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|The Adventures of Gerard||Arthur Conan Doyle|
How The Brigadier Triumphed In England
|Page 6 of 12||
"No, never, George, never!" she cried.
A dusky red suffused his handsome face. The man was furious.
"Why can't you forgive me, Jinny?"
"I can't forget the past."
"By George, you must! I've asked enough. It's time to order now. I'll have my rights, d'ye hear?" His hand closed upon her wrist.
At last my breath had returned to me.
"Madame," I said, as I raised my hat, "do I intrude, or is there any possible way in which I can be of service to you?"
But neither of them minded me any more than if I had been a fly who buzzed between them. Their eyes were locked together.
"I'll have my rights, I tell you. I've waited long enough."
"There's no use bullying, George."
"Do you give in?"
"Is that your final answer?"
"Yes, it is."
He gave a bitter curse and threw down her hand.
"All right, my lady, we'll see about this."
"Excuse me, sir!" said I, with dignity.
"Oh, go to blazes!" he cried, turning on me with his furious face. The next instant he had spurred his horse and was galloping down the road once more.
Lady Jane gazed after him until he was out of sight, and I was surprised to see that her face wore a smile and not a frown. Then she turned to me and held out her hand.
"You are very kind, Colonel Gerard. You meant well, I am sure."
"Madame," said I, "if you can oblige me with the gentleman's name and address I will arrange that he shall never trouble you again."
"No scandal, I beg of you," she cried.
"Madame, I could not so far forget myself. Rest assured that no lady's name would ever be mentioned by me in the course of such an incident. In bidding me to go to blazes this gentleman has relieved me from the embarrassment of having to invent a cause of quarrel."
"Colonel Gerard," said the lady, earnestly, "you must give me your word as a soldier and a gentleman that this matter goes no farther, and also that you will say nothing to my brother about what you have seen. Promise me!"
"If I must."
"I hold you to your word. Now drive with me to High Combe, and I will explain as we go."
The first words of her explanation went into me like a sabre-point.
"That gentleman," said she, "is my husband."
"You must have known that I was married." She seemed surprised at my agitation.
"I did not know."
"This is Lord George Dacre. We have been married two years. There is no need to tell you how he wronged me. I left him and sought a refuge under my brother's roof. Up till to-day he has left me there unmolested.
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|The Adventures of Gerard
Arthur Conan Doyle
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