She almost lost her self-control. Her lips trembled and she pressed her hand on her breast.
Frederick staggered slightly, as if under some sword-stroke from an unseen 杭州洗浴会所特色服务 hand. A great faintness came upon him. For a moment he was speechless and mute. She looked up at him steadily once. Then she spoke again in that cold, forced, measured voice which seemed to his ear as hard and pitiless as the strokes of an iron hammer.
“I ask you how you parted with him?”
With a mighty effort he broke the spell which held him mute, and murmured, with a suffocated sound in his voice, as though some hand were clutching at his throat:
“I left him well and happy. Why do you ask me? I know nothing more.”
“Are you so sure of that?” she asked, fixing her cold eyes upon him.
“Lady Alice! what do 杭州夜网验证 you mean?” exclaimed Frederick, who, seeing the danger, was regaining his entire self-possession.
“Nothing,” she answered wearily. “Go. It is best so. I must have time—time to think.”
She passed her hand over her forehead twice, as if in pain, and he, bowing low, walked down stairs blindly, not knowing whither he went. Mechanically he reached the entrance, passed the threshold, and went out into the bright spring sunlight.
CHAPTER XXI. PLANS FOR THE FUTURE.
The morning papers on the following day contained the announcement of Colonel Charles Clery’s sudden death, and after devoting some space to a brief outline of his career, concluded with the following sentences:
“The late colonel dined the night before his death at the house of the Marquis of Kingsbury, in Park lane. He appeared to be in excellent health and spirits, 杭州高端男士休闲会所 and left some time after midnight with the Comte de Vaugelade, in whose company he walked up Piccadilly. The count is reported to be the last person who saw him alive.
A couple of days later, and before Frederick had had an opportunity of calling again at Park lane, a well-known society paper, renowned for the venom of its attacks and for the correctness of its information, published the following paragraph:
“Who is the Comte de Vaugelade, the foreign nobleman, in whose company the late Colonel Clery was last seen alive? We are informed, both at the Belgian Legation and at the French Embassy, that the name and the title are extinct.”
These words caught Frederick’s eye as he was glancing over the papers after his early breakfast in the privacy of his own room three days after Colonel Clery’s death. He immediately realized 杭州桑拿流程 that this, together with Lady Alice’s mysterious words, was making London too hot for him. It was a great disappointment to have
to leave England just as he believed that he was on the point of obtaining his heart’s fondest wish—namely, a wife belonging to a wealthy and [Pg 177] noble family, who would place her husband for once and all in the sphere to which he was born. He could then have left his career of adventurer far behind him, and lived the untrammeled life of a gentleman of means and leisure, respected and honored by all.
Men, according to the old Greeks, were the toys of the gods, who, from their high estate in Olympus, put evil and foul instincts and desires into their mortal hearts, and then, when the evil actions became the outlet of evil thoughts, amused themselves by watching the fruitless efforts made by their 杭州419交友群 victims to escape a cruel and merciless goddess, called Nemesis, who stood there ready to punish them. The gods may have enjoyed it, but how about the poor mortals? In these days of skepticism and unbelief we have dropped this deity, but only to replace her by another, whom we have christened Fate, and whom we use as a scapegoat upon which to lay the blame of our own shortcomings. The true religion of Fate, however, is that our lives are the outcome of our actions. Every action, good or bad, has its corresponding reward—as Frederick found to his cost.
He resolved to leave London without delay; but, fearing that if he traveled via Dover or Folkestone, he might meet a number of his English acquaintances, and thereby attract attention—a thing he particularly wished to avoid—he determined to take the train for Southampton that 杭州酒店足浴 very afternoon, and thence to proceed to St. Malo, on the coast of Brittany.
Before his departure, he wrote a long letter to Lady Kingsbury, informing her that to his great sorrow he had been called away by his only sister’s dangerous illness, and that, having no time to come and make his adieus in person, he begged her ladyship to remember him most gratefully to the marquis, and to her son and daughters, whose kindness, as well as her own, he could never forget. He added that he hoped soon to be able to return to London, [Pg 178] since it was his most cherished wish to meet them all again.
That same evening he embarked on board one of those small steamboats which make the passage between Southampton and St. Malo, and as he lay tossing on the narrow couch of the deck cabin, many a bitter thought filled his troubled mind. He got 杭州滨江街女最多的地方 but little sleep, and when the vessel steamed into the harbor of St. Malo he was standing on deck, looking moodily into the deep, transparent waters, where the jelly-fish were floating many fathoms beneath the surface of the bay, and where a school of porpoises were sporting in the foaming track left by the ship.
St. Malo is one of the most picturesque places in France, and one of the most ancient. It is fortified, and its gray, moss-grown walls and battlements, when seen from the entrance of the harbor, carry one back to old feudal times.