"My dear! my dear!" murmured Agnes again when the door closed. "You should have sent for me."

"Nonsense," answered Lambert, smoothing her hair. "I'm not a child to cry out at the least scratch. It's only an attack of my old malarial fever, and I shall be all right in a few days."

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"Not a few of these days," said Agnes, looking out of the window at the gaunt, dripping trees and gray sky and melancholy monoliths. "You ought to come to London and see the doctor."

"Had I come, I should have had to pay you a visit, and I thought that you did not wish me to, until things were adjusted."

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Agnes drew back, and, kneeling before the fire, spread out her hands to the blaze. "Will they ever be adjusted?" she asked herself despairingly, but did not say so aloud, as she was unwilling to worry the sick man. "Well, I only came down to The Manor for a few days," she said aloud, and in a most cheerful manner. "Jane wants to get the house in order for Garvington, who returns from Paris in a week."

"Agnes! Agnes!" Lambert shook his head. "You are not telling me the truth. I know you too well, my dear."

"I really am staying with Jane at The Manor," she persisted.

"Oh, I believe that; but you are in trouble and came down to consult me."

"Yes," she admitted faintly. "I am in great trouble. But I don't wish to worry you while you are in this state."

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"You will worry me a great deal more by keeping silence," said Lambert, sitting up in his chair and drawing the blankets more closely round him. "Do not trouble about me. I'm all right. But you—" he looked at her keenly and with a dismayed expression. "The trouble must be very great," he remarked.

"It may become so, Noel. It has to do with—oh, here is Mrs. Tribb!" and she broke off hurriedly, as the housekeeper appeared with a tray.

"Now, my lady, just you sit in that arm-chair opposite to Master Noel, and I'll put the tray on this small stool beside you. Sandwiches and burgundy wine, my lady, and see that you eat and drink all you can. Walking over on this dripping day," cried Mrs. Tribb, bustling about. "Giving yourself your death of cold, and you with carriages and horses, and them spitting cats of motive things. You're as bad as Master Noel, my lady. As for him, God bless him evermore, he's—" Mrs. Tribb raised her hands to show that words failed her, and once more vanished through the door to get ready the beef tea.

Agnes did not want to eat, but Lambert, who quite agreed with the kind-hearted practical housekeeper, insisted that she should do so. To please him she took two sandwiches, and a glass of the strong red wine, which brought color back to her cheeks in some degree. When she finished, and had drawn her chair closer to the blaze, he smiled.

"We are just like Darby and Joan," said Lambert, who looked much better for her presence. "I am so glad you are here, Agnes. You are the very best medicine I can have to make me well."

"The idea of comparing me to anything so nasty as medicine," laughed Agnes with an attempt at gayety. "But indeed, Noel, I wish my visit was a pleasant one. But it is not, whatever you may say; I am in great trouble."

"From what—with what—in what?" stuttered Lambert, so confusedly and anxiously that she hesitated to tell him.

"Are you well enough to hear?"

"Of course I am," he answered fretfully, for the suspense began to tell on his nerves. "I would rather know the worst and face the worst than be left to worry over these hints. Has the trouble to do with the murder?"

"Yes. And with Mr. Silver."