He looked in, and saw Eunice, in a very white heat of rage. In all their married life he had never seen her so terribly angry as she looked then. Speechless from very fury, she stood, with clenched hands, trying to command her voice.
She looked wonderfully beautiful like some statue of an avenging angel—he almost fancied he could see a flaming sword!
As he looked, she took a step toward him, her eyes burning with a glance of hate. Judith might have looked so, or Jael. Not exactly frightened, but alarmed, lest she might fly into a passion of rage that would really injure her, Embury closed the door, practically in her very face. Indeed, practically, he slammed it, with all the audible implication of which a slammed door is capable.
The next morning Ferdinand waited for the usual summons from Embury’s bedroom. The tea tray was ready, the toast crisp and hot, but the summons of the bell was unusually delayed.
When the clock pointed to fifteen minutes past the hour Ferdinand tapped on Embury’s door. A few moments later he tapped again, rapping louder.
Several such attempts brought no response, and the valet tried the door. It would not open, so Ferdinand went to Eunice’s door and knocked there.
Jumping from her bed, and throwing a kimono round her, Eunice opened her own door.
Ferdinand started at sight of her white face, but recovered himself, and said, “Mr. Embury, ma’am. He doesn’t answer my knock. Can he be ill?”
“Oh, I guess not,” Eunice tried to speak casually, but miserably failed. “Go through that way.” She pointed to the door between her room and her husband’s.
Ferdinand hesitated. “You open it, Mrs, Embury, please,” he said, and his voice shook.
“Why, Ferdinand, what do you mean? Open that door!”
“Yes, ma’am,” and turning the knob, Ferdinand entered.
“Why, he’s still asleep!” he exclaimed. “Shall I wake him?”
“Yes—that is—yes, of course! Wake him up, Ferdinand.”
The door on the other side of Eunice’s room opened, and Aunt Abby put her head in.
“What’s the matter? What’s Ferdinand doing in your room, Eunice? Are you ill?”
“No, Aunt Abby—” but Eunice got no further. She sank back on her bed, and buried her face in the pillows.
“Get up, Mr. Embury—it’s late,” Ferdinand was saying, and then he lightly touched the arm of his master.
“He—he—oh, Miss Eunice! Oh, my God! Why, ma’am—he—he looks to be dead!”
With a shriek, Eunice raised her head a moment and then flung it down on the pillows again, crying, “I don’t believe it! You don’t know what you’re saying! It can’t be so!”
“Yes, I do, ma’am—he’s—why, he’s cold!”
“Let me come in!” ordered Aunt Abby, as Ferdinand tried to bar her entrance; “let me see, I tell you! Yes, he is dead! Oh, Eunice—now, Ferdinand, don’t lose your head! Go quickly and telephone for Doctor—what’s his name? I mean the one in this building—on the ground floor—Harper—that’s it—Doctor Harper. Go, man, go!”