain course about which he wished his wife to know nothing. "I'll lie down, Jane."
"And don't take any more wine," warned Jane, as she drifted out of the dining-room. "You are quite red as it is, dear."
But Freddy did not take this advice, but drank glass after glass until he became pot-valiant. He needed courage, as he intended to go all by himself to the lonely Abbot's Wood Cottage and interview Silver. It occurred to Freddy that if he could induce the secretary to give up Miss Greeby to justice, Mother Cockleshell, out of , might surrender to him the sum of one million pounds. Of course, the old hag might have been talking all round the shop, and her offer might be , but it was worth taking into consideration. Garvington, thinking that there was no time to lose, since his cousin might be beforehand in denouncing the guilty woman, hurried on his fur overcoat, and after leaving a lying statement with the butler that he had gone to bed, he went out by the useful blue door. In a few minutes he was along the well-known path making up his mind what to say to Silver. The interview did not promise to be an easy one.
"I wish I could do without him," thought the little scoundrel as he left his own property and struck across the waste ground beyond the park wall. "But I can't, dash it all, since he's the only person who saw the crime actually committed. 'Course he'll get jailed as an accessory-after-the-fact: but when he comes out I'll give him a thousand or so if the old woman parts. At all events, I'll see what Silver is prepared to do, and then I'll call on old Cockleshell and make things right with her. Hang it," Freddy had a qualmish feeling. "The exposure won't be pleasant for me over that unlucky letter, but if I can snaffle a million, it's worth it. Curse the honor of the family, I've got to look after myself somehow. Ho! ho!" he as he remembered his cousin. "What a sell for Noel when he finds that I've taken the wind out of his sails. Serve him jolly well right."
In this way Garvington kept up his spirits during the walk, and felt cheerful and by the time he reached the cottage. In the thin, cold moonlight, the wintry wood looked and . The sight of the frowning monoliths, the gaunt, frozen trees and the snow-powdered earth, made the little man shiver. Also the anticipated conversation rather him, although he that after all Silver was but a feeble creature who could be easily managed. What Freddy forgot was that he lacked pluck himself, and that Silver, driven into a corner, might fight with the courage of despair. The sight of the secretary's deadly white and terrified face as he opened the door sufficient to peer out showed that he was at bay.
"If you come in I'll shoot," he quavered, brokenly. "I'll—I'll brain you with the . I'll throw hot water on you, and—and scratch out your—your—"
"Come, come," said Garvington, boldly. "It's only me—a friend!"
Silver recognized the voice and the dumpy figure of his visitor. At once he dragged him into the passage and barred the door quickly, breathing hard meanwhile. "I don't mind you," he , . "You're in the same boat with me, my lord. But I fancied when you knocked that the police—the police"—his voice died weakly in his throat: he cast a wild glance around and touched his neck uneasily as though he already felt the hangman's rope encircling it.
Garvington did not approve of this grim pantomime, and swore. "I'm quite alone, damn you," he said roughly. "It's all right, so far!" He sat down and loosened his overcoat, for the place was like a Turkish bath for heat. "I want a drink. You've been priming yourself, I see," and he pointed to a decanter of port wine and a bottle of brandy which were on the table along with a tray of glasses. "Silly you are to mix."
"I'm—I'm—keeping up my—my spirits," giggled Silver, wholly unnerved, and pouring out the brandy with a shaking hand. "There you are, my lord. There's water, but no ."
"Keeping up your spirits by pouring spirits down," said Garvington, venturing on a weak joke. "You're in a state of siege, too."
Silver certainly was. He had bolted the , and had piled furniture against the two windows of the room. On the table beside the decanter and bottles of brandy, lay a poker, a heavy club which Lambert had brought from Africa, and had left behind when he gave up the cottage, a revolver loaded in all six , and a large bread knife. the man was in a dangerous state of despair and was ready to give the officers of the law a hostile welcome when they came to arrest him. He touched the various weapons .
"I'll give them beans," he said, looking fearfully from right to left. "Every door is locked; every window is bolted. I've heaped up chairs and sofas and tables and chests of drawers, and wardrobes and against every opening to keep the devils out. And the lamps—look at the lamps. Ugh!" he . "I can't bear to be in the dark."
"Plenty of light," observed Garvington, and truly, for there must have been at least six lamps in the room—two on the table, two on the mantel-piece, and a couple on the sideboard. And amidst his defences sat Silver and quivering at every sound, occasionally pouring brandy down his throat to keep up his courage.
The white looks of the man, the of the room, the glare of the many lights, and the real danger of the situation, communicated their thrill to Garvington. He shivered and looked into shadowy corners, as Silver did; then strove to both himself and his companion. "Don't worry so," he said, his brandy to keep him up to concert pitch, "I've got an idea which will be good for both of us."
"What is it?" questioned the secretary cautiously. He naturally did not trust the man who had betrayed him.
"Do you know who has inherited Pine's money?"
"No. The person named in the sealed envelope?"
"Exactly, and the person is Mother Cockleshell."
Silver was so amazed that he forgot his fright. "What? Is Gentilla Stanley related to Pine?"
"She's his grandmother, it seems. One of my servants was at the camp to-day and found the gypsies greatly excited over the old cat's windfall."
"Whew!" Silver whistled and drew a deep breath. "If I'd known that, I'd have got round the old woman. But it's too late now since all the fat is on the fire. Mr. Lambert knows too much, and you have confessed what should have been kept quiet."
"I had to save my own skin," said Garvington . "After all, I had nothing to do with the murder. I never guessed that you were so mixed up in it until Lambert brought that bullet to fit the revolver I lent you."
"And which I gave to Miss Greeby," snapped Silver . "She is the criminal, not me. What a wax she will be in when she learns the truth. I expect your cousin will have her arrested."
"I don't think so. He has some silly idea in his head about the honor of our name, and won't press matters unless he is forced to."
"Who can force him?" asked Silver, looking more at ease, since he saw a gleam of hope.
"Chaldea! She's death on making trouble."
"Can't we silence her? Remember you swing on my hook."
"No, I don't," contradicted Garvington sharply. "I can't be arrested."
"For forging that letter you can!"
"Not at all. I did not write it to Pine to his death, but only wished to him."
"That will get you into trouble," insisted Silver, anxious to have a companion in .
"It won't, I tell you. There's no one to . You are the person who is in danger, as you knew Miss Greeby to be guilty, and are therefore an accessory after the fact."
"If Mr. Lambert has the honor of your family at heart he will do nothing," said the secretary hopefully; "for if Miss Greeby is arrested along with me the writing of that letter is bound to come out."
"I don't care. It's worth a million."
"What is worth a million?"
"The exposure. See here, Silver, I hear that Mother Cockleshell is willing to hand over that sum to the person who finds the murderer of her grandson. We know that Miss Greeby is guilty, so why not give her up and earn the money?"
The secretary rose in quivering alarm. "But I'd be arrested also. You said so; you know you said so."
"And I say so again," remarked Garvington, leaning back coolly. "You'd not be hanged, you know, although she would. A few years in prison would be your little lot and when you came out I could give you say—er—er—ten thousand pounds. There! That's a splendid offer."
"Where would you get the ten thousand? Tell me!" asked Silver with a curious look.
"From the million Mother Cockleshell would hand over to me."
"For denouncing me?"
"For denouncing Miss Greeby."
"You beast!" Silver hysterically. "You know quite well that if she is taken by the police I have no chance of escaping. I'd run away now if I had the cash. But I haven't. I count on your cousin keeping quiet because of your family name, and you shan't give the show away."
"But think," said Garvington, , "a whole million."
"For you, and only ten thousand for me. Oh, I like that."
"Well, I'll make it twenty thousand."
"No! no."
"Thirty thousand."
"No! no! no!"
"Forty, fifty, sixty, seventy—oh, hang it, you greedy beast! I'll give you one hundred thousand. You'd be rich for life then."
"Would I, curse you!" Silver his fists and backed against the wall looking decidedly dangerous. "And risk a life-long sentence to get the money while you take the lion's share."
"You'd only get ten years at most," argued the visitor, annoyed by what he considered to be silly objections.
"Ten years are ten centuries at my time of life. You shan't denounce me."
Garvington rose. "Yes, I shall," he declared, rendered desperate by the
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