No sooner had Kandia grasped the import of this letter than he rushed with all speed to Malabar Hill, but he was too late, for scarcely had he left the house upon Lona’s errand before she had sprung out of the window by which he had placed her. Ragobah’s wound prevented his following her, and when he had summoned others to pursue her, the darkness had closed about her form and none knew the way she had taken. At the edge of the fatal well Kandia found a piece of paper beneath a stone and on it these words:
“Farewell, Moro and Nana, the only beings on
earth I regret to leave!
The body was never recovered. The news of his wife’s death, and the knowledge that he was the cause of it, produced an effect upon Ragobah from which he never recovered. More than twenty years have passed since then, yet from that day to this he has never been known to smile. Long before his mangled limb had healed it became evident to all who knew him that he had henceforth but one purpose in life, —revenge, and that nothing save death could turn him from his purpose, so long as his rival lived. The knowledge of this made my search for Darrow Sahib more than ever difficult from the fact that it must be prosecuted secretly. I could only learn that he had left Bombay for the interior, nothing more. My inquiries in all the Indian cities proved fruitless, and in many instances, I was informed that Ragobah had instituted a search for the same man. I think, in spite of my precautions, some of my agents ultimately told Ragobah of my efforts, for I found myself so closely watched by men in his interests that I was at length compelled to give up the personal conduct of the search, and to continue it through a deputy, unknown to him. All my endeavours to find the Sahib were, as you are already aware, fruitless, and, until I met you, I had no doubt Ragobah’s efforts were equally unproductive. You have now all the information I can offer upon the subject. If I can be of any further service to you, you need not hesitate to command me.
As he said this he rose to depart and I promised to
keep him informed of what occurred. I have nothing
now to do but to await, with such patience as I can
command, the arrival of the Dalmatia. It does
not seem to me altogether probable that Ragobah will
return upon this boat, but if he should I shall have
him arrested the moment he sets foot on shore.
If he escape the net that has been woven about him,
I shall be a convert to Eastern occultism and no mistake.
I trust Miss Darrow is well and hopeful. I know
she will religiously keep the promise she made, for
she is one of those women who fully understand the
nature of a covenant, and I am easier, therefore,
than I otherwise could be regarding her condition.
Give her my kind regards and tell her that she may
expect news of importance by my next communication.
It is very late, so good-bye, until the arrival of