“My darling, how glad I am to see you again,” she said, looking tenderly into his dark face. “Oh, why did you leave me so cruelly–so suddenly, at Chippingholt?”

“I thought you’d ask that,” replied he, with an effort to appear gay. “Well, dear, it was for two reasons; in the first place, I was recalled suddenly by my colonel, and besides that I had bad news and did not dare to tell you.”

“Oh, Harold, as though I could not bear anything for your sake. From whom did you 杭州spa上门 have bad news?”

“Fran Van Zwieten, strange to say.”

She withdrew herself suddenly from her lover’s arms, and a feeling of terror came over her. Van Zwieten again–the man seemed to be her evil genius.

“What is the bad news?” she asked faintly.

“Malet gambled away my twenty thousand 杭州按摩一条街 pounds. I have nothing but my small income!”
“Is that all?” asked Brenda, drawing a breath of relief. “Oh, you stupid boy, did you run away because you were afraid to tell me that?”

Captain Burton stared and drew a breath also–one of amazement. “Well, it’s hard to understand a woman,” he said, half smiling, half annoyed. “I made sure you’d cry your eyes out when you heard. Don’t you understand, Brenda, what it means? If we are to marry at all, it must be


on our five hundred a year?”

“And why not?” was her answer. “I am ready if you are, Harold. How could you give me all this anxiety for such a trifle? I want you, my dear, not the money. But I thought you must have had some other reason for going away.”

“What other reason could I have had?” asked Burton, quickly, and waiting apprehensively 杭州水疗spa按摩会所 for her reply.

“Never mind. I’ll tell you later. Only the twenty thousand pounds! Well, after all, I’m not surprised to hear of the loss.”

“I was very much astonished, and very wretched when I heard it. I can’t take the loss of all that money as quietly as you seem to do, Brenda. And 杭州西湖阁最新 not only mine has gone, but Wilfred’s too. Forty thousand pounds, and all his own fortune! Great Scot! the man must have played day and night to get rid of it. What folly for my father to leave it so completely in his power. If there had only been another trustee to pull him up. I don’t want to speak evil of the dead,” cried Harold, wrathfully, “but I could find it in my heart to curse Malet.”

“No, don’t, Harold. His terrible death was punishment enough. How was it that Mr. van Zwieten came to know of this?”

“I can’t say. He refused to tell me. 杭州男士养生馆 But he did know, and he tried to make me give you up on that account. Of course I told him–well, never mind what I said–it was strong and to the point. Brenda, we have a dangerous enemy in Van Zwieten.”

“I always knew we had. And now that this crime has been committed he is more 杭州龙凤419论坛 dangerous than ever.”

“How do you know that?” Harold looked anxiously at her.