“Is my daughter here?” he excitedly demanded.
Madge turned at the sound of her father’s voice, and sank, half-fainting, into his arms. Tears came to her relief, and she shook with the violence of her sobs.
Stephen Foster looked from Diane to Jack. Madge had shown him the anonymous letter, and he needed not to ask if the charge was true.
“You blackguard!” he cried, furiously. “You dastardly scoundrel!”
“I do not deserve those words!” Jack said, hoarsely, “but I cannot resent them. From any other man, under other circumstances—”
“Coward and liar!”
With that Stephen Foster turned to the door, with Madge leaning heavily on him. They passed down the stairs, and the rattle of wheels told that they had gone. Jack was left alone with Diane.
“Are you satisfied with your devil’s work?” he demanded, glaring at her with burning, bloodshot eyes.
“It was not my fault.”
“Not your fault? By heavens—”
He looked at the crumpled letter he held, and saw that it was apparently written by a woman. A suspicion that as quickly became a certainty flashed into his mind.
“You sent this, and the other one as well,” he exclaimed. “Don’t deny it! You planned the meeting here—”
“It is false, Jack! I swear to you that I know nothing of it—”
“Perjurer!” he snarled.
His face was like a madman’s as he caught her arm in a cruel grip. She cowered before him, dropping to her knees. She was pale with fear.
“Go, or I will kill you!” he cried, disregarding her protestations of innocence. “I can’t trust myself! Out of my sight—let me never see you or hear of you again. I will give you money to leave London—to return to Paris. Nevill will arrange it. Do you understand?”
He lifted her to her feet and pushed her from him. She staggered against an easel on which was a completed picture in oils, and it fell with a crash. Jack trampled over it ruthlessly, driving his feet through the canvas.
“Go!” he cried.
And Diane, trembling with terror, went swiftly out into the black and rainy night.
An hour later, when Victor Nevill came to say that his search had been fruitless, he found Jack stretched full length on the couch, with his face buried in a soft cushion.
TWO PASSENGERS FROM CALAIS.
It was the 9th of November, Lord Mayor’s Day, and in London the usual clammy compound of fog and mist—was there ever a Lord Mayor’s Day without it?—hung like a shroud in the city streets, though it was powerless to chill the ardor of the vast crowds who waited for the procession to come by in all its pomp and pageantry.