THE FINANCIER 
able guilt, a doubt of his innocence, a criticism of him! 
She turned away for a minute, and he came out and went 
into another room. Then he came out of that and crossed 
to the hall again on his way to the other house to see his 
father. 
" I'll be back again in a few moments," he volunteered. 
"Are the children here?" 
" Yes, they're up in the play-room," she answered, 
sadly, utterly nonplussed and distraught. What was she 
to do in a situation of this kind? What say? 
" Oh, Frank!" she had it on her lips to cry, but before 
she could utter it he had bustled down the steps and was 
gone. She turned back to the table, her left hand to 
her mouth, her eyes in a queer, hazy, melancholy mist. 
Could it be, she thought, that life could really come to 
this—that love could so utterly, so thoroughly die? 
Ten years before—but, oh, why go back to that? Ob- 
viously it could, and thoughts concerning that would 
not help now. Twice now in her life her affairs had seemed 
to go to pieces—once when her first husband had died, 
and now when her second had failed her, had fallen in 
love with another and was going to be sent off to prison. 
What was she going to do ? Where go? She had no 
idea, of course, for how long a term of years he would be 
sent away. It might be one year or it might be five 
years, as the papers had said. Good heavens! The 
children could almost forget him in five years. She 
put her other hand to her mouth also, and then to her 
forehead, where there was a dull ache. She tried to 
think further than this, but somehow, just now, there 
was no further thought. Suddenly quite outside of her 
own volition, with no thought that she was going to 
do such a thing, her bosom began to heave, her throat 
contracted in four or five short, sharp, aching spasms, 
her eyes burned, and she shook in a vigorous, anguished, 
desperate, almost one might have said dry-eyed cry, so 
hot and few were the tears. She could not stop for the 
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