“It has been quite a rough passage, has it not?” he remarked.
“I have crossed,” she said, “when it has been much worse. I do not mind so long as one may come on deck.”
“Your friend,” he remarked, “is perhaps not so good a sailor?”
“I believe,” Lucille said, “that she suffers a great deal. I just looked in at her, and she was certainly uncomfortable.”
The little man gripped the rail and held on to his cap with the other hand.
“You are going to Paris?” he asked.
They were in smoother water now. He was able to relax his grip of the rail. He turned towards Lucille, and she saw him for the first time distinctly—a thin, wizened-up little man, with shrewd kindly eyes, and a long deeply cut mouth.
“I trust,” he said, “that you will not think me impertinent, but it occurred to me that you have noticed some apparent interest of mine in your movements since you arrived on the boat.”
“It is true,” she answered. “That is why I came and stood by your side. What do you want with me?”
“Nothing, madam,” he answered. “I am here altogether in your interests. If you should want help I shall be somewhere near you for the next few hours. Do not hesitate to appeal to me. My mission here is to be your protector should you need one.”
Lucille’s eyes grew bright, and her heart beat quickly.
“Tell me,” she said, “who sent you?”
“I think that you know,” he answered. “One who I can assure you will never allow you to suffer any harm. I have exceeded my instructions in speaking to you, but I fancied that you were looking worried. You need not. I can assure you that you need have no cause.”
Her eyes filled with tears.
“I knew,” she said, “that those telegrams were forgeries.”
He looked carefully around.
“I know nothing about any telegrams,” he said, “but I am here to see that no harm comes to you, and I promise you that it shall not. Your friend is looking out of the cabin door. I think we may congratulate ourselves, madam, on an excellent passage.”
Lady Carey disembarked, a complete wreck, leaning on the arm of her maid, and with a bottle of smelling salts clutched in her hand. She slept all the way in the train, and only woke up when they were nearing Paris. She looked at Lucille in astonishment.
“Why, what on earth have you been doing to yourself?” she exclaimed. “You look disgustingly fit and well.”
Lucille laughed softly.
“Why not? I have had a nap, and we are almost at Paris. I only want a bath and a change of clothes to feel perfectly fresh.”
But Lady Carey was suspicious.
“Have you seen any one you know upon the train?” she asked.
Lucille shook her head.