BLTC Press Titles


available for Kindle at Amazon.com


Theory of Colours

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Shakti and Shakta

John Woodroffe


The Count of Monte Cristo

Alexandre Dumas


Paradoxes of the Highest Science

Eliphas Levi


Ashes to ashes

by Isabel Ostrander

Excerpt:

I B fully tired." Leila's eyes fluttered upward to

-*-*^ meet her husband's across the breakfast table

and then lowered as she added hesitatingly: "I—I didn't

hear you come in last night."

"No?" Storm gazed at her in studied deliberation as he responded. "I did not wish to disturb you."

She looked as fresh and sparkling as the morning, and the sudden wild-rose color which flooded her cheeks beneath his scrutiny heightened the charm of the picture she made; yet it sent a surge of hot resentment to his heart. Her solicitude was not for him, but in fear lest he had discovered her absence on that nocturnal errand!

He wondered at himself, at his stoic outward calm as he accepted his cup of coffee from her hands. Every fiber of him cried out to seize her hand and wring the truth from her lips, but the pride which had held him back from following her on the previous night still dominated him after sleepless hours of nerve-racking doubt. He would make sure of the truth without whining for explanations or dogging her footsteps.

Leila glanced at him furtively more than once as he forced himself to eat, then left her own breakfast almost untasted and turned with a sigh to the little pile of letters beside her plate. As she scanned them Storm saw her expression change, and she thrust one of the envelopes hastily beneath the rest; but not before his eyes had caught two words of the superscription upon the upper left hand corner.

"Leicester Building." That was the name of the skyscraper from which he had seen her emerge on the previous day! His hands clenched and he thrust back his chair with a harsh, grating noise as he rose.

"I must go. I am late," he muttered thickly.

"But Norman, dear, Barker hasn't brought the car around yet." Leila, too, rose from her chair and with a quick movement thrust the tell-tale letter into her belt.

"No matter, I'll ^valk." He turned to the door with a blind instinct of flight before he betrayed himself. If his suspicions were after all capable of an explanation other than the one his jealous fury presented he would not play the fool. But he must know!

"Will you be home early this afternoon?" Leila bent to rearrange the daffodils in a low glass bowl as she spoke, and her face was averted from him. "Early enough for your golf, I mean?"

"No, I shan't be out here until late. Don't wait dinner for me." A swift thought came to him, and he added deliberately: "There is to be a special meeting at the club in town; I'll try to catch the midnight train, but in the event that I decide to stay over, I'll 'phone, of course."

She followed him out upon the veranda for his customary farewell kiss, but to his relief he spied a familiar runabout halting at the gate and escaped from her with a wave of his hand.

"There's Millard! I'll ride down with him. Good-bye."

Millard was a golf enthusiast, and his detailed description of the previous day's game lasted throughout the interval at the station, but it fell upon deaf ears.

Storm's thoughts were in a turmoil. At one moment he felt that he could no longer endure the strain of the attitude he had assumed; that he must stop the train, rush back to his wife and demand from her the truth. At the next, his pride once more came uppermost; his pride, and the underlying doubt that his worst suspicions were actually founded on fact, which made him fear to render himself ridiculous in her eyes. It was true that she had lied about her presence in the city on the previous day, but she had gone openly to an office building at broad noon and left it alone. She had received a letter from someone in that building which she tried to keep from his observation, but her expression when she picked it up, although furtive, had not been guilty; rather, it had been full of pleased expectancy, as quickly masked. That visit, that letter might be simply explained, but the telephone call which he had overheard, the errand that had caused her, his wife, to steal from, her house at midnight like a thief!


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