Page:Magician 1908.djvu/77

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She was too reticent to say all she felt, but she had been strangely affected last night by the recollection of Haddo’s words and of his acts. She had awaked more than once from a nightmare in which he assumed fantastic and ghastly shapes. His mocking voice rang in her ears, and she seemed still to see that vast bulk and the savage, sensual face. It was like a spirit of evil in her path, and she was curiously alarmed. Only her reliance on Arthur’s common-sense prevented her from giving way to ridiculous terrors.

“I’ve written to Frank Hurrell and asked him to tell me all he knows about him,” said Arthur. “I should get an answer very soon.”

“I wish we’d never come across him,” cried Margaret vehemently. “I feel that he will bring us misfortune.”

“You’re all of you absurdly prejudiced,” answered Susie gaily. “He interests me enormously, and I mean to ask him to tea at the studio.”

“I’m sure I shall be delighted to come.”

Margaret cried out, for she recognised Oliver Haddo’s deep bantering tones; and she turned round quickly. They were all so taken aback that for a moment no one spoke. They were gathered round the window and had not heard him come in. They wondered guiltily how long he had been there and how much he had heard.

“How on earth did you get here?” cried Susie lightly, recovering herself first.

“No well-bred sorcerer is so dead to the finer feelings as to enter a room by the door,” he an-