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Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter
written by "Lynch, Lawrence L."
... motioning him to precede her. In the hall, she paused at the head of the stairs, saying: "Go down; I will come directly." "What are you going to do?" "Go down," she repeated; "I know what I am doing." She went slowly down the hall in the direction of the room before which stood Madeline's luggage that had just arrived from the little station.[356] Lucian gazed after her in some amazement, watched her tap softly, heard the door open, saw her enter the room, and then went slowly down-stairs. CHAPTER XXXVIII. CORA UNDER ORDERS. When Cora entered the room, Madeline Payne stood before her mirror, while her maid, kneeling beside her, arranged the folds of lustrous azure silk that fell about the slender form. The door had been opened by Hagar, who could scarcely keep her eyes off the beautiful face and form of her young mistress, and who was, in consequence, making very slow progress with the work of putting away the garments that had been discarded in favor of the lovely dinner dress. Madeline realized fully that the part she was now playing was even more difficult and distasteful than that which she had abandoned. But she was resolute. To go back now would be worse than death. While she felt a thrill of repugnance as she saw the fair, sensual face of John Arthur's wife reflected in her mirror, she turned with smiling countenance, saying: "Is it you, step-mamma? How kind of you! Am I delaying the dinner?" "No more than I am," smiled Cora, in return. "I thought you might like me to wait for you, as you are so much of a stranger to your old home." "Oh, I am not at all timid, I assure you; but it is nicer to go together. Am I almost ready, Strong?" "Almost, Miss Payne."[357] "How quickly your maid dresses you," said Cora, resolved to keep the conversational ball rolling. "Oh, yes; Strong knows how to pack things so that what you want first is uppermost, and I had my dinner dress in a hand traveli...

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