From The Boston Evening Transcript
Mrs. Wilton passed through a little alley leading from one of the gates which are around Regent's Park, and
came out on the wide and quiet street. She walked along slowly, peering anxiously from side to side so as not
to overlook the number. She pulled her furs closer round her; after her years in India this London damp
seemed very harsh. Still, it was not a fog to-day. A dense haze, gray and tinged ruddy, lay between the houses,
sometimes blowing with a little wet kiss against the face. Mrs. Wilton's hair and eyelashes and her furs were
powdered with tiny drops. But there was nothing in the weather to blur the sight; she could see the faces of
people some distance off and read the signs on the shops.
Before the door of a dealer in antiques and second-hand furniture she paused and looked through the shabby
uncleaned window at an unassorted heap of things, many of them of great value. She read the Polish name
fastened on the pane in white letters.
'Yes; this is the place.'
She opened the door, which met her entrance with an ill-tempered jangle. From somewhere in the black
depths of the shop the dealer came forward. He had a clammy white face, with a sparse black beard, and wore
a skull cap and spectacles. Mrs. Wilton spoke to him in a low voice.
A look of complicity, of cunning, perhaps of irony, passed through the dealer's cynical and sad eyes. But he
bowed gravely and respectfully.
'Yes, she is here, madam. Whether she will see you or not I do not know. She is not always well; she has her
moods. And then, we have to be so careful. The police--Not that they would touch a lady like you. But the
poor alien has not much chance these days.'
Mrs. Wilton followed him to the back of the shop, where there was a winding staircase. She knocked over a
few things in her passage and stooped to pick them up, but the dealer kept muttering, 'It does not
matter--surely it does not matter.' He lit a candle.
'You must go up these stairs. They are very dark; be careful. When you come to a door, open it and go
He stood at the foot of the stairs holding the light high above his head and she ascended.
The room was not very large, and it seemed very ordinary. There were some flimsy, uncomfortable chairs in
gilt and red. Two large palms were in corners. Under a glass cover on the table was a view of Rome. The
room had not a business-like look, thought Mrs. Wilton; there was no suggestion of the office or waiting-room
where people came and went all day; yet you would not say that it was a private room which was lived in.
There were no books or papers about; every chair was in the place it had been placed when the room was last
swept; there was no fire and it was very cold.
To the right of the window was a door covered with a plush curtain. Mrs. Wilton sat down near the table and
watched this door. She thought it must be through it that the soothsayer would come forth. She laid her hands
listlessly one on top of the other on the table. This must be the tenth seer she had consulted since Hugh had
been killed. She thought them over. No, this must be the eleventh. She had forgotten that frightening man in
Paris who said he had been a priest. Yet of them all it was only he who had told her anything definite. But
even he could do no more than tell the past. He told of her marriage; he even had the duration of it
right--twenty-one months. He told too of their time in India--at least, he knew that her husband had been a
soldier, and said he had been on service in the 'colonies.' On the whole, though, he had been as unsatisfactory
as the others. None of them had given her the consolation she sought. She did not want to be told of the past.