Hand and Ring, by Anna Katharine Green

26. “He Shall Hear Me!”

There’s some ill planet reigns;

I must be patient till the heavens look

With an aspect more favorable.

Winter’s Tale.

THE time is midnight, the day the same as that which saw this irruption of Hickory into Professor Darling’s observatory; the scene that of Miss Dare’s own room in the northeast tower. She is standing before a table with a letter in her hand and a look upon her face that, if seen, would have added much to the puzzlement of the detectives.

The letter was from Mr. Orcutt and ran thus:

I have seen Mr. Mansell, and have engaged myself to undertake his defence. When I tell you that out of the hundreds of cases I have tried in my still short life, I have lost but a small percentage, you will understand what this means.

In pursuance to your wishes, I mentioned your name to the prisoner with an intimation that I had a message from you to deliver. But he stopped me before I could utter a word. “I receive no communication from Miss Dare!” he declared, and, anxious as I really was to do your bidding, I was compelled to refrain; for his tone was one of hatred and his look that of ineffable scorn.

This was all, but it was enough. Imogene had read these words over three times, and now was ready to plunge the letter into the flame of a candle to destroy it. As it burned, her grief and indignation took words:

“He is alienated, completely alienated,” she gasped; “and I do not wonder. But,” and here the full majesty of her nature broke forth in one grand gesture, “he shall hear me yet! As there is a God above, he shall hear me yet, even if it has to be in the open court and in the presence of judge and jury!”

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Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 22:17