In the course of time the twins arrived and were delivered to their great
kinsman. To try to describe the rage of that old man would profit
nothing, the attempt would fall so far short of the purpose.
when he had worn himself out and got quiet again, he looked the matter
over and decided that the twins had some moral rights, although they had
no legal ones; they were of his blood, and it could not be decorous to
treat them as common clay. So he laid them with their majestic kin in
the Cholmondeley church, with imposing state and ceremony, and added the
supreme touch by officiating as chief mourner himself. But he drew the
line at hatchments.
Our friends in Washington watched the weary days go by, while they waited
for Pete and covered his name with reproaches because of his calamitous
procrastinations. Meantime, Sally Sellers, who was as practical and
democratic as the Lady Gwendolen Sellers was romantic and aristocratic,
was leading a life of intense interest and activity and getting the most
she could out of her double personality. All day long in the privacy of
her work-room, Sally Sellers earned bread for the Sellers family; and all
the evening Lady Gwendolen Sellers supported the Rossmore dignity. All
day she was American, practically, and proud of the work of her head and
hands and its commercial result; all the evening she took holiday and
dwelt in a rich shadow-land peopled with titled and coroneted fictions.
By day, to her, the place was a plain, unaffected, ramshackle old trap
just that, and nothing more; by night it was Rossmore Towers. At college
she had learned a trade without knowing it. The girls had found out that
she was the designer of her own gowns. She had no idle moments after
that, and wanted none; for the exercise of an extraordinary gift is the
supremest pleasure in life, and it was manifest that Sally Sellers
possessed a gift of that sort in the matter of costume-designing. Within
three days after reaching home she had hunted up some work; before Pete
was yet due in Washington, and before the twins were fairly asleep in
English soil, she was already nearly swamped with work, and the
sacrificing of the family chromos for debt had got an effective check.
"She's a brick," said Rossmore to the Major; "just her father all over:
prompt to labor with head or hands, and not ashamed of it; capable,
always capable, let the enterprise be what it may; successful by nature--
don't know what defeat is; thus, intensely and practically American by
inhaled nationalism, and at the same time intensely and aristocratically
European by inherited nobility of blood. Just me, exactly: Mulberry
Sellers in matter of finance and invention; after office hours, what do
you find? The same clothes, yes, but what's in them? Rossmore of the
The two friends had haunted the general post-office daily. At last they
had their reward. Toward evening the 20th of May, they got a letter for
XYZ. It bore the Washington postmark; the note itself was not dated. It
"Ash barrel back of lamp post Black horse Alley. If you are playing
square go and set on it to-morrow morning 21st 10.22 not sooner not
later wait till I come."
The friends cogitated over the note profoundly. Presently the earl said:
"Don't you reckon he's afraid we are a sheriff with a requisition?"
"Because that's no place for a seance. Nothing friendly, nothing
sociable about it. And at the same time, a body that wanted to know who
was roosting on that ash-barrel without exposing himself by going near
it, or seeming to be interested in it, could just stand on the street
corner and take a glance down the alley and satisfy himself, don't you
"Yes, his idea is plain, now. He seems to be a man that can't be candid
and straightforward. He acts as if he thought we--shucks, I wish he had
come out like a man and told us what hotel he--"
"Now you've struck it! you've struck it sure, Washington; he has told
"Yes, he has; but he didn't mean to. That alley is a lonesome little
pocket that runs along one side of the New Gadsby. That's his hotel."
"What makes' you think that?"
"Why, I just know it. He's got a room that's just across from that lamp
post. He's going to sit there perfectly comfortable behind his shutters
at 10.22 to-morrow, and when he sees us sitting on the ash-barrel, he'll
say to himself, 'I saw one of those fellows on the train'--and then he'll
pack his satchel in half a minute and ship for the ends of the earth."
Hawkins turned sick with disappointment:
"Oh, dear, it's all up, Colonel--it's exactly what he'll do."
"Indeed he won't!"
"Won't he? Why?"
"Because you won't be holding the ash barrel down, it'll be me. You'll
be coming in with an officer and a requisition in plain clothes--the
officer, I mean--the minute you see him arrive and open up a talk with
"Well, what a head you have got, Colonel Sellers! I never should have
thought of that in the world."
"Neither would any earl of Rossmore, betwixt William's contribution and
Mulberry--as earl; but it's office hours, now, you see, and the earl in
me sleeps. Come--I'll show you his very room."
They reached the neighborhood of the New Gadsby about nine in the
evening, and passed down the alley to the lamp post.
"There you are," said the colonel, triumphantly, with a wave of his hand
which took in the whole side of the hotel. "There it is--what did I tell
"Well, but--why, Colonel, it's six stories high. I don't quite make out
which window you--"
"All the windows, all of them. Let him have his. choice-I'm
indifferent, now that I have located him. You go and stand on the corner
and wait; I'll prospect tie hotel."
The earl drifted here and there through the swarming lobby, and finally
took a waiting position in the neighborhood of the elevator. During an
hour crowds went up and crowds came down; and all complete as to limbs;
but at last the watcher got a glimpse of a figure that was satisfactory-
got a glimpse of the back of it, though he had missed his chance at the
face through waning alertness. The glimpse revealed a cowboy hat, and
below it a plaided sack of rather loud pattern, and an empty sleeve
pinned up to the shoulder. Then the elevator snatched the vision aloft
and the watcher fled away in joyful excitement, and rejoined the fellow-
"We've got him, Major--got him sure! I've seen him--seen him good; and I
don't care where or when that man approaches me backwards, I'll recognize
him every time. We're all right. Now for the requisition."
They got it, after the delays usual in such cases. By half past eleven
they were at home and happy, and went to bed full of dreams of the
morrow's great promise.
Among the elevator load which had the suspect for fellow-passenger was a
young kinsman of Mulberry Sellers, but Mulberry was not aware of it and
didn't see him. It was Viscount Berkeley.