Brigit rose. “Very well. Think as you like. And—good-bye.”
She left the house without a word, and taking a hansom went straight to Golden Square.
Felicite, who was alone, kissed her kindly and insisted on giving her tea. This, however, Brigit refused. Desperate as she was, she had come to the point of feeling that she could never again accept the little woman’s hospitality. What she was going to do she did not know, but she was not going to marry Theo, and she would never again come to Golden Square.
“No, thanks,” she said gently, “I want to see your husband, so as you think he is there, I will rush up to Chelsea. You look tired—petite mere.”
Felicite smiled. “I am. I have been turning out our room and re-hanging all the pictures. But I like doing it. How is dear Tommy?”
“Much better, thanks. He is going to Margate to-morrow—to the sea, you know.”
Felicite went downstairs with her and kissed her again at parting. “Theo will be very glad you are in town,” she said. “And you, my daughter—do things go better with you?”
Touched by the kind light in her innocent eyes, Brigit lied. “Ah, yes, much better, thank you,” she returned; “everything is all right.”
And when she was in her hansom hurrying Chelseawards, she felt with a sigh that it was a harmless lie.
“She is a dear, poor Felicite, and when Victor has told her that I will not marry Theo, and I have gone away—she will be less troubled.”
As she went up the stairs in the house in Tite Street, Brigit recalled the occasion of her other visit there and shuddered. Poor Carron. Could it have been partly her fault?
And that was her only tribute to his memory. Essentially selfish though the girl was, she was no hypocrite, and it did not occur to her now to make excuses for the man simply because he was dead.
But it had been just here at the turning of the dusty stairs that he had waylaid her on her way down after her first love scene with Joyselle, and she could not pass without recalling it.
Then she had been gloriously happy, feeling, because she and Victor loved each other, that the world was theirs; now she came a broken-willed, frightened woman, to plead with the man who had put her out of his life, to take her back. She would tell him that no matter what happened, she would never marry Theo, and—then, when he realised that she meant this, she would beg him to take her back.
And remembering the last days she trembled.
She knocked at his door, and a short, familiar bark
answered the sound.
Joyselle opened the door, which had been locked, and when he saw her, his face, already sombre, darkened ominously.
“Brigitte—what do you want?” he asked, not offering to let her in. Behind him, on a table, she saw his violin-case—unopened, and her heart gave a glad hope. He had not been working. He had been, she hoped, unable to work.