“I only tell you the truth, dear. Mother thinks she can induce me to marry him because he is so rich, but I repeat that I have no intention whatever of doing so. I love you, Hugh—and only you.”
Again he took her in his strong arms and pressed her to him, still being watched by the mysterious individual who had followed Dorise.
“Ah! my darling, these are, indeed, moments of supreme happiness,” Hugh exclaimed as he held her tightly in his arms. “I wonder when we dare meet again?”
“Soon, dear—very soon, I hope. Let us make another appointment,” she said. “On Friday week mother is going to spend the night with Mrs. Deane down at Ascot. I shall make excuse to stay at home.”
“Right. Friday week at the same place and time,” he said cheerily.
“I’ll have to go now,” she said regretfully. “I only wish I could stay longer, but I must get back at once. If mother misses me she’ll have a fit.”
So he walked with her out of the Victoria Gate into the Bayswater Road and put her into an empty taxi which was passing back to Oxford Street.
Then, when he had pressed her hand and wished her adieu, he continued, towards Notting Hill Gate, and thence returned to Kensington.
But, though he was ignorant of the fact, the rather lank figure which had been waiting outside the house in Grosvenor Gardens now followed him almost as noiselessly as a shadow. Never once did the watcher lose sight of him until he saw him enter the house in Abingdon Road with his latchkey.
Then, when the door had closed, the mysterious watcher passed by and scrutinized the number, after which he hastened back to Kensington High Street, where he found a belated taxi in which he drove away.
ON THE SURREY HILLS
On the following morning, about twelve o’clock, Emily, Mrs. Mason’s stout maid-of-all-work, showed a tall, well-dressed man into Hugh’s frowsy little sitting-room where he sat reading.
He sprang to his feet when he recognized his visitor to be Charles Benton.
“Well my boy!” cried his visitor cheerily. “So I’ve found you at last! We all thought you were on the Continent, lying low somewhere.”
“So I have been,” replied the young man faintly. “You’ve heard of that affair at Monte Carlo?”
“Of course. And you are suspected—wanted by the police? That’s why I’m here,” Benton replied. “This place isn’t safe for you. You must get away from it at once,” he added, lowering his voice.
“Why isn’t it safe?”
“Because at Scotland Yard they know you are somewhere in Kensington, and they’re hunting high and low for you.”
“How do you know?”
“Because Harpur, one of the assistant Commissioners of Police, happened to be in the club yesterday, and we chatted. So I pumped him as to the suspected person from Monte Carlo, and he declared that you were known to be in this district, and your arrest was only a matter of time. So you must clear out at once.”