Page:Twilight.djvu/269

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261
TWILIGHT

"Oh! if that's the case..." he said indecisively.

"Pay her what she wants."

"I can get her down a good bit." He had no definite idea but to stop her tears, carry out her wishes. In a measure he acted cleverly, going backward and forward between dining and drawing-room negotiating terms. Mrs. Roope said she had no wish to expose Mrs. Capel, and repeated, "I came here to do her a kindness."

In the end two hundred and fifty pounds was agreed upon, a hundred down and a hundred and fifty when the decree was made absolute, this latter represented by a post-dated cheque. Peter had to write the cheques himself, it was as much as Margaret could do to sign them. Her hands were shaking and her eyelids red, the sight swept away all his conventions.

"You've got to go to bed and stay there," he told her when he came back to her finally. He forgot everything but that she looked terribly ill and exhausted, and that he was her physician. "You need not have a minute's more anxiety. I know the type. She has gone. She won't bother you again. She's taken her hundred pounds. That's a lot to the woman who makes her money by shillings. That absent treatment business is a pound a week at the outside. There's a limited number of fools who pay for isolated visits. Did you see her boots? They didn't look like affluence! and her cotton