The Box of Delights by Masefield John

The Box of Delights by Masefield John

Author:Masefield, John [Masefield, John]
Language: eng
Format: epub, mobi
ISBN: 9781780311395
Publisher: Egmont UK
Published: 2011-09-04T23:00:00+00:00


Chapter VIII

While he was looking through the letters Ellen brought in the paper. ‘Oh, Master Kay,’ she said, ‘have you heard the news? The Bishop of Tatchester has disappeared.’

‘What?’ Kay said.

‘The papers are full of it,’ Ellen said. ‘The reverend gentleman went out of the Palace last night for a brisk walk before going to bed according to his custom and he hasn’t come back, Master Kay.’ Kay opened the paper:

‘STARTLING DISAPPEARANCE OF THE BISHOP OF TATCHESTER

‘Considerable alarm was caused,’ he read, ‘in ecclesiastical circles last night when it was known that His Grace, the Bishop of Tatchester, had failed to return to the Palace and was not heard of at the time of our going to press. The very reverend gentleman had passed the evening at the Palace in making ready for the Christmas season and in dispatching his Christmas cards to the clergy of his Diocese, a duty that His Grace leaves to no hands but his own. On conclusion of this pleasant duty His Grace signified to his sister, Dame Eleanor Chasuble, that he would go for a brisk walk through the Precincts before retiring to rest. According to her nightly custom, Dame Chasuble prepared tea for His Grace on his return. As he had not returned at the accustomed time she proceeded to the Precincts, but could not see him. At first she thought it likely that His Grace had joined some body of carol-singers and might be singing carols in the neighbourhood, but at midnight as he had not returned she became alarmed and telephoned to the Dean, who enquired at once at the Hospital if His Grace had been the victim of some accident, but, receiving a negative response, they communicated with the Police and, although an active search was at once instituted, we regret to announce that no news has been received of His Grace’s whereabouts. It will be remembered that the Palace was the scene of a serious burglary the night before last and it is thought that the Bishop’s disappearance may be connected with that earlier outrage. Dame Chasuble is confident that the Bishop has no enemy who would lay violent hands upon him and flouts the opinion that he may have become subject to some sudden loss of memory. The Police are inclined to the view that the reverend gentleman may have received some shock, as from a passing motor car, which may have caused a temporary aberration. Anyone who may have seen anyone answering to the description of His Grace or any occurrence which may seem to throw light on his disappearance is earnestly asked to communicate with New Scotland Yard, or with the Tatchester Constabulary: Tatchester 7000.

‘Naturally His Grace’s disappearance has cast a gloom upon what would otherwise be a festal city. We would remind our readers that on Christmas Eve at midnight His Grace hoped to celebrate the thousandth anniversary of the dedication of the Cathedral, for which great occasion the usual Christmas decorations and expectations have been increased thousand-fold.



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