“But what will Mr. Elgar think has become of you?”
“He is not at home to-night. Let me have my way, there’s a good girl.”
Zillah, whose eyelids could scarcely be supported, at length went back to her room. Madeline still slept, with unusual calmness. The vigil was resumed, and nothing again disturbed it until white dawn began to glimmer at the windows.
Then Madeline awoke with a sudden loud cry of anguish. Cecily, aroused from slumber which was just beginning, sprang up and spoke to her. But the cry seemed to have been the end of her power of utterance; she moved her lips and looked up fearfully. Cecily hastened to summon Zillah.
SUGGESTION AND ASSURANCE
When Miriam went out by herself to walk, either going or returning she took the road in which was Mallard’s studio. She kept on the side opposite the gateway, and, in passing, seemed to have no particular interest in anything at hand. A model who one day came out of the gate, and made inspection of the handsomely attired lady just going by, little suspected for what purpose she walked in this locality.
And so it befell that Miriam was drawing near to the studios at the moment when a cab stopped there, at the moment when Cecily alighted from it. Instantly recognizing her sister-in-law, Miriam thought it inevitable that she herself must be observed; for an instant her foot was checked. But Cecily paid the driver without looking this way or that, and entered the gateway. Miriam walked on for a few paces; then glanced back and saw the cab waiting. She reached the turning of the road, and still the cab waited, Another moment, and it drove away empty.
She stood and watched it, until it disappeared in the opposite direction. Heedless of one or two people who came by, she remained on the spot for several minutes, gazing towards the studios. Presently she moved that way again. She passed the gate, and walked on to the farther end of the road, always with glances at the gate. Then she waited again, and then began to retrace her steps.
How many times backwards and forwards? She neither knew nor cared; it was indifferent to her whether or not she was observed from the windows of certain houses. She felt no weariness of body, but time seemed endless. The longer she stood or walked, the longer was Cecily there within. For what purpose? Yesterday she was to arrive in London; to-day she doubtless knew all that had been going on in her absence. And dusk fell, and twilight thickened. The street-lamps were lit. But Cecily still remained within.
Twice or thrice some one entered or left the studio-yard, strangers to Miriam. At length there came forth a man who, after looking about, hurried away, and in a few minutes returned with a hansom following him. Seeing that it stopped at the gateway, she approached as close as she durst, keeping in shadow. There issued two persons, whom at once she knew—Cecily with Mallard. They spoke together a moment; then both got into the vehicle and drove away.