As for allen he had vanished he was heard of no more

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Unformatted text preview: ANGLING SKETCHES pleasantly much further. For I HAD seen him-- not a doubt about it. But there was one curious thing. Next time I met Miss Breton I told her the story, and said, "You remember how we saw Allen, at Blocksby's, just as we were going away?" "No," she said, "I did not see him; where was he?" "Then why did you smile--don't you remember? I looked at him and at you, and I thought you smiled!" "Because--well, I suppose because YOU smiled," she said. And the subject of the conversation was changed. It was an excessively awkward affair. It did not come "before the public," except, of course, in the agreeably mythical gossip of an evening paper. There was no more public scandal than that. Allen was merely ruined. The matter was introduced to the notice of the Wardens and the other Fellows of St. Jude's. What Lord Tarras saw, what Mr. Wentworth saw, what I saw, clearly proved that Allen was in the auction-rooms, and had the confounded book in his hand, at an hour when, as HE asserted, he had left the place for some time. It was admitted by one of the people employed at the sale-rooms that Allen had been noticed (he was well known there) leaving the house at three. But he must have come back again, of course, as at least four people could have sworn to his presence in the show-room at a quarter to four o'clock. When he was asked in a private interview, by the Head of his College, to say where he went after leaving Blocksby's Allen refused to answer. He merely said that he could not prove the facts; that his own word would not be taken against that of so many unprejudiced and even friendly witnesses. He simply threw up the game. He resigned his fellowship; he took his name off the books; he disappeared. There was a good deal of talk; people spoke about the unscrupulousness of collectors, and repeated old anecdotes on that subject. Then the business was forgotten. Next, in a year's time or so, the book-the confounded Longepierre's Theocritus--was found in a pawnbroker's shop. The history of its adventures was traced beyond a shadow of dou...
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