“Monsieur, I was very much distressed, and for a long time I tried to think of a way to get rid of Pierre, for I was afraid that he would come to the house and tell Madame Holymead I was married. Then I thought of the great judge, my lover. He would know how to send Pierre away, for Pierre would be frightened of him. But Sir Horace was in Scotland, shooting the poor birds. But I wrote to him and asked him for my sake to come at once, because I was in distress and needed help. Monsieur, he came—but he came to his death. He sent me a letter to meet him at Riversbrook at half-past ten o’clock. He was sorry it was so late, but he thought it would be safer not to come to the house till after dark in the long summer evening, for people were so censorious. I was to tell Madame Holymead that I was going to the theatre with a friend.
“I was so pleased to think that I would get rid of Pierre, that on the morning, when he stopped me to ask me again about the money, I showed him the letter of the great judge, and told him I would make the judge put him in prison if he did not go away and leave me alone. ’He is your lover,’ said Pierre. ‘I will kill him.’ But I laughed, for I knew Pierre did not care if I had many lovers. I said to him, ’Pierre, you would extort the money’—blackmail, the English call it, do they not, Monsieur Crewe?—’but you would not kill. Sir Horace is not afraid of you. If you go near him he would have you taken off to gaol,’ But Pierre he was deep in thought. Several times he said, ‘I want money,’ Each time I said to him, ‘Then you must work for it,’ ‘That is no way to get money,’ he answered. ‘This great judge, he has much money, is it not so?’
“I left him, monsieur, thinking of money. But I did not know how bad his thoughts were. I returned home, and I told Madame Holymead I would go to the theatre that night. I left the house at eight o’clock, and after walking along Piccadilly and Regent Street took the train to Hampstead. Then I walked up to the house of Sir Horace so as not to be too early. The gate was open and I thought that strange, but I had no thought of murder. As I walked up the garden I heard a shot—two shots—and then a cry, and the sound of something falling on the floor. The door of the house was open, and the light was burning in the hall. Upstairs I heard the noise of footsteps—quick footsteps—and then I heard them coming down the staircase. I was afraid, and I hid myself behind the curtains in the hall. The footsteps came down, and nearer and nearer, and when they passed me I looked out to see. Monsieur, it was Pierre. I called to him softly, ‘Pierre, Pierre!’ He looked round, and his face, it was so different—so dreadful. He did not know my voice, and he ran away from me with a cry.
“Monsieur, my heart is a brave one. I have not what you call nerves, but when I knew I was alone in the great house with I knew not what, a great fear clutched me. I stood still in the hall with my eyes fixed on the stairs above. At first all was silent, then I heard a dreadful sound—a groan. I wanted to run away then, monsieur, but the good God commanded me to go up and into the room, where a fellow creature needed me. I went upstairs, and along to the door of a room which was half open. I pushed it wide open and went in.