Thatcher rose and crossed to the stove and took the book. He turned it over and scrutinized it carefully, scanned the blank pages and the silk-faced lids in the glow from the stove, and then handed it to Allen.
“What does that say there, that small gold print on the inside of the cover?”
“That’s the binder’s name—Z. Fenelsa.”
Allen closed the book, passed his hand over the smooth covers, and handed it back to Ware.
“What did you say the woman’s name was, Ware?” asked Thatcher.
“Didn’t say, but the name she went by up there was Forbes. She told me it was an assumed name. The people she stayed with told me they never knew any better.”
Several minutes passed in which no one spoke. The minister lapsed into one of his deep reveries. Thatcher stood just behind him peering into the fire. Suddenly he muttered under his breath and almost inaudibly, “Well, by God!”
A WASHINGTON’S BIRTHDAY BALL
The Bassetts moved to the capital that winter, arriving with the phalanx of legislators in January, and establishing themselves in a furnished house opportunely vacated by the Bosworths, who were taking the Mediterranean trip. Bassett had been careful to announce to the people of Fraserville that the removal was only temporary, and that he and his family would return in the spring, but Marian held private opinions quite at variance with her father’s published statements.
Mrs. Bassett’s acquiescence had been due to Mrs. Owen’s surprising support of Marian’s plan. In declaring that she would never, never consent to live in a flat, Mrs. Bassett had hoped to dispose of Marian’s importunities, to which Bassett had latterly lent mild approval. When, however, Mrs. Owen suggested the Bosworth house, which could be occupied with the minimum of domestic vexation, Mrs. Bassett promptly consented, feeling that her aunt’s interest might conceal a desire in the old lady’s breast to have some of her kinsfolk near her. Mrs. Bassett had not allowed her husband to forget the dangerous juxtaposition of Sylvia Garrison to Mrs. Owen’s check-book. “That girl,” as Mrs. Bassett designated Sylvia in private conversation with her husband, had been planted in Elizabeth House for a purpose. Her relief that Sylvia had not been settled in the Delaware Street residence had been of short duration: Mrs. Bassett saw now that it was only the girl’s adroit method of impressing upon Mrs. Owen her humility and altruism. Still