The Haunted Hotel HTML version
The next day, the friend and legal adviser of Agnes Lockwood, Mr. Troy, called on her
by appointment in the evening.
Mrs. Ferrari--still persisting in the conviction of her husband's death-- had sufficiently
recovered to be present at the consultation. Assisted by Agnes, she told the lawyer the
little that was known relating to Ferrari's disappearance, and then produced the
correspondence connected with that event. Mr. Troy read (first) the three letters
addressed by Ferrari to his wife; (secondly) the letter written by Ferrari's courier-friend,
describing his visit to the palace and his interview with Lady Montbarry; and (thirdly) the
one line of anonymous writing which had accompanied the extraordinary gift of a
thousand pounds to Ferrari's wife.
Well known, at a later period, as the lawyer who acted for Lady Lydiard, in the case of
theft, generally described as the case of 'My Lady's Money,' Mr. Troy was not only a man
of learning and experience in his profession-- he was also a man who had seen something
of society at home and abroad. He possessed a keen eye for character, a quaint humour,
and a kindly nature which had not been deteriorated even by a lawyer's professional
experience of mankind. With all these personal advantages, it is a question, nevertheless,
whether he was the fittest adviser whom Agnes could have chosen under the
circumstances. Little Mrs. Ferrari, with many domestic merits, was an essentially
commonplace woman. Mr. Troy was the last person living who was likely to attract her
sympathies--he was the exact opposite of a commonplace man.
'She looks very ill, poor thing!' In these words the lawyer opened the business of the
evening, referring to Mrs. Ferrari as unceremoniously as if she had been out of the room.
'She has suffered a terrible shock,' Agnes answered.
Mr. Troy turned to Mrs. Ferrari, and looked at her again, with the interest due to the
victim of a shock. He drummed absently with his fingers on the table. At last he spoke to
'My good lady, you don't really believe that your husband is dead?'
Mrs. Ferrari put her handkerchief to her eyes. The word 'dead' was ineffectual to express
her feelings. 'Murdered!' she said sternly, behind her handkerchief.
'Why? And by whom?' Mr. Troy asked.
Mrs. Ferrari seemed to have some difficulty in answering. 'You have read my husband's
letters, sir,' she began. 'I believe he discovered--' She got as far as that, and there she