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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 concern me. ' “Ah, Mr. Heyst,” he * and I have much more in common than you think.” 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. “Killing’s a sin, sure enough,” she murmured. “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 2 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 P’’ 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 2' said Ricardo, coming forward from his corner. “Like this—all at once P What did he do it for P’ “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 P 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 P’ “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 did not intend to chase the Chinaman. I had come only to warn them that he was armed, and that he really objected to their presence on the island. I wanted them to understand that I was not responsible for anything that might happen. “Do you mean to tell us,’ asked Ricardo, “that there is a crazy Chink with a six-shooter broke loose on this island, and that you don't care 2' “Strangely enough, they did not seem to believe my story. They were exchanging significant looks all the time. Ricardo stole up close to his principal; they had a confabulation together, and then something happened which I did not expect. It's rather awkward, too. “Since I would not have their assistance to get hold of the Chink and recover my property, the least they could do was to send me their servant. It was Jones who said that, and Ricardo backed up the idea. “Yes, yes—let our Pedro cook for all hands in your compound. He isn’t so bad as he looks. That’s what we will do!” “He bustled out of the room to the veranda, and let out an air-splitting whistle for their Pedro. Having heard the brute's answering howl, Ricardo ran back into the room. “Yes, Mr. Heyst. This will do capitally, Mr. Heyst. You just direct him to do whatever you are accustomed to have done for you in the way of attendance.) See 2' “Lena, I confess to you that I was taken completely by surprise. I had not expected anything of the sort, I don’t know what I expected. I am so anxious about you that I can’t keep away from these infernal scoundrels. And only two months ago I would not have cared. I would have defied their scoundrelism as much as I have scorned all the other intrusions of life. But now I have you! You stole into my life, and—” Heyst drew a deep breath. The girl gave him a quick, wide-eyed glance. “Ah! That's what you are thinking of-that you have me!” It was impossible to read the thoughts veiled by her steady grey eyes, to penetrate the meaning of her silences, her words, and even her embraces./ He used to come out of her very arms with the feeling of a baffled man. / “If I haven’t you, if you are not here, then where are you ?” cried Heyst. “You understand me very well!” She shook her head a little. Her red lips, at which he looked now, her lips as fascinating as the voice that came out of them, uttered the words: