The Great Impersonation
Dominey left the room like a man in a dream, descended the stairs to his own part of the
house, caught up a hat and stick and strode out into the sea mist which was fast
enveloping the gardens. There was all the chill of the North Pole in that ice-cold cloud of
vapour, but nevertheless his forehead remained hot, his pulses burning. He passed out of
the postern gate which led from the walled garden on to a broad marsh, with dikes
running here and there, and lapping tongues of sea water creeping in with the tide. He
made his way seaward with uncertain steps until he reached a rough and stony road; here
he hesitated for a moment, looked about him, and then turned back at right angles. Soon
he came to a little village, a village of ancient cottages, with seasoned, red-brick tiles,
trim little patches of garden, a church embowered with tall elm trees, a triangular green at
the cross-roads. On one side a low, thatched building,--the Dominey Arms; on another,
an ancient, square stone house, on which was a brass plate. He went over and read the
name, rang the bell, and asked the trim maidservant who answered it, for the doctor.
Presently, a man of youthful middle-age presented himself in the surgery and bowed.
Dominey was for a moment at a loss.
"I came to see Doctor Harrison," he ventured.
"Doctor Harrison retired from practice some years ago," was the courteous reply. "I am
his nephew. My name is Stillwell."
"I understood that Doctor Harrison was still in the neighbourhood," Dominey said. "My
name is Dominey--Sir Everard Dominey."
"I guessed as much," the other replied. "My uncle lives with me here, and to tell you the
truth he was hoping that you would come and see him. He retains one patient only,"
Doctor Stillwell added, in a graver tone. "You can imagine who that would be."
His caller bowed. "Lady Dominey, I presume."
The young doctor opened the door and motioned to his guest to precede him.
"My uncle has his own little apartment on the other side of the house," he said. "You
must let me take you to him."
They moved across the pleasant white stone hall into a small apartment with French
windows leading out to a flagged terrace and tennis lawn. An elderly man, broad-
shouldered, with weather-beaten face, grey hair, and of somewhat serious aspect, looked
around from the window before which he was standing examining a case of fishing flies.
"Uncle, I have brought an old friend in to see you," his nephew announced.