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III The Heart Of Man Anna Katharine Green

XXVIII I Hope Never To See That Man

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"You've never seen his brother?"


"Nor his picture?

"No, Mr. Brotherson has none."

"Aren't they friends? Does he never mention Orlando?"

"Very, very rarely. But I've no reason to think they are not on good terms. I know they correspond."

"Miss Scott?"

"Yes, Mr. Challoner."

"You must not rely too much upon your dream."

Her eyes flashed to his and then fell again.

"Dreams are not revelations; they are the reproduction of what already lies hidden in the mind. I can prove that your dream is such."

"How?" She looked startled.

"You speak of seeing something being leveled at you which made you think of a pistol."

"Yes, I was looking directly into it."

"But my daughter was not shot. She died from a stab."

Doris' lovely face, with its tender lines and girlish curves, took on a strange look of conviction which deepened, rather than melted under his indulgent, but penetrating gaze.

"I know that you think so; - but my dream says no. I saw this object. It was pointed directly towards me - above all, I saw his face. It was the face of one whose finger is on the trigger and who means death; and I believe my dream."

Well, it was useless to reason further. Gentle in all else, she was immovable so for as this idea was concerned and, seeing this, he let the matter go and prepared to take his leave.

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She seemed to be quite ready for this. Anxiety about her patient had regained its place in her mind and her glance sped constantly toward the door. Taking her hand in his, he said some kind words, then crossed to the door and opened it. Instantly her finger flew to her lips and, obedient to its silent injunction, he took up his hat in silence, and was proceeding down the hall, when the bell rang, startling them both and causing him to step quickly back.

"Who is it?" she asked. "Father's in and visitors seldom come so late."

"Shall I see?"

She nodded, looking strangely troubled as the door swung open, revealing the tall, strong figure of a man facing them from the porch.

"A stranger," formed itself upon her lips, and she was moving forward, when the man suddenly stepped into the glare of the light, and she stopped, with a murmur of dismay which pierced Mr. Challoner's heart and prepared him for the words which now fell shudderingly from her lips:

"It is he! it is he! I said that I should know him wherever I saw him." Then with a quiet turn towards the intruder, "Oh, why, why, did you come here!"

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