The Great Impersonation
"I certainly offer you my heartiest congratulations upon your cellars, Sir Everard," his
guest said, as he sipped his third glass of port that evening. "This is the finest glass of
seventy I've drunk for a long time, and this new fellow I've sent you down--Parkins--tells
me there's any quantity of it."
"It has had a pretty long rest," Dominey observed.
"I was looking through the cellar-book before dinner," the lawyer went on, "and I see that
you still have forty-seven and forty-eight, and a small quantity of two older vintages.
Something ought to be done about those."
"We will try one of them to-morrow night," Dominey suggested. "We might spend half
an hour or so in the cellars, if we have any time to spare."
"And another half an hour," Mr. Mangan said gravely, "I should like to spend in
interviewing Mrs. Unthank. Apart from any other question, I do not for one moment
believe that she is the proper person to be entrusted with the care of Lady Dominey. I
made up my mind to speak to you on this subject, Sir Everard, as soon as we had arrived
"Mrs. Unthank was old Mr. Felbrigg's housekeeper and my wife's nurse when she was a
child," Dominey reminded his companion. "Whatever her faults may be, I believe she is
devoted to Lady Dominey."
"She may be devoted to your wife," the lawyer admitted, "but I am convinced that she is
your enemy. The situation doesn't seem to me to be consistent. Mrs. Unthank is firmly
convinced that, whether in fair fight or not, you killed her son. Lady Dominey believes
that, too, and it was the sight of you after the fight that sent her insane. I cannot but
believe that it would be far better for Lady Dominey to have some one with her
unconnected with this unfortunate chapter of your past."
"We will consult Doctor Harrison to-morrow," Dominey said. "I am very glad you came
down with me, Mangan," he went on, after a minute's hesitation. "I find it very difficult to
get back into the atmosphere of those days. I even find it hard sometimes," he added, with
a curious little glance across the table, "to believe that I am the same man."
"Not so hard as I have done more than once," Mr. Mangan confessed.
"Tell me exactly in what respects you consider me changed?" Dominey insisted.
"You seem to have lost a certain pliability, or perhaps I ought to call it looseness of
disposition," he admitted. "There are many things connected with the past which I find it
almost impossible to associate with you. For a trifling instance," he went on, with a slight