"But why should he shoot Pine, to whom he owed so much?"

"I can't say."

"And, remember, Silver was inside the house."

"Yes," assented Lady Agnes, in dismay. "That is true. It is a great puzzle, Noel. However, I am not trying to solve it. Clara says that Mr. Silver will hold his tongue, and certainly as the letter is now in my possession he cannot bring forward any evidence to show that I am inculpated in the matter. I think the best thing to do is to let Freddy and Mr. Silver fight out the matter between them, while we are on our honeymoon."

Lambert started. "Agnes! What do you mean?"

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She grew impatient. "Oh, what is the use of asking what I mean when you know quite well, Noel? Hubert insulted me in his will, and cast a slur on my character by forbidding me to marry you. Freddy—although he did not fire the second shot—certainly lured Hubert to his death by forging that letter. I don't intend to consider my husband's memory any more, nor my brother's position. I shall never speak to him again if I can help it, as he is a wicked little animal. I have sacrificed myself sufficiently, and now I intend to take my own way. Let the millions go, and let Freddy be ruined, if only to punish him for his wickedness."

"But, dear, how can I ask you to share my poverty?" said Lambert, greatly distressed. "I have only five hundred a year, and you have been accustomed to such luxury."

"I have another five hundred a year of my own," said Agnes obstinately, "which Hubert settled on me for pin money. He refused to make any other settlements. I have a right to that money, since I sacrificed so much, and I shall keep it. Surely we can live on one thousand a year."

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"In England?" inquired Lambert doubtfully. "And after you have led such a luxurious life?"

"No," she said quickly. "I mean in the Colonies. Let us go to Australia, or Canada, or South Africa, I don't care which, and cut ourselves off from the past. We have suffered enough; let us now think of ourselves."

"But are we not selfish to let the family name be disgraced?"

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"Freddy is selfish, and will disgrace it in any case," said Agnes, with a contemptuous shrug. "What's the use of pulling him out of the mud, when he will only sink back into it again? No, Noel, if you love me you will marry me within the week."

"But it's so sudden, dear," he urged, more and more distressed. "Take time to consider. How can I rob you of millions?"

"You won't rob me. If you refuse, I shall make over the money to some charity, and live on my five hundred a year. Remember, Noel, what people think of me: that I married Hubert to get his money and to become your wife when he died, so that we could live on his wealth. We can only prove that belief to be false by surrendering the millions and marrying as paupers."

"You may be right, and yet—"

"And yet, and yet—oh," she cried, wounded, "you don't love me."

The man did not answer, but stood looking at her with all his soul in his eyes, and shaking from head to foot. Never before had she looked so desirable, and never before had he felt the tides of love surge to so high a Water-mark. "Love you!" he said in a hoarse voice. "Agnes, I would give my soul for you."

"Then give it." She wreathed her arms round his neck and whispered with her warm lips close to his ear, "Give me all of you."