“I deeply appreciate,” she replied, “the generous sacrifice you would make in my interests—but Bombay is such a long way—and—”
“If suspicion directed me to the North Pole,” he interrupted, “I should start with equal alacrity,” and he held out his hand to her to bid her farewell. She took it in a way that bespoke a world of gratitude, if nothing more. He retained the small hand, while he said: “Have you forgotten, my friend, your promise to your father? Do you not see in what terrible relations it may place you? How important, then, that no effort should be spared to prevent you from becoming indebted to one unmanly enough to take advantage of your position. I shall use every means within my power to myself discover your father’s murderer, and you may comfort yourself with the assurance that, if successful, I shall make no demand of any kind whatsoever upon your gratitude. I think you understand me.”
As he said this Gwen looked him full in the face. A little nervous tremor seized the corners of her mouth, and the tears sprang to her eyes. “Good-bye” was all she could say before she was compelled to turn aside to conceal her emotion.
Maitland, observing her agitation, said to her tenderly: “Your gratitude for the little that I have already done is reward, more than ample, for all I shall ever be able to do. Good-bye,” and he left the room.
Oh, man with your microscope! How is it that you find the smallest speck of dust, yet miss the mountain? Does the time seem too short? It would not if you realised that events, not clocks, were the real measure thereof.
The episode of Rama Ragobah
Life is but a poor accountant when it leaves the Future to balance its entries long years after the parties to the transactions are but a handful of insolvent dust. When, in such wise, the chiefest item of one side of the sheet fails to explain itself to the other, the tragic is attained.
On the day following Maitland’s departure for New York, Mr. Darrow was buried. The Osborne theory seemed to be universally accepted, and many women who had never seen Mr. Darrow during his life attended his funeral, curious to see what sort of a person this suicide might be. Gwen bore the ordeal with a fortitude which spoke volumes for her strength of character, and I took good care, when it was all over, that she should not be left alone. In compliance with Maitland’s request, whose will, since her promise to him, was law to her, she prepared to close the house and take up her abode with us.
It was on the night of the funeral, just after the lamps were lighted, that an event occurred which made a deep impression upon Gwen, though neither she nor I fully appreciated its significance till weeks afterward.