I turned and gazed back through the rear window of the carriage. True, there was another vehicle following us. We were by this time nearly at the end of Washington’s limited pavements. It would be simple after that. I leaned out and gave our driver some brief orders. We led our chase across the valley creeks on up the Georgetown hills, and soon as possible abandoned the last of the pavement, and took to the turf, where the sound of our wheels was dulled. Rapidly as we could we passed on up the hill, until we struck a side street where there was no paving. Into this we whipped swiftly, following the flank of the hill, our going, which was all of earth or soft turf, now well wetted by the rain. When at last we reached a point near the summit of the hill, I stopped to listen. Hearing nothing, I told the driver to pull down the hill by the side street, and to drive slowly. When we finally came into our main street again at the foot of the Georgetown hills, not far from the little creek which divided that settlement from the main city, I could hear nowhere any sound of our pursuer.
“Madam,” said I, turning to her; “I think we may safely say we are alone. What, now, is your wish?”
“Home!” she said.
“And where is home?”
She looked at me keenly for a time, as though to read some thought which perhaps she saw suggested either in the tone of my voice or in some glimpse she might have caught of my features as light afforded. For the moment she made no answer.
“Is it here?” suddenly I asked her, presenting to her inspection the sealed missive which I bore.
“I can not see; it is quite dark,” she said hurriedly.
“Pardon me, then—” I fumbled for my case of lucifers, and made a faint light by which she might read. The flare of the match lit up her face perfectly, bringing out the framing roll of thick dark hair, from which, as a high light in a mass of shadows, the clear and yet strong features of her face showed plainly. I saw the long lashes drooped above her dark eyes, as she bent over studiously. At first the inscription gave her no information. She pursed her lips and shook her head.
“I do not recognize the address,” said she, smiling, as she turned toward me.
“Is it this door on M Street, as you go beyond this other street?” I asked her. “Come—think!”
Then I thought I saw the flush deepen on her face, even as the match flickered and failed.
I leaned out of the door and called to the negro driver. “Home, now, boy—and drive fast!”
She made no protest.
ONE OF THE WOMEN IN THE CASE
There is a woman at the beginning
of all great things.