Byrne turned the key in the heavy lock and put it calmly in his pocket. He did so much more from caution than from any kind of fear. This was the only entrance to the house, and he did not mean to be caught unawares by any danger from outside. He wondered if Tom Corbin had been as cautious the night before. Though Tom would be away for at least three days, Byrne had a strange feeling of his nearness. In the stillness he seemed to hear Tom's voice. He looked round quickly, for the tricks of hearing are the most realistic of all. But there were only the women. It seemed impossible that Tom should not be there.
The girl, carrying a smoky oil lamp, led Byrne upstairs. He threw open one after another the doors along the passage. At this, the girl stopped and raised the lamp in each doorway, staring at him meanwhile. Satisfied he was the only guest, Byrne came to the last door, which the girl threw open herself.
"You sleep here, sir" she said, giving him the lamp. "Your friend slept here too. It's our most comfortable bed."
"Good night, miss," he said politely.
Her lips moved in reply, but he did not catch the words. Her eyes never for a moment left his face. He stepped in, and as he turned to close the door she was still standing there motionless. He paused, and in the silence he thought he again heard the sound of Tom's voice. The sound terrified him now, not only because it seemed much nearer but also because he imagined a note of warning in it.