she had to slow, but she kept as good a pace as she dared.
"But is it necessary to say that at all?"
"Well, at any rate, whatever we choose to say, what limit do you think he will place upon his extortions now that he holds our secret? We have taught him his music, and he will make us do our part in the chorus, and can blackmail us as well as we can others."
"We played a foolish game," answered Dr. Hortebise moodily.
"No; we had to confide in some one. Besides, the two affairs, that of Madame de Mussidan and the Duke de Champdoce, ran so well together. They were the simultaneous emanations of my brain. I worked them up together, and together they must stand or fall."
"Then you are determined to go on?"
"Yes; more determined than ever."
The doctor had been playing with his locket for some time, and the contact of the cold metal seemed to have affected his nerves; for it was in a trembling voice that he replied,--
"I vowed long ago that we should sink or swim together." He paused, and then, with a melancholy smile upon his face, continued,--"I have no intention of breaking my oath, you see; but I repeat, that your road seems to be a most perilous one, and I will add that I consider you headstrong and self-opinionated; but for all that I will follow you, even though the path you have chosen leads to the grave. I have at this moment a something between my fingers that will save me from shame and disgrace--a little pill to be swallowed, a gasp, a little dizziness, and all is over."