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The Magician 'Don't try to be brave, my friend. You will not suffer as much if you allow yourself a little weakness.' 'For Heaven's sake leave me alone!' said Arthur, hoarsely. They drew back and watched him silently. Susie heard their hostess come along to the sitting−room with tea, and she unlocked the door. The landlady brought in the things. She was on the point of leaving them when Arthur stopped her. 'How do you know that Mrs Haddo died of heart disease?' he asked suddenly. His voice was hard and stern. He spoke with a peculiar abruptness that made the poor woman look at him in amazement. 'Dr Richardson told me so.' 'Had he been attending her?' 'Yes, sir. Mr Haddo had called him in several times to see his lady.' 'Where does Dr Richardson live?' 'Why, sir, he lives at the white house near the station.' She could not make out why Arthur asked these questions. 'Did Mr Haddo go to the funeral?' 'Oh yes, sir. I've never seen anyone so upset.' 'That'll do. You can go.' Susie poured out the tea and handed a cup to Arthur. To her surprise, he drank the tea and ate some bread and butter. She could not understand him. The expression of strain, and the restlessness which had been so painful, were both gone from his face, and it was set now to a look of grim determination. At last he spoke to them. 'I'm going to see this doctor. Margaret's heart was as sound as mine.' 'What are you going to do?' 'Do?' He turned on her with a peculiar fierceness. 'I'm going to put a rope round that man's neck, and if the law won't help me, by God, I'll kill him myself.' 'Mais, mon ami, vous etes fou,' cried Dr Porhoet, springing up. Arthur put out his hand angrily, as though to keep him back. The frown on his face grew darker. 'You must leave me alone. Good Heavens, the time has gone by for tears and lamentation. After all I've gone through for months, I can't weep because Margaret is dead. My heart is dried up. But I know that she didn't 14


The Magician  
The Magician  

W. Somerset Maugham