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“Right you are, sir!” he said. “I’m glad I’m not alone in this thing! By the way, about—?”

杭州足浴按摩会所”Myra? For the present she remains at the house. There

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is Mrs. Hume, and all the old servants. We shall see what is to be done, later. You might run over and give her a look-up, though.”

“I will, sir! Good-bye.”

“Good-bye,” said Dr. Cairn, and pressed the bell which summoned Marston to usher out the caller, 杭州水疗会馆 and usher in the next patient.

In Half-Moon Street, Robert Cairn stood irresolute; for he was one of those whose mental moods are physically reflected. He might call upon Myra Duquesne, in which event he would almost certainly be asked to stay to lunch; or he might call upon Antony Ferrara. He determined upon the latter, though less pleasant course.
[28]

Turning his steps in the direction of Piccadilly, he reflected that this grim and uncanny secret which he shared with his father was like to prove prejudicial to 杭州桑拿哪好 his success in journalism. It was eternally uprising, demoniac, between himself and his work.

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The feeling of fierce resentment towards Antony Ferrara which he cherished grew stronger at every step. He was the spider governing the web, the web that clammily touched Dr. Cairn, himself, Robert Cairn, and—Myra Duquesne. Others there had been who had felt its touch, who had been drawn to the heart of the unclean labyrinth—and devoured. In the mind of Cairn, the figure of Antony Ferrara assumed the shape of a monster, a ghoul, an elemental spirit of evil.

And now he was ascending the marble steps. Before the gates of the lift he stood and pressed the bell.

Ferrara’s proved to be a first-floor suite, and the doors were opened by an Eastern servant dressed in white.

“His beastly theatrical affectation again!” muttered Cairn. “The 杭州spa爽记 man should have been a music-hall illusionist!”

The visitor was salaamed into a small reception room. Of this apartment the walls and ceiling were entirely covered by a fretwork in sandalwood, evidently Oriental in workmanship. In niches, or doorless cup-boards; stood curious-looking vases and pots. Heavy curtains of rich fabric draped the doors. The floor was of mosaic, and a small fountain played in the centre. A cushioned divan occupied one side of the place, from which natural light was entirely excluded and which was illuminated only by an ornate lantern swung from the ceiling. This lantern had panes of blue glass, producing a singular effect. A silver mibkharah, or incense-burner, stood near to one corner of the divan and emitted a subtle perfume. As the servant withdrew:

“Good heavens!” muttered Cairn, disgustedly; 杭州桑拿按摩36式 “poor Sir Michael’s fortune won’t last long at this rate!” He glanced at the smoking mibkharah. “Phew! effeminate beast! Ambergris!”

No more singular anomaly could well be pictured than that afforded by the lean, neatly-groomed Scots
[29]
man, with his fresh, clean-shaven face and typically British air, in this setting of Eastern voluptuousness.

The dusky servitor drew back a curtain and waved him to enter, bowing low as the visitor passed. Cairn found himself in Antony Ferrara’s study. A huge fire was blazing in the grate, rendering the heat of the study almost insufferable.

It was, he perceived, an elaborated copy of Ferrara’s room at Oxford; infinitely more spacious, of course, and by reason of the rugs, cushions and carpets with which its floor was strewn, suggestive of great opulence. But the littered table was 杭州洗浴的地方 there, with its nameless instruments and its extraordinary silver lamp; the mummies were there; the antique volumes, rolls of papyrus, preserved snakes and cats and ibises, statuettes of Isis, Osiris and other Nile deities were there; the many photographs of women, too (Cairn had dubbed it at Oxford “the zenana”); above all, there was Antony Ferrara.

He wore the silver-grey dressing-gown trimmed with white swansdown in which Cairn had seen him before. His statuesque ivory face was set in a smile, which yet was no smile of welcome; the over-red lips smiled alone; the long, glittering dark eyes were joyless; almost, beneath the straightly-pencilled brows, sinister. Save for the short, lustreless hair it was the face of a handsome, evil woman.

“My dear Cairn—what a welcome interruption. How good of you!”

There was strange 杭州龙凤论坛vip music in his husky tones. He spoke unemotionally, falsely, but Cairn could not deny the charm of that unique voice. It was possible to understand how women—some women—would be as clay in the hands of the man who had such a voice as that.

His visitor nodded shortly. Cairn was a poor actor; already his rôle was oppressing him. Whilst Ferrara was speaking one found a sort of fascination in listening, but when he was silent he repelled. Ferrara may have been conscious of this, for he spoke much, and well.

“You have made yourself jolly comfortable,” said Cairn.
[30]

“Why not, my dear Cairn? Every man has within him something of the Sybarite. Why crush a propensity so delightful? The Spartan philosophy is palpably absurd; it is that of one who finds himself in a garden filled with roses and who holds his nostrils; who 杭州男士养生spa会所 perceives there shady bowers, but chooses to burn in the sun; who, ignoring the choice fruits which tempt his hand and court his palate, stoops to pluck bitter herbs from the wayside!”

“I see!” snapped Cairn. “Aren’t you thinking of doing any more work, then?”

“Work!” Antony Ferrara smiled and sank upon a heap of cushions. “Forgive me, Cairn, but I leave it, gladly and confidently, to more robust characters such as your own.”