"No, no," cried Mrs. Malplaquet quickly, Strangwise, "you've had your lesson. You've lost the jewel and you're not likely to get it back unless you think that this young man has come here with it on him. Do you want to lose your life, the lives of all of us, as well? Come, come, the fellow's no earthly good to us! And he's a menace to us all as long as he's alive!"
"Minna," said Strangwise, "you must trust me. Besides..." he leaned forward and whispered something in her ear. "Now," he resumed aloud, "you shall take Bellward downstairs and leave me to have a little chat with our friend here."
"Minna will tell you what I said. But first," he pointed to Barbara who remained apparently lifeless in her chair, "bring her round. And then I think she'd better go to bed."
"But what about the treatment to-night" asked Mrs. Malplaquet.
Strangwise smiled mysteriously.
"I'm not sure that any further treatment will be required," he said.
In the meantime, Bellward had leaned over the girl and with a few passes of his hand had brought her back to consciousness. She sat up, one hand pressed to her face, and looked about her in a dazed fashion. On recognizing Desmond she gave a little cry.
"Take her away!" commanded Strangwise.