‘Shall we go?’ Frank said, putting a veil of cigarette smoke between us.
I trembled. I was once more the young and timid girl. I could not speak. I nodded.
In the hall was Vicary, talking to the head-porter. He saw us and started.
‘What! Vicary!’ I murmured, suddenly cooled.
‘I want to speak to you,’ said Vicary. ‘Where can we go?’
‘This way,’ Frank replied.
We went to our sitting-room, silent and apprehensive.
‘Sit down,’ said Vicary, shutting the door and standing against it.
He was wearing a tourist suit, with a gray overcoat, and his grizzled hair was tumbling over his hard, white face.
‘What’s the matter?’ Frank asked. ‘Anything wrong?’
‘Look here, you two,’ said Vicary, ’I don’t want to discuss your position, and I’m the last person in this world to cast the first stone; but it falls to me to do it. I was coming down to Nice to stay with my sisters, and I’ve come a little further. My sisters wired me they had seen you. I’ve been to Mentone, and driven here from there. I hoped I should get here earlier than the newspapers, and I have done, it seems.’
‘Earlier than the newspapers?’ Frank repeated, standing up.
‘Try to keep calm,’ Vicary continued. ’Your wife’s body was found in the Thames at seven o’clock last night. The doctors say it had been in the water for forty-eight hours. Your servants thought she had gone to you. But doubtless some thoughtful person had told her that you two were wandering about Europe together.’