92 A Mented Struggle.
seriously of getting rid of him, for once and all. I'm
thinking"—sinking his voice to a solemn whisper—"of
poisoning him ! "
Patricia shrinks back from him, and grows decidedly pale.
" Poison him ? " she breathes faintly.
" Decidedly, my dear. Like a rat ! He's good for
nothing. He cumbers the earth ! Then wh}' not dispose
of him !"
Could anything more cruelly cold-blooded be imagined.
Is tills the kindly gentle friend to whom she has come with
a view to relieving herself of her troubles ? Is he mad ? or
only innately wicked ? Patricia shudders.
" Oh, spare him ! " she cries in faltering accents. " Do
not do this thing ! If you won't think of him, think of
yourself ! So many have done that sort of thing, and have
always been discovered ! You will be found out; I know
" Not unless you betray me," says Mr. Bohun, thought¬
fully. "To you alone I have confided my design. Will
you betray me ? "
There is an iron chair near her, and into it Patricia
sinks, now completely overcome. If she doesn't promise
entire secrecy, probably he will murder her too. Oh,
horrible thought! Yes, she will promise anything; any-
tliing !—no matter what!
" Of course I won't betray you," she says, with a painfrrl
assumption of a dignified calmness. " For one thing, I
have kno-svn you much longer than I have known him !
No ; be assureel I won't betray you. But still, as your
friend, I would entreat you to think of the consequences."
"They -^von't be much," declares Mr. Bohun airily.
" Really the beast is of no account whatever. And the
way I shall manage it, it will never be discovered.
Remember, Patricia, you are my accomplice; you are the
accessory before the deed !"
Patricia's pulses grow feeble. She leans back in her
" Oh, poor young man !" she whispers miserably.
"Eh? You've met him, then?" exclaims Mr. Bohun
with some surprise. " And you think he'll be sorry, eh ?"