Emily looked at her imploringly. "Don't send me away, knowing no more of the murder than I knew when I came here! Is there nothing, really nothing, you can tell me?"
"Haven't I told you already? Go downstairs, and see the wretch who escaped in the dawn of the morning!"
"Gently, ma'am, gently! You're talking too loud," cried a mocking voice from outside.
"It's only the doctor," said Mrs. Rook. She crossed her hands over her bosom with a deep-drawn sigh. "I want no doctor, now. My peace is made with my Maker. I'm ready for death; I'm fit for Heaven. Go away! go away!"
In a moment more, the doctor came in--a brisk, smiling, self-sufficient man--smartly dressed, with a flower in his button-hole. A stifling odor of musk filled the room, as he drew out his handkerchief with a flourish, and wiped his forehead.
"Plenty of hard work in my line, just now," he said. "Hullo, Mrs. Rook! somebody has been allowing you to excite yourself. I heard you, before I opened the door. Have you been encouraging her to talk?" he asked, turning to Emily, and shaking his finger at her with an air of facetious remonstrance.
Incapable of answering him; forgetful of the ordinary restraints of social intercourse--with the one doubt that preserved her belief in Mirabel, eager for confirmation--Emily signed to this stranger to follow her into a corner of the room, out of hearing. She made no excuses: she took no notice of his look of surprise. One hope was all she could feel, one word was all she could say, after that second assertion of Mirabel's guilt. Indicating Mrs. Rook by a glance at the bed, she whispered the word:
Flippant and familiar, the doctor imitated her; he too looked at the bed.