The Clique of Gold
When Henrietta saw how the young officer was overcome by the mere mention of that
name, Sarah Brandon, she felt the blood turn to ice in her veins. She knew perfectly well
that a man like Daniel was not likely to be so utterly overwhelmed unless there was
something fearful, unheard of, in the matter.
"Do you know the woman, Daniel?"
But he, regretting his want of self-possession, was already thinking how he could make
amends for his imprudence.
"I swear to you," he began.
"Oh, don't swear! I see you know who she is."
"I know nothing about her."
"It is true I have heard people talk of her once, a long time ago."
"One of my friends, Maxime de Brevan, a fine, noble fellow."
"What sort of a woman is she?"
"Ah, me! that I cannot tell you. Maxime happened to mention her just in passing; and I
never thought that one of these days I should-- If I seemed to be so very much surprised
just now, it was because I remembered, all of a sudden, a very ugly story in which
Maxime said she had been involved, and then"--
He was ridiculous in his inability to tell a fib; so, when he found that he was talking
nonsense, he turned his head away to avoid Henrietta's eyes. She interrupted him, and
"Do you really think I am not strong enough to hear the truth?"
At first he did not reply. Overcome by the strange position in which he found himself, he
looked for a way to escape, and found none. At last he said,--
"Miss Henrietta, you must give me time before I tell you any more. I know nothing
positive; and I dare say I am unnecessarily alarmed. I will tell you all as soon as I am
"When will that be?"