Page:The Yellow Book - 02.djvu/19

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The Gospel of Content


How it was that I, being so young a man and not a very tactful one, was sent on such an errand is more than I should be able to explain. But many years ago some one came to me with a request that I should go that evening to a certain street at King's Cross, where would be found a poor lady in great distress; that I should take a small sum of money which was given to me for the purpose in a little packet which disguised all appearance of coin, present it to her as a "parcel" which I had been desired to deliver, and ask if there were any particular service that could be done for her. For my own information I was told that she was a beautiful Russian whose husband had barely contrived to get her out of the country, with her child, before his own arrest for some deep political offence of which she was more than cognisant, and that now she was living in desperate ignorance of his fate. Moreover, she was penniless and companionless, though not quite without friends; for some there were who knew of her husband and had a little help for her, though they were almost as poor as herself. But none of these dare approach her, so fearful was she of the danger of their doing so, either to themselves or her husband or