Page:Twilight.djvu/375

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367
TWILIGHT

He spoke wildly. "Gabriel Stanton was inflexible, the marriage was to be postponed whilst Mrs. Roope was prosecuted, or the case fought out in the Law Courts. And every little anxiety or excitement set her poor heart beating … put her in pain … jeopardised her life. I'd do it again tomorrow. I don't care who knows. You'll have to tell if you want to. If you married me you couldn't give evidence against me …"

His smile startled me; it was strange, cunning. It seemed to say, "See how clever I am, I have thought of everything."

"There, I have had that in my mind ever since you began to be better."

"It was not because you have fallen in love with me, then?" I scoffed.

"When you are Margaret, I love you … I adore you." The whole secret flashed on me then, flashed through his strange perfervid eyes. We were in full view of a curious housemaid at a window, but he kneeled down by my couch, as he had kneeled by Margaret's.

"You are Margaret. Tell me the truth. There is no other fellow now. You always said if it were not for Gabriel Stanton …"

I quieted him with difficulty. I saw what was the matter. Of course I ought to have seen it before, but vanity and Ella obscured the truth. The poor fellow's mind was unhinged. For years he had