anxious that morning about Miss Halcombe, through having received no news of her from any one. I thought this seemed to imply a blamable want of attention on the part of Mrs. Rubelle; but I said nothing, and remained with Lady Glyde, to assist her to dress. When she was ready, we both left the room together to go to Miss Halcombe.
We were stopped in the passage by the appearance of Sir Percival. He looked as if he had been purposely waiting there to see us.
"Where are you going?" he said to Lady Glyde.
"To Marian's room," she answered.
"It may spare you a disappointment," remarked Sir Percival, "if I tell you at once that you will not find her there."
"Not find her there!"
"No. She left the house yesterday morning with Fosco and his wife."
Lady Glyde was not strong enough to bear the surprise of this extraordinary statement. She turned fearfully pale; and leaned back against the wall, looking at her husband in dead silence.
I was so astonished myself, that I hardly knew what to say. I asked Sir Percival if he really meant that Miss Halcombe had left Blackwater Park.
"I certainly mean it," he answered.
"In her state, Sir Percival! Without mentioning her intentions to Lady Glyde!"
Before he could reply, her ladyship recovered herself a little, and spoke.
"Impossible!" she cried out, in a loud, frightened manner; taking a step or two forward from the wall. "Where was the doctor? where was Mr. Dawson when Marian went away?"
"Mr. Dawson wasn't wanted, and wasn't here," said Sir Percival. "He left of his own accord, which is enough of itself to show that she was strong enough to travel. How you stare! If you don't believe she has gone, look for yourself. Open her room door, and all the other room doors, if you like."
She took him at his word, and I followed her. There was no one in Miss Halcombe's room but Margaret Porcher, who was busy setting it to rights. There was no one in the spare rooms, or the dressing-rooms, when we looked into them afterwards. Sir Percival still waited for us in the passage. As we were leaving the last room that we had