I tried to catch Maitland’s eye to tell him what he should counsel her, but a man with his ability to observe conditions and grasp situations can very well do without prompting. “First,” he said, “you must return home with the Doctor and spend the rest of the night with his sister; I shall stay here until morning; and second, I desire that you use your utmost endeavour to keep the incidents of this evening out of your mind. You cannot, of course, forget your loss, unless you sleep,”—and he gave me a look which said: “I depend on you to see to that,”—“but you must not continually re-enact the scene in imagination, In the morning the Doctor will come here to bring me my camera, microscope, and a few things I shall require “—and he passed me a list he had written. “If you have slept well you can be of considerable service, and may accompany him—if not, you must remain quietly at his house.” With this he turned to me, and said: “She is making a condenser of herself, Doctor, and will soon break through the insulation. Sparks will be dangerous—you must secure the brush effect.” He spoke quickly, and used electrical terms, that she might not understand him, but either he failed of his purpose, or the observation she immediately made was a strange coincidence. I believe she understood, for, while young women educated by their mothers are usually ignorant upon all the more masculine subjects, those who have long been their father’s companions are ever prone to startle one with the most unexpected flashes of intelligence. “I am in rather a high state of tension now,” she said, turning calmly to Maitland; “but when alone the expression which has been denied me here will afford relief.” Maitland glanced at her quickly, and then at me, and I knew he was wondering if she had understood. Then he said: “It is getting late. I shall expect you to sleep well and to come in the morning. Please say to the servants as you go that I shall stay here all night, and that no one must enter without permission. Good-night.” She held out her hand to him, but made no reply; then she fervently kissed her father’s lips, and together we left the chamber of death.
Death speaks with the tongue of Memory,
and his ashen hand reaches
out of the great unknown to seize and hold fast our plighted souls.
What Maitland’s reason was for spending the night with the dead body of Darrow, or how he busied himself until morning, I do not know. Perhaps he desired to make sure that everything remained untouched, or, it may be, that he chose this method of preventing Gwen from performing a vigil by the body. I thought this latter view very probable at the time, as I had been singularly impressed with the remarkable foresight my friend had displayed in so quickly and adroitly getting Gwen away from everything connected with her father’s sad and mysterious death.