Bervie looked hard at the man for a moment, and then joined Percy at the carriage door. The two gentlemen started for London.
"What do you think of Mr. Bowmore's new servant?" asked the Captain as they drove away from the cottage. "I don't like the look of the fellow."
"I didn't particularly notice him," Percy a nswered.
There was a pause. When the conversation was resumed, it turned on common-place subjects. The Captain looked uneasily out of the carriage window. Percy looked uneasily at the Captain.
They had left Dartford about two miles behind them, when Percy noticed an old gabled house, sheltered by magnificent trees, and standing on an eminence well removed from the high-road. Carriages and saddle-horses were visible on the drive in front, and a flag was hoisted on a staff placed in the middle of the lawn.
"Something seems to be going on there," Percy remarked. "A fine old house! Who does it belong to?"
Bervie smiled. "It belongs to my father," he said. "He is chairman of the bench of local magistrates, and he receives his brother justices to-day, to celebrate the opening of the sessions."
He stopped and looked at Percy with some embarrassment. "I am afraid I have surprised and disappointed you," he resumed, abruptly changing the subject. "I told you when we met just now at Mr. Bowmore's cottage that I had something to say to you; and I have not yet said it. The truth is, I don't feel sure whether I have been long enough your friend to take the liberty of advising you."