Page by Page Books
Read Books Online, for Free
The Woman in the Alcove Anna Katharine Green

V Superstition

Page 5 of 7

Table Of Contents: The Woman in the Alcove

Previous Page

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

The communication, which was regarded by the police as a matter of the highest importance, had been found in her hand by the coroner. It was a mere scrawl written in pencil on a small scrap of paper. The following facsimile of the scrawl was given to the public in the hope that some one would recognize the handwriting.

The first two lines overlapped and were confused, but the last one was clear enough. Expect trouble if--If what? Hundreds were asking the question and at this very moment. I should soon be asking it, too, but first, I must make an effort to understand the situation,--a situation which up to now appeared to involve Mr. Durand, and Mr. Durand only, as the suspected party.

This was no more than I expected, yet it came with a shock under the broad glare of this wintry morning; so impossible did it seem in the light of every-day life that guilt could be associated in any one's mind with a man of such unblemished record and excellent standing. But the evidence adduced against him was of a kind to appeal to the common mind--we all know that evidence--nor could I say, after reading the full account, that I was myself unaffected by its seeming weight. Not that my faith in his innocence was shaken. I had met his look of love and tender gratitude and my confidence in him had been restored, but I saw, with all the clearness of a mind trained by continuous study, how difficult it was going to be to counteract the prejudice induced, first, by his own inconsiderate acts, especially by that unfortunate attempt of his to secrete Mrs. Fairbrother's gloves in another woman's bag, and secondly, by his peculiar explanations--explanations which to many must seem forced and unnatural.

We have hundreds more books for your enjoyment. Read them all!

I saw and felt nerved to a superhuman task. I believed him innocent, and if others failed to prove him so, I would undertake to clear him myself,--I, the little Rita, with no experience of law or courts or crime, but with simply an unbounded faith in the man suspected and in the keenness of my own insight,--an insight which had already served me so well and would serve me yet better, once I had mastered the details which must be the prelude to all intelligent action.

The morning's report stopped with the explanations given by Mr. Durand of the appearances against him. Consequently no word appeared of the after events which had made such an impression at the time on all the persons present. Mr. Grey was mentioned, but simply as one of the guests, and to no one reading this early morning issue would any doubt come as to the genuineness of the diamond which, to all appearance, had been the leading motive in the commission of this great crime.

The effect on my own mind of this suppression was a curious one. I began to wonder if the whole event had not been a chimera of my disturbed brain--a nightmare which had visited me, and me alone, and not a fact to be reckoned with. But a moment's further thought served to clear my mind of all such doubts, and I perceived that the police had only exercised common prudence in withholding Mr. Grey's sensational opinion of the stone till it could be verified by experts.

Page 5 of 7 Previous Page   Next Page
Who's On Your Reading List?
Read Classic Books Online for Free at
Page by Page Books.TM
The Woman in the Alcove
Anna Katharine Green

Home | More Books | About Us | Copyright 2004