The Darrow Enigma eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 218 pages of information about The Darrow Enigma.

I sent Maitland for some medicine, which I knew would relax the tension she was under and make it possible for her to sleep.  When I had administered this, Maitland and I talked the matter over and we decided to take her at once to my house, where, with Gwen, she could share the watchful care of my sister Alice.  This we did, though I was not without some misgivings as to Gwen’s attitude in the matter when she should recover sufficiently to know of it.  I expressed my doubts to Maitland and he replied:  “Give yourself no uneasiness on that score; Miss Darrow is too womanly to visit the sins of a guilty father upon an unoffending daughter, and, besides, this man,—­it seems that his real name is Latour, not Cazenove,—­ has a right to be judged innocent until his guilt is proved.”

I found this to be sage counsel, for, when Gwen was able to understand what I had done, she exhibited no antipathy toward the new member of our household, but, on the contrary, became exceedingly interested in her.  I was especially glad of this, not only on account of Miss Latour, the suspect’s daughter, but also because the one thing Gwen needed above all others was something to challenge her interest.  She had again relapsed into the old, state of passive endurance, wherein nothing seemed to reach her consciousness.  Her actions appeared to flow more from her nerve-centres than from her mind.  She moved like an automaton.  There is scarcely any condition of which I am more fearful than this.  The patient becomes wax in one’s hands.  She will do anything without a murmur, or as willingly refrain from anything.  She simply is indifferent to life and all that therein is.  Is it any wonder, then, that I rejoiced to see Gwen interest herself in poor Jeannette?  It was a long time, however, before Jeannette repaid this interest with anything more than a dreamy, far-off gaze, that refused to focus itself upon anything.  As time wore on, however, I noticed with relief that there was a faint expression of wonder in her look, and, as this daily grew stronger, I knew she was beginning to realise her novel surroundings and to ask herself if she were still dreaming.  Yet she did not speak; she seemed to fear the sound of her own voice and to determine to solve, unaided, the mystery confronting her.  I requested that no one question her or make any attempt to induce her to break silence, for I knew the time would come when she would do so of her own free will.  As it happened, her first words were spoken to me, and, as my writing this recalls the event, a thrill of pleasurable pain passes through me.  You may think this foolish, the more so, indeed, when you learn that nothing was said to warrant such a feeling, but I must urge upon you not to let your satisfied heart set itself up as judge in bachelor regions.

I had been mixing some medicine for her and was holding the cup to her lips that she might drink the draught.  She laid her hand upon my wrist and gently put the cup aside, saying, as she gazed thoughtfully at me:  “Did you not bring me here?” “Yes,” I replied.  She reached for the cup, and drinking its contents, sank back upon the pillows with a half-satisfied look upon her face, as if my reply had cleared up one mystery, but left many more to be solved.

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The Darrow Enigma from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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