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Unformatted text preview: n stood in the doorway. He was
of medium height with thick eyebrows
and a sleek, dark head. In his hand he
carried a heavy car spanner. His voice
rose high and shook with rage. He almost
screamed the words.
"So that Polish woman was right! You
are carrying on with this fellow!"
"No, no, Philip. It's not true. You're
Harold thrust the girl swiftly behind
him, as Philip Clayton advanced on them
both. The latter cried:
"Wrong, am I? When I find you here
in his room? You she-devil. I'll kill you
With a swift, sideways movement he
dodged Harold's arm. Elsie, with a cry, ran round the other side of Harold, who
swung round to fend the other off. But Philip Clayton had only one idea, to get at his wife. He swerved round again.
Elsie, terrified, rushed out of the room.
Philip Clayton dashed after her, and
Harold, with not a moment's hesitation, followed him.
Elsie had darted back into her own bedroom
at the end of the corridor. Harold
could hear the sound of the key turning
in the lock, but it did not turn in time.
Before the lock could catch Philip Clayton
wrenched the door open. He disappeared
into the room and Harold heard Elsie's
frightened cry. In another minute Harold
burst in after them.
Elsie was standing at bay against the
curtains of the window. As Harold entered
Philip Clayton rushed at her brandishing
the spanner. She gave a terrified cry, then
snatching up a heavy paper-weight from
the desk beside her, she flung it at him.
Clayton went down like a log. Elsie
screamed. Harold stopped petrified in the
doorway. The girl fell on her knees beside
her husband. He lay quite still where he
Outside in the passage, there was the sound of the bolt of one of the doors being
drawn back. Elsie jumped up and ran to
"Please -- please -- " Her voice was
low and breathless. "Go back to your room.
They'll come -- they'll find you here."
Harold nodded. He took in the situation
like lightning. For the moment, Philip Clayton
was hors de combat. But Elsie's scream
might have been heard. If he were found
in her room it could only cause embarrassment
and misunderstanding. Both for her
sake and his own there must be no scandal.
As noiselessly as possible, he sprinted
down the passage and back into his room.
Just as he reached it, he heard the sound
of an opening door.
He sat in his room for nearly half
an hour, waiting. He dared not go out.
Sooner or later, he felt sure, Elsie would
There was a light tap on his door.
Harold jumped up to open it.
It was not Elsie who came in but her mother and Harold was aghast at her appearance. She looked suddenly years older.
Her grey hair was dishevelled and there
were deep black circles under her eyes.
He sprang up and helped her to a chair.
She sat down, her breath coming painfully.
Harold said quickly:
"You look all in, Mrs. Rice. Can I get
you something ?"
She shook her head.
''N0. Never mind me. I'm all right,
really. It's only...
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