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The Evil Shepherd

Chapter 22
After his first glance at Sir Timothy, Francis' only thought was for Margaret. To his
intense relief, she showed no signs whatever of terror, or of any relapse to her former
state. She was entirely mistress of herself and the occasion. Sir Timothy's face was cold
and terrible.
"I must apologise for this second intrusion, Mr. Ledsam," he said cuttingly. "I think you
will admit that the circumstances warrant it. Am I to understand that you lied to me this
morning?"
"You are to understand nothing of the sort," Francis answered. "I told you everything I
knew at that time of your daughter's movements."
"Indeed!" Sir Timothy murmured. "This little banquet, then, was unpremeditated?"
"Entirely," Francis replied. "Here is the exact truth, so far as I am concerned. I met your
daughter little more than an hour ago, coming out of a steamship office, where she had
booked a passage to Buenos Ayres to get away from me. I was fortunate enough to
induce her to change her mind. She has consented instead to remain in England as my
wife. We were, as you see, celebrating the occasion."
Sir Timothy laid his hat upon the sideboard and slowly removed his gloves.
"I trust," he said, "that this pint bottle does not represent your cellar. I will drink a glass
of wine with you, and with your permission make myself a pate sandwich. I was just
sitting down to luncheon when I received the information which brought me here."
Francis produced another bottle of wine from the sideboard and filled his visitor's glass.
"You will drink, I hope, to our happiness," he said.
"I shall do nothing of the sort," Sir Timothy declared, helping himself with care to the
pate. "I have no superstitions about breaking bread with an enemy, or I should not have
asked you to visit me at The Sanctuary, Mr. Ledsam. I object to your marriage with my
daughter, and I shall take what steps I can to prevent it."
"Why?"
Sir Timothy did not at once reply. He seemed to be enjoying his sandwich; he also
appreciated the flavour of his wine.
"Your question," he said, "strikes me as being a little ingenuous. You are at the present
moment suspecting me of crimes beyond number. You encourage Scotland Yard
detectives to make asses of themselves in my stream. Your myrmidons scramble on to the
 
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