The Abbot alone sat gray and immutable, with a drawn face and a brooding eye.
There was a buzz and murmur among the white-frocked brethren at this grave charge; but the Abbot held up his long quivering hand.
The Abbot drew his gray brows low over his fiercely questioning eyes.
"And the woman?" asked the Abbot. "Did she not break into lamentation and woe that a brother should so demean himself?"
"Canst thou?" cried the Abbot, in a high, tempestuous tone.
The Abbot turned his angry eyes away from them and bent them upon the accused, who met his searching gaze with a firm and composed face.
The brothers, who were English to a man, pricked up their ears at the sound of the homely and yet unfamiliar speech; but the Abbot flushed red with anger, and struck his hand upon the oaken arm of his chair.
The Abbot patted his foot and nodded his head, as one who passes a point but does not forget it.
"She has screamed out on purpose," declared Abbot, in some disgust.
"Abbot and Bessie, I believe I gave orders that Jane Eyre should be left in the red-room till I came to her myself."
Sergius obeyed the starets, showed his letter to the Abbot, and having obtained his permission, gave up his cell, handed all his possessions over to the monastery, and set out for the Tambov hermitage.
There the Abbot, an excellent manager of merchant origin, received Sergius simply and quietly and placed him in Hilary's cell, at first assigning to him a lay brother but afterwards leaving him alone, at Sergius's own request.