Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/293

This page needs to be proofread.


ing. “I thought you understood. It was the scraping of the dead tree against the roof of the shed that made the creaking noise; the hand was the shadow cast by the end of a bunched-up branch swaying in the wind. The same thing occurred the next night and on every moonlight night for a week after—as long as I stayed.”

“And what became of the soap-suddy brigand with the rosaries?” inquired The Engineer calmly, looking at Louis over the bowl of his pipe, a queer smile playing around his lips.

“Oh, a ripping good fellow,” returned Louis in the same innocent, childlike tone—“a real comfort; best in the village outside the landlord and his wife, with whom I stayed two weeks. Brought me my luncheon every day and crawled up a breakneck hill to do it, and then kept on two miles to mail my letters.”

“Well, but Louis,” I exclaimed, “what a mean, thin, fake of a yarn; no point, no plot—no nothing but a string of——

“Yes, High-Muck, quite true—no plot, no nothing; but it is as good as your bogus ghosts and shivering bishops. And then I always had my doubts about that bishop, High-Muck. I’ve heard you tell that story before, and it has