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THE SUNDAY CALL.
4 here, even by a trick, so that you might see with your own eyes whether or no your lover comes to call at this actress' house after midnight Then, whatever happened, I need no longer blame my self." -: . "You reason very strangely," I said, as quietly as I could. "And there can be no excuse for spying. That is all I have to 6ay— except that I am going hdme now." •"Then you will leave me here alone?" cried Marion, with a shrill sound in her voice as though she were on the point of bursting into sobs. That sound made me rather gentler, for father and I have always schooled our selves to be gentle with Marion, no mat ter how difficult. "No. of course not," I said, soothingly. "I shouldn't dream of leaving you alone. We will simply tell the coachman to drive us back to the hotel." "If you go in the coupe," returned Marion, beginning to gasp ominously, "I shall have to stand here In the street and goodness knows what may come of It at this tima of night I must etay. I've vowed to do that, and I always keep mv word, even with my»eif. I am deter mined to know for duty's sake, if nothing else, whether or not injustice has been done Noel Brent; and I will know, at whateveT sacrifice." I was so aghast at her. and so at a loss what to do with any one who seemed so Insane, that for a moment I could not think what to say. And In that moment something happened. A very handsome, tall, dark young Frencnman appeared in the street close to where our coupe was drawn up at the pavement In an In stant he had disappeared again; but as he passed us I heard something fall on the asphalt with a soft thud that had a subdued undertone of a "chink" in It I was looking out of the window on that side, for I'd been ready to direct the coachman to take us home, and, I saw that a little silk bag lay on the pavement I was sure that the young man must have dropped it and was Just on the point of calling after him when Marion gripped my arm very hard. "Sh!" sh« whispered, "unless you want Noel Brent to know. There h« is, down there at Juliette de Nevers' gate; and oh, «ee! somebody's letting him In. Somebody must have been waiting." There was a queer note In her voice that sounded more like Joy than sorrow; but to do her Justice, I was In no state to Judge of other people's feelings and motives. I even forgot about the young man who had dropped the silk bag close to our carriage. I started back from the window, though it was on the wrong side and we were almost at the far end of the street from Mademoiselle de Nevers* house. I sat shrinking against the cushions for a few minutes in. a perfect panic for fear Noel should suspect and think I had come to spy upon him; but after awhile I re covered myself a little, and said that If Marion wouldn't drive home with me I would leave her and get out and walk. "I must wait and know how long he stops with her," she exclaimed, with such a greedy, curious air, that I could stand no more. I flung open the door. Jumped out of the coupe and almost stepped on the little «llk bag. Quite mechanically I stooped and picked tt up, looking first one way and then the other; but the young man who had. I was sure, dropped it was nowhere to be seen. It Is queer how, when you are only inter ested in one thing in the world, still an other part of your brain goes on acting Independently of your real thoughts. I suppose there must have been a vague idea In my preoccupied mind that it would be better to take home the bag as the owner was gone, and then advertise It In the paper, rather than let it lie In the street perhaps to be carried off by some dishonest person. Anyway, I kept the bag In my hand, though at the time I scarcely seemed to be thinking about It I was listening to Marlon, who begged me to come into the coupe again and she would do anything I wished. So I did, and we drove back to the hotel, where I got out feeling as if the whole experience had been a hateful dream. And It was not until I had betn In bed for nearly an hour that I remem bered I must have left the silk bag In the coupe, as I had no recollection of it after getting Into the carriage and laying it in my lap. I was sorry that I hadn't left it in the street instead of taking responsi bility upon myself and then failing to carry it out But of course, it was too late to do anything until next day. and I could only hope that there had been noth ing of real value in the bag— unless the coachman proved scrupulously honest It was a wretched night Never once did I close my eyes. I was thoroughly ashamed and humiliated, as well as un happy. Maybe I had been vain, and needed the punishment for my self-con celt for I had been conceited enough to believe that Noel loved me, and would be true to tne even in spite of the fascina tions of a beautiful woman like Juliette de Nevers. Of course, though she is an actress, she is received in society, and Is tremendously admired for her beauty and wit as well as her cleverness, so that she Is a very formidable rival for any girl. EU11, I am afraid I've been rather spoilt, for I thought that Noel would prove true to me, notwithstanding the .flirtations Marlon mad* so much of with Made xdolselle de Nevers and several other women more or less prominent In the world. But he himself had shown me un- all three complimented tne on looking ex tremely well; and already I tried to be gin flirting a little, according to the agree ment I had made with myself. After breakfast I slipped away for a minute while the others were planning about going out, and told the people in th9 bureau that I had lost a little silk bag in the coupe last night— it would have been useless to particularize about its not being mine. They said that they would sand to the stables at once and see if such a thing had been found: but I could not wait to learn whether the cabman was honest or not. I ran in to see Marion, pretending to be very bright and gay, and ief using to talk of what had passed last night. She did not want to drive with us to see the motor car, but it was arranged that Aunt Clem and I should come back, for her afterward, and we would go out to gether shopping and luncheon at some nice amusing place where our two men would meet us. We were a long time looking at the mo tor car and deciding, for Lord Gawain and Captain Menxies were both enthu siasts about that kind of thing, it seemed. Then came our calling at the hotel for Marion, and a stroll through several shops in th« Rue de la Paix: and it was two o'clock when we got to Ritz's, although we had promised Lord Gawain to be there at half-past one. He and Captain Menzies were waiting for us, and Lord Gawain had a newspaper in his hand. They both looked 6O queer and grave that the minute we met Aunt Clem asked what was the matter, wheth er they had news that any of our friends were ill or dead. "Noel Brent is accused of murder," said Lord Gawain. in his abrupt, tactless way. But I couldn't believe my ears. I stood listening stupidly, with a foolish half smile on my face, while he went on ex citedly to tell things which hardly seemed to mean anything to me. ' "What nonsense!" I heard Aunt Clem exclaim. "Why. we were talking to him last night in our own hotel. He was all right then." "I'm afraid it was that appointment of his which wasn't all rigM." her husband said. "Anyway, it seems to have got him into trouble. It's in this afternoon's Echo de Paris, and no doubt the other papers— the most extraordinary story I ever came across in my life— reads like melodrama. It seems Brent wanted to find a certain man here whom ho couldn't find, and went last evening: to a private detective chap named Dubois. who has been giving evidence to the police; lost no time In be ginning the hunt, got hot on the scent at last, followed it to a house in a street near the Boulevard St. Michel, and there in the room where he had been led to ex pect he would find his quarry came upon Noel Brent (who had. after all, been clev er enough to get ahead of the detective In the search) ransacking the room, and covered with the blood of the wanted man, whose dead body lay on the floor." CHAPTER XI. "FOR MORE THAN LIFE." It seemed as If It were another person, and not I, who went back that afternoon to the Elysee Palace Hotel after hearing that Noel Brent was in prison on a charge of murder. Naturally we were all certain that there was a monstrous mistake; but If he had been a stranger to us and we had read the report in the newspapers we would have thought the evidence very strong against him. Dear Aunt Clem, who likes and admires Noel immensely, tried to laugh angrily and say how horrid and ridiculous these French people were, al ways doing something sensational and stupid, having to eat humble pie after ward. But Lord Gawain and Captain Menzies did not think that the authorities would have to eat humble pie at all, however the case went, for they could not do otherwise than they had done In the face of the evidence. I did hate them so for talking like that Men are horrid when they parade their sense of Justice, not making any difference whether it's an affair of a friend or an enemy. But, of course, no one in the party except Marion dreamed that there had been anything more than friendship between Noel and me, so they talked quite freely. As I listened to the evidence given so far, which Lord Gawain explained to us. as we did not care to read about It In the paper, and realized the danger in which Noel stood, all my proud resentment against him seemed to be very trivial. No matter what his behavior toward me had been, he must have been sorely, tempted by that other woman, and he was inno cent of this crime with which they charged him. I could not help forgiving him everything, down deep In my heart, and loving and yearning orer him with a great tenderness, though he was nothing to me any more— not even . a friend. I wanted more than anything In the whole world to help him, and as Lord Gawain discussed the dreadful affair, I thought I saw a way in which I could— Marion and I together. At least, Noel was splendidly loyal to that woman at whose gate we had seen him. When questioned he nad refused to say where he had been between midnight and ten minutes to 2. at which time the detective had found him by the body of the murdered man. among a heap of scat tered papers, which showed that the room had been ransacked In --»-~n of some thing. It h* ha/4 />Vif>e»n in foil narViann Vi« crime, whether It was likely that after committing a murder he would choose to come back and remain* for some time in the room with the dead body of his vic tim: but that went for nothing because of the disordered condition of the room, which proved that a long and exhaustive search had been made. And a motive was supplied apparently through a state ment of the detective, Dubols, who said that Noel's object In having the mur dered man "shadowed" was because a thing of enormous value had been stolen, which must be recovered immediately on pain of the most disastrous consequences. I was bo anxious to speak . alone with Marion that when we got back to the hotel I made her come into my room and began at once upon the subject which I had refused to discuss with her earlier in the morning. I said very excitedly that, as we knew Noel had been with Juliette de Nevers at the time when the murder was being committed, it seemed to me that we ought to come forward and prove an alibi, or whatever they call it, in spite of himself. But Marion had been thinking the thing over more calmly than I had. She point ed out to me that even If we took so bold a course as to bring Mile, de Nevers' name into the case when Noel was sac rificing so ¦ much to save ,her, we could do him no real good. I flew to the con clusion at first that this argument .was mere sophistry, because Marion was ashamed of what we had done and could not bear to be compromised; but she went on to remind me that it was only about twenty minutes or so past twelve when Noel had gone In at the gate In the Rue d'Anjou, and for all we. could prove to the contrary he might have come out again ten minutes later, for we had not remained in the street longer than that after seeing him. If I had not been so obstinately deter mined to go away, she said, but had con sented to wait as she begged me to do, we might actually be in a position now to save Noel In spite of himself; but as It was we could do nothing which would help him in the eyes of tne law, for there would have been plenty of time for him to go from the Rue d'Anjou to the Rue de la Tour between half-past 12 and the tfcne when the man there was murdered. I couldn't help seeing that Marion had. right on her side, still I could not give up the hope of doing something, when we seemed to know so much; and it was so dreadful to be told that our helplessness was "all my fault" that I had to beg Marion to leave me alone for a few min utes, feeling that I should not be mistress of myself. She was angry at being asked to go away, and slammed and bolted the door between our rooms— but I did not care. I wanted to think— and perhaps to cry. However, I hadn't time to begin before there was a knock at the other door, and a servant of the hatel handed In a little parcel. It was something which I had lost the night before, he explained, and had been sent to me, as I had left instructions at the bureau. I gave the man ten francs for the hon est coachman, and almost mechanically (not being in a mood to take interest in irrelevant matters) I opened the brown paper wrappings. Sure enough, inside was the silk bag which I had so stupidly forgotten in the coupe, and I untied the ribbons, peeping in with. the idea of find ing an addrass. Even In my preoccupation I was aston ished at what I did see— a wonderful necklace of diamonds, or at least, if not diamonds, a marvelous Imitation. At any other time I should have been curious and excited, and my first thought would have been to put an advertisement in the paper; but as it was It didn't seem to matter very much whether the hand some young man who had dropped the bag got his property back to-morrow or next week, though, of course, . he must— if th© Jewels were real— be In a terrible state of mind about it by this time. I simply put the bag into a writing-case that was in my big, fitted travelling bag, locked it up, and went on working out the plan that had come into my head even before I had sent Marion out of the room. Perhaps the idea was an absolutely mad one, but I wanted more than I had ever wanted anything to see Noel— not as a lover, oh no I but merely as a friend falsely accused of a crime whom I might be able to help. I had no knowledge of French police procedure, but it seemed just possible that I might be allowed to see him in the presence of others, if the authorities knew who I really was; and I thought, as father liked Noel, he would not object to my making use of his name as a sort of passport, provided I could manage it. Then it occurred to me that, as the police people might not believe me If I went and, announced that I was the daughter of the British Home Secretary, I had better jo to our Embaasador, who is a friend of father's and ask if he could do anything for me. I could see that Sir George was reluct ant to do anything for me in the matter, perhaps because if he had a daughter he would not thank my father to interfere in such a way. But I persuaded him that If he didn't help me I would try what I could do without any help, which would make things a lot worse. So he wrote a letter to the Chief of the Police in Paris, saying who I was, and asking as a favor that I might be permitted a few minutes' conversation with the accused man. before it becomes more disagreeable. And as for me, I saw you in the street after you left us all in the hotel; that is why I mention the other matter, because you can guess that the two might be con nected, and If there Is anything I can I spoke very, very fast, hoping that the warder might not be familiar enough with English to catch every word, and only hinting things Instead of saying them straight out. But when I had gone so far, Noel cut me short. "I can't tell you how much I thank you for this," he said. "It's ( far | beyond thanks, though it's like you to have come, Marg— Miss Revelstoke. It's comfort enough formfc to think you should do It, but as for what you propose it must not be. Nothing would be gained— rather the other way. Believe me when I say that I know this. And neither you nor any of my friends who— who are kind enough to care— must be troubled about me. Every thing will surely come right, sooner or later, though I may have to suffer a lit tle annoyance for a while." "Annoyance!" I echoed. "If only it Is no worse than that." "It won't be. I shall be well defended. It will all be shown up as a huge mis take." "Is there nothing I— we can do, then?" I asked, miserably conscious that he was determined not to have Juliette de Nev ers' name brought in. He hesitated for a moment. "I sup pose." he said at last, "that there's no use hoping you will believe me innocent of something else which— hurts me worse than the accusation that has landed me here?" "I think there's not much use talking of that." I answered. "Well," sighed Noel, "I won't talk of it then, though I hoped— oh, don't misunder stand me— I know that after all this dis graceful publicity I would not have the right to press for anything beyond bare justice. I wouldn't do it even if I had the right. But I hoped you might have come to say that, though nothing could be as It might have been, you believed me true! The tears started to my eyes and I turned away. "This wouldn't have made any difference," I said in a muffled, brok en voice. "But there even are more rea sons why I can't believe what you ask me to than you know. That's partly why I came, for I would give'anythmg to help "I regret to inform mademoiselle that the five minutes permitted for her inter view with the prisoner have expired." an nounced the warder in French. "She will have time but for adieu." I held out my hand to Noel, and he grasped it. pressing it so tightly that it hurt. "Anything!" I repeated. Suddenly a light flashed into his eyes, and his face flushed up to his forehead. You are an angel of generosity." he said, in a conventional tone, though a quiver ran through his voice. Then, very low and au.ck-so quick, so unexpectedly that I could scarcely understand— he spoke In Italian. "For more than my life, go to the room of the murder; get in somehow, and take from the front of the stove, un der the ashes, a parchment. Give it to Juliette with your own hands. Every mo ment counts. I've no one else to ask, or I'd cut off my hand sooner than put it on you.' 1 With a swift. resentfHl movement of suspicion the warder came close to us. "That is forbidden!" he said sternly. "In what language did you speak?" "He spoke in Italian." I answered has tily, looking as Innocent as I could "and he only bade me good-by. We' have been very dear friends. It Is hard not to have a last word for purselves alone." ¦ "That may be true; but it is neverthe less forbidden," replied the warder, glar ing reproachfully at Noel. "I must re port this: and no further communication can be permitted." With this, Noel was so Bharply ordered to go that my ears tingled, and I should have liked to kill the whole French police force. To hear a little wretched police man speak like that to my dear, brave, big Englishman, and to know that It would only be childish of him to resist— oh, it was unbearable! Noel only held his head rather high, and pressed his lips together^ and at the door as he was going out he threw me back one look. It said as plainly as if he had spoken: "Remember!" I did Indeed remember; but it was not until I had driven part of the way toward home that I entirely realized the full meaning of those few hurried, stolen sentences in Italian, with which Noel had defied the law. I was to go— I was to do— oh, it wasn't possible that Noel should have asked such a thin* of me! But the protest of my soul could not change thfe thing that was. He had asked it, and he had said that it meant "mote than his life." He had dared to send me on a mission to that woman for whose sake he had flung my love away, and— I would go. Oh, yes, I would go, if it killed me. I had told him that I would "do any thing," and he had taken advantage. A kind of fury possessed me. If I had known that death in some ghastly form awaited me in the horrible house to which Noel .was sending me, still I would have gone. . • When the first confession of my. mind had passed I thought very clearly— as clearly as I ever had in my life. Noel's words— "get In somehow"— were in themselves a warning that I should , have . difficulty in getting aamitiance to the room where the murder had been done. ' I tried to think it all out, ignorant as I was of such things. The body, proba bly, would have been taken away by the time, but perhaps the house would be guarded by the police.. If not that— since many people lived there and would be inconvenienced by such a proceeding— at all events It was certain that strangers would not be allowed to prowl morbidly at their own sweet will about the room where a great crime had been committed. To get in and do what Noel wanted done without being seen in the act, and more harm than good accomplished, I would have to bribe somebody very heavily. Even that might not succeed— but it would surely be the only hope; and I turned my attention to considering my resources. I had left home at very short notice and had only brought with me to Paris what I had at hand— enough to do a little shopping, which would be more a cloak for my state of mind that a genuine pleasure. This morning I had started out with about £20, after giving Marion the same amount, and I had bought a couple of expensive hats, some silk stockings and some smart handkerchiefs in the Rue de la Paix, so that now I hadn't much more than £5 left. Marlon had spent quite as much as I had, and I rembered laughing at Aunt Clem's slang, when she had ex claimed on the way to Ritz's that she was "cleaned out." If I found that I had to bribe some po liceman In charge, or even the concierge, it would be worse than useless to make a stingy bid. I must offer so large an amount that, even if the bribed official were discovered and dismissed, he would have at least what we could have earned in his situation in a year. That might really tempt him. The sum that suggest ed itself to me was £100. I might begin with offering less, but I would want to have that to work up If necessary. Yet how was I to get it? Of course, I might apply to Lord Ga waln, but he is such a reckless man about money, always forgetting to take enough when he goes anywhera, that it was doubtful if he would have half as much to spare in a hurry; and even if he had he would be very curious and sur prised at my asking for it at a moment's notice. And I must have it at a moment's notice, for Noel had said, with a desper ate look in his eyes, that "every minute counted." There wasn't time to telegraph home there wasn't time to do anything; but suddenly in the cab I clapped my hand* together and gave a little cry— for the queerest idea had darted into my head. They knew in the hotel who I was, and that If I said I could get money at a cer tain time it would be all right. I couldn't ask them very well to U-nd It, though, with no security at all. But there was that diamond necklace I had found. It wouldn't be claimed till to-morrow some time, even if I sent an advertisement to the papers the first thing when I got home— which I shouldn't really -take time to do; and, meanwhile, I would ask the manager to loan me £100 on it. If it were real, as I hoped, he might do that as a favor; and I could get the money from home in twenty-four hours; yet if It were not real? Well, I could but try! Told by Juliette de Nevers. CHAPTER XII. ON THE RACK. We had looked everywhere for the dia mond necklace, Maxlme and I, and to him, poor fellow, its loss for the second time seemed all-important He did not see in red letters, always before his eyes, these two words. "The Treaty," as I did. He was in happy ignorance of that other loss which I— I, of all people in the world had inflicted upon him. He was satisfied with my statement that by means of a person employed by me the necklace had been recovered and given to him as a sur prise. « We searched the garden, the whole street, and came back to search for the second time the drawing room where we had talked together. But it was all in vain, and at last he left me to retrace his steps along the way he had come, and to make inauiries for the cab In which he had driven part of the distance. As for me, there was no thought of steep, but when I had unlocked the door of the boudoir, found the room empty and the window j open, and talked with old Henri (who admitted having seen the English gentleman stealing cautiously away). . there was nothing left for me to do save wait in the. dim hope that Noel Brent might return with news. Clinging to this hope, I would not go to bed. But when five o'clock came and he had not returned, it seemed that for an hour or two at least I must give. up the Idea of seeing him. I undressed, there fore," and went to bed. When I awoke and looked hastily at my watch, to my dismay it was after eleven o'clock. I was wild with fear lest the servants in their well-meaning stupidity had sent important visitors away, refus ing to disturb me. But when Agnes came flying In answer to my violent ringing of the bell, she said that no one had been. There were letters, and a telegram, and Henri had bought all the morning pa pers. The telegram proved to be from Max lme, saying that he had not recovered wumi w*s !.»., ui itutrnea anytmng cuu cerning it. From Noel Brent there was no word at all: and I could not under stand his silence. Not to come or to write, or even to wire!— it was cruel :i less something had happened to him. i determined to send Henri to the Ely«-e Palace Hotel to inquire, and did so, about 12 o'clock- Henri was not long In doing his errand, though U seemed forever to me. When he came, however, it was but to tell me that which sharpened my anxiety. "Mr. James Quest of Birmingham" (that was the name, of course, for which I had directed Henri to inquire) had gone out after supping about midnight and had not yet returned to the hotel. The only delay of which my poor, affec tionate old servant had been guilty was a short ope. He had stopped and bought all the evening papers, which, when he had given me the news, he thrust into my hands with a beaming countenance. I would have flung the papers aside without a glance when Henri's back was turned had it not suddenly occurred to me that, if Noel Brent had had an acci dent of any sort. It might be reported. When I read what had happened— how he was accused of murder and while de claring his innocence had refused to state how and where he had spent the time be tween midnight and a quarter to 2 in the morning, my heart -went out to him In a wave of gratitude for his brave loyalty. Here was a man! He declined to speak the words which would prove me a liar to Maxlme and compromise me beyond repair in the eyes of my lover. My first Impulse was to hasten to the Chief of Police, with whom I was per sonally acquainted, and say: "Monsieur, this gentleman cannot have committed a murder in the Rue de la Tour between midnight and a quarter to 2. for at twenty minutes past 12 he came to my house and did not leave till nearly half-past 1, as my servant can prove." I even sprang from my chair to ring for Agnes and call for my hat and gloves and order my carriage. But— I sat down again and deliberately crushed the im pulse. I could not yield to It. I dared not. It was after 3 when Agnes, who had at last despaired of inducing me to take food, came again to the door of my bou doir where I sat. "Mademoiselle, the Count Ipanoff Is here," she announced. The words aroused me. "Send him away. I will not see him!" I cried, an grily. "But he has sent a note, mademoiselle, which he begs you to read. Here it is." Curiosity born of fear made me open it. I yielded to its bidding, and then— I changed my mind, as doubtless he had foreseen. I told Agnes that Count Ipan off should come to me in the boudoir. He entered, smiling— and the door was softly closed. "Well?" I said shortly, thrusting my hands behind me when he held out his. "My note told you the truth. I have news for you. Of course you have seen the papers? You know that your English friend is in trouble?" "The English friend whom you would have liked to see arrested last night on a ridiculous, baseless charge," I sneered, boldly assuming my suspicions to be facts. "This, no doubt, will also soon b« shown to be baseless, because It Is equal ly ridiculous." "Ridiculous or not," said Ipanoff, "it Is likely to cause you trouble, as well as your discreet friend." "I do not see that." I answered. "My name does not enter Into the affair at all. You have said— my friend Is discreet. Be sides, It is nothing to me. What have I to do with it?" "As to that, you know best. But I com* to you, as before, out or friendship, to warn you, to help you, if I can." "Your friendship— your help!". I echoed, scornfully. "You may need, and be thankful to avail yourself of both. Would you not be glad, to begin with, if you could know what questions the Juge d'Instruction has put to Mr. Noel Brent and what answers Mr. Noel Brent has made?" Strange that this very thought had been torturing me before the man appeared— the thought that questions had been asked and answers given which might mean everything • to me if I could only bear them. But I answered, "That is impossi ble. No one can know except the two men present." . "Three men were present. Besides those two there was the lawyer whom the Eng lishman has employed to see him through the case. It is permitted now that the accused shall be accompanied by his law yer when he comes before the Juge d'In struction. The gentleman whom your friend has chosen is an acquaintance of mine and is Indebted to me for his first successful case. It is odd, Is It not. what a fancy Monsieur Brent has for employ ing my friends? Last night It was Du bols. To-day It is Duplessis." "You keep yourself singularly well In formed of the movements of your friends —and your enemies," I said. "But I ques tion whether your information is often trustworthy. I have reason to know that you have— made mistakes." "It would not be difficult for you to be lieve If you understood the formalities. Monsieur Brent's only need of a lawyer to-day with the Juge d'Instruction was to have a man who' would see that his client's ignorance of French law did not plunge him into stupidities which would prejudice his cause." mutaKaciy now roonsn nan wen my con fidence In my own poor little power of holding him. and I told myself over and over again that I was completely dis illusioned, that my love for Noel had come to an end with my faith In him. I even made up my mind that I would flirt desperately with Captain Meniies, who Is very good looking and nice; and if It ware really true, as Aunt Clem said, that he had been In love with my photograph for a. year and carried It about with him in South Africa, I would try to make him more in love still with me, so that he might propose as Quickly as possible. He had done such brave things in tha war that people were talking a great deal about him, and if I decided to accept him (which would please dear Aunt Clem), Noel would be sure to see lots of para graphs about the engagement In the pa pers. I thought I should like to come out very soon, ao that Noel would believe I had not cared at all seriously for him. In the morning, when It was time to get up (it seemed as if it never, never would be, the hours wer* so long), I stared at myself critically in the glass, but I didn't look as badly as one might have sup posed. I was only a little pale, and my eyes seemed somehow extraordinarily large. I was glad I hadn't brought a maid, for it was Just as well to be alone; and after I had a cold bath and dressed and pinched my cheeks, I really looked very fit. Marion didn't $et up for breakfast, but I went down because I knew that Aunt Clem and the others meant to be early, on account of seeing the new motor car. Sure enough they were in the cafe be fore ne, and Aunt Clem had been so anxious about ,my "attack of falntness" that I . felt wretchedly guilty, thinking of what Marion and X had sneaked out to do after I had excused myself. But might have saved himself, for several doc tors gave evidence that the murder must have been committed nearly an nour be fore the crime was discovered by the very detective whom Noel had employed to seek the dead man. Yet he would only say that he had left the hotel at such and such a time and had been walking the streets since, mention- Ing some of the streets through which he had passed. But nobody had come forward who had seen him there, and the concierge at the house where the murder had been done made matters look very badly for Noel by saying that, though he had not been In the room during the whole hour which must have elapsed, when he came at about half -past 1, It was for the second time. It seemed that somebody had called an hour earlier, ask ing In very English sort of French for a Monsieur Poisson, an English friend of hif. The concierge had been already In bed in his little box, and had been too sleepy to notice this man's face. The only thing he had thought of was the English-sounding accent, and as Monsieur Poisson (who was away for the day) often bad callers in the middle of the night, he (the concierge) had not been surprised that the little gentleman, who had come to stay till Monsieur Polsson's return, should also have a visitor at a late hour. When the concierge had been sound asleep again for a while the English caller went out, saying . he might come back. And then the bell rang again and a man came in for Monsieur Poisson, whom the concierge supposed to be the same, but would i.ot have been absolutely certain (as he was very tired and sleepy) if he had not asked and the man had ad mitted it. Noel had demanded. In denying the So far I bad gone without once realizing what it would be to come suddenly face to face with Noel in circumstances so ter ribly changed, or what his opinion of me and my motives would be for coming to him without being asked, now that we were not even friends. But all the terror of it came over me while I waited In an ugly little bare re ception-room, and every nerve and vein in my whole body was throbbing, so that I couldn't make up my mind what I meant to Bay. While I sat waiting— a perfect mass of electric wires— there was a sound of foot steps outside the door, and when It opened there stood Noel himself, with two men in uniform. One of them came in with him— I suppose he must have been the warder— and he stopped near the door of the room, which was so small that everything one said in an ordinary tone of voice could be heard from one end to the other. I sprang up. from the chair In which I had been sitting and began to talk as quickly as I could, for there was a strange look in Noel's eyes which pierced my heart, and I did not know What he might say before he understood my posi tion. . "We were all so dreadfully sorry for what has happened, Mr. Brent," I stam mered, trying to be quite cool, like an ordinary friend, though suddenly I loved him more than I ever had, and could have forgiven worse things ' than he had done If only, only he had loved me, and riot that other. "I couldn't help coming at once, as I knew my father would wish me to. fo 1 got permission to see you. And— what I wanted to say is— at least one, of, the, things— that I think the, lady here in Paris, of whom we spoke at the railway station in London : yesterday— what ages ago!— might be able to: do something to get you out of this position | When there is anything new to improve your 2 • form you'll surely find it at the • 2 ' tTioricv B| S3.viriQ'* store * jS firB Mr^*& ' ifli B~"* f\ "W^ ¦ £) 1 1 XT\ (~^ t^ W^k Smw A 9 i^?'"'s^B ' Si X^ M %JL a. m II ¦ W \^J I %J IBB gra TT 2 pMIS|Hp^Pifall;M^ tume; neither sight nor touch reveals * • 2 R : •'^HKB|Je|? > more an inspiration than an invention. • I gBjik JOE ROSENBERG 2HL j J Photographed from life without. AGENCY FOR LA VIDA CORSETS. njotoaraphed trnix Ilf. with. 2