Once more Penelope found herself
in the library of the great house
in Park Lane, where Mr. Blaine-Harvey
presided over the interests of
his country. This time she came
as an uninvited, even an unexpected
guest. The Ambassador, indeed,
had been fetched away by her
urgent message from the reception
rooms, where his wife was entertaining
a stream of callers. Penelope
refused to sit down.
"I have not much to say to
you, Mr. Harvey," she said. "There
is just something which I have
discovered and which you ought
to know. I want to tell it you
as quickly as possible and get
"A propos of our last conversation?" he
She bowed her head.
"It concerns Prince Maiyo," she
"You are sure that you will
not sit down?" he persisted. "You
know how interesting this is
She smiled faintly.
"To me," she said, "it
is terrible. My only desire
is to tell you
and have finished with it. You
remember, when I was here last,
you told me that it was your
firm belief that somewhere behind
the hand which murdered Hamilton
Fynes and poor Dicky stood the
shadow of Prince Maiyo."
"I remember it perfectly," he
"You were right," Penelope
The Ambassador drew a little
breath. It was staggering, this,
even if expected.
"I have talked with the Prince
several times since our conversation," Penelope
continued. "So far as any information
which he gave me or seemed likely
to give me, I might as well have
talked in a foreign language.
But in his house, the day before
yesterday, in his own library,
hidden in a casket which opened
only with a secret lock, I found
"What were they?" the
Ambassador asked quickly.
"A roll of silken cord," Penelope
said, "such as was used to strangle
poor Dicky, and a strangely shaped
dagger exactly like the picture
of the one with which Hamilton
Fynes was stabbed."
"Did he know that you found
them?" Mr. Blaine-Harvey asked.
"He was with me," Penelope
answered. "He even, at my request,
opened the casket. He must have
forgotten that they were there."
"Perhaps," the Ambassador said
thoughtfully, "he never knew."
"One cannot tell," Penelope
"Did he say anything when you
discovered them?" the Ambassador
"Nothing," Penelope declared. "It
was not necessary. I saw his
face. He knows that I understand.
It may have been some one else
connected with the house, of
course, but the main fact is
beyond all doubt. Those murders
were instigated, if they were
not committed, by the Prince."
The Ambassador walked to the
window and back again.
"Penelope," he said, "you
have only confirmed what I
be so, but even then the certainty
of it is rather a shock."
She gave him her hand.
"I have told you the truth," she
said. "Make what use of it you
will. There is one other thing,
perhaps, which I ought to tell
you. The Prince is going back
to his own country very shortly."
Mr. Harvey nodded.
"I have just been given to
understand as much," he said. "At
present he is to be met with
every day. I believe that he
is even now in my drawing rooms."
"Where I ought to be," Penelope
said, turning toward the door, "only
I felt that I must see you first."
"I will not come with you," Mr.
Harvey said. "There is no need
for our little conference to
become the subject of comment.
By the bye," he added, "let me
take this opportunity of wishing
you every happiness. I haven't
seen Somerfield yet, but he is
a lucky fellow. As an American,
however, I cannot help grudging
another of our most popular daughters
to even the best of Englishmen."
Penelope's smile was a little
"Thank you very much," she
said. "It is all rather in the
air, at present, you know. We
are not going to be married for
"When it comes off," the Ambassador
said, "I am going to talk to
the Duchess and Miss Morse. I
think that I ought to give you
Penelope made her way into
Mrs. Blaine-Harvey's reception
rooms, crowded with a stream
of guests, who were sitting about,
drinking tea and listening to
the music, passing in and out
all the time. Curiously enough,
almost the first person whom
she saw was the Prince. He detached
himself from a little group and
came at once towards her. He
took her hand in his and for
a moment said nothing. Notwithstanding
the hours of strenuous consideration,
the hours which she had devoted
to anticipating and preparing
for this meeting, she felt her
courage suddenly leaving her,
a sinking at the knees, a wild
desire to escape, at any cost.
The color which had been so long
denied her streamed into her
cheeks. There was something baffling,
yet curiously disturbing, in
the manner of his greeting.
"Is it true?" he
She did not pretend to misunderstand
him. It was amazing that he should
ignore that other tragical incident,
that he should think of nothing
but this! Yet, in a way, she
accepted it as a natural thing.
"Is it true that I am engaged
to Sir Charles Somerfield," she
"I must wish you every happiness," he
said slowly. "Indeed, that wish
comes from my heart, and I think
that you know it. As for Sir
Charles Somerfield, I cannot
imagine that he has anything
left in the world to wish for."
"You are a born courtier, Prince," she
murmured. "Please remember that
in my democratic country one
has never had a chance of getting
used to such speeches."
"Your country," he remarked, "prides
itself upon being the country
where truth prevails. If so,
you should have become accustomed
by now to hearing pleasant things
about yourself. So you are going
to marry Sir Charles Somerfield!"
"Why do you say that over to
yourself so doubtfully?" she
asked. "You know who he is, do
you not? He is rich, of old family,
popular with everybody, a great
sportsman, a mighty hunter. These
are the things which go to the
making of a man, are they not?"
"Beyond a doubt," the Prince
answered gravely. "They go to
the making of a man. It is as
"You like him personally, don't
you?" she asked.
"Sir Charles Somerfield and
I are almost strangers," the
Prince replied. "I have not seen
much of him, and he has so many
tastes which I cannot share that
it is hard for us to come very
near together. But if you have
chosen him, it is sufficient.
I am quite sure that he is all
that a man should be."
"Tell me in what respect your
tastes are so far apart?" she
asked. "You say that as though
there were something in the manner
of his life of which you disapproved."
"We are sons of different countries,
Miss Penelope," the Prince said. "We
look out upon life differently,
and the things which seem good
to him may well seem idle to
me. Before I go," he added a
little hesitatingly, "we may
speak of this again. But not
"I shall remind you of that
promise, Prince," she declared.
"I will not fail to keep it," he
replied. "You have, at least," he
added after a moment's pause, "one
great claim upon happiness. You
are the son and the daughter
of kindred races."
She looked at him as though
not quite understanding.
"I was thinking," he continued
simply, "of my own father and
mother. My father was a Japanese
nobleman, with the home call
of all the centuries strong in
his blood. He was an enlightened
man, but he saw nothing in the
manner of living or the ideals
of other countries to compare
with those of the country of
his own birth. I sometimes think
that my mother and father might
have been happier had one of
them been a little more disposed
to yield to the other I think,
perhaps, that their union would
have been a more successful one.
They were married, and they lived
together, but they lived apart."
"It was not well for you, this," she
He shrugged his shoulders.
"Do not mistake me," he begged. "So
far as I am concerned, I am content.
I am Japanese. The English blood
that is in my veins is but as
a drop of water compared to the
call of my own country. And yet
there are some things which have
come to me from my mother--things
which come most to the surface
when I am in this, her own country--which
make life at times a little sad.
Forgive me if I have been led
on to speak too much of myself.
Today one should think of nothing
but of you and of your happiness."
He turned to accept the greeting
of an older woman who had lingered
for a moment, in passing, evidently
anxious to speak to him. Penelope
watched his kindly air, listened
to the courteous words which
flowed from his lips, the interest
in his manner, which his whole
bearing denoted, notwithstanding
the fact that the woman was elderly
and plain, and had outlived the
friends of her day and received
but scanty consideration from
the present generation. It was
typical of him, too, she realized.
It was never to the great women
of the world that he unbent most
thoroughly. Gray hairs seemed
to inspire his respect, to command
his attentions in a way that
youth and beauty utterly failed
to do. These things seemed suddenly
clear to Penelope as she stood
there watching him. A hundred
little acts of graceful kindness,
which she had noticed and admired,
returned to her memory. It was
this man whom she had lifted
her hand to betray! It was this
man who was to be accounted guilty,
even of crime! There came a sudden
revulsion of feeling. The whole
mechanical outlook upon life,
as she had known it, seemed,
even in those few seconds, to
become a false and meretricious
thing. Whatever he had done or
countenanced was right. She had
betrayed his hospitality. She
had committed an infamous breach
of trust. An overwhelming desire
came over her to tell him everything.
She took a quick step forward
and found herself face to face
with Somerfield. The Prince was
buttonholed by some friends and
led away. The moment had passed.
"Come and talk to the Duchess," Somerfield
said. "She has something delightful