Mr. Lumsden, the senior partner of Lumsden and Westmacott, the
well-known scholastic and clerical agents, was a small, dapper man, with a
sharp, abrupt manner, a critical eye, and an incisive way of speaking.
"Your name, sir?" said he, sitting pen in hand with his long,
red-lined folio in front of him.
"Oxford or Cambridge?"
"Nothing remarkable, I am afraid."
"Not a Blue?"
Mr. Lumsden shook his head despondently and shrugged his shoulders in
a way which sent my hopes down to zero. "There is a very keen competition
for masterships, Mr. Weld," said he. "The vacancies are few and the
applicants innumerable. A first-class athlete, oar, or cricketer, or a man
who has passed very high in his examinations, can usually find a vacancy-I
might say always in the case of the cricketer. But the average man-if you
will excuse the description, Mr. Weld- has a very great difficulty, almost
an insurmountable difficulty. We have already more than a hundred such
names upon our lists, and if you think it worth while our adding yours, I
dare say that in the course of some years we may possibly be able to find
you some opening which-"
He paused on account of a knock at the door. It was a clerk with a
note. Mr. Lumsden broke the seal and read it.
"Why, Mr. Weld," said he, "this is really rather an interesting
coincidence. I understand you to say that Latin and English are your
subjects, and that you would prefer for a time to accept a place in an
elementary establishment, where you would have time for private study?"
"This note contains a request from an old client of ours, Dr. Phelps
McCarthy, of Willow Lea House Academy, West Hampstead, that I should at
once send him a young man who should be qualified to teach Latin and
English to a small class of boys under fourteen years of age. His vacancy
appears to be the very one which you are looking for. The terms are not
munificent-sixty pounds, board, lodging, and washing-but the work is not
onerous, and you would have the evenings to yourself."
"That would do," I cried, with all the eagerness of the man who sees
work at last after weary months of seeking.
"I don't know that it is quite fair to these gentlemen whose names
have been so long upon our list," said Mr. Lumsden, glancing down at his
open ledger. "But the coincidence is so striking that I feel we must
really give you the refusal of it."
"Then I accept it, sir, and I am much obliged to you."
"There is one small provision in Dr. McCarthy's letter. He stipulates
that the applicant must be a man with an imperturbable good temper."
"I am the very man," said I, with conviction.
"Well," said Mr. Lumsden, with some hesitation, "I hope that your
temper is really as good as you say, for I rather fancy that you may need
"I presume that every elementary school-master does."
"Yes, sir, but it is only fair to you to warn you that there may be
some especially trying circumstances in this particular situation. Dr.
Phelps McCarthy does not make such a condition without some very good and
There was a certain solemnity in his speech which struck a chill in
the delight with which I had welcomed this providential vacancy.
"May I ask the nature of these circumstances?" I asked.
"We endeavour to hold the balance equally between our clients, and to
be perfectly frank with all of them. If I knew of objections to you I
should certainly communicate them to Dr. McCarthy, and so I have no
hesitation in doing as much for you. I find," he continued, glancing over
the pages of his ledger, "that within the last twelve months we have
supplied no fewer than seven Latin masters to Willow Lea House Academy,
four of them having left so abruptly as to forfeit their month's salary,
and none of them having stayed more than eight weeks."
"And the other masters? Have they stayed?"
"There is only one other residential master, and he appears to be
unchanged. You can understand, Mr. Weld," continued the agent, closing
both the ledger and the interview, "that such rapid changes are not
desirable from a master's point of view, whatever may be said for them by
an agent working on commission. I have no idea why these gentlemen have
resigned their situations so early. I can only give you the facts, and
advise you to see Dr. McCarthy at once and to form your own conclusions."
Great is the power of the man who has nothing to lose, and it was
therefore with perfect serenity, but with a good deal of curiosity, that I
rang early that afternoon the heavy wrought-iron bell of the Willow Lea
House Academy. The building was a massive pile, square and ugly, standing
in its own extensive grounds, with a broad carriage-sweep curving up to it
from the road. It stood high, and commanded a view on the one side of the
grey roofs and bristling spires of Northern London, and on the other of
the well-wooded and beautiful country which fringes the great city. The
door was opened by a boy in buttons, and I was shown into a well-appointed
study, where the principal of the academy presently joined me.
The warnings and insinuations of the agent had prepared me to meet a
choleric and overbearing person-one whose manner was an insupportable
provocation to those who worked under him. Anything further from the
reality cannot be imagined. He was a frail, gentle creature, clean-shaven
and round-shouldered, with a bearing which was so courteous that it became
almost deprecating. His bushy hair was thickly shot with grey, and his age
I should imagine to verge upon sixty. His voice was low and suave, and he
walked with a certain mincing delicacy of manner. His whole appearance was
that of a kindly scholar, who was more at home among his books than in the
practical affairs of the world.
"I am sure that we shall be very happy to have your assistance, Mr.
Weld," said he, after a few professional questions. "Mr. Percival Manners
left me yesterday, and I should be glad if you could take over his duties
"May I ask if that is Mr. Percival Manners of Selwyn?" I asked.
"Precisely. Did you know him?"
"Yes; he is a friend of mine."
"An excellent teacher, but a little hasty in his disposition. It was
his only fault. Now, in your case, Mr. Weld, is your own temper under good
control? Supposing for argument's sake that I were to so far forget myself
as to be rude to you or to speak roughly or to jar your feelings in any
way, could you rely upon yourself to control your emotions?"
I smiled at the idea of this courteous, little, mincing creature
ruffling my nerves.
"I think that I could answer for it, sir," said I.
"Quarrels are very painful to me," said he. "I wish every one to live
in harmony under my roof. I will not deny Mr. Percival Manners had
provocation, but I wish to find a man who can raise himself above
provocation, and sacrifice his own feelings for the sake of peace and
"I will do my best, sir."
"You cannot say more, Mr. Weld. In that case I shall expect you
to-night, if you can get your things ready so soon."
I not only succeeded in getting my things ready, but I found time to
call at the Benedict Club in Piccadilly, where I knew that I should find
Manners if he were still in town. There he was sure enough in the
smoking-room, and I questioned him, over a cigarette, as to his reasons
for throwing up his recent situation.
"You don't tell me that you are going to Dr. Phelps McCarthy's
Academy?" he cried, staring at me in surprise. "My dear chap, it's no use.
You can't possibly remain there."
"But I saw him, and he seemed the most Courtly, inoffensive fellow. I
never met a man with more gentle manners."
"He! oh, he's all right. There's no vice in him. Have you seen
Theophilus St. James?"
"I have never heard the name. Who is he?"
"Your colleague. The other master."
"No, I have not seen him."
"He's the terror. If you can stand him, you have either the spirit of
a perfect Christian or else you have no spirit at all. A more perfect
bounder never bounded."
"But why does McCarthy stand it?"
My friend looked at me significantly through his cigarette smoke, and
shrugged his shoulders.
"You will form your own conclusions about that. Mine were formed very
Soon, and I never found occasion to alter them."
"It would help me very much if you would tell me them."
"When you see a man in his own house allowing his business to be
ruined, his comfort destroyed, and his authority defied by another man in
a subordinate position, and calmly submitting to it without so much as a
word of protest, what conclusion do you come to?"
"That the one has a hold over the other."
Percival Manners nodded his head.
"There you are! You've hit it first barrel. It seems to me that
there's no other explanation which will cover the facts. At some period in
his life the little Doctor has gone astray. Humanum est errare. I have
even done it myself. But this was something serious, and the other man got
a hold of it and has never let go. That's the truth. Blackmail is at the
bottom of it. But he had no hold over me, and there was no reason why I
should stand his insolence, so I came away-and I very much expect to see
you do the same."
For some time he talked over the matter, but he always came to the
same conclusion-that I should not retain my new situation very long.
It was with no very pleasant feelings after this preparation that I
found myself face to face with the very man of whom I had received so evil
an account. Dr. McCarthy introduced us to each other in his study on the
evening of that same day immediately after my arrival at the school.
"This is your new colleague, Mr. St. James," said he, in his genial,
courteous fashion. "I trust that you will mutually agree, and that I shall
find nothing but good feeling and sympathy beneath this roof."
I shared the good Doctor's hope, but my expectations of it were not
increased by the appearance of my confrere. He was a young, bull-necked
fellow about thirty years of age, dark-eyed and black-haired, with an
exceedingly vigorous physique. I have never seen a more strongly built
man, though he tended to run to fat in a way which showed that he was in
the worst of training. His face was coarse, Swollen, and brutal, with a
pair of small black eyes deeply sunken in his head. His heavy jowl, his
projecting ears, and his thick bandy legs all went to make up a
personality which was as formidable as it was repellent.
"I hear you've never been out before," said he, in a rude, brusque
fashion. "Well, it's a poor life: hard work and starvation pay, as you'll
find out for yourself."
"But it has some compensations" said the principal. "Surely you will
allow that, Mr. St. James?"
"Has it? I never could find them. What do you call compensations?"
"Even to be in the continual presence of youth is a privilege. It has
the effect of keeping youth in one's own soul, for one reflects something
of their high spirits and their keen enjoyment of life."
"Little beasts!" cried my colleague.
"Come, come, Mr. St. James, you are too hard upon them."
"I hate the sight of them! If I could put them and their blessed
copybooks and lexicons and slates into one bonfire I'd do it to-night."
"This is Mr. St. James's way of talking," said the principal, smiling
nervously as he glanced at rue. "You must not take him too seriously. Now,
Mr. Weld, you know where your room is, and no doubt you have your own
little arrangements to make. The sooner you make them the sooner you will
feel yourself at It seemed to me that he was only too anxious to remove me
at once from the influence of this extraordinary colleague, and I was glad
to go, for the conversation had become embarrassing.
And so began an epoch which always seems to me as I look back to it
to be the most singular in all my experience. The school was in many ways
an excellent one. Dr. Phelps McCarthy was an ideal principal. His methods
were modern and rational. The management was all that could be desired.
And yet in the middle of this well-ordered machine there intruded the
incongruous and impossible Mr. St. James, throwing everything into
confusion. His duties were to teach English and mathematics, and how he
acquitted himself of them I do not know, as our classes were held in
separate rooms. I can answer for it, however, that the boys feared him and
loathed him, and I know that they had good reason to do so, for frequently
my own teaching was interrupted by his bellowing of anger, and even by the
sound of his blows. Dr. McCarthy spent most of his time in his class, but
it was, I suspect, to watch over the master rather than the boys, and to
try to moderate his ferocious temper when it threatened to become
It was in his bearing to the head master, however, that my colleagues
conduct was most outrageous. The first conversation which I have recorded
proved to be typical of their intercourse. He domineered over him openly
and brutally. I have heard him contradict him roughly before the whole
school. At no time would he show him any mark of respect, and my temper
often rose within me when I saw the quiet acquiescence of the old Doctor,
and his patient tolerance of this monstrous treatment. And yet the sight
of it surrounded the principal also with a certain vague horror in my
mind, for Supposing my friend's theory to be correct-and I could devise no
better one-how black must have been the story which could be held over his
head by this man and, by fear of its publicity, force him to undergo such
humiliations. This quiet, gentle Doctor might be a profound hypocrite, a
criminal, a forger possibly, or a poisoner. Only such a secret as this
could account for the complete power which the younger man held over him.
Why else should he admit so hateful a presence into his house and so
harmful an influence into his school? Why should he submit to degradations
which could not be witnessed, far hess endured, without indignation?
And yet, if it were so, I was forced to confess that my principal
carried it off with extraordinary duplicity. Never by word or sign did he
show that the young man's presence was distasteful to him. I have seen him
look pained, it is true, after some peculiarly outrageous exhibition, but
he gave me the impression that it was always on account of the scholars or
of me, never on account of himself. He spoke to and of St. James in an
indulgent fashion, smiling gently at what made my blood boil within rue.
In his way of looking at him and addressing him, one could see no trace of
resentment, but rather a sort of timid and deprecating good will. His
company he certainly courted, and they spent many hours together in the
study and the garden.
As to my own relations with Theophilus St. James, I made tip my mind
from the beginning that I should keep my temper with him, and to that
resolution I steadfastly adhered. If Dr. McCarthy chose to permit this
disrespect, and to condone these outrages, it was his affair and not mine.
It was evident that his one wish was that there should be peace between
us, and I felt that I could help him best by respecting this desire. My
easiest way to do so was to avoid my colleague, and this I did to the best
of my ability. When we were thrown together I was quiet, polite, and
reserved. He, on his part, showed me no ill-will, but met me rather with a
coarse joviality, and a rough familiarity which he meant to be
ingratiating. He was insistent in his attempts to get me into his room at
night, for the purpose of playing euchre and of drinking.
"Old McCarthy doesn't mind," said he. "Don't you be afraid of him.
We'll do what we like, and I'll answer for it that he won't object." Once
only I went, and when I left, after a dull and gross evening, my host was
stretched dead drunk upon the sofa. After that I gave the excuse of a
course of study, and spent my spare hours alone in my own room.
One point upon which I was anxious to gain information was as to how
long these proceedings had been going on. When did St. James assert his
hold over Dr. McCarthy? From neither of them could I learn how long my
colleague had been in his present situation. One or two leading questions
upon my part were eluded or ignored in a manner so marked that it was easy
to see that they were both of them as eager to conceal the point as I was
to know it. But at last one evening I had the chance of a chat with Mrs.
Carter, the matron-for the Doctor was a widower-and from her I got the
information which I wanted. It needed no questioning to get at her
knowledge, for she was so full of indignation that she shook with passion
as she spoke of it, and raised her hands into the air in the earnestness
of her denunciation, as she described the grievances which she had against
"It was three years ago, Mr. Weld, that he first darkened this
doorstep," she cried. "Three bitter years they have been to me. The school
had fifty boys then. Now it has twenty-two. That's what he has done for us
in three years. In another three there won't be one. And the Doctor, that
angel of patience, you see how he treats him, though he is not fit to lace
his boots for him. If it wasn't for the Doctor, you may be sure that I
wouldn't stay an hour under the same roof with such a man, and so I told
him to his own face, Mr. Weld. If the Doctor would only pack him about his
business-but I know that I am saying more than I should!" She stopped
herself with an effort, and spoke no more upon the subject. She had
remembered that I was almost a stranger in the school, and she feared that
she had been indiscreet.
There were one or two very singular points about my colleague. The
chief one was that he rarely took any exercise. There was a playing-field
within the. college grounds, and that was his farthest point. If the boys
went out, it was I or Dr. McCarthy who accompanied them. St. James gave as
a reason for this that he had injured his knee some years before, and that
walking was painful to him. For my own part I put it down to pure laziness
upon his part, for he was of an obese, heavy temperament. Twice, however,
I saw him from my window stealing out of the grounds late at night, and
the second time I watched him return in the grey of the morning and slink
in through an open window. These furtive excursions were never alluded to,
but they exposed the hollowness of his story about his knee, and they
increased the dislike and distrust which I had of the man. His nature
seemed to be vicious to the core.
Another point, small but suggestive, was that he hardly ever during
the months that I was at Willow Lea House received any letters, and on
those few occasions they were obviously tradesmen's bills. I am an early
riser, and used every morning to pick my own correspondence out of the
bundle upon the hail table. I could judge therefore how few were ever
there for Mr. Theophilus St. James. There seemed to me to be something
peculiarly ominous in this. What sort of a man could he be who during
thirty years of his life had never made a single friend, high or low, who
cared to continue to keep in touch with him? And yet the sinister fact
remained that the head master not only tolerated, but was even intimate
with him. More than once on entering a room I had found them talking
confidentially together, and they would walk arm in arm in deep
conversation up and down the garden paths. So curious did I become to know
what the tie was which bound them, that I found it gradually push out my
other interests and become the main purpose of my life. In school and out
of school, at meals and at play, I was perpetually engaged in watching Dr.
Phelps McCarthy and Mr. Theophilus St. James, and in endeavouring to solve
the mystery which surrounded them.
But, unfortunately, my curiosity was a little too open. I had not the
art to conceal the suspicions which I felt about the relations which
existed between these two men and the nature of the hold which the one
appeared to have over the other. It may have been my manner of watching
them, it may have been some indiscreet question, but it is certain that I
showed too clearly what I felt. One night I was conscious that the eyes of
Theophilus St. James were fixed upon me in a surly and menacing stare. I
had a foreboding of evil, and I was not surprised when Dr. McCarthy called
me next morning into his study.
"I am very sorry, Mr. Weld," said he, "but I am afraid that I shall
be compelled to dispense with your services.
"Perhaps you would give me some reason for dismissing me," I
answered, for I was conscious of having done my duties to the best of my
power, and knew well that only one reason could be given.
"I have no fault to find with you," said he, and the colour came to
"You send me away at the suggestion of my colleague."
His eyes turned away from mine.
"We will not discuss the question, Mr. Weld. It is impossible for me
to discuss it. In justice to you, I will give you the strongest
recommendation for your next situation. I can say no more. I hope that you
will continue your duties here until you have found a place elsewhere."
My whole soul rose against the injustice of it, and yet I had no
appeal and no redress. I could only bow and leave the room, with a bitter
sense of ill-usage at my heart.
My first instinct was to pack my boxes and leave the house. But the
head master had given me permission to remain until I had found another
situation. I was sure that St. James desired me to go, and that was a
strong reason why I should stay. If my presence annoyed him, I should give
him as much of it as I could. I had begun to hate him and to long to have
my revenge upon him. If he had a hold over our principal, might not I in
turn obtain one over him? It was a sign of weakness that he should, be so
afraid of my curiosity. He would not resent it so much if he had not
something to fear from it. I entered my name once more upon the books of
the agents, but meanwhile I continued to fulfil my duties at Willow Lea
House, and so it came about that I was present at the denouement of this
During that week-for it was only a week before the crisis came-I was
in the habit of going down each evening, after the work of the day was
done, to inquire about my new arrangements. One night, it was a cold and
windy evening in March, I had just stepped out from the hall door when a
strange sight met my eyes. A man was crouching before one of the windows
of the house. His knees were bent and his eyes were fixed upon the small
line of light between the cur-tain and the sash. The window threw a
square of brightness in front of it, and in the middle of this the dark
shadow of this ominous visitor showed clear and hard. It was hut for an
instant that I saw him, for he glanced up and was off in a moment through
the shrubbery. I could hear the patter of his feet as he ran down the
road, until it died away in the distance.
It was evidently my duty to turn back and to tell Dr. McCarthy what I
had seen. I found him in his study. I had expected him to be disturbed at
such an incident, but I was not prepared for the state of panic into which
he fell. He leaned back in his chair, white and gasping, like one who has
received a mortal blow.
"Which window, Mr. Weld?" he asked, wiping his forehead. "Which
window was it?"
"The next to the dining-room-Mr. St. James's window."
"Dear me! Dear me! This is, indeed, unfortunate! A man looking
through Mr. St. James's window!" He wrung his hands like a man who is at
his wits' end what to do.
"I shall be passing the police-station, sir. Would you wish me to
mention the matter?"
"No, no," he cried, suddenly, mastering his extreme agitation; "I
have no doubt that it was some poor tramp who intended to beg. I attach no
importance to the incident-none at all. Don't let me detain you, Mr. Weld,
if you wish to go out."
I left him sitting in his study with reassuring words upon his lips,
but with horror upon his face. My heart was heavy for my little employer
as I started off once more for town. As I looked back from the gate at the
square of light which marked the window of my colleague, I suddenly saw
the black outline of Dr. McCarthy's figure passing against the lamp. He
had hastened from his study then to tell St. James what he had heard. What
was the meaning of it all, this atmosphere of mystery, this inexplicable
terror, these confidences between two such dissimilar men? I thought and
thought as I walked, but do what I would 1 could not hit upon any adequate
conclusion. I little knew how near I was to the solution of the problem.
It was very late-nearly twelve o'clock-when I returned, and the
lights were all out save one in the Doctor's study. The black, gloomy
house loomed before me as I walked up the drive, its sombre bulk broken
only by the one glimmering point of brightness. I let myself in with my
latch-key, and was about to enter my own room when my attention was
arrested by a short, sharp cry like that of a man in pain. I stood and
listened, my hand upon the handle of my door.
All was silent in the house save for a distant murmur of voices which
came, I knew, from the Doctor's room. I stole quietly down the corridor in
that direction. The sound resolved itself now into two voices, the rough
bullying tones of St. James and the lower tone of the Doctor, the one
apparently insisting and the other arguing and pleading. Four thin lines
of light in the blackness showed me the door of the Doctor's room, and
step by step I drew nearer to it in the darkness. St. James's voice within
rose louder and louder, and his words came plainly to my ear.
"I'll have every pound of it. If you won't give it me I'll take it.
Do you hear?"
Dr. McCarthy's reply was inaudible, but the angry voice broke in
"Leave you destitute! I leave you this little gold-mine of a school,
and that's enough for one old man, is it not? How am I to set up in
Australia without money? Answer me that!"
Again the Doctor said something in a soothing voice, but his answer
only roused his companion to a higher pitch of fury.
"Done for me! What have you ever done for me except what you couldn't
help doing? It was for your good name, not for my safety, that you cared.
But ugh cackle! I must get on my way before morning. Will you open your
safe or will you not?"
"Oh, James, how can you use me so?" cried a wailing voice, and then
there came a sudden little scream of pain. At the sound of that helpless
appeal from brutal violence I lost for once that temper upon which I had
prided myself. Every bit of manhood in me cried out against any further
neutrality. With my walking cane in my hand I rushed into the study. As I
did so I was conscious that the hall-door bell was violently ringing.
"You villain!" I cried, "let him go!"
The two men were standing in front of a small safe, which stood
against one wall of the Doctor's room. St. James held the old man by the
wrist, and he had twisted his arm round in order to force him to produce
the key. My little head master, white but resolute, was struggling
furiously in the grip of the burly athlete. The bully glared over his
shoulder at me with a mixture of fury and terror upon his brutal features.
Then, realising that I was alone, he dropped his victim and made for me
with a horrible curse.
"You infernal spy!" he cried. "I'll do for you anyhow before I
I am not a very strong man, and I realised that I was helpless if
once at close quarters. Twice I cut at him with my stick, but he rushed in
at me with a murderous growl, and seized me by the throat with both his
muscular hands. I fell backwards and he on the top of me, with a grip
which was squeezing the life from me. I was conscious of his malignant
yellow-tinged eyes within a few inches of my own, and then with a beating
of pulses in my head and a singing in my ears, my senses slipped away from
me. But even in that supreme moment I was aware that the door-bell was
still violently ringing.
When I came to myself, I was lying upon the sofa in Dr. McCarthy's
study, and the Doctor himself was seated beside me. He appeared to be
watching me intently and anxiously, for as I opened my eyes and looked
about me he gave a great cry of relief. "Thank God!" he cried. "Thank
"Where is he?" I asked, looking round the room. As I did so, I became
aware that the furniture was scattered in every direction, and that there
were traces of an even more violent struggle than that in which I had been
The Doctor sank his face between his hands.
"They have him," he groaned. "After these years of trial they have
him again. But how thankful I am that he has not for a second time stained
his hands in blood."
As the Doctor spoke I became aware that a man in the braided jacket
of an inspector of police was standing in the doorway.
"Yes, sir," he remarked, "you have had a pretty narrow escape. If we
had not got in when we did, you would not be here to tell the tale. I
don't know that I ever saw any one much nearer to the undertaker."
I sat up with my hands to my throbbing head.
"Dr. McCarthy," said I, "this is all a mystery to me. I should be
glad if you could explain to me who this man is, and wily you have
tolerated him so long in your house."
"I owe you an explanation, Mr. Weld-and the more so since you have,
in so chivalrous a fashion, almost sacrificed your life in my defence.
There is no reason now for secrecy. In a word, Mr. Weld, this unhappy
man's real name is James McCarthy, and he is my only son."
"Alas, yes. What sin have I ever committed that I should have such a
punishment? He has made my whole life a misery from the first years of his
boyhood. Violent, headstrong, selfish, unprincipled, he has always been
the same. At eighteen he was a criminal. At twenty, in a paroxysm of
passion, he took the life of a boon companion and was tried for murder. He
only just escaped the gallows, and he was condemned to penal servitude.
Three years ago he succeeded in escaping, and managed, in face of a
thousand obstacles, to reach my house in London. My wife's heart had been
broken by his condemnation, and as he had succeeded in getting a suit of
ordinary clothes, there was no one here to recognise him. For months he
lay concealed in the attics until the first search of the police should be
over. Then I gave him employment here, as you have seen, though by his
rough and overbearing manners he made my own life miserable, and that of
his fellow-masters unbearable. You have been with us for four months, Mr.
Weld, but no other master endured him so long. I apologise now for all you
have had to submit to, but I ask you what else could I do? For his dead
mother's sake I could not let harm come to him as long as it was in my
power to fend it off. Only under my roof could he find a refuge-the only
spot in all the world-and how could I keep him here without it exciting
remark unless I gave him some occupation? I made him English master
therefore, and in that capacity I have protected him here for three years.
You have no doubt observed that he never during the daytime went beyond
the college grounds. You now understand the reason. But when to-night you
came to me with your report of a man who was looking through his window, I
understood that his retreat was at last discovered. I besought him to fly
at once, but he had been drinking, the unhappy fellow, and my words fell
upon deaf ears. When at last he made up his mind to go he wished to take
from me in his flight every shilling which I possessed. It was your
entrance which saved me from him, while the police in turn arrived only
just in time to rescue you. I have made myself amenable to the law by
harbouring an escaped prisoner, and remain here in the custody of the
inspector, but a prison has no terrors for me after what I have endured in
this house during the last three years."
"It seems to me, Doctor," said the inspector, "that, if you have
broken the law, you have had quite enough punishment already."
"God knows I have!" cried Dr. McCarthy, and sank his haggard face
upon his hands.