Wyndham Martyn.

The Secret of the Silver Car



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"Oh Tony, Tony!" she cried.

Immensely gratified, Simpkins beheld the American gather her to him. Honest Simpkins had tears in his eyes. He went from the room blindly, his mission unaccomplished. He had seen Love so near to him that he was dazzled.

It was in Daphne's own sitting room facing St. James' Park that they were able to talk coherently. "Why do you suddenly look so grave on this morning of all mornings in my life?" she asked tenderly.

"Darling," he said, "I can't keep on living in this doubt any longer. You know what I said in Cornwall?"

"That's so long ago. I forget. Exactly what did my wise Tony say? I only remember that he said he loved me."

"I shall always say that," he said softly. "Daphne, I must not go on deluding myself any longer. I ought not to have seen you. It was only because your father was courteous and I was weak that I came."

"You have seen father?" she cried.

"Last night," he told her. "I was with him for an hour. He was very kind."

"Did he tell you about Arthur?"

"He said he was going to be married."

She looked at her Tony with a smile he could not understand. There was certainty in it content, assurance. It was as though there were no barriers that kept him from her.

"My wise Tony," she said, "there is much for you to learn. Let us leave Grosvenor Place and go to Australia in the first place."

"Australia?" he cried uneasily. For the second time within a few hours the island continent had arisen to confound him.

"Yes, Australia," she said. "You remember that my father bought a place there for Arthur?"

He had often heard of it. It was a magnificent property of a hundred thousand acres. Great flocks of sheep and cattle grazed on it and there were hundreds of horses. There were lakes on it where the rainbow trout grew to fifteen pounds in weight. He had seen photographs of the big house with its tennis courts, its outside swimming pool, its walled gardens. It was administered, he knew, by intelligent superintendents and capable of even greater development.

"A wonderful place," he said. "Yes, I remember. Your father wanted to sell it."

"He has given it away instead."

"Given away a place like that?"

"Perhaps I ought not to say given away," she smiled. "He has given it in exchange for what business people call collateral. He has given it to you, Tony, subject to certain conditions."

"Me?" he cried, "Oh no! Impossible. I couldn't take it."

"But you haven't even heard the conditions," she said. "I go with it. It must be kept in the family."

Anthony Trent had a vision of the future. He saw himself a clean man again, a man with hard work before him and great responsibilities. He remembered his country's ambassador and the cryptic utterances which might mean so much. The new life in the new country where none knew him. The realization of those dreams of children who need never be ashamed of their parentage.

And all this was offered him.

Daphne looking at him saw that the eyes which she had sometimes thought were hard were softened now. None but she had ever seen tears in the eyes of Anthony Trent who had once been the Master Criminal.

"Oh Daphne," he said brokenly. "Daphne."

THE END

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