“I am going to leave you to get over it,” he declared. “I’m off now to fetch the luggage. You won’t be afraid to be left here?”
She shook her head. A certain look of relief flashed across her face.
“No, I shall not be afraid,” she answered.
He wheeled the easy-chair up to the window which he had flung wide open. He placed a cushion at the back of her head and left her with a cheerful word. She heard his steps go down the corridor, the rattle of the lift as it descended. Then her lips began to tremble and the sobs to shake her shoulders. She held out her hands toward that line of lights at which he had pointed, and her fingers were clenched.
“It is because—I am like this!” she cried, half hysterically. “I don’t count!”
COUNT SABATINI VISITS
There was an air of subdued excitement about the offices of Messrs. Samuel Weatherley & Company from nine until half-past on the following morning. For so many years his clerks had been accustomed to see Mr. Weatherley stroll in somewhere about that time, his cigar in his mouth, his silk hat always at the same angle, that it seemed hard for them to believe that this morning they would not hear the familiar footstep and greeting. Every time a shadow passed the window, heads were eagerly raised. The sound of the bell on the outside door brought them all to their feet. They were all on tiptoe with expectation. The time, however, came and passed. The letters were all opened, and Mr. Jarvis and Arnold were occupying the private office. Already invoices were being distributed and orders entered up. The disappearance of Mr, Weatherley was a thing established.
Mr. Jarvis was starting the day in a pessimistic frame of mind.
“You may take my word for it, Chetwode,” he said solemnly to his companion, after he had finished going through the letters, “that we shall never see the governor again.”
Arnold was startled.
“Have you heard anything?” he asked.
Mr. Jarvis admitted gloomily that he had heard nothing.
“It’s my belief that nothing more will be heard,” he added, “until his body’s found.”
“Rubbish!” Arnold declared. “Mr. Weatherley wasn’t the sort of man to commit suicide.”
Mr. Jarvis looked around the office as though he almost feared that the ghost of his late employer might be listening.
“It is my belief,” he said impressively, “that we none of us knew the sort of man Mr. Weatherley was, or rather the sort of man he has become since his marriage.”
“I don’t see what marriage with Mrs. Weatherley could have had to do with his disappearance,” Arnold remarked.
Mr. Jarvis looked foolishly wise from behind his gold-rimmed spectacles.
“You haven’t had the opportunity of watching the governor as I have since his marriage,” he declared. “Take my advice, Chetwode. You are not married, I presume?”