The Lighted Way eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 266 pages of information about The Lighted Way.

CHAPTER XXVI

ARNOLD BECOMES INQUISITIVE

For several moments Fenella sat quite still.  She was suddenly an altered woman.  All the natural gayety and vivacity seemed to have faded from her features.  There were suggestions of another self, zealously kept concealed.  It was a curious revelation.  Even her tone, when she spoke, was altered.  The words seemed to be dragged from her lips.

“You have some reason for saying this,” she murmured.

“I have,” Arnold admitted.

Just then the waiter entered the room, bringing in a portion of the lunch which they had ordered.  Fenella rose and walked to a mirror at the other end of the apartment.  She stood there powdering her cheeks for a moment, with her back turned to Arnold.  When the waiter had gone, she returned, humming a tune.  Her effort at self-rehabilitation was obvious.

“You gave me a shock, my friend,” she declared, sitting down.  “Please do not do it again.  I am not accustomed to having things put to me quite so plainly.”

“I am sorry,” Arnold said.  “It was hideously clumsy of me.”

“It is of no consequence now,” she continued.  “Please to give me some of that red wine and go on with your story.  Tell me exactly what you mean!”

“It is simply this,” Arnold explained.  “A few days ago, I noticed that Mr. Weatherley was busy writing for several hours.  It was evidently some private matter and nothing whatever to do with the business.  When he had finished, he put some documents into a small safe, locked them up, and, very much to my surprise, gave me the key.”

“This was long ago?”

“It was almost immediately after Mr. Rosario’s murder,” he replied.  “When he gave me the key, he told me that if anything unexpected should happen to him, I was to open the safe and inspect the documents.  He particularly used the words ’If anything unexpected should happen to me, or if I should disappear.’”

“You really believe, then,” she asked, “that he had some idea in his mind that something was likely to happen to him, or that he intended to disappear?”

“His action proves it,” Arnold reminded her.  “So far as we know, there is no earthly reason for his not having turned up at the office this morning.  This afternoon I shall open the safe.”

“You mean that you will open it if you do not find him in the office when you return?”

“He will not be there,” Arnold said, decidedly.

Her eyes were filled with fear.  He went on hastily.

“Perhaps I ought not to say that.  I have nothing in the world to go on.  It is only just an idea of mine.  It isn’t that I am afraid anything has happened to him, but I feel convinced, somehow, that we shall not hear anything more of Mr. Weatherley for some time.”

“You will open the safe, then, this afternoon?”

“I must,” Arnold replied.

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The Lighted Way from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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