BOOK THE FOURTH: A TURNING
Chapter 1: Setting Traps (continued)
The sleeper moving an arm, he sat down again in his chair, and
feigned to watch the storm from the window. It was a grand
spectacle, but not so grand as to keep his eyes, for half a minute
together, from stealing a look at the man upon the bed.
It was at the concealed throat of the sleeper that Riderhood so often
looked so curiously, until the sleep seemed to deepen into the
stupor of the dead-tired in mind and body. Then, Riderhood came
from the window cautiously, and stood by the bed.
'Poor man!' he murmured in a low tone, with a crafty face, and a
very watchful eye and ready foot, lest he should start up; 'this here
coat of his must make him uneasy in his sleep. Shall I loosen it for
him, and make him more comfortable? Ah! I think I ought to do
it, poor man. I think I will.'
He touched the first button with a very cautious hand, and a step
backward. But, the sleeper remaining in profound
unconsciousness, he touched the other buttons with a more assured
hand, and perhaps the more lightly on that account. Softly and
slowly, he opened the coat and drew it back.
The draggling ends of a bright-red neckerchief were then disclosed,
and he had even been at the pains of dipping parts of it in some
liquid, to give it the appearance of having become stained by wear.
With a much-perplexed face, Riderhood looked from it to the
sleeper, and from the sleeper to it, and finally crept back to his
chair, and there, with his hand to his chin, sat long in a brown
study, looking at both.