Arnold rose eagerly to his feet. His eyes were bright already with anticipation.
“And as for our conversation,” Sabatini continued, as they stepped into his little electric brougham, “dismiss it, for the present, from your memory. Try and look out upon life with larger eyes, from a broader point of view. Forget the laws that have been made by other men. Try and frame for yourself a more rational code of living. And judge not with the ready-made judgment of laws, but from your own consciousness of right and wrong. You are at an impressionable age, and the effort should help to make a man of you.”
They glided softly along the crowded streets and up into Leicester Square, where the blaze of lights seemed somehow comforting after the cold darkness of the night. They stopped outside the Empire and Arnold followed his guide with beating heart as they were shown to their box. The door was thrown open. Fenella was there alone. She was sitting a little way back in the box so as to escape observation from the house. At the sound of their entrance she turned eagerly toward them. Arnold, who was in advance, stopped short in the act of greeting her. She was looking past him at her brother. She was absolutely colorless, her lips were parted, her eyes distended as though with terror. She had all the appearance of a woman who has looked upon some terrible thing.
THE RED SIGNET RING
The few minutes which followed inspired Arnold with an admiration for his companion which he never wholly lost. Sabatini recognized in a moment his sister’s state, but he did no more than shrug his shoulders.
“My dear Fenella!” he said, in a tone of gentle reproof.
“You haven’t heard?” she gasped.
Sabatini drew out a chair and seated himself. He glanced around at the house and then began slowly to unbutton his white kid gloves.
“I did not buy an evening paper,” he remarked. “Your face tells me the news, of course. I gather that Starling has been arrested.”
“He was arrested at five o’clock!” she exclaimed. “He will be charged before the magistrates to-morrow.”
“Then to-morrow,” Sabatini continued calmly, “will be quite time enough for you to begin to worry.”
She looked at him for a moment steadfastly. She had ceased to tremble now and her own appearance was becoming more natural.
“If one had but a man’s nerve!” she murmured. “Dear Andrea, you make me very much ashamed. Yet this is serious—surely it is very serious?”
Arnold had withdrawn as far as possible out of hearing, but Sabatini beckoned him forward.
“You are missing the ballet,” he said. “You must take the front chair there. You, too, will be interested in this news which my sister has been telling me. Our friend Starling has been arrested, after all. I was afraid he was giving himself away.”