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The Malefactor

I.5. The Gospel Of Hate
"And what," Wingrave asked his secretary as they sat at dinner that night, "did you think
of Lady Ruth?"
"In plain words, I should not like to tell you," Aynesworth answered. "I only hope that
you will not send me to see her again."
"Why not?"
"Lady Ruth," Aynesworth answered deliberately, "is a very beautiful woman, with all the
most dangerous gifts of Eve when she wanted her own way. She did me the scanty honor
of appraising me as an easy victim, and she asked no questions."
"For instance?"
"She wanted me to tell her if you still had in your possession certain letters of hers,"
Aynesworth said.
"Good! What did you say?"
"I told her, of course," Aynesworth continued, "that having been in your service for a few
hours only, I was scarcely in a position to know. I ventured further to remind her that
such questions, addressed from her to me, were, to say the least of it, improper."
Wingrave's lips parted in what should have been a smile, but the spirit of mirth was
lacking.
"And then?"
"There was nothing else," Aynesworth answered. "She simply dismissed me."
"I can see," Wingrave remarked, "your grievance. You are annoyed because she regarded
you as too easy a victim."
"Perhaps," Aynesworth admitted.
"There was some excuse for her, after all," Wingrave continued coolly. "She possesses
powers which you yourself have already admitted, and you, I should say, are a fairly
impressionable person, so far as her sex is concerned. Confess now, that she did not leave
you altogether indifferent."
"Perhaps not," Aynesworth admitted reluctantly. He did not care to say more.
 
 
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