Then Margaret thought of Isidore Bamberger, the hard-working man of business who was Van Torp’s right hand and figure-head, as Griggs had said, and who had divorced the beautiful, half-crazy mother of the two Idas because Van Torp had stolen her from him—Van Torp, his partner, and once his trusted friend. She remembered the other things Griggs had told her: how old Bamberger must surely have discovered that his daughter had been murdered, and that he meant to keep it a secret till he caught the murderer. Even now the detectives might be on the right scent, and if he whose child had been killed, and whose wife had been stolen from him by the man he had once trusted, learnt the whole truth at last, he would not be easily appeased.
‘You have had some singular offers of marriage,’ said Logotheti in a tone of reflection. ’You will probably marry a beggar some day—a nice beggar, who has ruined himself like a gentleman, but a beggar nevertheless!’
‘I don’t know,’ Margaret said carelessly. ’Of one thing I am sure. I shall not marry Mr. Van Torp.’
Logotheti laughed softly.
‘Remember the French proverb,’ he said. ’"Say not to the fountain, I will not drink of thy water."’
‘Proverbs,’ returned Margaret, ’are what Schreiermeyer calls stupid stuff. Fancy marrying that monster!’
‘Yes,’ assented Logotheti, ‘fancy!’
Three weeks later, when the days were lengthening quickly and London was beginning to show its better side to the cross-grained people who abuse its climate, the gas was lighted again in the dingy rooms in Hare Court. No one but the old woman who came to sweep had visited them since Mr. Van Torp had gone into the country in March, after Lady Maud had been to see him on the evening of his arrival.