The Companions of Jehu HTML version
Two persons were waiting for Roland's return; one in anguish, the other with
impatience. These two persons were Amélie and Sir John. Neither of them had
slept for an instant. Amélie displayed her anguish only by the sound of her door,
which was furtively closed as Roland came up the staircase. Roland heard the
sound. He had not the courage to pass before her door without reassuring her.
"Be easy, Amélie, I am here," he said. It did not occur to him that his sister might
be anxious for any one but him.
Amélie darted from her room in her night-dress. It was easy to see from her
pallor and the dark circles which spread nearly to the middle of her cheeks that
she had not closed her eyes all night.
"Has nothing happened to you, Roland?" she cried, clasping her brother in her
arms and feeling him over anxiously.
"Nor to any one else?"
"And you saw nothing?"
"I didn't say that," answered Roland.
"Good God! What did you see?"
"I'll tell that to you later. Meantime, there is no one either killed or wounded."
"Ah! I breathe again!"
"Now, let me give you a bit of advice, little sister. Go to bed and sleep, if you can,
till breakfast. I am going to do the same thing, and can assure yon I won't need
any rocking. Good-night, or rather good-morning."
Roland kissed his sister tenderly. Then affecting to whistle a hunting-air
carelessly, he ran up the next flight of steps. Sir John was frankly waiting for him
in the hall. He went straight to the young man.
"Well?" he asked.
"Well, I didn't roll my stone entirely for nothing."
"Did you see any ghosts?"
"At any rate I saw something that resembled one very closely."
"Come, tell me all about it."
"I see you won't be able to sleep, or at best only fitfully, if I don't. Here's what
happened, in a nutshell."
And Roland gave him a minute account of the night's adventure.
"Excellent," said Sir John, when Roland had finished. "I hope you have left
something for me to do."
"I am even afraid," answered Roland, "that I have left you the hardest part."
Then, as Sir John went over each detail, asking many questions about the
localities, he said:
"Listen, Sir John. We will pay the Chartreuse a visit in broad daylight after
breakfast, which will not interfere in the least with your night-watch. On the
contrary, it will acquaint you with the localities. Only you must tell no one."