“I don't care to discuss the matter on the telephone,” he said. “I will stop in to see you this afternoon on my way home. Please be in, because it is important.” And then he hung up the receiver.

He called at the time he had set, and Lucy was waiting for him. She looked pale, and very much distressed. She sat in a chair, and neither arose to greet him nor spoke to him, but simply gazed into his face.

It was a very sombre face. “This thing has given me a great deal of pain,” said Montague; “and I don't want to prolong it any more than necessary. I have thought the matter over, and my mind is made up, so there need be no discussion. It will not be possible for me to have anything further to do with your affairs.”

Lucy gave a gasp: “Oh, Allan!”

He had a valise containing all her papers. “I have brought everything up to date,” he said. “There are all the accounts, and the correspondence. Anyone will be able to find exactly how things stand.”

“Allan,” she said, “this is really cruel.”

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“I am very sorry,” he answered, “but there is nothing else that I can do.”

“But did I not have a right to sell that stock to Stanley Ryder?” she cried.

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“You had a perfect right to sell it to anyone you pleased,” he said. “But you had no right to ask me to take charge of your affairs, and then to keep me in the dark about what you had done.”

“But, Allan,” she protested, “I only sold it three days ago.”

“I know that perfectly well,” he said; “but the moment you made up your mind to sell it, it was your business to tell me. That, however, is not the point. You tried to use me as a cat's-paw to pull chestnuts out of the fire for Stanley Ryder.”

He saw her wince under the words. “Is it not true?” he demanded. “Was it not he who told you to have me try to get that information?”

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“Yes, Allan, of course it was he,” said Lucy. “But don't you see my plight? I am not a business woman, and I did not realise—”