The Man HTML version

13. Harold's Resolve
As they went on their way Harold noticed that Leonard's breathing became more regular,
as in honest sleep. He therefore drove slowly so that the other might be sane again before
they should arrive at the gate of his father's place; he had something of importance to say
before they should part.
Seeing him sleeping so peacefully, Harold passed a strap round him to prevent him
falling from his seat. Then he could let his thoughts run more freely. Her safety was his
immediate concern; again and again he thought over what he should say to Leonard to
ensure his silence.
Whilst he was pondering with set brows, he was startled by Leonard's voice at his side:
'Is that you, Harold? I must have been asleep!' Harold remained silent, amazed at the
change. Leonard went on, quite awake and coherent:
'By George! I must have been pretty well cut. I don't remember a thing after coming
down the stairs of the club and you and the hall- porter helping me up here. I say, old
chap, you have strapped me up all safe and tight. It was good of you to take charge of me.
I hope I haven't been a beastly nuisance!' Harold answered grimly:
'It wasn't exactly what I should have called it!' Then, after looking keenly at his
companion, he said: 'Are you quite awake and sober now?'
'Quite.' The answer came defiantly; there was something in his questioner's tone which
was militant and aggressive. Before speaking further Harold pulled up the horse. They
were now crossing bare moorland, where anything within a mile could have easily been
seen. They were quite alone, and would be undisturbed. Then he turned to his companion.
'You talked a good deal in your drunken sleep--if sleep it was. You appeared to be
awake!' Leonard answered:
'I don't remember anything of it. What did I say?'
'I am going to tell you. You said something so strange and so wrong that you must
answer for it. But first I must know its truth.'
'Must! You are pretty dictatorial,' said Leonard angrily. 'Must answer for it! What do you
'Were you on Caester Hill to-day?'
'What's that to you?' There was no mistaking the defiant, quarrelsome intent.