The woman was so cool, so civil, so perfectly indifferent. He stammered out something about the weather and the coming spring, and made an allusion to the dinner at Mrs. Van Cortlandt's. Mrs. Mavick was not in the mood to help him with any general conversation, and presently said, looking at her watch: "You wrote me that you wanted to consult me. Is there anything I can do for you?"

"Boys, there's no use to tell you that we must keep still about what happened last night. Kirk thinks Cortlandt's mind was unbalanced; but whether it was or not, he left a widow, and what went on at that supper must never leak out." "Why do you think he was crazy?" Wade inquired. "His actions last night would show it," Kirk answered.

It will be a great pleasure for us to have you at the Tivoli in the mean time." Seeing a warm second to this invitation in Mrs. Cortlandt's eyes, Kirk accepted gracefully, explaining: "You know this is the first time I was ever up against hard luck, and I don't know just how to act." "We've missed the four-thirty-five, so we will have to return the way we came," said Cortlandt.

The woman was so cool, so civil, so perfectly indifferent. He stammered out something about the weather and the coming spring, and made an allusion to the dinner at Mrs. Van Cortlandt's. Mrs. Mavick was not in the mood to help him with any general conversation, and presently said, looking at her watch: "You wrote me that you wanted to consult me. Is there anything I can do for you?"

He repeated Kirk's words as he remembered them, "What do you think of that?" "I think he expressed himself very frankly. But why do you tell me now, when the morning will do just as well? I'm prostrated with this heat." "He actually acknowledged his debt in public." Mrs. Cortlandt's eyes widened. This was not the man she knew.

Cortlandt's body, it seemed, had been found about daylight by a Spiggoty policeman, who had identified it. Becoming panic-stricken at the importance of his discovery, he had sounded the alarm, then reported directly to the Governor, whose house was close by. It was General Alfarez himself who had informed Mrs. Cortlandt over the telephone of her husband's death.

If he had been less jubilant, he must have felt the unnatural aloofness of the other man's bearing; but even had he done so, he would doubtless have attributed it to Cortlandt's well-recognized frigidity.

Though their own danger increased with each step, in the event of their missing, the chance of their shooting wild decreased, the idea being to reach the brain through the eye. Cortlandt's part had also its risks, for, being entirely defenceless with his shot-gun against the large creature, whose attention it was his duty to attract, he staked all on the marksmanship of his friends.

Cortlandt's eyes fixed upon him with a peculiarly amused look, and a few minutes later he followed Mr. Stein to the deck above. Once in his own stateroom, the young man began a thorough exploration, realizing more keenly than before that without baggage or money his plight might prove distressing.

You've been awfully nice to me, but I had no idea of this. Besides, Cortlandt's an awfully decent chap, and and, well," he concluded, lamely, "there are lots of reasons." "Oh no! There is only one reason; all the others count for nothing." She spoke in a voice that he could scarcely hear. "Perhaps! But it's just impossible." "You know what it means?" She stared at him with hard, level eyes.