She had grown paler and paler during the long recital, her wide-open eyes staring into his, her bosom heaving with suppressed excitement, until at the mention of Felix’s name, she staggered to her feet, and cried: “You know Felix O’Day?”
“Yes, thank God, I do, and you are his wife, Lady Barbara O’Day, Lord Carnavon’s daughter.”
She cowered like a trapped animal, uncertain which way to spring. In her agony she shrank against the wall, her arms outstretched. How did this man know all the secrets of her life? Then there arose a calming thought. He was a priest—a man who listened and did not betray. Perhaps, after all, he could help her. He wanted the truth. He should have it.
“Yes,” she answered, her voice sinking. “I am Lord Carnavon’s daughter.”
“And Felix O’Day’s wife?”
“And Felix O’Day’s wife,” came the echo, and, with the last word, her last vestige of strength seemed to leave her.
The priest rose to his full height. “I was sure of it when I first saw you,” he said, a note of triumph in his voice. “And now, one last question. Are you guilty of this theft?”
“Guilty! I guilty! How could I be?” The denial came with a lift of the head, her eyes kindling, her bosom heaving.
“I believe you. There is not a moment to be lost.” The priest and father confessor were gone now; it was the man of affairs who was speaking. “I will see Rosenthal at once, and then send for your nurse. Give me her address.”
When he had written it, he stepped to the foot of the stairs, and called to one of the guards. Then he slipped his hand under his cassock, drew out his watch, noted the hour, and in a firm voice—one intended to be obeyed—said:
“Go back into your cell and sit there until I come. Do not worry if I am away longer than I expect, and do not be frightened when the key is turned on you. It is best that you be locked up for a while. You should give thanks to God, my dear woman, that I have found you.”
The news of Mike’s arrest had been received by kitty’s neighbors with varying degrees of indifference. Everybody realized that, as the run-over boy had lost nothing but his breath—and but little of that, judging from his vigorous howl when Mike picked him up— nothing would come of the affair so long as the present captain ruled the precinct. Kitty and John and all who belonged to them were too popular around the station; too many of the boys had slipped in and slipped out of a cold night, warmed up by the contents of her coffee-pot.