suppose, to have been satisfied with this. But there seemed to be something not fully explained yet.
Then again, after telling Selina what I heard in the study, mid how roughly Philip had spoken to me afterward, I asked her what she thought of it. She made an incomprehensible reply: "My sweet child, I mustn't think of it-- I am too fond of you."
It was impossible to make her explain what this meant. She began to talk of Philip; assuring me (which was quite needless) that she had done her best to fortify and encourage him, before he called on papa. When I asked her to help me in another way--that is to say, when I wanted to find out where Philip was at that moment--she had no advice to give me. I told her that I should not enjoy a moment's ease of mind until I and my dear one were reconciled. She only shook her head and declared that she was sorry for me. When I hit on the idea of ringing for Maria, this little woman, so bright and quick and eager to help me at other times, said: "I leave it to you, dear," and turned to the piano (close to which I was sitting), and played softly and badly stupid little tunes. "Maria, did you open the door for Mr. Dunboyne when he went away just now?"
Nothing but ill luck for me ! If I had been left to my own devices, I should now have let the housemaid go. But Selina contrived to give me a hint, on a strange plan of her own. Still at the piano, she began to confuse talking to herself with playing to herself. The notes went tinkle, tinkle--and the tongue mixed up words with the notes in this way: "Perhaps they have been talking in the kitchen about Philip?"
The suggestion was not lost on me. I said to Maria-- who was standing at the other end of the room, near the door--"Did you happen to hear which way Mr. Dunboyne went when he left us?"
"I know where he was, miss, half an hour ago."
"Where was he?"
"At the hotel."
Selina went on with her hints in the same sly way as before. "How does she know--ah, how does she know?" was the vocal part of the performance this time. My clever inquiries followed the vocal part as before:
"How do you know that Mr. Dunboyne was at the hotel?"