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

XVI Doubt

Page 1 of 4

Table Of Contents: The Woman in the Alcove

Next Page

Previous Chapter

Next Chapter

More Books

More by this Author

I prayed uncle that we might be driven home by the way of Eighty-sixth Street. I wanted to look at the Fairbrother house. I had seen it many times, but I felt that I should see it with new eyes after the story I had just heard in the inspector's office. That an adventure of this nature could take place in a New York house taxed my credulity. I might have believed it of Paris, wicked, mysterious Paris, the home of intrigue and every redoubtable crime, but of our own homely, commonplace metropolis--the house must be seen for me to be convinced of the fact related.

Many of you know the building. It is usually spoken of with a shrug, the sole reason for which seems to be that there is no other just like it in the city. I myself have always considered it imposing and majestic; but to the average man it is too suggestive of Old-World feudal life to be pleasing. On this afternoon--a dull, depressing one--it looked undeniably heavy as we approached it; but interesting in a very new way to me, because of the great turret at one angle, the scene of that midnight descent of two men, each in deadly fear of the other, yet quailing not in their purpose,--the one of flight, the other of pursuit.

There was no railing in front of the house. It may have seemed an unnecessary safeguard to the audacious owner. Consequently, the small door in the turret opened directly upon the street, making entrance and exit easy enough for any one who had the key. But the shaft and the small room at the bottom--where were they? Naturally in the center of the great mass, the room being without windows.

Tired of reading? Add this page to your Bookmarks or Favorites and finish it later.

It was, therefore, useless to look for it, and yet my eye ran along the peaks and pinnacles of the roof, searching for the skylight in which it undoubtedly ended. At last I espied it, and, my curiosity satisfied on this score, I let my eyes run over the side and face of the building for an open window or a lifted shade. But all were tightly closed and gave no more sign of life than did the boarded-up door. But I was not deceived by this. As we drove away, I thought how on the morrow there would be a regular procession passing through this street to see just the little I had seen to-day. The detective's adventure was like to make the house notorious. For several minutes after I had left its neighborhood my imagination pictured room after room shut up from the light of day, but bearing within them the impalpable aura of those two shadows flitting through them like the ghosts of ghosts, as the detective had tellingly put it.

The heart has its strange surprises. Through my whole ride and the indulgence in these thoughts I was conscious of a great inner revulsion against all I had intimated and even honestly felt while talking with the inspector. Perhaps this is what this wise old official expected. He had let me talk, and the inevitable reaction followed. I could now see only Mr. Grey's goodness and claims to respect, and began to hate myself that I had not been immediately impressed by the inspector's views, and shown myself more willing to drop every suspicion against the august personage I had presumed to associate with crime. What had given me the strength to persist? Loyalty to my lover? His innocence had not been involved. Indeed, every word uttered in the inspector's office had gone to prove that he no longer occupied a leading place in police calculations: that their eyes were turned elsewhere, and that I had only to be patient to see Mr. Durand quite cleared in their minds.

Page 1 of 4 Previous Chapter   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