Page:Tales of John Oliver Hobbes.djvu/345

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A Study in Temptations.
329


When she awoke it was morning — Monday morning — and half-past six. At that very moment, De Boys, no doubt, was leaving the house. She threw off her garments, plunged into a cold bath (which, perhaps, was unlike a psychological heroine), and dressed herself in clinging black. A large hat and a thick veil gave the final touches to her unimpeachably correct costume. Any fairly well-read observer would have known at once, that she was a misunderstood and cruelly injured woman, about to elope with her only friend.

She opened her bedroom door and peeped out : there was no one in sight. The servants, too, even did she meet them, were accustomed to the habits of celebrities on a visit. At The Cloisters nothing was remarkable but the commonplace. She passed two maids and an under-footman on her way to the room, which had been temporarily arranged as a studio for Wrath. But neither the maids nor the footman showed the smallest surprise when they saw her.

Sophia left her letter on the mantelpiece, and fled from the room through the French casement. Wrath had done well, she thought, to turn his odious picture to the wall: she could never have passed it else — the fascination of recognizing Margaret's nose was too engrossing. Under its enchantment, hours sped like minutes.

As she crossed the lawn she cast a glance over her shoulder at Wrath's window. The curtains were not yet drawn : he was probably sleeping — sleeping while she———

A sob — and then for the cross-roads, De Boys, and the Ideal.