While the travelers were on their way back, a somewhat longer telegraphic
message than Allan's was flashing its way past them along the wires, in the
reverse direction--from Thorpe Ambrose to London. The message was in cipher,
and, the signs being interpreted, it ran thus: "From Lydia Gwilt to Maria
Oldershaw.--Good news! He is coming back. I mean to have an interview with
him. Everything looks well. Now I have left the cottage, I have no women's
prying eyes to dread, and I can come and go as I please. Mr. Midwinter is luckily
out of the way. I don't despair of becoming Mrs. Armadale yet. Whatever
happens, depend on my keeping away from London until I am certain of not
taking any spies after me to your place. I am in no hurry to leave Thorpe
Ambrose. I mean to be even with Miss Milroy first."
Shortly after that message was received in London, Allan was back again in his
It was evening--Pedgift Junior had just left him--and Pedgift Senior was expected
to call on business in half an hour's time.