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arm and looked round with a start. It was one of the women who
had been drinking at the bar.
“Why didn’t you kill him?” she hissed out, putting her haggard
face quite close to his. “I knew you were following him when you
rushed out from Daly’s.
You fool! You should have killed him. He has lots of money, and
he’s as bad as bad.”
“He is not the man I am looking for,” he answered, “and I want no
man’s money. I want a man’s life. The man whose life I want must
be nearly forty now.
This one is little more than a boy. Thank God, I have not got his
blood upon my hands.” The woman gave a bitter laugh. “Little
more than a boy!” she sneered. “Why, man, it’s nigh on eighteen
years since Prince Charming made me what I am.” “You lie!” cried
She raised her hand up to heaven. “Before God I am telling the
truth,” she cried.
“Before God?” “Strike me dumb if it ain’t so. He is the worst one
that comes here. They say he has sold himself to the devil for a
pretty face. It’s nigh on eighteen years since I met him. He hasn’t
changed much since then. I have though,” she added with a sickly
“You swear this?” “I swear it,” came in hoarse echo from her flat
mouth. “But don’t give me away to him,” she whined; “I am afraid
of him. Let me have some money for my night’s lodging.” He
broke from her with an oath, and rushed to the corner of the street,
but Dorian Gray had disappeared. When he looked back, the
woman had vanished also.