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Her cousin glanced at Garvington's lengthy letter of explanation. "Do you really believe that he hoped to manage Pine during the illness?"

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"Well," said Agnes reluctantly, "Freddy has tremendous faith in his powers of persuasion. Hubert would do nothing more for him since he was such a cormorant for money. But if Hubert had been laid up with a broken arm, it is just possible that he might have been worried into doing what Freddy wanted, if only to get rid of his importunity."

"Hum! It sounds weak. Garvington certainly winged Pine, so that seems to corroborate the statement in this letter. He's such a good shot that he could easily have killed Pine if he wanted to."

"Then you don't think that Freddy is responsible for the death?" inquired Agnes with a look of relief.

Lambert appeared worried. "I think not, dear. He lured Hubert into his own private trap so as to get him laid up and extort money. Unfortunately, another person, aware of the trap, waited outside and killed your poor husband."

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"According to what Freddy says, Mr. Silver knew of the trap, since he delivered the letter to Hubert. And Mr. Silver knew that Freddy had threatened to shoot any possible burglar. It seems to me," ended Agnes deliberately, "that Mr. Silver is guilty."

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

"I can't say."

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"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?"

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."

"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?"