"You won't be startled when you see Mr. Mirabel--will you, my dear? I wouldn't let them disturb you; I said nobody should speak to you but myself. The truth is, Mr. Mirabel has had a dreadful fright. What are you looking for?"
"Is there a garden here? Any place where we can breathe the fresh air?"
There was a courtyard at the back of the house. They found their way to it. A bench was placed against one of the walls. They sat down.
"Shall I wait till you're better before I say any more?" Mrs. Ellmother asked. "No? You want to hear about Mr. Mirabel? My dear, he came into the parlor where I was; and Mr. Rook came in too---and waited, looking at him. Mr. Mirabel sat down in a corner, in a dazed state as I thought. It wasn't for long. He jumped up, and clapped his hand on his heart as if his heart hurt him. 'I must and will know what's going on upstairs,' he says. Mr. Rook pulled him back, and told him to wait till the young lady came down. Mr. Mirabel wouldn't hear of it. 'Your wife's frightening her,' he says; 'your wife's telling her horrible things about me.' He was taken on a sudden with a shivering fit; his eyes rolled, and his teeth chattered. Mr. Rook made matters worse; he lost his temper. 'I'm damned,' he says, 'if I don't begin to think you _are_ the man, after all; I've half a mind to send for the police.' Mr. Mirabel dropped into his chair. His eyes stared, his mouth fell open. I took hold of his hand. Cold--cold as ice. What it all meant I can't say. Oh, miss, _you_ know! Let me tell you the rest of it some other time."
Emily insisted on hearing more. "The end!" she cried. "How did it end?"
"I don't know how it might have ended, if the doctor hadn't come in--to pay his visit, you know, upstairs. He said some learned words. When he came to plain English, he asked if anybody had frig htened the gentleman. I said Mr. Rook had frightened him. The doctor says to Mr. Rook, 'Mind what you are about. If you frighten him again, you may have his death to answer for.' That cowed Mr. Rook. He asked what he had better do. 'Give me some brandy for him first,' says the doctor; 'and then get him home at once.' I found the brandy, and went away to the inn to order the carriage. Your ears are quicker than mine, miss--do I hear it now?"
They rose, and went to the house door. The carriage was there.
Still cowed by what the doctor had said, Mr. Rook appeared, carefully leading Mirabel out. He had revived under the action of the stimulant. Passing Emily he raised his eyes to her--trembled--and looked down again. When Mr. Rook opened the door of the carriage he paused, with one of his feet on the step. A momentary impulse inspired him with a false courage, and brought a flush into his ghastly face. He turned to Emily.