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time：2023-12-03 13:34:49 Source: Originally writtenedit：knowledge
At this period he looked on Coventry as a beast in human shape, whom he had a moral right to extinguish; only, as he had not a legal right, it must be done with consummate art. He trusted nobody; spoke to nobody; but set himself quietly to find out where Coventry lived, and what were his habits. He did this with little difficulty. Coventry lodged in a principal street, but always dined at a club, and returned home late, walking through a retired street or two; one of these passed by the mouth of a narrow court that was little used.
Little, disguised as a workman, made a complete reconnaissance of this locality, and soon saw that his enemy was at his mercy.
But, while he debated within himself what measure of vengeance he should take, and what noiseless weapon he should use, an unseen antagonist baffled him. That antagonist was Grace Carden. Still foreboding mischief, she wrote to Mr. Coventry, from a town two hundred miles distant:
"Whatever you are now, you were born a gentleman, and will, I think, respect a request from a lady you have wronged. Mr. Little has returned, and I have left Hillsborough; if he encounters you in his despair, he will do you some mortal injury. This will only make matters worse, and I dread the scandal that will follow, and to hear my sad story in a court of law as a justification for his violence. Oblige me, then, by leaving Hillsborough for a time, as I have done."
On receipt of this, Coventry packed up his portmanteau directly, and, leaving Lally behind to watch the town, and see whether this was a ruse, he went directly to the town whence Grace's letter was dated, and to the very hotel.
This she had foreseen and intended.
He found she had been there, and had left for a neighboring watering-place: he followed her thither, and there she withdrew the clew; she left word she was gone to Stirling; but doubled on him, and soon put hundreds of miles between them. He remained in Scotland, hunting her.
Thus she played the gray plover with him she hated, and kept the beloved hands from crime.
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