“Then Tanaka, where is he?”
“Go away with okusan” the boy grinned again, “I am very sorry—”
Geoffrey slammed the door in the face of his tormentor. He staggered into a chair and collapsed, staring blankly. What could have happened?
Slowly his ideas returned. Tanaka! He had seen the little beast in Yae’s motor car at Chuzenji. He must have come spying after his master as he had done fifty times before. He and that half-caste devil had raced him back to Tokyo, had got in ahead of him, and had told a pack of lies to Asako. She must have believed them, since she had gone away. But where had she gone to? The boy san had said “two Japanese girls.” She must have gone to the Fujinami house, and to her horribly unclean cousins.
He must find her at once. He must open her eyes to the truth. He must bring her back. He must take her away from Japan—forever.
Harrington was crossing the hall of the hotel muttering to himself, seeing nothing, hearing nothing, when he felt a hand laid on his arm. It was Titine, Asako’s French maid.
“Monsieur le capitaine” she said, “madame est partie. It is not my fault, monsieur le capitaine. I say to madame, do not go, wait for monsieur. But madame is bewitched. She, who is bonne catholique, she say prayers to the temples of these yellow devils. I myself have seen her clap her hands—so!—and pray. Her saints have left her. She is bewitched.”
Titine was a Breton peasant girl. She believed implicitly in the powers of darkness. She had long ago decided that the gods of the Japanese and the korrigans of her own country were intimately related. She had served Asako since before her marriage, and would have remained with her until death. She was desperately faithful. But she could not follow her mistress to the Fujinami house and risk her soul’s salvation.
“Monsieur le capitaine go away, and madame very, very unhappy. Every night she cry. Why did monsieur stay away so long time?”
“It was only a fortnight,” expostulated Geoffrey.
“For the first parting it was too long,” said Titine judicially. “Every night madame cry; and then she write to monsieur and say, ’Come back.’” Monsieur write and say, ‘Not yet.’ Then madame break her heart and say, ‘It is because of some woman that he stay away so long time!’ She say so to Tanaka; and Tanaka say, ’I go and detect, and come again and tell madame;’ and madame say, ’Yes, Tanaka can go: I wish to know the truth!’ And still more she cry and cry. This morning very early Tanaka came back with Mademoiselle Smith and mademoiselle la cousine. They all talk a long time with madame in bedroom. But they send me away. Then madame call me. She cry and cry. ‘Titine,’ she say, ’I go away. Monsieur do not love me now. I go to the Japanese house. Pack all my things, Titine.’ I say, ’No,