"Pardon me, my dear friend," said the doctor; "I think you speak a little too warmly to the lady. She is quite right to take every precaution. We have the two hundred scudi here, madam," he continued, patting the money-bag; "and we are prepared to pay that sum for the information we want. But" (here the doctor suspiciously moved the bag of scudi from the table to his lap) "we must have proofs that the person claiming the reward is really entitled to it."
Brigida's eyes followed the money-bag greedily.
"Proofs!" she exclaimed, taking a small flat box from under her cloak, and pushing it across to the doctor. "Proofs! there you will find one proof that establishes my claim beyond the possibility of doubt."
The doctor opened the box, and looked at the wax mask inside it; then handed it to D'Arbino, and replaced the bag of scudi on the table.
"The contents of that box seem certainly to explain a great deal," he said, pushing the bag gently toward Brigida, but always keeping his, hand over it. "The woman who wore the yellow domino was, I presume, of the same height as the late countess?"
"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.