it was horrible, he was found that way—he died in agony. I married Captain Marden, but not for five years. I was happy, perfectly happy; time obliterates. But when my husband died I began to see him."
I had listened intently, but I wondered. "To see your husband?"
"Never, never that way, thank God! To see him, with Chartie—always with Chartie. The first time it nearly killed me—about seven years ago, when she first came out. Never when I'm by myself—only with her. Sometimes not for months, then every day for a week. I've tried everything to break the spell—doctors and régimes and climates; I've prayed to God on my knees. That day at Brighton, on the Parade with you, when you thought I was ill, that was the first for an age. And then, in the evening, when I knocked my tea over you, and the day you were at the door with Charlotte and I saw you from the window—each time he was there."
"I see, I see." I was more thrilled than I could say.
"It's an apparition like another."
"Like another? Have you ever seen another?"
"No, I mean the sort of thing one has heard of. It's tremendously interesting to encounter a case."
"Do you call me a 'case'?" Mrs. Marden asked, with exquisite resentment.
"I mean myself."
"Oh, you're the right one!" she exclaimed. "I was right when I trusted you."
"I'm devoutly grateful you did; but what made you do it?"
"I had thought the whole thing out—I had had time to in those dreadful years, while he was punishing me in my daughter."
"Hardly that," I objected, "if she never knew."