"The police will deal with that."

"The police? You will let Chaldea give the letter to the police?"

"I am innocent and have no fear of the police. Your attempt to blackmail me has failed, Mr. Silver."

"Be wise and take time for reflection," he urged, walking towards the door, "for I have seen this letter, and it is in your handwriting."

"I never wrote such a letter."

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"Then who did—in your handwriting?"

"Perhaps you did yourself, Mr. Silver, since you are trying to blackmail me in this bareface way."

Silver snarled and gave her an ugly look. "I did no such thing," he retorted vehemently, and, as it seemed, honestly enough. "I had every reason to wish that Sir Hubert should live, since my income and my position depended upon his existence. But you—"

"What about me?" demanded Lady Agnes, taking so sudden a step forward that the little man retreated nearer the door.

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"People say—"

"I know what people say and what you are about to repeat," she said in a stifled voice. "You can tell the girl to take that forged letter to the police. I am quite able to face any inquiry."

"Is Mr. Lambert also able?"

"Mr. Lambert?" Agnes felt as though she would choke.

"He was at his cottage on that night."

"I deny that; he went to London."