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Chapter XII--What Happened
 For a few minutes after Mr. Kempwood left, I moved around looking at the Napoleon relics, which, of course, are fascinating. Some people think that Stephen Jumel bought these from Royalty itself, but others think that they came to Madam Jumel and were by way of wiping out an indebtedness. . . . Madam Jumel lived in Paris between 1819 and 1826, and during those years the cousin of the Empress Josephine, who was Madame la Comtesse de la Pagerie, made her home with the Jumels, and moved with them from house to house as they did--seeming one of the family--part of the establishment. I think she was not well off and had to accept much from the Jumels for which she could make no return. So, when Madam Jumel came back to America the Comtesse settled in snuff-boxes, vases, shoe-buckles, lockets, and dear knows what all. And I think Madam Jumel probably made a good bargain, for she was the sort who could do that. It is said that the things that she brought to the United States were valued at twenty-five thousand dollars, which strengthens the fact that she must have got them without money output, for at that time Stephen Jumel was in pecuniary straits and probably a sum of that size would have been difficult for him to spare for such purpose. I loved looking at them and thinking of how the Empress Josephine might have had this or that small box upon her dressing-table. And it always gives me a curious feeling. I think old things are much more interesting because of the people who have touched them, and I have often thought that if you could touch one of these things and close your eyes you might drift off into a dream that would take you into another time, but I suppose that is silly.
After I had moved around for perhaps seven or eight minutes I heard a small boy call to another. “Come out here!” he screamed in a high soprano. “There’s a man biffed on the bean, and mebbe he’s dead!”
And how people moved! I didn’t immediately. I couldn’t, for I remembered my giving Mr. Kempwood the bracelet, and I knew what had happened. I felt sick, and swallowed hard, although I hadn’t any more spit than usual. But that is the way that fright made me feel. . . . It was the worst I had ever felt. . . . Somehow I hurried toward the door with the crowd, and I then did the second cowardly thing which hurt one of my friends who cares for the Mansion, I slipped off my bracelet and handed it to him.
“Until I come back----” I whispered, after a gasp. He nodded and put it in his pocket. I suppose he thought I was afraid of sneak thieves in the mob which had collected. Then I pushed through the door. . . . All the excitement was back of the Mansion where--Mr. Kempwood lay on the ground--absolutely white and with his eyes closed, and people were bending over him. I began to sob, although I didn’t cry any tears at all.
“Let me through,” I said, as I tried to get past the circle which had formed. “I know him. . . . I love him. . . . He has been good to me, and he is my friend!” And then, somehow I had reached him and was on my knees beside him, holding one of his cold, stiff hands between both of mine.
“Is he dead?” I whispered to one of the policemen.
“Stunned,” he answered. For a moment I held his hand tightly pressed against my heart, and then I began to sob harder than ever. . . . I think the relief that comes with good news often makes you more upset than the bad and hurts more. I don’t know why this is, but it is so. . . . After a few moments a policeman asked me where he lived, and I told him.
Someone offered a motor, and they began to lift Mr. Kempwood. Another officer had detained some people and was questioning them. “Weren’t you here?” he asked of a heavy old Italian woman who had been sitting on a bench, but she only shook her head, blinked and muttered: “Non parlo la Inglesa, parlo Italiano solamente!” And someone said she had been sleeping, but the officer looked doubtful.
“Nevertheless,” he said, “we will take you along,” and I, in that moment, saw that she did understand, for in her eyes was a sudden glint of terror. It faded soon, and she replaced it with a vacant look, but--I had caught the other. I think she had seen.
“She knows,” I began to say, when suddenly everything was forgotten, for, from the Jumel Mansion came a cry which began loudly and faded to a horrible silence, and the cry was for help. . . . Of course, the officers ran, and somehow--the old Italian woman slipped away. I had seen her the moment before, but when I turned back to look after Mr. Kempwood, I found only the old blind man coming up the side steps to the garden, shuffling, shambling up, with his cane feeling the way. He and I and a doctor were alone.
“The old Italian woman has gone,” I said, “and I think she knew----”
“Don’t think so,” said the doctor as he moved Mr. Kempwood’s head and felt the back of it. . . . “Couldn’t speak English; she was frightened. When the men come back we can get someone to help us lift him in a motor. He’s going to come around all right, but that was a blow. . . . Right over the back of the head. You say he lives near here?” I nodded, and then someone came back and helped us lift Mr. Kempwood in a motor.
“What happened in there?” I asked unsteadily, as we moved toward the gate and down the steps.
“One of the guards knocked senseless,” he answered. “Over the back of the head--like this. Busy day for excitement around here--there you are. He is a weight. . . . The guard isn’t hurt badly and nothing broken, but the glass over the little case that held the bracelet is cracked.”
I nodded, feeling more sick and faint than ever, and then we turned toward home. The doctor held up Mr. Kempwood, who was beginning to groan, and I held his cane and said my prayers hard. . . . For I felt that it was all my fault. And that is a terrible feeling. . . .
Somehow, I got through the next hour. I will never know how. . . . They settled Mr. Kempwood, told me he wasn’t going to die and would truly be all right, and I left. Of course, I went back to the Jumel Mansion. I had to.
Here I found the sort of let down that you always find after excitement. Everyone was limp and sat down whenever possible. One of the women told me about it.
“I was in the back room,” she said. “Mr. Kelsey had just come in and shown me your bracelet. He whispered to me: ‘Think I’ll put it up in the cupboard, then if she comes back for it when I’m not here, you can give it to her----’ I nodded, thinking that a safe place. . . . That high cupboard, you know.”
I did. It had always fascinated me. It seemed big enough for a spy to hide in, and I wondered whether one ever had hidden there. . . .
“He put it there,” she went on, “and then went back to the front room. I went to the window and looked out at the crowd which had collected about your friend Mr. Kempwood, and then I heard............
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