The Tempting of Tavernake
I.25. The Madman Talks
Tavernake turned on the light. Pritchard, with a quick leap forward, seized Wenham
around the waist and dragged him away. Elizabeth had fainted; she lay upon the floor, her
face the color of marble.
"Get some water and throw over her," Pritchard ordered.
Tavernake obeyed. He threw open the window and let in a current of air. In a moment or
two the woman stirred and raised her head.
"Look after her for a minute," Pritchard said. "I Il lock this fierce little person up in the
Pritchard carried his prisoner out. Tavernake leaned over the woman who was slowly
coming back to consciousness.
"Tell me about it," she asked, hoarsely. "Where is he?"
"Locked up in the bathroom," Tavernake answered. "Pritchard is taking care of him. He
won't be able to get out."
"You know who it was?" she faltered.
"I do not," Tavernake replied. "It isn't my business. I'm only here because Pritchard
begged me to come. He thought he might want help."
She held his fingers tightly.
"Where were you?" she asked.
"In the bathroom when you arrived. Then he bolted the door behind and we had to come
round through your bedroom."
"How did Pritchard find out?"
"I know nothing about it," Tavernake replied. "I only know that he peered through the
latticework and saw you sitting there at supper."
She smiled weakly.
"It must have been rather a shock to him," she said. "He has been convinced for the last
six months that I murdered Wenham, or got rid of him by some means or other. Help me