The White Moll HTML version

The Old Shed
Rhoda Gray opened her eyes, and, from the cot upon which she lay, stared with drowsy
curiosity around the garret - and in another instant was sitting bolt upright, alert and
tense, as the full flood of memory swept upon her.
There was still a meager light creeping in through the small, grimy window panes, but it
was the light of waning day. She must have slept, then, all through the morning and the
afternoon, slept the dead, heavy sleep of exhaustion from the moment she had flung
herself down here a few hours before daybreak.
She rose impulsively to her feet. It was strange that she had not been disturbed, that no
one had come to the garret! The recollection of the events of the night before were
crowding themselves upon her now. In view of last night, in view of her failure to keep
that appointment in the role of Danglar's wife, it was very strange indeed that she had
been left undisturbed!
Subconsciously she was aware that she was hungry, that it was long since she had eaten,
and, almost mechanically, she prepared herself something now from the store the garret
possessed; but, even as she ate, her mind was far from thoughts of food. From the first
night she had come here and self-preservation had thrust this miserable role of Gypsy
Nan upon her, from that first night and from the following night when, to save the
Sparrow, she had been whirled into the vortex of the gang's criminal activities, her mind
raced on through the sequence of events that seemed to have spanned some vast,
immeasurable space of time until they had brought her to - last night.
Last night! She had thought it was the end last night, but instead - The dark eyes grew
suddenly hard and intent. Yes, she had counted upon last night, when, with the necessary
proof in her possession with which to confront Danglar with the crime of murder, she
could wring from the man all that now remained necessary to substantiate her own story
and clear herself in the eyes of the law of that robbery at Skarbolov's antique store of
which she was held guilty - and instead she had barely escaped with her life. That was the
story of last night.
Her eyes grew harder. Well, the way was still open, wasn't it? Last night had changed
nothing in that respect. To-night, as the White Moll, she had only to find and corner
Danglar as she had planned to do last night. She had still only to get the man alone
Rhoda Gray's hands clenched tightly. That was all that was necessary - just the
substantiation of her own story that the plot to rob Skarbolov lay at the door of Danglar
and his gang; or, rather, perhaps, that the plot was in existence before she had ever heard
of Skarbolov. It would prove her own statement of what the dying woman had said. It
would exonerate her from guilt; it would prove that, rather than having any intention of
committing crime, she had taken the only means within her power of preventing one. The
real Gypsy Nan, Danglar's wife, who had died that night, bad, even in eleventh-hour