Madame Midas eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 393 pages of information about Madame Midas.
she certainly would never have taken such trouble over preserving it.  She meets M. Vandeloup at a ball, and, hearing that he is going to marry Mrs Villiers, she loses her head completely, and threatens to poison herself.  M. Vandeloup tries to wrench the poison from her, whereupon she flings it into the garden.  This bottle has disappeared, and the presumption is that it was picked up.  But if the jury had any idea that the poison was administered from the lost bottle, they might as well dismiss it from their minds, as it was absurd to suppose such an improbable thing could happen.  In the first place no one but M. Vandeloup and Miss Marchurst knew what the contents were, and in the second place what motive could anyone who picked it up have in poisoning Mrs Villiers, and why should they adopt such an extraordinary way of doing it, as Miss Marchurst asserted they did?  On the other hand, Miss Marchurst tells M. Vandeloup that she still has some poison left, and that she will kill Mrs Villiers sooner than see her married to him.  She declares to M. Vandeloup that she will kill her, and leaves the house to go home with, apparently, all the intention of doing so.  She comes home filled with all the furious rage of a jealous woman, and enters Mrs Villiers’ room, and here the jury will recall the evidence of Mrs Villiers, who said Miss Marchurst did not know that the deceased was sleeping with her.  So when Miss Marchurst entered the room, she naturally thought that Mrs Villiers was by herself, and would, as a matter of course, refrain from drawing the curtains and looking into the bed, in case she should awaken her proposed victim.  There was a glass with drink on the table; she was alone with Mrs Villiers, her heart filled with jealous rage against a woman she thinks is her rival.  Her own room is a few steps away—­ what, then, was easier for her than to go to her own room, obtain the poison, and put it into the glass?  The jury will remember in the evidence of Mr Kilsip, the bottle was three-quarters empty, which argued some of it had been used.  All the evidence against Miss Marchurst was purely circumstantial, for if she committed the crime, no human eye beheld her doing so.  But the presumption of her having done so, in order to get rid of a successful rival, was very strong, and the weight of evidence was dead against her.  The jury would, therefore, deliver their verdict in accordance with the facts laid before them.

The jury retired, and the court was very much excited.  Everyone was quite certain that Kitty was guilty, but there was a strong feeling against M. Vandeloup as having been in some measure the cause, though indirectly, of the crime.  But that young gentleman, in accordance with his usual foresight, had left the court and gone straight home, as he had no wish to face a crowd of sullen faces, and perhaps worse.  Madame Midas sat still in the court awaiting the return of the jury, with the calm face of a marble sphinx.  But,

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Madame Midas from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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