If Giles Ware had not been desperately
in love and desperately anxious to find Anne Denham,
he would scarcely have gone to Paris on such a wild-goose
chase. The postmark on the letter showed that
she was, or she had been, in the French capital; but
to find her in that immense city was like looking
for a haystack in a league-long desert. However,
Ware had an idea - foolish enough - that
some instinct would guide him to her side, and, therefore,
as soon as he recovered sufficiently to travel he
crossed the Channel with Trim. He left Rickwell
about three weeks after his interview with Morley.
Time enough, as he well knew, for Anne to change her
place of residence. But he trusted to luck.
For quite a fortnight he explored
the city, accompanied by the faithful old servant.
Trim had sharp eyes, and would be certain to recognize
Anne if she came within eyesight. But in spite
of their vigilance and observation, the two saw no
one even distantly resembling Anne. Certainly
if Giles had gone to the authorities, who take note
of all who come and go, he might have been more successful.
But knowing that Anne was wanted by the English police,
he did not dare to adopt this method. He was
forced to rely entirely on himself, and his search
resulted in nothing.
“It ain’t no good, Master
Giles,” said Trim for at least the tenth time;
“we’ve lost the scent somehow. Better
go back to London. I don’t want you to
be ill over here, sir, with nothing but foreign doctors
to look after you.”
“I shan’t leave Paris
until I am certain that she is not in the place,”
declared Ware resolutely.
“Well, sir, I don’t know
how much more certain you wants to be. We’ve
tramped them bullyvardes and Chamy Elizas till our
feet are near dropping off. You’re looking
a shadow, Master Giles, if you’ll excuse an
old man as nursed you when you were a baby. She
ain’t here. Now I shouldn’t be surprised
if she were in London,” said Trim wisely.
“What, in the very jaws of the lion? Nonsense!”
“Oh, but is it, sir? I
always heard it said by them as knows that the jaws
of the lion is the very last place any one expects
to find them.” Trim did not state what
“them” he meant. “If she went
back to Rickwell she would be safe, especially if
she laid up in some cottage and called herself a widder.”
“Trim, you’ve been reading detective novels!”
“Not me, sir; I ain’t got no time.
But about this going back - ”
“We’ll go back to-morrow,
Trim,” said Ware, with sudden resolution.
And Trim joyfully departed to pack.
It just struck Giles that after all
Trim might be right, and that having thrown the police
off the scent by going abroad in the yacht, Anne might
return to London. She might be there now, living
in some quiet suburb, while the police were wasting
their time corresponding with the French authorities.
Moreover, Ware thought it would be just as well to
learn what Steel was doing. He had charge of
the case and might have struck the trail. In
that case Giles wanted to know, for he could then avert
any possible danger from Anne. And finally he
reflected that he might learn something about Anne’s
friends from the people at the Governesses’
Institute where Mrs. Morley had engaged her. If
she returned to London it was not impossible that
she might have gone to hide in the house of some friend.
Any one who knew Anne could be certain that she was
not guilty of the crime she was accused of, and would
assuredly aid her to escape the unjust law. So
thought Giles in his ardor; but he quite forgot that
every one was not in love with Anne, and would scarcely
help her unless they were fully convinced of her innocence,
and perhaps not even then. Most people have a
holy horror of the law, and are not anxious to help
those in danger of the long arm of justice.
However, Giles reasoned as above and
forthwith left Paris for London. He took up his
quarters in the Guelph Hotel, opposite the Park, and
began his search for Anne again. Luckily he had
obtained from Mrs. Morley the number of the Institute,
which was in South Kensington, and the day after his
arrival walked there to make inquiries. It was
a very forlorn hope, but Ware saw no other chance
of achieving his desire.
The Institute was a tall red-brick
house, with green blinds and a prim, tidy look.
He was shown into a prim parlor and interviewed by
a prim old lady, who wore spectacles and had a pencil
stuffed in the bosom of her black gown. However,
she was less prim than she looked, and had a cheerful
old ruddy face with a twinkling pair of kindly eyes.
In her heart Mrs. Cairns admired this handsome young
man who spoke so politely, and was more willing to
afford him the desired information than if he had
been elderly and ugly. Old as she was, the good
lady was a true daughter of Eve, and her natural liking
for the opposite sex had not been crushed out of her
by years of education. Nevertheless when she
heard the name of Anne she threw up her hands in dismay.
“Why do you come here to ask
about that unfortunate girl?” she demanded,
and looked severely at Giles. Before he could
reply she glanced again at his card, which she held
in her fingers, and started. “Giles Ware,”
she read, drawing a quick breath. “Are
you - ”
“I was engaged to the young
lady who was killed,” said Ware, surprised.
Mrs. Cairns’ rosy face became
a deep red. “And you doubtless wish to
avenge her death by finding Miss Denham?”
“On the contrary, I wish to save Miss Denham.”
“What! do you not believe her guilty?”
“No, Mrs. Cairns, I do not.
Every one says she killed the girl, but I am certain
that she is an innocent woman. I come to ask you
if you can tell me where she is.”
“Why do you come to me?”
Mrs. Cairns went to see that the door was closed before
she asked this question.
“I thought you might know of her whereabouts.”
“Why should I?”
“Well, I admit that there is
no reason why you should - at least, I thought
so before I came here.”
“And now?” She bent forward eagerly.
“Now I think that if she had
come to you for refuge she would get help from you.
I can see that you also believe her guiltless.”
“I do,” said Mrs. Cairns
in a low voice. “I have known Anne for years
and I am certain that she is not the woman to do a
thing like this. She would not harm a fly.”
“Then you can help me. You know where she
Mrs. Cairns looked at his flushed
face, at the light in his eyes. In her shrewd
way she guessed the secret of this eagerness.
“Then you love her,” she said under her
breath. “You love Anne.”
“Why do you say that?”
asked Giles, taken aback. He was not prepared
to find that she could read him so easily.
“I remember,” said Mrs.
Cairns to herself, but loud enough for him to hear,
“there was a Society paper said something about
jealousy being the motive of the crime, and - ”
“Do you mean to say that such
a statement was in the papers?” asked Ware angrily,
and with a flash of his blue eyes.
“It was in none of the big daily
papers, Mr. Ware. They offered no explanation.
But some Society reporter went down to Rickwell; to
gather scandal from the servants, I suppose.”
“Off from Mrs. Parry,” muttered Giles;
then aloud, “Yes?”
“Well, this man or woman - most
probably it was a woman - made up a very
pretty tale, which was printed in The Firefly.”
“A scandalous paper,”
said Ware, annoyed. “What did it say?”
“That you were in love with
Anne, that you were engaged to Miss Kent, and that
to gain you as her husband Anne killed the girl.”
“It’s a foul lie.
I’ll horsewhip the editor and make him put in
“I shouldn’t do that if
I were you, Mr. Ware,” said the old lady dryly.
“Better let sleeping dogs lie. I don’t
believe the whole story myself - only part
“What part, Mrs. Cairns?”
“That part which says you love Anne. I
can see it in your face.”
“If I can trust you - ”
“Certainly you can. Anne
is like my own child. I believe her guiltless
of this terrible crime, and I would do anything to
see her righted. She did not kill the girl.”
“No, I believe the girl was
killed by a nameless man who came to Rickwell from
some firm of solicitors. I don’t know why
he murdered the poor child, no more than I can understand
why Anne should have helped him to escape.”
“You call her Anne,” said Mrs. Cairns
Giles flushed through the tan of his strong face.
“I have no right to do so,”
he said. “She never gave me permission.
Mrs. Cairns, I assure you that there was no understanding
between Miss Denham and myself. I was engaged
by my father to Miss Kent, and we were to be married.
I fell in love with Miss Denham, and I have reason
to believe that she returned my love.”
“She told you so?”
“No, no! She and I never
said words like that to one another. We were
friends; nothing more. Miss Kent chose to be jealous
of a trifling gift I gave Miss Denham at Christmas,
and there was trouble. Then came an anonymous
letter, saying that Anne wished to kill Daisy.”
“A letter, and said that?”
exclaimed Mrs. Cairns in surprise. “But
I can’t understand it at all. Anne had
no enemies, so far as I know. No one could hate
so sweet a girl. Her father - ”
“Did you know her father?” asked Ware
“No; but she often spoke of
him. She was fond of her father, although he
seems to have been a wandering Bohemian. He died
“I wonder if he really did die.”
“Of course. He - but
it’s a long story, Mr. Ware, and I have not the
time to tell it to you. Besides, there is one
who can tell you all about Anne and her father much
better than I can. The Princess Karacsay.
Do you know her?”
“I have seen the name somewhere.”
“Probably on a programme,”
said Mrs. Cairns composedly. “Oh, don’t
look so astonished. The Princess is really a
Hungarian aristocrat. She quarrelled with her
people, and came to England with very little money.
To keep herself alive she tried to become a governess.
Afterwards, having a beautiful voice, she became a
concert singer. I hear she is very popular.”
“How should she know about Anne - I
mean Miss Denham?”
“Because if there is any woman
to whom Anne would go in her distress, it would be
the Princess. She met Anne here while she was
a governess, and the two became great friends.
They were always together. I do not know where
Anne is, Mr. Ware. She did not come to me, nor
has she written; but if she is in England the Princess
“Do you think she would tell me?” asked
“I really don’t know.
She is romantic, and if she learned that you loved
Anne she might be inclined to help you. But that
would depend upon Anne herself. How is she disposed
For answer Giles related the episode
of the foreign letter, with the drawing of the coin
and the one word “Innocent.” Mrs.
Cairns listened quietly, and nodded.
“Evidently Anne values your
good opinion. I think you had better tell all
this to the Princess.” She hastily wrote
a few lines. “This is her address.”
“Oh, thank you! Thank you!”
“And, Mr. Ware,” added
the old lady, laying a kind hand on his arm, “if
you hear about Anne, come and tell me. I hope
with all my soul that you will be able to save the
“If human aid can prove her
innocence, you can depend upon me,” was Ware’s
reply. And taking leave of Mrs. Cairns, he left
the Institute with his heart beating and his head
in the air.
Giles was glad that his good fortune
had led him to meet this true friend of the woman
he loved. He was also glad that he had been so
open with her about his passion, else she might not
have sent him to the Princess Karacsay. As the
name came into his mind he glanced down at the paper,
which he still held. The address of Anne’s
friend was “42, Gilbert Mansions, Westminster.”
Giles resolved to lose no time in looking her up.
She would be able to tell him where Anne was, and also
might be able to explain the mystery of Anne’s
life in general, and her conduct at Rickwell in particular.
For there was some mystery about Miss
Denham. Ware was quite certain on that point.
She had said that her father was dead, and circumstances
pointed to the fact that her father was alive and was
the nameless man who had appeared and disappeared
so suddenly. Then there was the strange episode
of the anonymous letter, and the queer reference therein
to the Scarlet Cross. Also the fact that the
yacht in which Anne had fled was called The Red
Cross. All these things hinted at a mystery,
and such might in some indirect way be connected with
the death of Daisy Kent. Anne had not killed
her; but since she had aided the murderer to escape
she must have condoned the crime in some way.
Ware shuddered as he looked at the matter in this
light. What if Anne knew something about the
matter after all? The next moment he put the thought
from him with anger. Anne was good and pure,
and her hands were clean from the stain of blood.
Such a woman would not - could not commit
a crime either directly or indirectly. When he
saw her he would ask for an explanation, and once
she opened her mouth all would be made plain.
Arguing thus with himself, Giles wrote
a letter to the Princess Karacsay and asked for an
interview. He mentioned that he had seen Mrs.
Cairns and that the old lady had furnished him with
the address. Also, he said that his wish in seeing
the Princess was to ask for the whereabouts of Miss
Denham. Having despatched this note, Giles felt
that he could do no more until he received a reply.
But he was too restless to remain
quiet. It occurred to him that he might look
up Steel and learn what fresh discoveries had been
made in connection with the Rickwell crime. He
went to New Scotland Yard and asked for the detective,
but learned to his surprise and vexation that the
man was out of town and was not expected back for a
week. No one could say where he had gone, so
Giles had to satisfy himself with leaving a card and
promising to call again.
The next day he received a note from
the Princess Karacsay asking him to come the next
evening at nine o’clock. She said nothing
about Anne, nor did she volunteer any information.
She simply appointed an hour and a place for the interview
and signed herself Olga Karacsay. Giles felt
that she had been intentionally curt, and wondered
if she intended to give him a civil reception.
After some thought he decided that she meant to be
kind, although the note read so coldly. He would
go, and perhaps during the interview she might be
persuaded to help him. After all, she must know
that he had been engaged to marry the dead girl, and
fancied - as Mrs. Cairns had done - that
he wished to have Anne arrested.
The following evening he arrayed himself
with particular care and drove in a hansom to Westminster.
The cab stopped before a great pile of brick buildings
near the Abbey, and when Giles had dismissed it he
entered a large and well-lighted hall with a tesselated
pavement. Here a porter volunteered, on ascertaining
his business, to conduct him to the door of the Princess
Karacsay’s flat, which was on the first floor.
Giles was admitted by a neat maid-servant,
who showed him into a picturesque drawing-room.
A tall woman in evening dress was standing beside
the window in the twilight. Giles thought her
figure was familiar and recognized the turn of her
head. He uttered a cry.
“Anne,” he said, stretching his arms.
“Anne, my dearest!”