The Lighted Match (Chapter 2, page 2 of 10)


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Chapter 2

"Colonel Von Ritz is here," confided Bristow. "Arrived by the next train
after you and was for posting off in search of you instanter. He acted
very much like a summons-server or a bailiff. He's ensconced in rooms
adjoining yours. You might look in on him as you go up to dress. He
seems to be in the very devil of a hurry."

Pagratide's brows went up in evident annoyance and for an instant there
was a defiant stiffening of his jaw, but when he spoke his voice held
neither excitement nor surprise.

"Ah, indeed!" The exclamation was casual. He watched the glowing end of
his cigarette for a moment, then magnanimously added: "However, since he
has followed across three thousand miles, I had better see him."

The host turned to the girl. "I'm borrowing this young man until
dinner," he vouchsafed as he led Pagratide to the door.

Cara stood watching the two as they passed into the hall; then her face
changed suddenly as though she had been leaving a stage and had laid
aside a part--abandoning a semblance which it was no longer necessary to
maintain. A pained droop came to the corners of her lips and she dropped
wearily into the broad oak seat of the inglenook. There she sat, with
her chin propped on her hands, elbows on her knees, and gazed silently
at the logs.

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