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Milady Hot at Hand
Revolve Style No. Manufacturer Style No. Size 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 She is sleeping so peacefully. Oh, this day! This will never do, thought Purvis. He went to the sideboard and poured a stiff shot of brandy. The child has no one else now. Oh, Purvis, what am I to do? I shall see it is delivered first thing in the morning. And then, may I suggest that you retire? Miss Andrea will need all your help to support her through tomorrow. Write the note to Parsnell; go to bed and try to sleep. Must be ready to comfort Andrea. Good thinking.
In the morning. There was no need for comment between these excellently-trained servants. Two weeks had passed since the day she had returned home from Mrs. On the desk in front of the girl was the letter from Lord Dominic Justin. It was addressed to her father, and seemed to Andrea to be the coldest, most heartless missive she had ever read.
My dear Count Wasylyk: I deeply regret having to inform you that your daughter has been killed in an accident. She was riding a new horse, and apparently lost control of the animal. There was a storm raging, and it was some time before the stableman informed me she had the horse out.
She was dead at the foot of Castle Cliff when I found her. You have, sir, my deepest sympathy in your loss. The interment cannot be delayed until your arrival, since the state of the English roads is such that a journey of several days is required to reach Kyle by coach.
Again, my condolences and regrets. No word of Pola—of his love and personal sorrow! She had denied herself to all callers during the past two weeks, permitting Cousin Stacia to receive them in her stead.
But she was beginning to feel irked by her seclusion. She faced the fact that her grief was becoming overshadowed by a rising suspicion. He had never been seen again, nor had a careful search by the Bow Street Runners turned up any clue to his identity. And then there was the even more unlikely accident to Pola, a superb horsewoman, accustomed to riding mountain trails in any kind of weather. Was it only a gruesome coincidence that she had died in exactly the same manner as her mother?
Andrea pulled herself up sharply. What was she thinking? That someone had planned a murder—two murders?
She thought back carefully over the whole series of events since she had been so hastily summoned to England to play a role in the wedding of her sister. Why London? Why the small guest list? Why the hasty departure of the newly-married couple? Why no answers to the letters she and her father had sent to Pola? And finally, why the repetitious character of the tragedy? He had never really shared anything with her except his name, and occasionally his home.
Milady Hot-At-Hand : Elizabeth Chater :
So the fact that she had felt him to be under some kind of strain in the few weeks they had been together in London was not a significant element in the puzzle which confronted her. Andrea frowned. Whom could she consult for answers to her questions? It was unthinkable that she should approach Mrs.
Drummond-Burrell again, although that lady had meticulously observed all the correct forms in sending flowers and letters of condolence. Who, then? Cousin Stacia, of course!
The older woman had revealed unexpected strength in the two weeks just past, rising to the emergency with a command she had never before displayed. Then she went out into the hall to discover the whereabouts of her cousin. Her face lighted up with pleasure as Andrea entered. Cousin Stacia was regarding her closely. What did you wish to know?
Would you like to tell me your ideas about this tragedy?
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When she had faltered to a close, her cousin nodded slowly. There is much which must be explained, or at the least, more clearly examined. To add to what you say, I have some other details. Albert told me a tall man had come to enquire for you and your father just after you had left this house.
If Albert refused to confide in the stranger—I had gone to call on Mrs. Drummond-Burrell, by the way—how did you get him to tell you anything? Of this I am quite sure. Stacia shook her head. He behaved just as he ought, and said all that was fitting in the situation. La, Andrea! I grow exceedingly tired of being ages older than all the men I meet!
Oh, yes, the mysterious stranger! Albert saw Alan when he came, and avers that he was not the enquiring stranger. I cannot think it! For what should be his reasons? Truly, the older woman was revealing unsuspected strengths!
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