“That's just it! What business has he letting Lucy hawk his notes about the town?”

“Maybe he doesn't know it. Maybe she's trying to keep her affairs from him.”

“Nonsense!” Oliver replied. “I don't believe anything of the sort. What I think is that Stanley Ryder is doing it himself.”

“How do you mean?” asked Montague, in perplexity.

“I believe that he is trying to get his own note discounted. I don't believe that Lucy would ever come to us of herself. She'd starve first. She's too proud.”

“But Stanley Ryder!” protested Montague. “The president of the Gotham Trust Company!”

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“That's all right,” said Oliver. “It's his own note, and not the Trust Company's; and I'll wager you he's hard up for cash. There was a big realty company that failed the other day, and I saw that Ryder was one of the stockholders. And he's been hit by that Mississippi Steel slump, and I'll wager you he's scurrying around to raise money. It's just like Lucy, too. Before he gets through, he'll take every dollar she owns.”

Montague said nothing for a minute or two. Suddenly he clenched his hands. “I must go up and see her,” he said.

Lucy had moved from the expensive hotel to which Oliver had taken her, and rented an apartment on Riverside Drive. Montague went up early the next morning.

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She came and stood in the doorway of the drawing-room and looked at him. He saw that she was paler than she had been, and with lines of pain upon her face.

“Allan!” she said. “I thought you would come some day. How could you stay away so long?”

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“I didn't think you would care to see me,” he said.

She did not answer. She came and sat down, continuing to gaze at him, with a kind of fear in her eyes.

Suddenly he stretched out his hands to her. “Lucy!” he exclaimed. “Won't you come away from here? Won't you come, before it is too late?”

“Where can I go?” she asked.

“Anywhere!” he said. “Go back home.”

“I have no home,” she answered.