Beatrice still refused to believe him


Beatrice bowed her head, being too weak to speak. Durban, with a surprised glance at the Major--for he could not understand the reason of this appointment--drew the girl away, and together they descended the grimy stairs, leaving the Major arranging for immediate flight. The four-wheeler was waiting, sure enough, and Durban told the man to drive to the station. When in the cab with his young mistress, Durban questioned her about the interview and the appointment. Beatrice told him the truth and concealed nothing. "And, I fear," she said with a shudder, "that the Major will betray Vivian, in spite of everything."

"No," said Durban quietly; "when he gets the necklace he will hold his peace. The Major is not a cruel man, in spite of his surroundings and follies--criminal follies. He will hold his tongue, but I doubt if Waterloo will."

"He wants the necklace also," said Beatrice faintly.

"I don't care if he gets it, or if the Major secures it, or if Lady Watson keeps it, missy," said Durban gloomily; "it will bring bad luck to either one of the three. But the Major said that you could marry Mr. Paslow?"

"Yes. I don't know how he intends to arrange. But I cannot marry Mr. Paslow. I believe him to be innocent, but I cannot be sure. There was the handkerchief, you know."Having finished her business in London, Beatrice returned to Hurstable with Durban. They went back to The Camp, as the girl did not wish to again take up her abode in Convent Grange until her relations with Vivian Paslow were more settled. What Major Ruck meant by his mysterious hints, she could not imagine, but deep in her heart she cherished a hope that everything would yet be made smooth, and that all these troubles which desolated her life would be finally ended by her marriage with the man she loved.

It may seem strange that she should dwell at The Camp along with one who had confessed himself guilty of a terrible crime. But Beatrice, as she had said in London, and repeated frequently afterwards, did not believe Durban to be guilty. In an excess of zeal, and in order to secure her happiness, he professed himself to be the criminal. Had Waterloo and Major Ruck not accused Vivian, the girl felt very certain that Durban would not have accused himself. The man still insisted that he was guilty, and . After much thought she determined to give Vivian a chance of clearing himself, and believed that could he prove his innocence, Durban would not proceed with his self-sacrifice. With this in her mind, she wrote a note to Paslow the day after she arrived at The Camp. Durban was not with her at the time, as he had gone to the station to get the newspapers. It was necessary to see if the Black Patch Gang's quarters had been raided, and if Major Ruck had been arrested; if so, the appointment which the Major had made for the next evening at seven need not be kept.

Paslow, looking anxious and eager, arrived about three in the afternoon, and with him came Dinah. Without giving her brother time to speak, the girl flew at Beatrice and kissed her several times.

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