Page:Magician 1908.djvu/176

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lead with him! We know how heartless he is, and how vindictive, how horribly cruel.”

“Dr. Porhoët knows more about these things than we do,” said Susie. “Is it possible that Haddo should have cast some spell upon her that would make her unable to resist his will? Is it possible that he should have got such an influence over her that her whole character was changed?”

“How can I tell?” cried the doctor helplessly. “I have heard that such things may happen. I have read of them, but I have no proof. In these matters all is obscurity. The adepts in magic make strange claims. Arthur is a man of science, and he knows what the limits of hypnotism are.”

“We know that Haddo had powers that other men have not,” answered Susie. “Perhaps there was enough truth in his extravagant pretensions to enable him to do something that we can hardly imagine.”

Arthur passed his hands wearily over his face.

“I’m so broken, so confused, that I cannot think sanely. At this moment everything seems possible. My faith in all the truths that have supported me is tottering.”

For a while they remained silent. Arthur’s eyes rested on the chair in which Margaret had so often sat. An unfinished canvas still stood upon the easel. It was Dr. Porhoët who spoke at last.

“But even if there were some truth in Miss Boyd’s suppositions, I don’t see how it can help you. You cannot do anything. You have no remedy, legal or otherwise. Margaret is appar-