FIRST PERIOD: THE LOSS OF THE DIAMOND (1848)
13. CHAPTER XIII
I found my lady in her own sitting room. She started and looked
annoyed when I mentioned that Sergeant Cuff wished to speak to her.
"MUST I see him?" she asked. "Can't you represent me, Gabriel?"
I felt at a loss to understand this, and showed it plainly, I suppose,
in my face. My lady was so good as to explain herself.
"I am afraid my nerves are a little shaken," she said.
"There is something in that police-officer from London which I
recoil from--I don't know why. I have a presentiment that
he is bringing trouble and misery with him into the house.
Very foolish, and very unlike ME--but so it is."
I hardly knew what to say to this. The more I saw of Sergeant Cuff,
the better I liked him. My lady rallied a little after having opened
her heart to me--being, naturally, a woman of a high courage, as I have
already told you.
"If I must see him, I must," she said. "But I can't prevail on myself
to see him alone. Bring him in, Gabriel, and stay here as long as he stays."
This was the first attack of the megrims that I remembered
in my mistress since the time when she was a young girl.
I went back to the "boudoir." Mr. Franklin strolled out into
the garden, and joined Mr. Godfrey, whose time for departure
was now drawing near. Sergeant Cuff and I went straight to my
I declare my lady turned a shade paler at the sight of him!
She commanded herself, however, in other respects, and asked
the Sergeant if he had any objection to my being present.
She was so good as to add, that I was her trusted adviser,
as well as her old servant, and that in anything which related
to the household I was the person whom it might be most
profitable to consult. The Sergeant politely answered
that he would take my presence as a favour, having something
to say about the servants in general, and having found
my experience in that quarter already of some use to him.
My lady pointed to two chairs, and we set in for our