John Ingerfield, and Other Stories Part 8

"Oh," said the Bishop cheerfully, "he's sent it back by you, has he?"

"He has, sir," replied the Canon; "and thankful I am that it was to me he brought it. It is right," continued the Canon, "that I should inform your lordship that I am aware of the circ.u.mstances under which it left your hands."

The Canon's eye was severe, and the Bishop laughed uneasily.

"I suppose it wasn't quite the thing for me to do," he answered apologetically; "but there, all's well that ends well," and the Bishop laughed.

This stung the Canon. "Oh, sir," he exclaimed, with a burst of fervour, "in Heaven's name--for the sake of our Church, let me entreat--let me pray you never to let such a thing occur again."

The Bishop turned upon him angrily.

"Why, what a fuss you make about a little thing!" he cried; then, seeing the look of agony upon the other's face, he paused.

"How did you get that bag?" he asked.

"The landlord of the Cross Keys brought it me," answered the Canon; "you left it there last night."

The Bishop gave a gasp, and sat down heavily. When he recovered his breath, he told the Canon the real history of the case; and the Canon is still trying to believe it.

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