At sight of that death's-head of a fellow, old Heythorp felt a sort of pity. He looked bad enough already--and this news would make him look worse. Joe Pillin glanced round at the two closed doors.
"How are you, Sylvanus ? I'm very poorly." He came closer, and lowered his voice: "Why did you get me to make that settlement? I must have been mad. I've had a man called Ventnor--I didn't like his manner. He asked me if I knew a Mrs. Larne."
"What could I say? I don't know her. But why did he ask?"
Joe Pillin grasped the edge of the table with both hands.
"Oh!" he murmured. "Oh! don't say that!"
Old Heythorp held out to him the crumpled letter.
When he had read it Joe Pillin sat down abruptly before the fire.
"Pull yourself together, Joe; they can't touch you, and they can't upset either the purchase or the settlement. They can upset me, that's all."