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Unformatted text preview: , and all the cordiality froze out of her manner. She looked
uncomfortable and ill at ease.
'Ursula Bourne?' she said hesitatingly. 'Yes,' I said. 'Perhaps you don't remember the name?' 'Oh, yes, of course. I - I remember perfectly.'
'She left you just over a year ago, I understand?' 'Yes. Yes, she did. That is quite right.' 'And you were
satisfied with her whilst she was with you?
How long was she with you, by the way?' 'Oh! a year or two - I can't remember exactly how long.
She - she is very capable. I'm sure you will find her quite satisfactory. I didn't know she was leaving
Fernly. I hadn't the least idea of it.' 'Can you tell me anything about her?' I asked.
'Anything about her?' 'Yes, where she comes from, who her people are - that sort of thing?' Mrs
Folliott's face wore more than ever its frozen look.
'I don't know at all.' 'Who was she with before she came to you?' 'I'm afraid I don't remember.' There
was a spark of anger now underlying her nervousness. She flung up her head in a gesture that was
'Is it really necessary to ask all these questions?' 'Not at all,' I said, with an air of surprise and a tinge of
apology in my manner. 'I had no idea you would mind answering them. I am very sorry.' Her anger left
her and she became confused again.
'Oh! I don't mind answering them. I assure you I don't.
Why should I? It - it just seemed a little odd, you know.
That's all. A little odd.' One advantage of being a medical practitioner is that you can usually tell when
people are lying to you. I should have know from Mrs Folliott's manner, if from nothing else, that she did
mind answering my questions - minded intensely.
She was thoroughly uncomfortable and upset, and there was plainly some mystery in the background. I
judged her to be a woman quite unused to deception of any kind, and consequently rendered acutely
uneasy when forced to practise u- A child could have seen through her.
But it was also clear the she had no intention of telling me ^ything further. Whatever the mystery centring
round Ursula Bourne might be, I was not going to learn it through Mrs Folliott.
Ill Defeated, I apologized once more for disturbing her, took my hat and departed.
I went to see a couple of patients and arrived home about six o'clock. Caroline was sitting beside the
wreck of tea things.
She had that look of suppressed exultation on her face which I know only too well. It is a sure sign with
her of either the getting or the giving of information. I wondered which it had been.
'I've had a very interesting afternoon,' began Caroline, as I dropped into my own particular easy-chair
and stretched out my feet to the inviting blaze in the fireplace.
'Have you?' I said. 'Miss Gannett drop in to tea?' Miss Gannett is one of the chief of our newsmongers.
'Guess again,' said Caroline, with intense complacency.
I guessed several times, working slowly through all the members of Caroline's Intelligence Corps. My sister received each guess with a triumphant shake of the head. In...
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