But Maitrank was alone. The Countess had bounced in a fury out of the room. At every turn fate seemed to be against her now.Charlton said nothing. He was deeply interested. The man outside raised the lantern, and the dim light fell upon the ghastly outline of Charlton's white set face as he pressed against the panes. At the same instant the woman chanced to glance in the same direction.
"What I have said. You murdered my wife as surely as if you had driven a knife into her breast. She found you out in my absence. And to shield yourself and come between husband and wife you forged an infamous letter. Oh, you well knew the emotional nature you had to deal with, you counted on it. That forgery had the desired effect, and my wife poisoned herself. You would have got that letter back, but I returned unexpectedly. I kept that letter which would have saved my good name, but I preferred to remain silent so that it might go to the world that my wife had found no suicide's grave. I have that letter.""Why should I have killed him?" was the cool response. "At the rate he was going he would have drunk himself to death in another week."Bruce put the whole thing resolutely out of his mind, and went to bed. It was not till after luncheon that he found time to see Lawrence, to whom he told Hetty's story and the strange scene he had witnessed the night before."But why must it have been me?" Leona asked.
- "Oh, I know the man well enough," Isidore replied. "I will give you an introduction to him right enough. But you won't get much from that quarter."
- "She was bad, utterly bad from a child," he said. "She was a distant connexion of the family. As a girl she set us all aflame with her beauty. She was the vainest and most cruel girl in the village. If she could rob another girl of her lover she was happy, and happier still in flinging him aside after. She was delighted when she could breed a quarrel between two friends and get them to fight.
- But Hetty's curious eyes were upon her. Surely some further information was needed of this midnight adventure! And just for the moment Leona Lalage could think of nothing that sounded like the truth. She would have to appeal to Hetty and throw herself on her kindly feeling.
- CHAPTER XVI. MR. CHARLTON SPEAKS.
- The best part of two days had passed, but there was no abatement in the sensation caused by the fresh tragedy of the corner house. An enterprising newspaper had made a determined effort to trace the whereabouts of the real owner of the premises and drag his pitiful story afresh into the daylight, but he was not to be found. No relative came forward with the hope of gain. And it looked as if the new tragedy was going to be as deep a mystery as the old one.
- "So you came, after all, Dr. Bruce?" she said playfully. She pressed his hand gently, her eyes were soft and luminous on his face. Any man whose affections had not been pledged elsewhere would have felt his pulses leaping. "Why?"
- "I have never had that on my conscience," he whispered. "And if we do----" 更多 CPK 推荐