[ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]
.In a moment he was paralyzed, then he lunged sideways and grasped Garrick’s arm and threw him back in the seat.The hansom swayed wildly and slithered around on the wet cobbles, then shot forward at increased speed.Pitt could hear the cabbie shouting as they careered along the street, but within twenty yards the ride was steadier, and within a hundred they were back to a normal trot.Pitt tried to control his racing heart and keep hold of Garrick, who was now gibbering nonsensically, in spite of everything Garvie could say or do.Then they pulled up and the cabbie told them loudly and with a voice trembling with fear that they were at Keppel Street and should get out immediately.There was no alternative but to obey.With difficulty, and stiff from having sat for so long with locked muscles, Pitt alighted.He almost fell onto the pavement, and then reached to help Garrick.Garrick stumbled after him, collapsed onto the stones, then, without any warning at all, managed to get up onto his feet and started to run, a loose, shambling gait, but covering the wet pavement with startling speed.Garvie stared at him in silent, beaten desperation.Pitt lurched after him, but Garrick was at the end of the block and starting across the roadway before he floundered for a moment, arms flailing, and for no reason Pitt could see, fell face forward onto the cobbles.Pitt flung himself on top of him.Garrick whimpered like a wounded animal, but he had no strength or will to fight.Pitt hauled him up, more than a little roughly, and straightened himself, only to see a man a couple of yards away from him.He was about to try some desperate explanation when with drenching relief he recognized the neat, slender silhouette against the light—it was Narraway.For an instant Pitt was too choked with emotion to speak.He stood still, gulping air, his body shaking, his hands clinging onto Garrick—clammy with sweat.“Good,” Narraway said succinctly.“Since we are in Keppel Street, perhaps it would be more convenient to go inside and talk.I daresay Mrs.Pitt would make us a cup of tea? Garvie, at least, looks as if he could do with it.”Pitt did not even attempt to reply, but followed Narraway’s elegant figure back along the footpath to the door, where Garvie was waiting for them, and led the way inside.Charlotte and Gracie were stunned with surprise for the first moment, then pity replaced horror.“Yer starvin’ cold!” Gracie said furiously.“Wotever ’appened to yer?” She looked from Garrick to Martin Garvie, and back again.“I got blankets in the airin’ cupboard.You sit there!” And whisking around, she disappeared out of the door.Pitt eased Garrick onto one of the chairs and Martin found another for himself, sitting down hard, as if his legs had given way.Charlotte pushed the kettle onto the hob to come to the boil, ordering Pitt to stoke up the fire.They all ignored Narraway entirely.Gracie returned with her arms full of blankets and, after only an instant’s hesitation, proceeded to wrap one around Garrick’s shuddering body, then she turned to Martin with the other.“I’ll tell Tilda yer all right,” she said dubiously.“Leastways, yer not actual ’urt, like.”Suddenly Garvie’s eyes filled with tears.He started to speak, and changed his mind.“S’ all right!” Gracie said quickly.“I’ll tell ’er.She’ll be that glad! It’s all ’cos of ’er we found yer.” She included herself because although she assumed Narraway had no idea of her part in the search, and she was happy to leave it so, she had been the one to prompt Tellman into discovering as much as he had.She regarded Narraway discreetly, and with the same wariness one does a nameless insect which might prove to be poisonous—very interesting, but best to know precisely where it is, and stay as far away as possible.It amused him, and Charlotte, busy making the tea, saw the flicker of it in his eyes, and was pleased to realize that he had a respect for Gracie’s spirit that she would not have expected of him.She also caught his eyes on her, and absurdly, found something in them that made her self-conscious.She looked quickly back to her task, and poured out six mugs of steaming tea, sugar stirred in.One was only half full.She picked it up, tested it to see that there was sufficient milk in it that it was cool enough to sip, then went over to Garrick where he sat staring vacantly into space.Gently she lifted the mug and tilted it to reach his lips.She waited patiently until he swallowed, and then again.After watching her for a moment, Gracie did the same for Martin, but he was far more able to help himself.This went on for several minutes in silence before Narraway finally spoke.He could see that learning anything from Garrick could take all night, but Martin was already burning to respond.“How did you get to the Bethlehem Lunatic Hospital, Mr.Garvie?” he said abruptly.“Who put you there?”Martin hesitated.His face was very white and there were dark smudges of privation and sleeplessness around his eyes.“Mr.Garrick’s ill, sir.I went to look after him.Couldn’t leave him on his own, sir.”Narraway’s face did not change at all.“And why did you not have the kindness to tell your sister where you were going? She has been desperate with fear for you.”Martin gasped, a sheen of sweat on his face.He half turned as if to look at Garrick, then changed his mind.He stared back at Narraway, misery in his eyes.“I didn’t know where I was going when they took me,” he said in little more than a whisper.“I thought it were just to the country, an’ I’d be able to write her.I never guessed it were.Bedlam.” He said the word as if it were a curse that hell itself might overhear and make real again.Narraway sat down at last, pulling the chair around to face the table.Pitt remained standing, and silent.“Was Mr.Garrick insane when you first went to work for him?” Narraway asked Martin.Martin winced, perhaps at the thought that Garrick would hear them.“No, sir,” he said indignantly.Narraway smiled patiently, and Martin blushed, but he would not argue.“What happened to him? I need to know, possibly to save his life.”Martin did not protest, and that in itself did not go unnoticed.Charlotte saw something—doubt, caution—iron out of Narraway’s face.She glared at Pitt, and recognized understanding in him also.Martin hesitated.Pitt stepped forward.“I’ll take Mr.Garrick to where he can lie down for a while.”“Stay with him!” Narraway ordered with a hard warning in his eyes.Pitt did not bother to reply, but with considerable effort eased Garrick to his feet and, with Gracie’s assistance, guided him out of the door.“What happened to him, Mr.Garvie?” Narraway repeated.Martin shook his head.“I don’t know, sir.He always drank quite a bit, but it got worse as time passed, like something was boiling up inside him [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]