The Malefactor HTML version

II.13. Richardson Tries Again
"You saw--who that was?"
Lady Ruth's voice seemed to come from a greater distance. Wingrave turned and looked
at her with calm curiosity. She was leaning back in the corner of the carriage, and she
seemed somehow to have shrunk into an unusual insignificance. Her eyes alone were
clearly visible through the semi-darkness--and the light which shone from their depths
was the light of fear.
"Yes," he answered slowly, I believe that I recognized him. It was the young man who
persists in some strange hallucination as to a certain Mademoiselle Violet."
"It was no hallucination," she answered. "You know that! I was Mademoiselle Violet!"
He nodded.
"It amazes me," he said thoughtfully, "that you should have stooped to such folly. That
my demise would have been a relief to you I can, of course, easily believe, but the means-
-they surely were not worthy of your ingenuity."
"Don't!" she cried sharply. "I must have been utterly, miserably mad!"
"Even the greatest of schemers have their wild moments," he remarked consolingly. "This
was one of yours. You paid me a very poor compliment, by the bye, to imagine that an
insignificant creature like that--"
"Will you--leave off?" she moaned.
"I daresay," he continued after a moment's pause, "that you find him now quite an
inconvenient person to deal with."
She shuddered.
"Oh, I am paying for my folly, if that is what you mean," she declared. "He knows--who I
am--that he was deceived. He follows me about--everywhere."
Wingrave glanced out of the carriage window.
"Unless I am very much surprised," he answered, "he is following us now!"
She came a little closer to him.