“Bailey is here,” she said.
“Bailey?” Lucia repeated—she had forgotten the name.
“The man who was present at my marriage—the American.”
“Mamma! How do you know?”
“Father Paul told me just now.”
“How did he know?”
“The wretched man had gone to him begging, and he mentioned him to me by chance, thinking I might know something about him.”
“But surely he would not remember you?”
“I think he would. If by any accident he met you and me together, I am certain he would.”
“Ah! I am so like my father.”
“Lucia, I dare not meet him. I believe the very sight of him would kill me.”
“Let us go away, mamma. He knows nothing about us yet. We might start to-morrow.”
“Where should we go? Even at our own door we might meet him, at the railway station—anywhere. No, it is only inside these walls we are safe, and scarcely here.”
Mrs. Costello was literally trembling, the panic which had seized her was so great; Lucia, not fully understanding yet, could not help being infected by her terror.
“But, mamma, we cannot shut ourselves up in these rooms. That, with the constant fear added to it, would soon make you ill again.”
“What can we do?” Mrs. Costello repeated helplessly. “If, indeed, we could start to-night, and go south, or go out of France altogether. But I have not even money in the house for our journey.”
“And if you had, you have not strength for it. Would not it be well to consult Mr. Wynter? If we had any friend here who would make the arrangement for us, I don’t see why we should not be able to go away without any fear of meeting this man.”
“No; that would not do. To consult George would just be opening up again all that was most painful—it would be almost as bad as meeting Bailey himself.”
“And we could not be stopped even if we did meet Bailey. Let me go alone, mamma, and do what is to be done—it is not much. If I meet him I shall not know it, and seeing me alone, the likeness cannot be so strong as to make him recognize me all at once.”
“But he might see us together when we start from here; and he might trace us. He would know at once that he could get money from me, and for money he would do anything.”
She leaned back, and was silent a minute.
“We must keep closely shut up for a little while, till I can decide what to do. I wish Maurice would come.”
Lucia looked up eagerly. It was her own thought, though she had not dared to say it. Maurice could always find the way out of a difficulty.
“Mamma,” she said anxiously, but with some hesitation, “I think this is need—the kind of need Maurice meant.”
“Need, truly. But I do not know—”
“He would be glad to help you. And he knows all about us.”
“Yes, I should not have to make long explanations to him.”