When a Man Marries
It's All My Fault
I didn't go to the drawing room again. I went into my own room and sat in the dark, and
tried to be furiously angry, and only succeeded in feeling queer and tingly. One thing was
absolutely certain: not the same man, but two different men had kissed me on the stairs to
the roof. It sounds rather horrid and discriminating, but there was all the difference in the
But then--who had? And for whom had Mr. Harbison been waiting on the roof? "Did you
know that I nearly choked you to death a few minutes ago?" Then he rather expected to
finish somebody in that way! Who? Jim, probably. It was strange, too, but suddenly I
realized that no matter how many suspicious things I mustered up against him--and there
were plenty--down in my heart I didn't believe him guilty of anything, except this last and
unforgivable offense. Whoever was trying to leave the house had taken the necklace, that
seemed clear, unless Max was still foolishly trying to break quarantine and create one of
the sensations he so dearly loves. This was a new idea, and some things upheld it, but
Max had been playing bridge when I was kissed on the stairs, and there was still left that
ridiculous incident of the comfort.
Bella came up after I had gone to bed, and turned on the light to brush her hair.
"If I don't leave this mausoleum soon, I'll be carried out," she declared. "You in bed,
Lollie Mercer and Dal flirting, Anne hysterical, and Jim making his will in the den! You
will have to take Aunt Selina tonight, Kit; I'm all in."
"If you'll put her to bed, I'll keep her there," I conceded, after some parley.
"You're a dear." Bella came back from the door. "Look here, Kit, you know Jim pretty
well. Don't you think he looks ill? Thinner?"
"He's a wreck," I said soberly. "You have a lot to answer for, Bella."
Bella went over to the cheval glass and looked in it. "I avoid him all I can," she said,
posing. "He's awfully funny; he's so afraid I'll think he's serious about you. He can't
realize that for me he simply doesn't exist."
Well, I took Aunt Selina, and about two o'clock, while I was in my first sleep, I woke to
find her standing beside me, tugging at my arm.
"There's somebody in the house," she whispered. "Thieves!"
"If they're in they'll not get out tonight," I said.
"I tell you, I saw a man skulking on the stairs," she insisted.
I got up ungraciously enough, and put on my dressing gown. Aunt Selina, who had her
hair in crimps, tied a veil over her head, and together we went to the head of the stairs.
Aunt Selina leaned far over and peered down.
"He's in the library," she whispered. "I can see a light."