I Will Repay HTML version

Chapter IX. Jealousy
At the door of her home Blakeney parted from Anne Mie, with all the courtesy
with which he would have bade adieu to the greatest lady in his own land.
Anne Mie let herself into the house with her own latch-key. She closed the heavy
door noiselessly, then glided upstairs like a quaint little ghost.
But on the landing above she met Paul Déroulède.
He had just come out of his room, and was still fully dressed.
"Anne Mie!" he said, with such an obvious cry of pleasure, that the young girl,
with beating heart, paused a moment on the top of the stairs, as if hoping to hear
that cry again, feeling that indeed he was glad to see her, had been uneasy
because of her long absence.
"Have I made you anxious?" she asked at last.
"Anxious!" he exclaimed. "Little one, I have hardly lived this last hour, since I
realised that you had gone out so late as this, and all alone."
"How did you know?"
"Mademoiselle de Marny knocked at my door an hour ago. She had gone to your
room to see you, and, not finding you there, she searched the house for you, and
finally, in her anxiety, come to me. We did not dare to tell my mother. I won't ask
you where you have been, Anne Mie, but another time, remember, little one, that
the streets of Paris are not safe, and that those who love you suffer deeply, when
they know you to be in peril."
"Those who love me!" murmured the girl under her breath.
"Could you not have asked me to come with you?"
"No; I wanted to be alone. The streets were quite safe, and--I wanted to speak
with Sir Percy Blakeney."
"With Blakeney?" he exclaimed in boundless astonishment. "Why, what in the
world did you want to say him?"
The girl, so unaccustomed to lying, had blurted out the truth, almost against her
"I thought he could help me, as I was much perturbed and restless."
"You went to him sooner than to me?" said Déroulède in a tone of gentle
reproach, and still puzzled at this extraordinary action on the part of the girl,
usually so shy and reserved.
"My anxiety was about you, and you would have mocked me for it."
"Indeed, I should never mock you, Anne Mie. But why should you be anxious
about me?"
"Because I see you wandering blindly on the brink of a great danger, and
because I see you confiding in those, whom you had best mistrust."
He frowned a little, and bit his lip to check the rough word that was on the tip of
his tongue.
"Is Sir Percy Blakeney one of those whom I had best mistrust?" he said lightly.
"No," she answered curtly.