THE FINANCIER 
exposure should come of this for you or for me, it 
would be quite bad for you. Do you understand?" 
" Yes." 
" I don't know your brothers very well; but from look- 
ing at them I judge they're pretty determined people. 
They think a great deal of you." 
" Indeed, they do." Her vanity brightened slightly 
at this. 
" They would probably want to kill me, and very 
promptly, for just this much. What do you think they 
would want to do if—well, if anything should happen, 
some time?" 
He waited, watching her pretty face. 
" But nothing need happen. We needn't go any 
further." 
"Aileen!" 
" I won't look at you. You needn't ask. I can't." 
"Aileen! Do you mean that ?" 
" I don't know. Don't ask me, Frank." 
"You know it can't stop this way, don't you? You 
know it. This isn't the end. Now, if—" He explained 
the whole theory of illicit meetings calmly, dispassionate- 
ly. " You are perfectly safe, except for one thing, chance 
exposure. It might just so happen; and then, of course, 
there would be a great deal to settle for. Mrs. Cowper- 
wood would never give me a divorce; she has no reason 
to. If I should clear in the way I hope to—if I should 
make a million—I would not mind knocking off now. I 
don't expect to work all my days. I have always planned 
to knock off at thirty-five. I'll have enough by that 
time. Then I want to travel. It will only be a few more 
years now. If you were free—if your father and mother 
were dead "—curiously she did not wince at this practical 
reference—" it would be a different matter. We could 
leave, anyhow, I suppose." 
He paused. She still gazed thoughtfully at the water 
below, her mind running out to a yacht on the sea with 
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