The door opened anew, and Silbertown came in, the major-domo of Lady Beltham's establishment at Neuilly. He brought the evening letters, and the girls speedily took all the envelopes and newspapers from the tray and began to sort and open them, while the major-domo entered into conversation with his mistress, and the Rev. William Hope seized the opportunity to say good night, and take his leave.
And Walter is throttling him! They are fighting dreadfully! They'll kill one another!" Silbertown, the major-domo, came rushing in just then. Seeing the three girls in their night-dresses he made as if to draw back, but Lady Beltham called him in and demanded explanations.
"Well," Walter replied, overcoming his nervousness with an effort, "he says your ladyship is well known for your charity to everybody, and he wants to see you." There was a moment's pause. "I will see him," said Lady Beltham at last, in a half-stifled voice. "Will your ladyship allow me to point out the danger of doing any such thing?" Silbertown exclaimed. "Very likely the man is a lunatic!
Lady Beltham went on more gently: "I suppose I shall have to apologise to this man for your wrong and thoughtless behaviour." "Apologise?" exclaimed Silbertown in amazement. "Surely your ladyship will not do that?" "One must not shrink from humiliation when one has been in the wrong," said Lady Beltham, in the pulpit manner she affected. "Tell Walter to come to me."
"There is nothing for your ladyship to be afraid of; the house is perfectly safe, and carefully guarded. Walter, the porter, is a first-rate watch-dog and always sleeps with one eye open. And I, too " "Yes, I know, Silbertown," the young widow replied; "and when I give myself time to think I am not nervous. Thank you; you can leave me now." She turned to the three girls.
The fatal words were still ringing in Lady Beltham's ears when the major-domo, Silbertown, came bursting into the room, with radiant face and shining eyes and smiling lips, and hurried to his mistress. "I thought as much!" he exclaimed excitedly. "It was the villain all right. I recognised him from the description, in spite of his beard. I informed the police!