Behind a Mask (Chapter 6, page 1 of 18)

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Chapter 6

"If you please, Mr. Coventry, did you get the letter last night?" were
the first words that greeted the "young master" as he left his room
next morning.

"What letter, Dean? I don't remember any," he answered, pausing, for
something in the maid's manner struck him as peculiar.

"It came just as you left for the Hall, sir. Benson ran after you with
it, as it was marked 'Haste.' Didn't you get it, sir?" asked the woman,

"Yes, but upon my life, I forgot all about it till this minute. It's in
my other coat, I suppose, if I've not lost it. That absurd masquerading
put everything else out of my head." And speaking more to himself than
to the maid, Coventry turned back to look for the missing letter.

Dean remained where she was, apparently busy about the arrangement of
the curtains at the hall window, but furtively watching meanwhile with a
most unwonted air of curiosity.

"Not there, I thought so!" she muttered, as Coventry impatiently thrust
his hand into one pocket after another. But as she spoke, an expression
of amazement appeared in her face, for suddenly the letter was

"I'd have sworn it wasn't there! I don't understand it, but she's a deep
one, or I'm much deceived." And Dean shook her head like one perplexed,
but not convinced.

Coventry uttered an exclamation of satisfaction on glancing at the
address and, standing where he was, tore open the letter.

Dear C: I'm off to Baden. Come and join me, then you'll be out of harm's way;
for if you fall in love with J.M. (and you can't escape if you stay
where she is), you will incur the trifling inconvenience of having
your brains blown out by Yours truly, F.R. Sydney "The man is mad!" ejaculated Coventry, staring at the letter while an
angry flush rose to his face. "What the deuce does he mean by writing to
me in that style? Join him--not I! And as for the threat, I laugh at it.
Poor Jean! This headstrong fool seems bent on tormenting her. Well,
Dean, what are you waiting for?" he demanded, as if suddenly conscious
of her presence.

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