It was here. I am sure of it!
‘My pocket-book, Aunt Jeanne – it is not in the drawer where I left it.’
‘Is it not? But perhaps you left it at Beauregard?’
‘I am sure I did not. I can remember bringing it.’
‘Your mind was so disordered, I doubt if any recollection could be reliable. Edmund will ask Troutaud about it, when he next rides over.’
She knew, with a swift and appalling conviction, that the other woman was lying. She did not at first understand why. Even though they might wish to have Edmund marry her for her fortune they could not surely desire, she thought wildly, to strip her of the few sovereigns she had brought with her. She said:
‘It was here. I am sure of it!’
‘My dear, do you accuse the servants of theft? Marie, perhaps? It is she who has attended you.’
Understanding came. It was not the money of which they wished to deprive her, but the opportunity of leaving the island. They had foreseen the possibility of her purchasing her own ticket, and were determined to prevent it. Without money, she was helpless.
The tone of Mrs Jelain’s remark had been a little indignant. Now, perceiving Sarnia’s hesitance, she was sympathetic again.
‘I know you would not think of such a thing. Edmund will search for the pocket-book at Beauregard. But it is not of great concern.’ She pressed Sarnia’s hand. ‘You have no need of money while you are with us. Only say what you want, and we shall see that you get it.’
She lacked even the penny for the stamp.