“Rather not,” Vine answered. “To tell you the truth, I think my mind is made up. I am going to spend a little fortune cabling to-night.”
“Well, I am not sure but that you are wise,” was the reply. “It’s one of those things the result of which it is quite impossible to prophesy. Good luck to you anyway, Vine, and do, for the next few hours, take care of yourself.”
Then Virginia heard a parting between the two men. One of them apparently left the house, the other returned to the room from which they had issued. Virginia did not hesitate for a moment. She passed on tiptoe out of the room into the hall. A servant stood at the front door, having that moment let Vine out.
“I have decided not to wait for Mr. Deane any longer,” she said. “I will call and see one of the secretaries sometime to-morrow.”
The man let her out without question. She was just in time to see Vine turn the corner of the square. She followed him breathlessly, then paused and stopped a passing hansom.
“Coniston Mansions,” she told the man. “Please go as quickly as you can.”
She was driven there, and passed quickly through the hall and entered the lift. The commissionaire hurried up to her.
“Several people, miss, have been asking for your address since you left,” he announced.
“I will leave it before I go,” she answered hurriedly.
She got out at the fifth floor, and without hesitation she walked straight across to Norris Vine’s rooms. She was as pale as death. After that last visit of hers she felt a horrible shrinking from entering the place. Nevertheless, she drew a key from her pocket, turned the lock, entered, and found, as she supposed, that she was there first. She looked around, at first in vain, for some hiding place. All the while she was struggling to put everything else out of her mind except two great facts. Norris Vine was going to bring that paper back to his rooms! It was her last chance! If she failed this time, there was nothing left for her but despair! On the right of the outside door was a small clothes cupboard. It was the only place in the two rooms where concealment seemed in any way possible, and Virginia, with beating heart, stepped into it and drew the door to after her. She was scarcely there before she heard the sound of a key in the lock. She drew back, holding her breath as he passed. Norris Vine entered and stepped into the sitting-room. She heard him take off his hat and coat and throw them down. She heard the sound of a chair drawn up to the table. He was preparing, then, to write out his cable!