"Did you tell the Doctor about it?" asked Simpkins, in the wheedling
tone of a physician asking a child to put out her tongue.
"I tried to stir his memory gently, by careless hints, a word dropped
here and there, recalling some bright triumph of his reign, some
splendid battle, but there was no response. And so I waited, hoping that
of itself his memory might quicken, as mine had."
"Did Brander know anything about this--er--extraordinary swapping around
"Not then----" began the woman, but Simpkins cut her short by jumping to
his feet with a cry of "What's that!" and his voice was sharp with fear.
For in that silent second, while he waited for her answer, he had heard
a noise out in the hall, the sound of stealthy feet behind the veil, and
he had seen the woman's eyes gleam triumph.
Again the terror that had mastered him an hour before leaped into life,
and quakingly he faced the darkness. But he saw nothing--only the
shifting shadows, the crimson blotches crawling on the veil, and the
vague outlines of the coffined dead.
He looked back to the woman. Her face was masklike. It must have
been a fancy, a vibration of his own tense nerves. But none the less,
he rearranged the light, that while its rays shone clear on Mrs.
Athelstone, he might be in the shadow, and set his chair back close
against the wall, that both the woman and the hall might be well in his