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But stop-I think I begin to see. Peradventure he hath influenced her-
commanded her-compelled her to lie. That is the solution! The riddle is
unriddled. She seemed dead with fear-yes, she was under his compulsion. I will
seek her; I will find her; now that he is away, she will speak her true mind. She
will remember the old times when we were little playfellows together, and this
will soften her heart, and she will no more betray me, but will confess me. There
is no treacherous blood in her-no, she was always honest and true. She has
loved me in those old days-this is my security; for whom one has loved, one
cannot betray.’ He stepped eagerly toward the door; at that moment it opened,
and the Lady Edith entered. She was very pale, but she walked with a firm step,
and her carriage was full of grace and gentle dignity. Her face was as sad as

Miles sprang forward, with a happy confidence, to meet her, but she checked
him with a hardly perceptible gesture, and he stopped where he was. She seated
herself, and asked him to do likewise. Thus simply did she take the sense of
oldcomradeship out of him, and transform him into a stranger and a guest. The
surprise of it, the bewildering unexpectedness of it, made him begin to question,
for a moment, if he was the person he was pretending to be, after all. The Lady
Edith said: ‘Sir, I have come to warn you. The mad cannot be persuaded out of
their delusions, perchance; but doubtless they may be persuaded to avoid perils.
I think this dream of yours hath the seeming of honest truth to you, and
therefore is not criminal-but do not tarry here with it; for here it is dangerous.’
She looked steadily into Miles’s face a moment, then added, impressively, ‘It is
the more dangerous for that you are much like what our lost lad must have
grown to be, if he had lived.’ ‘Heavens, madam, but I am he!’ ‘I truly think you
think it, sir. I question not your honesty in that-I but warn you, that is all. My
husband is master in this region; his power hath hardly any limit; the people
prosper or starve, as he wills. If you resembled not the man whom you profess to
be, my husband might bid you pleasure yourself with your dream in peace; but
trust me, I know him well, I know what he will do; he will say to all that you are
but a mad impostor, and straightway all will echo him.’ She bent upon Miles
that same steady look once more, and added: ‘If you were Miles Hendon, and he
knew it and all the region knew it-consider what I am saying, weigh it well-you
would stand in the same peril, your punishment would be no less sure; he
would deny you and denounce you, and none would be bold enough to give
you countenance.’ ‘Most truly I believe it,’ said Miles, bitterly. ‘The power that
can command one lifelong friend to betray and disown another, and be obeyed,
may well look to be obeyed in quarters where bread and life are on the stake and
no cobweb ties of loyalty and honor are concerned.’ A faint tinge appeared for a
moment in the lady’s cheek, and she dropped her eyes to the floor; but her voice
betrayed no emotion when she proceeded: ‘I have warned you, I must still warn
you, to go hence. This man will destroy you else. He is a tyrant who knows no
pity. I, who am his fettered slave, know this. Poor Miles, and Arthur, and my
dear guardian, Sir Richard, are free of him, and at rest-better that you were with
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