The Scandal at 23 Mount Street (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 9)

The Scandal at 23 Mount Street (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 9) by Clara Benson

Book: The Scandal at 23 Mount Street (An Angela Marchmont Mystery Book 9) by Clara Benson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Clara Benson
Tags: murder mystery
the rest of the journey to London proceeded mostly in silence.
    It was a quarter to seven and still dark when they arrived back at Angela’s flat in Mount Street. Angela was nervous, for she feared that Davie might have taken it into his head to come to the flat and let himself in with Marthe’s key, but her worries were swiftly dispelled when she turned on the light and found everything as she had left it. She peeped into one or two rooms but saw nobody.
    ‘You can come in,’ she said to Valencourt, who had been standing outside on the landing.
    ‘Isn’t Marthe back yet?’ he said.
    ‘No,’ said Angela. ‘I gave her a week. She’ll be back on Wednesday.’
    ‘Dear me. How will you manage?’ he said mockingly.
    ‘I’m not entirely incapable,’ she said. ‘I do know where things are kept, at least.’ She went across to a chest of drawers by the window and opened the second drawer, then frowned and pulled open the top one instead. ‘Ah, here it is,’ she said, and handed him her little revolver. ‘I keep it fully loaded.’
    ‘Thank you,’ he said, putting it in his pocket. ‘I shall treasure it always.’
    ‘Good. Now, you’d better go if you don’t want to miss your train. Goodbye,’ she said, and held out a hand to him imperiously.
    ‘Well, I call that cool!’ he exclaimed. He ignored the hand and pulled her into his arms.
    ‘I was trying to be dignified,’ she said when she could finally speak. ‘And now you’ve ruined it.’
    ‘I do beg your pardon, but I’m afraid I lack your sang-froid. I refuse to be dignified when we’re saying goodbye.’
    ‘I rather wish you hadn’t come back at all,’ she said. ‘Now I shall have to forget you all over again.’
    ‘But I don’t want you to forget me,’ he said. ‘In fact, I shall be awfully offended if you do.’
    She laughed.
    ‘You know I couldn’t possibly,’ she said. ‘Not really.’
    ‘I don’t suppose you’d like to come with me?’ he said lightly after a moment.
    ‘No, Edgar, I don’t think I would.’
    ‘I didn’t really expect you to say yes, but I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask,’ he said.
    ‘Well, I thank you for the kind thought, but I’m quite happy here,’ said Angela.
    ‘Yes, I can see that,’ he said. ‘It would be selfish of me to drag you away even if you wanted to come. It’s just that now I’ve got you I’m finding it rather a wrench to let you go.’
    He tightened his arms about her as he spoke.
    ‘It would never work,’ she said. ‘There’s no sense in even thinking about it.’
    ‘I dare say you’re right,’ he said. ‘I’m sorry.’
    ‘So am I.’
    ‘I’d like to have met you under different circumstances,’ he said. ‘But as you’ve so rightly told me before, I chose my path and now I have to live with it. Shall you ever approve of me, do you think?’
    ‘I don’t know,’ she said. ‘Perhaps one day. Go and do something splendid and we’ll see.’
    ‘Such as what?’
    ‘Oh, I don’t know. You might slay a dragon, or—or save somebody’s life, or perform some act of glorious self-sacrifice. That ought to do the trick.’
    ‘I’m not sure I like the sound of that,’ he said. ‘Perhaps I shall have to content myself with struggling to live an honest life.’
    ‘That will be admirable. I wish you all the best with it.’ she said. She freed herself with some difficulty. ‘Now go, and don’t come back.’
    ‘I won’t promise,’ he said.
    ‘I shouldn’t believe you if you did,’ she said.
    He kissed her one last time and a second later was gone. Angela watched out of the window as he got into his car and drove off into the damp November morning, then turned away. She was trying very hard to be sensible about things. There was no use in regretting him, for there had never been any hope to start with and she was not one to indulge in useless wishing. No; it was much better this way. They had parted on the best of terms and now at least she could remember him

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