A Strange Disappearance HTML version

19. Explanations
"I cannot endure this," came in one burst of feeling from the lips of Mr. Blake.
"She don't know, she don't realize--Sir," cried he, suddenly becoming conscious
of my presence in the room, "will you be good enough to see that this note," he
hastily scribbled one, "is carried across the way to my house and given to Mrs.
I bowed assent, routed up one of the men in the next room and despatched it at
"Perhaps she will listen to the voice of one of her own sex if not to me," said he;
and began pacing the floor of the narrow room in which we were, with a wildness
of impatience that showed to what depths had sunk the hope of gaining this
lovely woman for his own.
Feeling myself no longer necessary in that spot, I followed where my wishes led
and entered the room where Luttra was bidding good-bye to her father.
"I shall never forget," I heard her say as I crossed the floor to where Mr. Gryce
stood looking out of the window, "that your blood runs in my veins together with
that of my gentle-hearted, never-to-be- forgotten mother. Whatever my fate may
be or wherever I may hide the head you have bowed to the dust, be sure I shall
always lift up my hands in prayer for your repentance and return to an honest life.
God grant that my prayers may be heard and that I may yet receive at your
hands, a father's kindly blessing."
The only answer to this was a heavily muttered growl that gave but little promise
of any such peaceful termination to a deeply vicious life. Hearing it, Mr. Gryce
hastened to procure his men and remove the hardened wretches from the spot.
All through the preparations for their departure, she stood and watched their
sullen faces with a wild yearning in her eye that could scarcely be denied, but
when the door finally closed upon them, and she was left standing there with no
one in the room but myself she steadied herself up as one who is conscious that
all the storms of heaven are about to break upon her; and turning slowly to the
door waited with arms crossed and a still determination upon her brow, the
coming of the feet of him whose resolve she felt must have, as yet been only
strengthened by her resistance.
She had not long to wait. Almost with the closing of the street door upon the
detectives and their prisoners, Mr. Blake followed by Mrs. Daniels and another
lady whose thick veil and long cloak but illy concealed the patrician features and
stately form of the Countess De Mirac, entered the room.
The surprise had its effect; Luttra was evidently for the moment thrown off her
"Mrs. Daniels!" she breathed, holding out her hands with a longing gesture.
"My dear mistress!" returned that good woman, taking those hands in hers but in
a respectful way that proved the constraint imposed upon her by Mr. Blake's
presence. "Do I see you again and safe?"
"You must have thought I cared little for the anxiety you would be sure to feel,"
said that fair young mistress, gazing with earnestness into the glad but tearful