The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. 19
He was angry with Jermyn, yet even more angry with himself,'
and in that perturbation of mind, tempered curiously vrith supine-
ness, he took but little note of which way they went. He
remembered going by Lincoln's Inn Fields and the Turnstile. He
remembered crossing Holborn, but knew not afterwards whether the
shabby, squalid looking Inn, beneath whose gloomy gate-house
Jermyn led him, did, or did not, open directly out of the great
He remembered always that it was a most dismal assemblage of
tall, shabby houses, forming a quadrangle, in whose stony centre
there was a dilapidated basin, which might once have been a
fountain. The summer moon, riding high and fast among wind-
tossed clouds, shone full into the stony yard, and lit up the shabby
fronts of the houses, but not one lamp-lit window cheered with the
suggestion of life and occupation.
"Do you mean to say you live in this ghastly hole?" he
exclaimed, speaking for the first time since they left Bow Street;
" it looks as if it were tenanted by a company of ghosts,"
" A good many of the houses are empty, and I dare say the
ghosts of dead usurers and dishonest lawyers and broken-hearted
clients do have a high time in the old rooms now and again,"
answered Jermyn, with his irrepressible laugh; "but I have
never seen any company but rats, mice, and such small deer, as
Bacon says. Of course, he was Bacon. We're all agreed upon
Hillersdon ignored this frivolity, and stood dumbly, while Jermyn
put his key into a door, opened it, and led the way into a passage
that was pitch dark. Not a pleasant situation to be alone in a
dark passage at midnight in a sparely inhabited block of buildings
quite cut off from the rest of the world, in company with a man
whose repute was decidedly diabolical,
Jermyn struck a match and lighted a small hand-lamp, which
improved the situation just a little,
" My den is on the second floor," he said, " and I've made the
place pretty comfortable inside, though it looks rather uncanny
He led the way up an old oak staircase, narrow, shabby, and
unadorned, but oak-panelled, and therefore precious in the eyes of
those who cling fondly to the past and to that old London which is
so swiftly vanishing off the face of the earth.
The littie lamp gave but just light enough to make the darkness