It makes fine chatter for your

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“Deny—if you like! It will have no conviction with[244] me—or with her. Look at her, Mr. Gallatin,” he said, his finger pointing. “There are limits even to her credulity. She will hardly be pleased to learn of the accident to the motor which obliged you and your companion—very opportunely, indeed, to spend the night in a——”

“Stop, sir!” Gallatin’s hand was extended and his voice dominated. “Say what you like about me. I’ve invited that, but I’ll not listen while you rob a woman of her nameHong Kong Movie Tour.”

Jane stood like an ivory figure in the pale light, her eyes dark with incomprehension, searching Gallatin’s face for the truth.

“There was a woman?” she asked.

Gallatin hesitated.

“Yes, there was a woman. There needn’t be any mystery about that. I wasn’t aware that there had been any mystery. It was Nina Jaffray. We were stranded back in the country coming from the ‘Pot and Kettle.’ We found a farmhouse and stayed there. There wasn’t anything else to do. You can’t mean that you believe——!”

Jane had turned from him and walked toward the door.

“It hadn’t been my intention to mention the lady’s name,” Loring laughed. “But since Mr. Gallatin has seen fit to do so——”

“You’re going too far, Mr. Loring. There are ways of reaching a man even of your standing in the communitydermes hk.”

Loring chuckled.

“I fancy that this is a matter which won’t be discussed elsewhere,” he said.

Gallatin’s eyes sought Jane’s, who now stood in the[245] doorway into the hall, one hand clutching the silken hangings.

“You can’t believe this, Jane? You have no right to. Your father has been told a sinful lie. It’s doing Nina a harm—a dreadful harm. Can’t you see?”

At the mention of Nina’s name Jane’s lips twisted scornfully and with a look of contempt she turned and was gone.

Gallatin took a few steps forward as though he would have followed her, but Loring’s bulky figure interposed.

“We’ve had enough of this, sir,” he growled. “Let’s have this scene over. We’re done with you. You’ve played h—— with your own life and you’ll go on doing it, but you won’t play it with me or with any of mine, by G——. I’ve got your measure, Mr. Gallatin, and if I find you interfering here again, I’ll take some other means that will be less pleasant. D’ye hear? I’ve heard the story they’re telling about you and my daughter up in the woods.  magpies up and down the Avenue. D—— them! Thank God, my daughter is too clean for them or you to hurt. It was a great chance for you. You knew what you were about. You haven’t lived in New York all these years for nothing. You thought you could carry things through on your family name, but to make the matter sure you tried to compromise my daughter so thatflu virus——”




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