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The Devil's Paw

Chapter 12
Catherine, notwithstanding her own excitement, found genuine pleasure in the bewildered
enthusiasm with which the Bishop received her astounding news. She found him alone in
the great, gloomy house which he usually inhabited when in London, at work in a dreary
library to which she was admitted after a few minutes' delay. Naturally, he received her
tidings at first almost with incredulity. A heartfelt joy, however, followed upon
conviction.
"I always liked Julian," he declared. "I always believed that he had capacity. Dear me,
though," he went on, with a whimsical little smile, "what a blow for the Earl!"
Catherine laughed.
"Do you remember the evening we all talked about the Labour question? Time seems to
have moved so rapidly lately, but it was scarcely a week ago."
"I remember," the Bishop acknowledged. "And, my dear young lady," he went on
warmly, "now indeed I feel that I can offer you congratulations which come from my
heart."
She turned a little away.
"Don't," she begged. "You would have known very soon, in any case - my engagement to
Julian Orden was only a pretence."
"A pretence?"
"I was desperate," she explained. "I felt I must have that packet back at any price. I went
to his rooms to try and steal it. Well, I was found there. He invented our engagement to
help me out."
"But you went off to London together, the neat day?" the Bishop reminded her.
"It was all part of the game," she sighed. "What a fool he must have thought me!
However, I am glad. I am riotously, madly glad. I am glad for the cause, I am glad for all
our sakes. We have a great recruit, Bishop, the greatest we could have. And think! When
he knows the truth, there will be no more trouble. He will hand us over the packet. We
shall know just where we stand. We shall know at once whether we dare to strike the
great blow."
"I was down at Westminster this afternoon," the Bishop told her. "The whole mechanism
of the Council of Labour seems to be complete. Twenty men control industrial England.
They have absolute power. They are waiting only for the missing word. And fancy," he
went on, "to-morrow I was to have visited Julian. I was to have used my persuasions."
 
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