The haggard head floated up the dark staircase, and softly descended nearer to the floor outside the outer door of the chambers. The doors of the rooms within, appeared to be standing open. There were rays of candlelight from one of them, and there was the sound of a foot-step going about. There were two voices. The words they uttered were not distinguishable, but they were both the voices of men. In a few moments the voices were silent, and there was no sound of footstep, and the inner light went out. If Lightwood could have seen the face which kept him awake, staring and listening in the darkness outside the door as he spoke of it, he might have been less disposed to sleep, through the remainder of the night.

“Not there,” said Bradley; “but she might have been.” The head arose to its former height from the ground, floated down the staircase again, and passed on to the gate. A man was standing there, in parley with the watchman.

“Oh!” said the watchman. “Here he is!”

Perceiving himself to be the antecedent, Bradley looked from the watchman to the man.

“This man is leaving a letter for Mr. Lightwood,” the watchman explained, showing it in his hand; “and I was mentioning that a person had just gone up to Mr. Lightwood’s chambers. It might be the same business perhaps?”

“No,” said Bradley, glancing at the man, who was a stranger to him.

“No,” the man assented in a surly way; “my letter — it’s wrote by my daughter, but it’s mine — is about my business, and my business ain’t nobody else’s business.”

As Bradley passed out at the gate with an undecided foot, he heard it shut behind him, and heard the footstep of the man coming after him.

“ ’Scuse me,” said the man, who appeared to have been drinking, and rather stumbled at him than touched him, to attract his attention; “but might you be acquainted with the T’other Governor?”

“With whom?” asked Bradley.

“With,” returned the man, pointing backward over his right shoulder with his right thumb, “the T’other Governor?”

“I don’t know what you mean.”

“Why look here,” hooking his proposition on his left-hand fingers with the forefinger of his right. “There’s two Governors, ain’t there? One and one, two — Lawyer Lightwood, my first finger, he’s one, ain’t he? Well; might you be acquainted with my middle finger, the T’other?”

“I know quite as much of him,” said Bradley, with a frown and a distant look before him, “as I want to know.”

“Hooroar!” cried the man. “Hooroar T’other t’other Governor. Hooroar T’otherest Governor! I am of your way of thinkin’.”

“Don’t make such a noise at this dead hour of the night. What are you talking about?”

“Look here, T’otherest Governor,” replied the man, becoming hoarsely confidential. “The T’other Governor he’s always joked his jokes agin me, owing, as I believe, to my being a honest man as gets my living by the sweat of my brow. Which he ain’t, and he don’t.”

“What is that to me?”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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