Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Lost Prince Frances Hodgson Burnett

XXII A Night Vigil

Page 4 of 9

Table Of Contents: The Lost Prince

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

Each owner of each of the pictured faces was a link in a powerful secret chain; and if a link were missed, the chain would be broken. Each time Heinrich came within the line of his vision, he recorded every feature afresh and compared it with the remembered sketch. Each time the resemblance became more close, but each time some persistent inner conviction repeated, ``No; the Sign is not for him!''

It was disturbing, also, to find that The Rat was all at once as restless as he had previously been silent and preoccupied. He moved in his chair, to the great discomfort of the old hair-dresser. He kept turning his head to talk. He asked Marco to translate divers questions he wished him to ask the two men. They were questions about the Citadel--about the Monchsberg--the Residenz--the Glockenspiel--the mountains. He added one query to another and could not sit still.

``The young gentleman will get an ear snipped,'' said the old man to Marco. ``And it will not be my fault.''

``What shall I do?'' Marco was thinking. ``He is not the man.''

He did not give the Sign. He must go away and think it out, though where his thoughts would lead him he did not know. This was a more difficult problem than he had ever dreamed of facing. There was no one to ask advice of. Only himself and The Rat, who was nervously wriggling and twisting in his chair.

``You must sit still,'' he said to him. ``The hair-dresser is afraid you will make him cut you by accident.''

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

``But I want to know who lives at the Residenz?'' said The Rat. ``These men can tell us things if you ask them.''

``It is done now,'' said the old hair-dresser with a relieved air. ``Perhaps the cutting of his hair makes the young gentleman nervous. It is sometimes so.''

The Rat stood close to Marco's chair and asked questions until Heinrich also had done his work. Marco could not understand his companion's change of mood. He realized that, if he had wished to give the Sign, he had been allowed no opportunity. He could not have given it. The restless questioning had so directed the older man's attention to his son and Marco that nothing could have been said to Heinrich without his observing it.

``I could not have spoken if he had been the man,'' Marco said to himself.

Their very exit from the shop seemed a little hurried. When they were fairly in the street, The Rat made a clutch at Marco's arm.

``You didn't give it?'' he whispered breathlessly. ``I kept talking and talking to prevent you.''

Marco tried not to feel breathless, and he tried to speak in a low and level voice with no hint of exclamation in it.

``Why did you say that?'' he asked.

The Rat drew closer to him.

Page 4 of 9 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Lost Prince
Frances Hodgson Burnett

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004