THE FINANCIER 
other men with him. I think it's some one who belongs 
to you, maybe." 
Aileen realized on the instant, as did Cowperwood, 
what had in all likelihood happened. Butler or Mrs. 
Cowperwood had trailed them—in all probability her 
father. He wondered what he should do to protect her. 
It was not at all improbable that Butler might want to 
kill him; but that did not disturb him. He really did 
not pay any attention to that thought, and he was not 
armed. 
" I'll go down," he said, when he saw her pale face. 
" You stay here. I'll get you out of this—now, don't you 
worry. This is my affair. Let me go first." 
Aileen's mind was working like a rapidly moving ma- 
chine. She was wondering whether this really could be 
her father. Perhaps it was not. Might there be some 
other Mrs. Montague—a real one ? Supposing it was her 
father—he had been so nice to her in not telling the family, 
in keeping her secret thus far. He loved her—she knew 
that. It makes all the difference in the world in a child's 
attitude on an occasion like this whether she has been 
loved and petted and spoiled, or the reverse. Aileen had 
been loved and petted and spoiled. She could not think 
of her father doing anything terrible physically to her or 
to any one else. But it was so hard to confront him—to 
look into his eyes. When she had attained a proper 
memory of him, her fluttering wits told her what to do. 
" No, Frank," she whispered, excitedly; " if it's father, 
you'd better let me go. I know how to talk to him. He 
won't say anything to me. If it is he, and you go down, 
it might make him very angry. You stay here. I'm 
not afraid—really, I'm not. If I want you, I'll call you." 
He had come over and taken her pretty chin in his 
hands, and was looking solemnly into her eyes. 
"You mustn't be afraid," he said. " I'll go down. 
If it's your father, you can go away with him. I don't 
think he'll do anything either to you or to me. If it is 
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