EPILOGUE

JAMES LOGIE stood at the window of a house in a Dutch town. The
pollarded beech, whose boughs were trimmed in a close screen before
the walls, had shed its golden leaves and the canal waters were grey
under a cloudy sky. The long room was rather dark, and was growing
darker. By the chair that he had left lay a yellow cur.

He had been standing for some minutes reading a letter by the fading
light, and his back was towards the man who had brought it. The latter
stood watching him, stiff and tall, an object of suspicion to the dog.

As he came to the end, the hand that held the paper went down to
James’s side. The silence in the room was unbroken for a space. When
he turned, Callandar saw his powerful shoulders against the dusk and
the jealous shadows of the beech-tree’s mutilated arms.

“I can never thank you enough for bringing me this,” said Logie. “My
debt to you is immeasurable.”

“I did it for him–not for you.”

Callandar spoke coldly, almost with antagonism.

“I can understand that,” said James.

But something in his voice struck the other. Though he had moved as if
to leave him, he stopped, and going over to the window, drew a
playing-card from a pocket in his long coat.

“Look,” he said, holding out the ace scrawled with the picture of the
sentry.

James took it, and as he looked at it, his crooked lip was set
stiffly, lest it should tremble.

“It was in his tent when I went back there–afterwards,” said
Callandar.

He took the card back, and put it in his pocket.

“Then it was you—-” began James.

“He was my prisoner, sir.”

James walked away again and stood at the window.

Callandar waited, silent.

“I must wish you a good-day, Captain Logie,” he said at last, “I have
to leave Holland to-night.”

James followed him down the staircase, and they parted at the outer
door. Callandar went away along the street, and James came back slowly
up the steep stairs, his hand on the railing of the carved banisters.
He could scarcely see his way.

The yellow dog came to meet him when he entered his room, and as his
master, still holding the letter, carried it again to the light, he
followed. Half-way across the floor he turned to sniff at an old
Kilmarnock bonnet that lay by the wainscot near the corner in which he
slept.

He put his nose against it, and then looked at Logie. Trust was in his
eyes and affection; but there was inquiry, too.

“My poor lad,” said James, “we both remember.”