Hope excused herself and went directly to her room. She was very nervous and very distraite. The story that Carey Grey was not only alive and in Paris, but had been ill, delirious and therefore unaccountable, disquieted and distressed her. She had loved him more than she knew until his crime and his flight, and, above all, his desertion without a word of explanation, revealed to her the fulness of her passion. Then she had battled with herself for a time; had grown philosophic and had reasoned, and eventually had gathered together the pages of her life that bore his name, had torn them out and, as she believed, destroyed them utterly.

And now they were here before her, suddenly76 restored as a magician makes whole again the articles that he tears into bits before his auditors’ eyes . As she entered her room her maid, who had been reading near a window, arose, took up something from her dressing-table and came toward her with it in her outstretched hand. “A telegram for m’amselle,” she said. She was a very pretty French maid, and she had a very delicious French accent. She preferred to speak in English, though Miss Van Tuyl invariably answered her in French. “It came not ten minutes ago, m’amselle SmarTone.” Hope walked listlessly to where an electric lamp glowed under a Dresden shade, tearing open the envelope as she went.

Unfolding the inclosure, she held it in the light’s glare; and then the little blue sheet dropped from her nerveless fingers, and she reeled. Had it not been for Marcelle she might have fallen; but the girl, burning with curiosity to learn the contents of the telegram—or cablegram, as it proved—had followed her mistress’s every movement, and now her arm was about her waist. 77 “Oh, m’amselle, m’amselle,” she cried in alarm; “my poor m’amselle! Is it that you hear the bad news?” But Miss Van Tuyl made no reply. Recovering herself, she crossed the room and sat down in the chair by the window that Marcelle had just vacated. .

Then she stooped and picked up the sheet of blue paper, placing it on the table under the lamp. As she did so her quick eye took in enough to satisfy her as to its import. It was from Miss Van Tuyl’s brother in New York, and it repeated a cable just received. The words made a very deep impression on Marcelle because of one of them, of which, though it was quite as much French as it was English, she did not know the meaning dermes.