“He [Cyril] was forbidden to swim out far. One day, when my attention was distracted, he started off. I swam after him . . . I couldn’t get there in time. . . . It was awful. . . . But it wasn’t my fault. At the inquest the Coroner exonerated me. And his mother—she was so kind. If even she didn’t blame me, why should—why should this awful thing be said? It’s not fair—not fair . . .”She broke down, weeping bitterly.
“Well, you see, Cyril, your mother gets so nervous about you. I’ll tell you what. To-morrow you can swim out to the rock. I’ll talk to your mother on the beach and distract her attention. And then, when she looks for you, there you’ll be standing on the rock waving to her! It will be a surprise”“Oh, good egg, Miss Claythorne! That will be a lark!”
“You left them—to die?”Lombard answered:“I left them to die.”His amused eyes looked into her horrified ones.
“I’ve known a murderess—known her, I tell you [confides Hugo]....Women are fiends—absolute fiends—you wouldn’t think a girl like that—a nice straight jolly girl—you wouldn’t think she’d do that, would you? That she’d take a kid out to sea and let it drown—you wouldn’t think a woman could do a thing like that?”