Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/104

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“Then I began to talk. I told my husband; I told the young man’s mother, my intimate friend, who told her son, she accusing the girl, of course, without a scintilla of proof; I told my butler, my maid—I told everybody who could in any way help to advertise my loss and the reward I was willing to pay for its recovery. Still nothing resulted and the week passed without a trace of the jewel or the thief.

“One morning just after luncheon, when I was alone in my little boudoir and my husband and the young man were having their coffee and cigarettes on the veranda outside, the girl walked in, made sure that no one was within hearing, and held out her hand. In the palm was my lost topaz.

“‘Here is your jewel,’ she said calmly; ‘I stole it, and now I have brought it back.’

“‘You!’ I gasped. ‘Why?’

“‘To disgust him and make him hate me so that he will never see me again. I love him too much to give myself to him. In my madness I thought of this.’

“‘And you want him to know it!’ I cried out. I could hardly get my breath, the shock was so great.

“‘Yes—here!—NOW!’ She stepped to the