The Haunted Hotel
A last chance of deciding the difference of opinion between the two brothers remained in
Henry's possession. He had his own idea of the use to which he might put the false teeth
as a means of inquiry when he and Ms fellow-travellers returned to England.
The only surviving depositary of the domestic history of the family in past years, was
Agnes Lockwood's old nurse. Henry took his first opportunity of trying to revive her
personal recollections of the deceased Lord Montbarry. But the nurse had never forgiven
the great man of the family for his desertion of Agnes; she flatly refused to consult her
memory. 'Even the bare sight of my lord, when I last saw him in London,' said the old
woman, 'made my finger-nails itch to set their mark on his face. I was sent on an errand
by Miss Agnes; and I met him coming out of his dentist's door--and, thank God, that's the
last I ever saw of him!'
Thanks to the nurse's quick temper and quaint way of expressing herself, the object of
Henry's inquiries was gained already! He ventured on asking if she had noticed the
situation of the house. She had noticed, and still remembered the situation-- did Master
Henry suppose she had lost the use of her senses, because she happened to be nigh on
eighty years old? The same day, he took the false teeth to the dentist, and set all further
doubt (if doubt had still been possible) at rest for ever. The teeth had been made for the
first Lord Montbarry.
Henry never revealed the existence of this last link in the chain of discovery to any living
creature, his brother Stephen included. He carried his terrible secret with him to the
There was one other event in the memorable past on which he preserved the same
compassionate silence. Little Mrs. Ferrari never knew that her husband had been--not, as
she supposed, the Countess's victim-- but the Countess's accomplice. She still believed
that the late Lord Montbarry had sent her the thousand-pound note, and still recoiled from
making use of a present which she persisted in declaring had 'the stain of her husband's
blood on it.' Agnes, with the widow's entire approval, took the money to the Children's
Hospital; and spent it in adding to the number of the beds.
In the spring of the new year, the marriage took place. At the special request of Agnes,
the members of the family were the only persons present at the ceremony. There was no
wedding breakfast-- and the honeymoon was spent in the retirement of a cottage on the
banks of the Thames.
During the last few days of the residence of the newly married couple by the riverside,
Lady Montbarry's children were invited to enjoy a day's play in the garden. The eldest
girl overheard (and reported to her mother) a little conjugal dialogue which touched on
the topic of The Haunted Hotel.