Read SANCTUARY - CHAPTER X. of The Christian A Story, free online book, by Hall Caine, on

When Glory awoke on the morning after the Derby and thought of John she felt no remorse.  A sea of bewildering difficulty lay somewhere ahead, but she would not look at it.  He loved her, she loved him, and nothing else mattered.  If rules and vows stood between them, so much the worse for such enemies of love.

She was conscious that a subtle change had come over her.  She was not herself any longer, but somebody else as well; not a woman merely, but in some sort a man; not Glory only, but also John Storm.  Oh, delicious mystery!  Oh, joy of joys!  His arms seemed to be about her waist still, and his breath to linger about her neck.  With a certain tremor, a certain thrill, she reached for a hand-glass and looked at herself to learn if there was any difference in her face that the rest of the world would see.  Yes, her eyes had another lustre, a deeper light, but she lay back in the cool bed with a smile and a long-drawn sigh.  What matter whatever happened!  Gone were the six cruel months in which she had awakened every morning with a pain at her breast.  She was happy, happy, happy!

The morning sun was streaming across the room when Liza came in with the tea.

“Did ye see the Farver last night, Miss Gloria?”

“Oh, yes; that was all right, Liza.”

The day’s newspaper was lying folded on the tray.  She took it up and opened it, remembering the Derby, and thinking for the first time of Drake’s triumph.  But what caught her eye in glaring head-lines was a different matter:  “The Panic TerrorCollapse of the Farce.”

It was a shriek of triumphant derision.  The fateful day had come and gone, yet London stood where it did before.  Last night’s tide had flowed and ebbed, and the dwellings of men were not submerged.  No earthquake had swallowed up St. Paul’s; no mighty bonfire of the greatest city of the world had lit up the sky of Europe, and even the thunderstorm which had broken over London had only laid the dust and left the air more clear.

“London is to be congratulated on the collapse of this panic, which, so far as we can hear, has been attended by only one casualtyan assault in Brown’s Square, Westminster, on a young soldier, Charles Wilkes, of the Wellington Barracks, by two of the frantic army of the terror-stricken.  The injured man was removed to St. Thomas’s Hospital, while his assailants were taken to Rochester Row police station, and we have only to regret that the clerical panic-maker himself has not yet shared the fate of his followers.  Late last night the authorities, recovering from their extraordinary supineness, issued a warrant for his arrest, but up to the time of going to press he had escaped the vigilance of the police.”

Glory was breathing audibly as she read, and Liza, who was drawing up the blind, looked back at her with surprise.

“Liza, have you mentioned to anybody that Father Storm was here last night?”

“Why, no, miss, there ain’t nobody stirring yet, and besides ”

“Then don’t mention it to a soul.  Will you do me that great, great kindness?”

“Down’t ye know I will, mum?” said Liza, with a twinkle of the eye and a wag of the head.

Glory dressed hurriedly, went down to the drawing-room, and wrote a letter.  It was to Sefton, the manager.  “Do not expect me to play to-night.  I don’t feel up to it.  Sorry to be so troublesome.”

Then Rosa came in with another newspaper in her hand, and, without saying anything, Glory showed her the letter.  Rosa read it and returned it in silence.  They understood each other.

During the next few hours Glory’s impatience became feverish, and as soon as the first of the evening papers appeared she sent out for it.  The panic was subsiding, and the people who had gone to the outskirts were returning to the city in troops, looking downcast and ashamed.  No news of Father Storm.  Inquiry that morning at Scotland Yard elicited the fact that nothing had yet been heard of him.  There was much perplexity as to where he had spent the previous night.

Glory’s face tingled and burned.  From hour to hour she sent out for new editions.  The panic itself was now eclipsed by the interest of John Storm’s disappearance.  His followers scouted the idea that he had fled from London.  Nevertheless, he had fallen.  As a pretender to the gift of prophecy his career was at an end, and his crazy system of mystical divinity was the laughing-stock of London.

“It does not surprise us that this second Moses, this mock Messiah, has broken down.  Such men always do, and must collapse, but that the public should ever have taken seriously a movement which ” and then a grotesque list of John’s followersone pawnbroker, one waiter, one “knocker-up,” two or three apprentices, etc.

As she read all this, Glory was at the same time glowing with shame, trembling with fear, and burning with indignation.  She dined with Rosa alone, and they tried to talk of other matters.  The effort was useless.  At last Rosa said: 

“I have to follow this thing up for the paper, dear, and I’m going to-night to see if they hold the usual service in his church.”

“May I go with you?”

“If you wish to, but it will be uselesshe won’t be there.”

“Why not?”

“The Prime Minister left London last nightI can’t help thinking there is something in that.”

“He will be there, Rosa.  He’s not the man to run away.  I know him,” said Glory proudly.

The church was crowded, and it was with difficulty they found seats.  John’s enemies were present in forceall the owners of vested interests who had seen their livelihood threatened by the man who declared war on vice and its upholders.  There was a dangerous atmosphere before the service began, and, notwithstanding her brave faith in him, Glory found herself praying that John Storm might not come.  As the organ played and the choir and clergy entered the excitement was intense, and some of the congregation got on to their seats in their eagerness to see if the Father was there.  He was not there.  The black cassock and biretta in which he had lately preached were nowhere to be seen, and a murmur of disappointment passed over friends and enemies alike.

Then came a disgraceful spectacle.  A man with a bloated face and a bandage about his forehead rose in his place and cried, “No popery, boys!” Straightaway the service, which was being conducted by two of the clerical brothers from the Brotherhood, was interrupted by hissing, whistling, shouting, yelling, and whooping indescribable.  Songs were roared out during the lessons, and cushions, cassocks, and prayer-books were flung at the altar and its furniture.  The terrified choir boys fled downstairs to their own quarters, and the clergy were driven out of the church.

John’s own people stole away in terror and shame, but Glory leaped to her feet as if to fling herself on the cowardly rabble.  Her voice was lost in the tumult, and Rosa drew her out into the street.

“Is there no law in the land to prevent brawling like this?” she cried, but the police paid no heed to her.

Then the congregation, which had broken up, came rushing out of the church and round to the door leading to the chambers beneath it.

“They’ve found him,” thought Glory, pressing her hand over her heart.  But no, it was another matter.  Immediately afterward there rose over the babel of human voices the deep music of the bloodhound in full cry.  The crowd shrieked with fear and delight, then surged and parted, and the dog came running through with its stern up, its head down, its forehead wrinkled, and the long drapery of its ears and flews hanging in folds about its face.  In a moment it was gone, its mellow note was dying away in the neighbouring streets, and a gang of ruffians were racing after it.  “That’ll find the feller if he’s in London!” somebody shouted; it was the man with the bandaged foreheadand there were yells of fiendish laughter.

Glory’s head was going round, and she was holding on to Rosa’s arm with a convulsive grasp.

“The cowards!” she cried.  “To use that poor creature’s devotion to its master for their own inhuman endsit’s cowardly, it’s brutal, it’s Oh, oh, oh!”

“Come, dear,” said Rosa, and she dragged Glory away.

They went back through Broad Sanctuary.  Neither spoke, but both were thinking:  “He has gone to the monastery.  He intends to stay there until the storm is over.”  At Westminster Bridge they parted.  “I have somewhere to go,” said Rosa, turning down to the Underground.  “She is going to Bishopsgate Street,” thought Glory, and they separated with constraint.

Returning to Clement’s Inn, Glory found a letter from Drake: 

“Dear Glory:  How can I apologize to you for nay detestable behaviour of last night?  The memory of what passed has taken all the joy out of the success upon which everybody is congratulating me.  I have tried to persuade myself that you would make allowances for the day and the circumstances and my natural excitement.  But your life has been so blameless that it fills me with anguish and horror to think how I exposed you to misrepresentation by allowing you to go to that place, and by behaving to you as I did when you were there.  Thank God, things went no farther, and some blessed power prevented me from carrying out my threat to follow you.  Believe me, you shall see no more of men like Lord Robert Ure and women like his associates.  I despise them from my heart, and wonder how I can have tolerated them so long.  Do let me beg the favour of a line consenting to allow me to call and ask your forgiveness.  Yours most humbly,

“F.  H. N. Drake.”

Glory slept badly that night, and as soon as Liza was stirring she rang for the newspaper.

“Didn’t ye ’ear the dorg, mum?” said Liza.

“What dog?”

“The Farver’s dorg.  It was scratching at the front dawer afore I was up this morning.  ‘It’s the milk,’ sez I. But the minute I opened the dawer up it came ter the drawerin’ room and went snuffling rahnd everywhere.”

“Where is it now?”

“Gorn, mum.”

“Did anybody else see it?  No?  You say no?  You’re sure?  Then say nothing about it, Lizanothing whateverthat’s a good girl.”

The newspaper was full of the mysterious disappearance.  Not a trace of the Father had yet been found.  The idea had been started that he had gone into seclusion at the Anglican monastery with which he was associated, but on inquiry at Bishopsgate Street it was found that nothing had been seen of him there.  Since yesterday the whole of London had been scoured by the police, but not one fact had been brought to light to make clearer the mystery of his going away.  With the most noticeable face and habit in London he had evaded scrutiny and gone into a retirement which baffled discovery.  No master of the stage art could have devised a more sensational disappearance.  He had vanished as though whirled to heaven in a cloud, and that was literally what the more fanatical of his followers believed to have been his fate.  Among these persons there were wild-eyed hangers-on telling of a flight upward on a fiery chariot, as well as a predicted disappearance and reappearance after three days.  Such were the stories being gulped down by the thousands who still clung with an indefinable fascination to the memory of the charlatan.  Meantime the soldier Wilkes had died of his injuries, and the coroner’s inquiry was to be opened that day.

“Unfeeling brutes!  The bloodhound is an angel of mercy compared to them,” thought Glory, but the worst sting was in the thought that John had fled out of fear and was now in hiding somewhere.

Toward noon the newsboys were rushing through the Inn, crying their papers against all regulations, and at the same moment Rosa came in to say that John Storm had surrendered.

“I knew it!” cried Glory; “I knew he would!”

Then Rosa told her of Brother Andrew’s attempt to personate his master, and with what pitiful circumstances it had ended.

“Only a lay brother, you say, Rosa?”

“Yes, a poor half-witted soul apparentlymust have been, to imagine that a subterfuge like that would succeed in London.”

Glory’s eyes were gleaming.  “Rosa,” she said, “I would rather have done what he did than play the greatest part in the world.”

She wished to be present at the trial, and proposed to Rosa that she should go with her.

“But dare you, my child?  Considering your old friendship, dare you see him ”

“Dare I?” said Glory.  “Dare I stand in the dock by his side!”

But when she got to Bow Street and saw the crowds in the court, the line of distinguished persons of both sexes allowed to sit on the bench, the army of reporters and newspaper artists, and all the mass of smiling and eager faces, without ruth or pity, gathered together as for a show, her heart sickened and she crept out of the place before the prisoner was brought into the dock.

Walking to and fro in the corridor, she waited the result of the trial.  It was not a long one.  The charge was that of causing people unlawfully to assemble to the danger of the public peace.  There was no defence.  A man with a bandaged forehead was the first of the witnesses.  He was a publican, who lived in Brown’s Square and had been a friend of the soldier Wilkes.  The injury to his forehead was the result of a blow from a stick given by the prisoner’s lay brother on the night of the Derby, when, with the help of the deceased, he had attempted to liberate the bloodhound.  He had much to say of the Father’s sermons, his speeches, his predictions, his slanders, and his disloyalty.  Other witnesses were Pincher and Hawkins.  They were in a state of abject fear at the fate hanging over their own heads, and tried to save their own skins by laying the blame of their own conduct upon the Father.  The last witness was Brother Andrew, and he broke down utterly.  Within an hour Rosa came out to say that John Storm had been committed for trial.  Bail was not asked for, and the prisoner, who had not uttered a word from first to last, had been taken back to the cells.

Glory hurried home and shut herself in her room.  The newsboys in the street were shouting, “Father Storm in the dock!” and filling the air with their cries.  She covered her ears with her hands, and made noises in her throat that she might not hear.

John Storm’s career was at an end.  It was all her fault.  If she had yielded to his desire to leave London, or if she had joined him there, how different everything must have been!  But she had broken in upon his life and wrecked it.  She had sinned against him who had given her everything that one human soul can give another.

Liza came up with, red eyes, bringing the evening papers and a letter.  The papers contained long reports of the trial and short editorials reproving the public for its interest in such a poor impostor.  Some of them contained sketches of the prisoner and of the distinguished persons recognised in court.  “The stage was represented by ,” and then a caricature of herself.

The letter was from Aunt Rachel: 

“My Dear, My Best-Beloved Glory:  I know how much your kind heart will be lowered by the painful tidings I have to write to you.  Lord Storm died on Monday and was buried to-day.  To the last he declared he would never consent to make peace with John, and he has left nothing to him but his title, so that our dear friend is now a nobleman without an estate.  Everybody about the old lord at the end was unanimous in favour of his son, but he would not listen to them, and the scene at the deathbed was shocking.  It seems that with his dying breath and many bursts of laughter he read aloud his will, which ordered that his effects should be sold and the proceeds given to some society for the protection of the Established Church.  And then he told old Chaise that as soon as he was gone a coffin was to be got and he was to be screwed down at once, ‘for,’ said he, ’my son would not come to see me living, and he sha’n’t stand grinning at me dead.’  The funeral was at Kirkpatrick this morning, and few came to see the last of one who had left none to mourn him; but just as the remains were being deposited in the dark vault a carriage drove up and an elderly gentleman got out.  No one knew him, and he stood and looked down with his impassive face while the service was being read, and then, without speaking to any one, he got back into the carriage and drove away.  The minute he was gone I told Anna he was somebody of consequence; and then everybody said it must be Lord Storm’s brother and no less a person than the Prime Minister of England.  It seems that the sale is to come off immediately, so that Knockaloe will be a waste, as if sown with salt; and, so far as this island is concerned, all trace of the Storms, father and son, will be gone for good.  I ever knew it must end thus!  But I will more particularly tell you everything when we meet again, which I hope may be soon.  Meantime I need not say how much I am, my dear child, your ever fondnay, more than fonddevoted auntie.