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Mary Roberts Rinehart
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When Lily had been at home for some time, and Louis Akers had made no attempt to see her, or to announce the marriage, the vigilance of the household began to relax. Howard Cardew had already consulted the family lawyer about an annulment, and that gentleman had sent a letter to Akers, which had received no reply.
Then one afternoon Grayson, whose instructions had been absolute as to admitting Akers to the house, opened the door to Mrs. Denslow, who was calling, and found behind that lady Louis Akers himself. He made an effort to close the door behind the lady, but Akers was too quick for him, and a scene at the moment was impossible.
He ushered Mrs. Denslow into the drawing room, and coming out, closed the doors.
"My instructions, sir, are to say to you that the ladies are not at home."
But Akers held out his hat and gloves with so ugly a look that Grayson took them.
"I have come to see my wife," he said. "Tell her that, and that if she doesn't see me here I'll go upstairs and find her."
When Grayson still hesitated he made a move toward the staircase, and the elderly servant, astounded at the speech and the movement, put down the hat and faced him.
"I do not recognize any one in the household by that name, sir."
"You don't, don't you? Very well. Tell Miss Cardew I am here, and that either she will come down or I'll go up. I'll wait in the library."