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.The doctor had died because he, like Lyttleton, knew too much about August Hamilton.Had known about her and had intended to do something about her.And so she killed Dr.Napier.Which meant that she had feared Napier, and perhaps feared him.He guided the woman into a parlor, and once they were seated on a sofa and she had dabbed at her eyes with the handkerchief, he asked, "When did it happen?""Shortly before dawn." Her voice was thick with emotion."He hadn't come to bed all night — I thought he was working, for he often did that — but this morning, before breakfast, Foster found him in his study.He was slumped over his desk.He had been trying to write something, a note, I suppose, w-when he collapsed.""I'm truly sorry," he murmured, feeling a constriction inside at the loss of the doctor, whom he regarded as a friend."We've sent for our own physician, but he hasn't arrived.I fear it must have been his heart, for David had been working so hard lately, working through the night, and running here and there.I don't know what he was working on, for he wouldn't say.He kept telling me, 'All in good time.' " Helena Napier broke down and started sobbing then, and Lyttleton clumsily patted her hand."May I see him, Mrs.Napier?" he asked."To pay my last respects?" He had to check the doctor's body, had to know for a certainty."Yes, of course.Please follow me."Outside an upstairs bedroom door she paused to look at Lyttleton."My poor David.I think he must have been in terrible pain before he died."Lyttleton swallowed heavily and entered behind her.He found Napier's body laid out on a full-sized bed.The servants had washed and dressed him, and all that was needed was the doctor to check the body.On Napier's grey face was an awful grimace, much like that on Tommy's face when he died."Would you mind if I were alone with him for a moment or two, Mrs.Napier?"Seeing nothing unusual in the request, she nodded and left the room.Lyttleton stared down at the man's contorted lace.He wished he didn't feel responsible, but if he hadn't told Dr.Napier about his dreams, the man would doubtless still be alive.He sighed and slipped out a small knife and pushed back the cuff on one of the arms.Then he pressed the knife into the flesh.Nothing.He cut deeper.Not even a slight trace of blood.No blood from the cut, he told himself, because there was scarcely any left, and what remained would have settled at the lowest point of the corpse.The corpse.Yesterday this had been a living man.As today he was a living man.Ashen-faced, his fingers numb, he backed away from the corpse.He closed the bedroom door behind him just as Mrs.Napier reached the landing."I'm sorry," he said hurriedly, "but I must leave.I am truly sorry again, Mrs.Napier, for your loss.Please let me know when the funeral will be held." They shook hands ! and he rushed from the house.Outside in the hot morning air, Lyttleton took great gulping breaths to help still his fevered thoughts.David Napier had died last night; earlier in the evening he'd joked about All Soul's Eve, the night of the demons and witches, and a demon had claimed the doctor's soul.Lyttleton shuddered.He had to warn others, but who first? Henry? Yes, for he was enamored of her and thus in danger.He had to warn Henry before he died like Tommy, like Gerald, like Napier.He walked away from the Napier home and did not look back.Why had August killed Tommy? After all, she'd married him.or had she? There'd never been any proof of that; they'd had only her word.Obviously, though, she'd needed Tommy to leave India.Perhaps he gave her a name or papers or respectability, but whatever it was, once she was in England, she had no further use for Tommy, and thus he died shortly afterward.The first of so many to die.Perhaps, he thought grimly, Dr.Napier would be the last.He must do something; he must destroy her.But how did one destroy a demon-woman? Through exorcism? Through the Church? He knew of no other way.But first he had to warn Henry, and he prayed that he would not be too late.*"Mr.Montchalmers is not at home at present," said Xavier, Henry's butler.Lyttleton paused, momentarily nonplussed.He had confidently expected to find Montchalmers at home, for his friend rarely rose early and even more rarely left his house before eleven, although he did see visitors then.For Henry Montchalmers to be out before ten in the morning was completely unheard-of.Provided, Lyttleton thought, that Montchalmers really wasn't home [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]