For some moments she stood there, watching the doors which a powdered flunkey had swung to after their entrance. Wild suggestions flung themselves before her consideration. She would go back to her room, dress herself in the best frock that Traill had given her and go to supper there herself. She would wait there an hour, an hour and a half if necessary, to see if he went home with them. That she had almost decided on, when a man of whose presence, passing behind her once or twice upon the pavement, she had been unaware, stopped by her side.
“Waiting for some one?” he said, with that insinuating tone of voice which disposes of any need for introduction.
She drew away from him quickly in horror, fear driving cold through the hot blood of her jealousy. Then she turned, as he laughed to conceal his momentary embarrassment, and hurried off in the direction of Trafalgar Square.
That incident proved her waiting to be impossible. She walked slowly home, all the spirit within her sinking down into an impenetrable mood of depression from which not even the persistent hope that love must win her back her happiness in the end had any power to raise her. Now she was crushed—burnt out. Only the charred cinders and the ashes of herself were left behind from the flames of that furnace which had torn its way through her.
Lighting just one candle, she sat in his room waiting for his return. An hour passed, and at last she blew the candle out. He might think it strange to find her there, sitting up for him; he might suspect, and as yet she was sublimely unconscious that he had seen her. She was sure when she had covered her face with the programme in the theatre that the action had been in time; moreover, she was by no means certain that from that distance his glasses had covered her at all.
Mounting the uncarpeted stairs from his room to the floor above, she stopped once or twice, thinking she heard a hansom pulling up in the street. Her heart stopped with her and she held a breath in suspense; but on each occasion it jingled on, losing the noise of its bells in the murmuring night sounds which never quite die into silence in that quarter.
When she reached her room, she lit a candle, holding it up before the mirror on the dressing-table and gazing at her face in its reflection.
“My God!” she whispered.