Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/103

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more intimate details. Strange to say, Frenchman-like, it only maddened him the more—so much so that he again waylaid her and asked her some questions which made her blaze like coals of fire, and again the poor girl went to bed in a flood of tears.

“Then the most puzzling and inexplicable thing happened. I had a very deep topaz of which I was passionately fond—one given me by my dear husband shortly after we were married. I generally kept it in my small jewel case, to which only my maid and I had the key. This night when I opened it the jewel was gone. My maid said she remembered distinctly my putting it, together with the chain, in the box, for my guest was with me at the time and had begged me to wear it because of its rich color, which she always said matched my eyes. At first I said nothing to any one—not even my husband—and waited; then I watched my maid; then my butler, about whom I did not know much, and who was in love with the maid, and might have tempted her to steal it. And, last of all—why I could not tell, and cannot to this day, except for that peculiar pantherlike movement about my guest—I watched the girl herself. But nothing came of it.