The Evil Shepherd HTML version

Chapter 31
Sir Timothy walked that evening amongst the shadows. Two hours ago, the last of the
workmen from the great furnishing and catering establishments who undertook the
management of his famous entertainments, had ceased work for the day and driven off in
the motor-brakes hired to take them to the nearest town. The long, low wing whose use
no one was able absolutely to divine, was still full of animation, but the great reception-
rooms and stately hall were silent and empty. In the gymnasium, an enormous apartment
as large as an ordinary concert hall, two or three electricians were still at work, directed
by the man who had accompanied Sir Timothy to the East End on the night before. The
former crossed the room, his footsteps awaking strange echoes.
"There will be seating for fifty, sir, and standing room for fifty," he announced. "I have
had the ring slightly enlarged, as you suggested, and the lighting is being altered so that
the start is exactly north and south."
Sir Timothy nodded thoughtfully. The beautiful oak floor of the place was littered with
sawdust and shavings of wood. Several tiers of seats had been arranged on the space
usually occupied by swings, punching-balls and other artifices. On a slightly raised dais
at the further end was an exact replica of a ring, corded around and with sawdust upon the
floor. Upon the walls hung a marvellous collection of weapons of every description, from
the modern rifle to the curved and terrible knife used by the most savage of known tribes.
"How are things in the quarters?" Sir Timothy asked.
"Every one is well, sir. Doctor Ballantyne arrived this afternoon. His report is excellent."
Sir Timothy nodded and turned away. He looked into the great gallery, its waxen floors
shining with polish, ready for the feet of the dancers on the morrow; looked into a
beautiful concert-room, with an organ that reached to the roof; glanced into the
banquetting hall, which extended far into the winter-garden; made his way up the broad
stairs, turned down a little corridor, unlocked a door and passed into his own suite. There
was a small dining-room, a library, a bedroom, and a bathroom fitted with every sort of
device. A man-servant who had heard him enter, hurried from his own apartment across
the way.
"You are not dining here, sir? "he enquired.
Sir Timothy shook his head.
"No, I am dining late at The Sanctuary," he replied. "I just strolled over to see how the
preparations were going on. I shall be sleeping over there, too. Any prowlers?"