The earl looked at him. "I do not understand you."
"Did you not know that they have seized the corpse?" asked Mr. Carlyle, dropping his voice. "Two men have been posted over it, like sentinels, since yesterday morning. And there's a third in the house, I hear, who relieves each other by turn, that they may go down in the hall and take their meals."
The earl had halted in his walk and drawn near to Mr. Carlyle, his mouth open, his face a marvel of consternation. "By George!" was all Mr. Warburton uttered, and snatched off his glasses.
"Mr. Carlyle, do I understand you aright--that the body of the late earl has been seized for a debt?" demanded the peer, solemnly. "Seize a dead body! Am I awake or dreaming?"
"It is what they have done. They got into the room by stratagem."
"Is it possible that transactions so infamous are permitted by our law?" ejaculated the earl. "Arrest a dead man! I never heard of such a thing. I am shocked beyond expression. Isabel said something about two men, I remember; but she was so full of grief and agitation altogether, that I but half comprehended what she did say upon the subject. Why, what will be done? Can't we bury him?"
"I fancy not. The housekeeper told me, this morning, she feared they would not even suffer the coffin to be closed down. And that ought to be done with all convenient speed."
"It is perfectly horrible!" uttered the earl.