A Rogue's Life
It ended with as little additional wretchedness as could be expected. The runner
was resolute about keeping me handcuffed, and taking me back, without a
moment's unnecessary waste of time to Barkingham; but he relented on other
Where he was obliged to order a private conveyance, there was no objection to
Alicia and Mrs. Baggs following it. Where we got into a coach, there was no harm
in their hiring two inside places. I gave my watch, rings, and last guinea to Alicia,
enjoining her, on no account, to let her box of jewels see the light until we could
get proper advice on the best means of turning them to account. She listened to
these and other directions with a calmness that astonished me.
"You shan't say, my dear, that your wife has helped to make you uneasy by so
much as a word or a look," she whispered to me as we left the inn.
And she kept the hard promise implied in that one short sentence throughout the
journey. Once only did I see her lose her self-possession. At starting on our way
south, Mrs. Baggs--taking the same incomprehensible personal offense at my
misfortune which she had previously taken at the doctor's--upbraided me with my
want of confidence in her, and declared that it was the main cause of all my
present trouble. Alicia turned on her as she was uttering the words, with a look
and a warning that silenced her in an instant:
"If you say another syllable that isn't kind to him, you shall find your way back by
The words may not seem of much importance to others; but I thought, as I
overheard them, that they justified every sacrifice I had made for my wife's sake.