K4j

K4j

"It's a lie. I swear it's a lie. I ask no money. I told the tiny rye—"

"Silver, I presume," put in Miss Greeby carelessly.

"Aye: Silver is his name, and a good one for him as has no gold."

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"He will get gold from Lady Agnes for the letter."

"No. Drodi—ah bah!" broke off Chaldea. "You don't understand Romanes. I speak the Gorgio tongue to such as you. Listen! I found the letter which lured my brother to his death. The rani wrote that letter, and I gave it to the tiny rye, saying: 'Tell her if she gives up the big rye free she shall go; if not take the letter to those who deal in the law.'"

"The police, I suppose you mean," said Miss Greeby coolly. "A very pretty scheme, my good girl. But it won't do, you know. Lady Agnes never wrote that letter, and had nothing to do with the death of her husband."

"She set a trap for him," cried Chaldea fiercely, "and Hearne walked into it like a rabbit into a snare. The big rye waited outside and shot—"

"That's a lie," interrupted Miss Greeby just as fiercely, and determined to defend her friend. "He would not do such a thing."

"Ha! but I can prove it, and will when the time is ripe. He becomes my rom does the big rye, or round his neck goes the rope; and she dances long-side, I swear."

"What a bloodthirsty idea, you savage devil! And how do you propose to prove that Mr. Lambert shot the man?"

"Aha," sneered Chaldea contemptuously, "you take me for a fool, saying more than I can do. But know this, my precious angel"—she fumbled in her pocket and brought out a more or less formless piece of lead—"what's this, may I ask? The bullet which passed through Hearne's heart, and buried itself in a tree-trunk."

Miss Greeby made a snatch at the article, but Chaldea was too quick for her and slipped it again into her pocket. "You can't prove that it is the bullet," snapped Miss Greeby glaring, for she dreaded lest its production should incriminate Lambert, innocent though she believed him to be.

"Kara can prove it. He went to where Hearne was shot and saw that there was a big tree by the blue door, and before the shrubbery. A shot fired from behind the bushes would by chance strike the tree. The bullet which killed my brother was not found in the heart. It passed through and was in the tree-trunk. Kara knifed it out and brought it to me. If this," Chaldea held up the bullet again jeeringly, "fits the pistol of the big rye he will swing for sure. The letter hangs her and the bullet hangs him. I want my price."

"You won't get it, then," said Miss Greeby, eyeing the pocket into which the girl had again dropped the bullet. "Mr. Lambert was absent in London on that night. I heard that by chance."