“I’ll talk of it with no living soul,” he answered thickly. “Out of my way.”
But Joan neither moved nor quailed.
“They will have it that Douglas Guest was killed,” she said. “I have never believed it. I do not believe it now. He is keeping out of the way because of what he did that night.”
“Ay,” he muttered. “Likely enough.”
“We must find him,” she continued. “Day by day we have searched. You shall help. If he be not guilty he knows the truth, and he hides. So I say that if he lives we must find him.”
“Guilty enough,” he muttered. “He is in her toils. Let me pass, sister Joan.”
“You have seen him?” she cried. “You know that he is alive?”
“Ay, alive,” he answered. “He’s alive.”
“You have seen him?”
“Tell me where and when.” “By chance,” he said hesitating—“in the streets.”
She wrung her hands.
“Have I not walked the streets,” she moaned, “till my feet have been sore with blisters and my head dizzy! Yet I have never met him.”
He stood with his hand upon his chin, thinking as well as he might. What did he owe to Douglas Guest, the friend of Emily de Reuss, successful where he had failed? Had he not seen their hands joined? He drew a breath which sounded like a hiss.
“I thought,” he muttered, “that it had been a woman, yet—who knows? It may have been Douglas Guest—and Joan, there was truth in your thought. He lives. I cannot tell you where. I cannot help you find him, for I have another task. Yet he lives. I tell you that. Now let me go.”
Her eyes flashed with something which was like joy. She had forgotten David’s wandering words. All the time her instincts had been true.
“Let me go, Joan.”
She laid her hands upon his shoulders.
“We are brother and sister,” she said, “and what is mine is yours. Stay and share with me. Share the little we have, and let Cissy nurse you—ay, and share our vengeance.”
She was flung on one side. Off her guard for a moment, he had pushed past her with unexpected strength.
“David!” she cried. “David!”
But she heard only his footsteps upon the stairs, swift and stealthy. In the hall he turned and looked up at her. She was leaning over the banisters.
“Take some money, at least,” she said. “See, I have dropped my purse.”
He watched it where it lay within a few feet of him, burst open with the drop, and with the gleam of gold showing from one of the compartments. He made no movement to pick it up. It seemed to her that as he passed out he shrank from it. From the window she watched him turn the corner of the street and vanish in the shadows.
DREXLEY FORESEES DANGER