Lilian could account for a great deal now. The uncanny feeling she had always experienced in the building; the curious enigmatical shadows she had seen hovering about the doorways and flitting down the passages; the extraordinary nature of the feats and spells; Hamar’s mutterings and his fury, whenever Kelson spoke to her—were no longer wholly unintelligible. But she must know all. She must be most exacting.
Finally, she got from Curtis everything there was to be got from him, and she laughed immoderately, when he excused himself on the grounds that it was all Leon’s doings—Leon had told him to offer her a little compensation for the loss of her escort.
“And you have compensated me more than enough,” Lilian Rosenberg said. “Now you shall have your reward,” and she kissed him—kissed him three times for luck.
“But you’re not going?” he said, staggering to his feet and attempting to hold her. “You’re not going till the roshy morning sun shines shaucily in on us.”
“Oh, yes, I am,” she said. “I’ve had quite enough of you! Good-bye!”
And before he could prevent her, she had run to the front door and let herself out.
IN HYDE PARK AT NIGHT
But now that Lilian Rosenberg was possessed of all this information respecting the trio, she was once again in doubt how to act, or whether to act at all. Supposing she were to attempt to warn Gladys Martin against Hamar, how would Gladys take the warning? Would she pay any attention to it? The odds were she would not; that having set her heart on marrying Hamar for his money, she would blind herself to his faults and resolutely shut her ears to anything said against him. Also there was the very great possibility of Gladys being rude to her—and even the thought of this was more than she could bear to contemplate. If only Shiel were reasonable! If only he could be made to see how utterly ridiculous it was for him to think of winning such a girl as Gladys—Gladys the pretty, dolly-faced, pampered actress, who had never known a single hardship, had always had a well-lined purse, and would never, never marry poverty! Then back to Lilian Rosenberg’s mind came her parting with Shiel—she recalled his intense scorn and indignation. A liar! He did not wish to have anything to do with a liar! It’s a good thing every man is not so fastidious, she said to herself bitterly, or the population of the world would soon fizz out. She laughed. He had never questioned her morals in any other sense—perhaps, in his innocence or assumed innocence, he had thought them spotless—at all events he had most graciously ignored them. But a liar! A liar—he could not put up with. And why! Because the lie had touched him on a sore point. When lies do not touch a sore point, they, too, are ignored.