"She has parted with the letter?"
"I know of that letter. Hearne showed it to me, and would make for the big house, although I told him fair not to doubt his true wife."
"How did he get the letter?"
"That's tellings," said Mother Cockleshell with a wink of her lively eye.
"I've a good mind to take you to the police, and then you'd be forced to say what you know," said Miss Greeby crossly, for the vague hints irritated her not a little.
The old woman cackled in evident enjoyment. "Do that, and the pot will boil over, ma'am. I wish to help the angel rani who nursed me when I was sick, and I have debts to pay to Chaldea. Both I do in my own witchly way."
"You will help me to learn the truth?"
Tips, opportunities to make money：Lol make money online group"Surely! Surely! my Gorgious one. And now," Mother Cockleshell gave a tug at the donkey's mouth, "I goes my ways."
Tips, opportunities to make money：Is online purchase of virtual items to make money?"But where can I find you again?"
Tips, opportunities to make money：How to make money on the office worker online"When the time comes the mouth will open, and them as thinks they're high will find themselves in the dust. Aye, and maybe lower, if six feet of good earth lies atop, and them burning in lime, uncoffined and unblessed."
Miss Greeby was masculine and fearless, but there was something so weird about this mystic sentence, which hinted at capital punishment, that she shrank back nervously. Mother Cockleshell, delighted to see that she had made an impression, climbed on to the gray donkey and made a progress through the camp. Passing by Chaldea's caravan she spat on it and muttered a word or so, which did not indicate that she wished a blessing to rest on it. Chaldea did not show herself, so the deposed queen was accompanied to the outskirts of the wood by the elder gypsies, mourning loudly. But when they finally halted to see the last of Mother Cockleshell, she raised her hand and spoke authoritatively.
"I go and I come, my children. Forget not, ye Romans, that I say so much. When the seed needs rain it falls. Sarishan, brothers and sisters all." And with this strange speech, mystical to the last, she rode away into the setting sun, on the gray donkey, looking more like an almshouse widow than ever.
As for Miss Greeby, she strode out of the camp and out of the Abbot's Wood, and made for the Garvington Arms, where she had left her baggage. What Mother Cockleshell knew, she did not guess; what Mother Cockleshell intended to do, she could not think; but she was satisfied that Chaldea would in some way pay for her triumph. And the downfall of the girl was evidently connected with the unravelling of the murder mystery. In a witchly way, as the old woman would have said herself, she intended to adjust matters.
"I'll leave things so far in her hands," thought Miss Greeby. "Now for Silver."
Whether Miss Greeby found a difficulty, as was probable, in getting Silver to hand over the forged letter, or whether she had decided to leave the solution of this mystery to Mother Cockleshell, it is impossible to say. But she certainly did not put in an appearance at Lady Agnes Pine's town house to report progress until after the new year. Nor in the meantime did she visit Lambert, although she wrote to say that she induced the secretary to delay his threatened exposure. The position of things was therefore highly unsatisfactory, since the consequent suspense was painful both to Agnes and her lover. And of course the widow had been duly informed of the interview at the cottage, and naturally expected events to move more rapidly.
However, taking the wise advice of Isaiah to "Make no haste in time of trouble," Agnes possessed her soul in patience, and did not seek out Miss Greeby in any way, either by visiting or by letter. She attended at her lawyers' offices to supervise her late husband's affairs, and had frequent consultations with Garvington's solicitors in connection with the freeing of the Lambert estates. Everything was going on very satisfactorily, even to the improvement of Lambert's health, so Agnes was not at all so ill at ease in her mind as might have been expected. Certainly the sword of Damocles still dangled over her head, and over the head of Lambert, but a consciousness that they were both innocent, assured her inwardly that it would not fall. Nevertheless the beginning of the new year found her in anything but a placid frame of mind. She was greatly relieved when Miss Greeby at last condescended to pay her a visit.
Luckily Agnes was alone when the lady arrived, as Garvington and his wife were both out enjoying themselves in their several ways. The pair had been staying with the wealthy widow for Christmas, and had not yet taken their departure, since Garvington always tried to live at somebody's expense if possible. He had naturally shut up The Manor during the festive season, as the villagers expected coals and blankets and port wine and plum-puddings, which he had neither the money nor the inclination to supply. In fact, the greedy little man considered that they should ask for nothing and pay larger rents than they did. By deserting them when peace on earth and goodwill to men prevailed, or ought to have prevailed, he disappointed them greatly and chuckled over their lamentations. Garvington was very human in some ways.
However, both the corpulent little lord and his untidy wife were out of the way when Miss Greeby was announced, and Agnes was thankful that such was the case, since the interview was bound to be an important one. Miss Greeby, as usual, looked large and aggressively healthy, bouncing into the room like an india-rubber ball. Her town dress differed very little from the garb she wore in the country, save that she had a feather-trimmed hat instead of a man's cap, and carried an umbrella in place of a bludgeon. A smile, which showed all her strong white teeth in a somewhat carnivorous way, overspread her face as she shook hands vigorously with her hostess. And Miss Greeby's grip was so friendly as to be positively painful.