2017年06月23日

You told us when you got back

All the circumstances as related exactly tallied with his own information received from the two guides who had brought her into Loring’s camp. And in spite of his knowledge of Jane’s character, the coarse embroidery that gossip was adding to the tale had left a distinctly disagreeable impression. Jane Loring had spent the better part of a week alone with Phil Gallatin in the heart of the Canadian wilderness. Van Duyn did not like Gallatin. They had known each other for years, and an appearance of fellowship existed between them, but in all tastes save one[115] they had nothing in common .

“What has this to do with——”

“Wait,” he said, his eyes now searching hers, his color deepening as he gathered courage, while Jane Loring listened, conscious that her companion’s intrusiveness and brutality were dragging her pride in the dust. “You went off into the woods and stayed five days. to camp that you’d been found by an Indian guide and that you hadn’t been able to find the trail—and all that sort of thing. Everybody believed you. We were all too glad to get you back. What I want to know is why you told that story? What was your reason for keeping back——”

“It was true—” she stammered, but his keen eyes saw that her face was blanching and her emotion infuriated him.

“All except that the Indian guide was Phil Gallatin,” he said brutally.

The hands that held the reins jerked involuntarily and her horse reared and swerved away, but in a moment she had steadied him; and when Van Duyn drew alongside of her, she was still very pale but quite composed .

“How do you know that?” she asked in a voice the tones of which she still struggled to control.

He waited a long moment, the frown gathering more[120] darkly. He had still hoped, it seemed, that she might deny it.

“Oh, I know it, all right,” he muttered, glowering.

Her laughter rather surprised him. “Your keenness does you credit,” she continued. “I met a stranger in the woods and stayed at his camp. There’s nothing extraordinary in that——”

“No,” he interrupted quickly. “Not in that. The extraordinary thing is that you should have——” he hesitated.

“Lied about it?” she suggested calmly. “Oh, I don’t think we need discuss that. I’m not in the habit of talking over my personal affairs.”

Her indifference inflamed him further and his eyes gleamed maliciously.

“It’s a pity Gallatin hasn’t a similar code.”

Her eyes opened wide. “What—do—you—mean?” she asked haltingly.

“That Gallatin is telling of the adventure himself,” he said with a bold laugh.

“He is telling—of—the—adventure—” she repeated, and then paused, her horrified eyes peering straight ahead of her. “Oh, how odious of him—how odious! There is nothing to tell—Coley—absolutely nothing—” And then as a new thought even more horrible than those that had gone before crossed her mind, “What are they saying? Has he—has he spoken my name? Tell me. I can’t believe that of him—not that !”

Van Duyn was not sure that the emotion which he felt was pity for her or pity for himself, but he looked away, his face reddening uncomfortably, and when he spoke his voice was lowered.

“I heard the story,” he said with crafty deliberateness, “at the Club. I got up and left the room.”

[121]

“Was—was Mr. Gallatin there?”

“No—not there?” he muttered. “He came in as I left. You know it wouldn’t have been possible for me to stay.”


上の画像に書かれている文字を入力して下さい
 
<ご注意>
書き込まれた内容は公開され、ブログの持ち主だけが削除できます。