"Exactly," said Brigida. "Her eyes were also of the same color as the late countess's; she wore yellow of the same shade as the hangings in the late countess's room, and she had on, under her yellow mask, the colorless wax model of the late countess's face, now in your friend's hand. So much for that part of the secret. Nothing remains now to be cleared up but the mystery of who the lady was. Have the goodness, sir, to push that bag an inch or two nearer my way, and I shall be delighted to tell you."
"Thank you, madam," said the doctor, with a very perceptible change in his manner. "We know who the lady was already."
He moved the bag of scudi while he spoke back to his own side of the table. Brigida's cheeks reddened, and she rose from her seat.
"Am I to understand, sir," she said, haughtily, "that you take advantage of my position here, as a defenseless woman, to cheat me out of the reward?"
"By no means, madam," rejoined the doctor. "We have covenanted to pay the reward to the person who could give us the information we required."
"Well, sir! have I not given you part of it? And am I not prepared to give you the whole?"
"Certainly; but the misfortune is, that another person has been beforehand with you. We ascertained who the lady in the yellow domino was, and how she contrived to personate the face of the late Countess D'Ascoli, several hours ago from another informant. That person has consequently the prior claim; and, on every principle of justice, that person must also have the reward. Nanina, this bag belongs to you--come and take it."
Nanina appeared from the window-seat. Brigida, thunderstruck, looked at her in silence for a moment; gasped out, "That girl!"--then stopped again, breathless.