Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/136

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120
Some Emotions and a Moral.


furious knocking at the hall-door. When he opened it Collingwood rushed in, pale, stricken, and breathless.

"We are too late, Provence," he cried; "I told you something would happen. He has shot himself. He is dead."

They heard a woman's cry behind them. Grace had seen Collingwood drive up, and had crept to the top of the stairs to hear what was said. When the first shock of his news had passed she came slowly down the staircase, with one trembling hand on the railings, with the other clutching vainly at the wall.

"Did he leave any letter behind him," she said, when she finally reached the hall.

"Not a line," said Collingwood.

She burst into hysterical tears. "There is nothing to prove, then, that it wasn't an accident?"

"Nothing," said Collingwood, sternly.

For the first time she turned towards Godfrey. "It—is—too dreadful—to realize—all at once. I— never had strong nerves."

Collingwood left her sobbing on her husband's arm. But the tragedy was in Provence's face, for although he held her he looked away.