The Quest of the Sacred Slipper
2. The Girl With The Violet Eyes
During the next day or two my mind constantly reverted to the incidents of the voyage
home. I was perfectly convinced that the curtain had been partially raised upon some
fantasy in which Professor Deeping figured.
But I had seen no more of Deeping nor had I heard from him, when abruptly I found
myself plunged again into the very vortex of his troubled affairs. I was half way through
a long article, I remember, upon the mystery of the outrage at the docks. The poor
steward whose hand had been severed lay in a precarious condition, but the police had
utterly failed to trace the culprit.
I had laid down my pen to relight my pipe (the hour was about ten at night) when a faint
sound from the direction of the outside door attracted my attention. Something had been
thrust through the letter-box.
"A circular," I thought, when the bell rang loudly, imperatively.
I went to the door. A square envelope lay upon the mat - a curious envelope, pale
amethyst in colour. Picking it up, I found it to bear my name - written simply -
Tearing it open I glanced at the contents. I threw open the door. No one was visible upon
the landing, but when I leaned over the banister a white-clad figure was crossing the hall,
Without hesitation, hatless, I raced down the stairs. As I crossed the dimly lighted hall
and came out into the peaceful twilight of the court, my elusive visitor glided under the
Just where the dark and narrow passage opened on to Fleet Street I overtook her - a girl
closely veiled and wrapped in a long coat of white ermine.
"Madam," I said.
She turned affrightedly.
"Please do not detain me!" Her accent was puzzling, but pleasing. She glanced
apprehensively about her.
You have seen the moon through a mist? - and known it for what it was in spite of its
veiling? So, now, through the cloudy folds of the veil, I saw the stranger's eyes, and knew
them for the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen, had ever dreamt of.