"Just a moment," Leona said eagerly. "Suppose I deny that. How are you going to prove that I did so?""You can't fail," said Lawrence quietly. "When I come to give evidence the character of my friend Dr. Bruce will be restored beyond question. By the way, I have not heard how Mr. Charlton is today."
CHAPTER LVI. NOW THEN!
Bruce was allowed to take his own way, a result he had not confidently expected. The vulgar curiosity of the passing crowd annoyed him. Standing outside the vestry hall was a carriage and a pair of horses. Leona Lalage, seated inside, smiled brilliantly on Bruce and his companion, and the footman opened the door.Lawrence was fortunately at home. He had just finished a story, so that his frame of mind was complaisant. But as he listened to the dramatic events of the afternoon he grew deeply interested.
"Come with me," Leona Lalage replied. "You are dreaming. Of course, there is no man in the house. Come along."The Countess laughed lightly. Her mood seemed friendly.
CHAPTER XXVI. THE BLACK MOTOR.
Hetty darted up the secondary staircase intent only on her little charge. The child was unusually nervous and imaginative, as if she had been frightened by the ghost stories of a foolish nurse. Alternatively her mother's pet and encumbrance, Mamie had been driven back upon herself. And she had given up all the love of her heart to Hetty."What do you think of that?" Prout asked."Again, it is a little strange that I have already built a romance round the Corner House before the heroine came along. I told you once that I had known the owner of the Corner House before the tragedy. I had my heroine and I had my plot. A plot of vengeance and wounded pride.
"I dare say," said Lawrence, drily, "but you didn't know. There would have been another murder on your soul had it not been for my niece. Maitrank was furious. But he was a valuable ally to me, in fact I calculated on that. By his means I forced a confession from you that it was yourself who paid the rest of those notes to Isidore, and this I can prove out of your own mouth, by the production of that tuberose perfume. You were mad and desperate that night to part with the last of your store."
He would have followed those people and demanded them. But Lawrence held him back until his passion was spent. He yielded suddenly."Where's the sense in making that noise?" Balmayne growled. "Why didn't you bring your latchkey as I suggested, instead of leaving the front door open? Some zealous policeman found it open and rang the servants up."
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Bruce started off, only staying long enough to get his professional black bag. He might have satisfied a little of his curiosity on the way, only his companion's affliction prevented that. He was on familiar ground presently as the car flew along smoothly as a boat sails down stream, until at length it pulled up with a jerk at the end of Lytton-avenue."You need not be afraid," she said. "If I couldn't--ah!"
"I couldn't possibly come before," he said. "I've been busy all the evening on this business, and as it was I had to leave a little matter to chance. I fancy that you will not be sorry that I persuaded you to stay in London."详情
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