THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
have done; I should have yielded, for I could no longer master my love for him. Look!’
“She was fumbling at her dress, loosening the top buttons close under her chin; then she ripped it clear, exposing her neck and back.
“‘This is what was done to me when I was a child!’
“I leaned forward to see the closer. The poor child was one mass of hideous tattoo from her throat to her stays!
“‘Now you know the whole story,’ she sobbed, her eyes streaming tears; ‘my heart is broken but I am satisfied. I could have stood anything but his loathing.’
“With this she fastened her dress and walked slowly out of the room, her head down, her whole figure one of abject misery.”
Madame leaned forward, picked up her goblet of water, and remarking that walking in the wind always made her thirsty, drained its contents. Then she turned her head to hide her tears.
“A most extraordinary story, madame. Did the young fellow ever speak of the theft?” asked Herbert, the first of her listeners to speak.
“No,” she answered slowly, in the effort to