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knocked to pieces by her impudence. That's when I came on the scene. I told the woman what I thought of her; you may bet I didn't mince matters. And then I offered her a hundred..."

Gabriel got up suddenly, abruptly, his face flushed.

"You... you offered her a hundred pounds?"

"Well! there was not a bit of good trying for less. It was a round sum."

"You allowed Mrs. Capel to be blackmailed!"

"What would you have done? Of course I did."

"It was disgraceful, indefensible."

"Gabriel." She called him by his name, she wanted him to sit down by her, but he remained standing. "There was no time to send for any one, ask for advice..."

"It was a case of 'your money or your life.' The woman put a pistol to our heads. 'Pay up or I'll take my tale to James Capel' was the beginning and end of what she said. I got her down finally to £250.'

"You gave the woman, this infamous, blackmailing person, £250?"

"And cheap enough too. Wait a bit. I can guess what you are thinking. I'm not such a fool as you take me for. She only had a hundred in cash, the other is a post-dated cheque, not due until the decree is made absolute. Then I ran her out of the house."