"She can't want you half so badly as I do," Gordon laughed as he bent down and kissed the shy lips. "And that queer little creature will have to learn to do without you altogether before long. Four new patients today, Hetty. And I have taken the house in Green-Street."
Tomorrow a whole hoard of tradesmen would be down upon Lytton Avenue, but for the present Hetty was left in peace. Mamie was very far from well, flushed and feverish, so that at eleven o'clock she decided to call in Bruce. She rang the bell, but no servant appeared. She rang again, and went down presently into the basement to investigate.
"Meanwhile the clouds were gathering around you. Prout finds your husband's brother by a happy chance. Once he has done this, things become easy for us. The more easy they become for us the more desperate they grow for you. Then you decide that you must recover those notes from Isidore. You take out your motor car, so cunningly disguised in blacklead----"
The time had come. Leona Lalage knew it as well as if she had seen the writing on the wall. This man had come for her; she would have no time to make her peace with the world. When he had his say he would drive his knife into her heart, and there would be an end of it.?
"Well, one hears some queer things," the novelist said at length. "I've been fascinated with that corner house for years. As I told you before, I built up a romance round it. Some day I mean to take the papers out of my pigeonhole and work it up."!
"Take them," she said hoarsely; "take them and write me a receipt at once before I repent. Better do anything than come between a woman and her jewels. There, a glass of wine. To your speedy ruin and destruction.".
The flowing tide of satin and silks and lace sweeping up the staircase swept young Gordon Bruce along. He passed through the glittering rooms faint with the perfume of roses. There was a dim corridor full of flowers and shaded lights. Gordon Bruce looked anxiously about him. A glad light came into his eyes.
"I have been talking to Lawrence," Bruce said. "My dear little girl, I have only learnt lately what you have endured for me. If these people had found you out they would most certainly have murdered you."
"How did you know it was the last of my store?" Leona cried.