She broke off abruptly, shaking her head.
"I am tired," she sighed and all her haughty manner returned, "let the old woman show me to my room. I will take dejeuner with you at one o'clock."
Desmond bowed and stepping out into the hall, called the housekeeper. Old Martha shuffled off with the girl, leaving Desmond staring with vacant eyes into the fire. He was conscious of a feeling of exultation, despite his utter weariness and craving for sleep. This girl, with her queenly ways, her swiftly changing moods, her broad gusts of passion, interested him enormously. If she were the quarry, why, then, the chase were worth while! But the end? For a brief moment, he had a vision of that frail, clinging figure swaying up against some blank wall before a file of levelled rifles.
Then again he seemed to see old Mackwayte lying dead on the landing of the house at Seven Kings. Had this frail girl done this unspeakable deed? To send her to the gallows or before a firing-squad--was this to be the end of his mission? And the still, small voice of conscience answered: " Yes! that is what you have come here to do! "
Old Martha came shuffling down the staircase. Desmond called to her, remembering that he did not yet know where his bedroom was.
"Will you light me up to my room, Martha?" he said, "I want to be sure that the sheets are not damp!"
So saying he extinguished the lamp on the table and followed the old woman upstairs.
Clad in a suit of Mr. Basil Bellward's pyjamas of elaborate blue-flowered silk, Desmond lay propped up in bed in Mr. Bellward's luxuriously fitted bedroom, sipping his morning coffee, and studying with absorbed interest a sheet of blue foolscap. A number of papers lay strewn about the eiderdown quilt. At the head of the bed a handsome Sheraton bureau stood open.