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changed my position. As things are now, to move would have been a mere weakness. So I remained where I was. The gentleman on the bed said he could assure me of one thing; and that was that his presence here was no more morally reprehensible than mine. 1
“We pursue the same ends,' he said, 'only perhaps I pursue them with more openness than you with more simplicity.'
“That's what he said,” Heyst went on, after looking at Lena in a sort of inquiring silence. "I asked him if he knew beforehand that I was living here; but he only gave me a ghastly grin. I didn't press him for an answer, Lena. I thought I had better not.”
On her smooth forehead a ray of light always seemed to rest. Her loose hair, parted in the middle, covered the hands sustaining her head. She seemed spell-bound by the interest of the narrative. Heyst did not pause long. He managed to continue his relation smoothly enough, beginning afresh with a piece of comment.
“He would have lied impudently—and I detest being told a lie. It makes me uncomfortable. It's pretty clear that I am not fitted for the affairs of the wide world. But I did not want him to think that I accepted his presence too meekly; so. I said that
his comings or goings on the earth were none of my business, of course, except that I had a natural curiosity to know when he would find it convenient to resume them.
“He asked me to look at the state he was in. Had I been all alone here, as they think I am, I should have laughed at him. But not being aloneI say, Lena, you are sure you haven't shown yourself where you could be seen ?"
"Certain,” she said promptly.
“You understand, Lena, that when I ask you to keep so strictly out of sight, it is because you are not for them to look at—to talk about. My poor Lena! I can't help that feeling. Do you understand it ?"
She moved her head slightly in a manner that was neither affirmative nor negative.
“People will have to see me some day,” she said.
“I wonder how long it will be possible for you to keep out of sight!" murmured Heyst thoughtfully. He bent over the table. “Let me finish telling you. I asked him pointblank what it was he wanted with
he appeared extremely unwilling to come to the point. It was not really so pressing as all that, he said. His secretary, who was in fact his partner, was not present, having gone down to the wharf to look at their boat. Finally the fellow proposed that
he should put off a certain communication he had to make till the day after to-morrow./ I agreed; but I also told him that I was not at all anxious to hear it. I had no conception in what way his affairs could
“Ah, Mr. Heyst,' he said, "you and I have much more in common than you think.””
911) Heyst struck the table with his fist unexpectedly. “It was a jeer; I am sure it was!"
He seemed ashamed of this outburst and smiled faintly into the motionless eyes of the girl.
“What could I have done even if I had had my pockets full of revolvers ?"
She made an appreciative sign.
“I went away,” Heyst continued. “I left him there, lying on his side with his eyes shut. When I got back here, I found you looking ill. / What was it, Lena ? You did give me a scare! Then I had the interview with Wang while you rested.
You were sleeping quietly. I sat here to consider all these things calmly, to try to penetrate their inner meaning and their outward bearing. It struck me that the two days we have before us have the character of a sort of truce. The more I thought of it, the more I felt that this was tacitly understood between Jones and myself. It was to our advantage, if anything can
be of advantage to people caught so completely unawares as we are. Wang was gone. He, at any rate, had declared himself, but as I did not know what he might take it into his head to do, I thought I had better warn these people that I was no longer responsible for the Chinaman. I did not want Mr. Wang making some move which would precipitate the action against us. Do you see my point of view ?"
She made a sign that she did. All her soul was wrapped in her passionate determination, in an exalted belief in herself—in the contemplation of her amazing opportunity to win the certitude, the eternity, of that man's love. “I never
saw two men,” Heyst was saying, "more affected by a piece of information than Jones and his secretary, who was back in the bungalow by then. They had not heard me come up. I told them I was sorry to intrude. “'Not at all! Not at all,' said Jones.
“The secretary backed away into a corner and watched me like a wary cat. In fact, they both were visibly on their guard.
“I am come,' I told them, 'to let you know that my servant has deserted—gone off.'
“At first they looked at each other as if they had not understood what I was saying; but very soon they seemed quite concerned.
“You mean to say your Chink's cleared out ?' said Ricardo, coming forward from his corner. 'Like this-all at once? What did he do it for ?'
"I said that a Chinaman had always a simple and precise reason for what he did, but that to get such a reason out of him was not so easy. All he had told me, I said, was that he ‘didn't like.'
"They looked extremely disturbed at this. Didn't like what, they wanted to know.
“The looks of you and your party,' I told Jones.
"Nonsense! he cried out; and immediately Ricardo, the short man, struck in.
“Told you that ? What did he take you for, sir —an infant ? Or do you take us for kids ?—meaning no offence. Come, I bet you will tell us next that you've missed something.'
“I didn't mean to tell you anything of the sort,' I said, 'but as a matter of fact it is so.'
"He slapped his thigh.
“Thought so. What do you think of this trick, governor ?'
"Jones made some sort of sign to him, and then that extraordinary cat-faced associate proposed that he and their servant should come out and help me to catch or kill the Chink.
“My object, I said, was not to get assistance. I