E. W. (Ethel Winifred) Savi.

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SATAN FINDS






BOOKS BY THE SAME AUTHOR

THE BACK O* BEYOND

THE REPROOF OF CHANCE

A BLIND ALLEY

THE DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

BABA AND THE BLACK SHEEP

SINNERS ALL

MISTRESS OF HERSELF

THE INCONSTANCY OF KITTY

A FOOL'S GAME

MAKING AMENDS

BREAKERS AHEAD

TAKEN BY STORM

THE OTHER MAN

DAGGERS DRAWN

ON THE RACK

NEITHER FISH NOR FLESH

SACKCLOTH AND ASHES

THE TREE OF KNOWLEDGE

THE PRINCE OF LOVERS

BANKED FIRES

WHEN THE BLOOD BURNS

THE DEVIL DRIVES

RULERS OF MEN

MOCK MAJESTY

THE MARQUISE RING

THE FATEFUL ESCAPADE

OUR TRESPASSES



Satan Finds

By E. W. Savi :: :: :: ::

Author of " The Daughter-in-law," " Rulers of Men,"
" Neither Fish nor Flesh," etc., etc. :: :: :: :: :: ::



LONDON: HURST & BLACKETT. LTD.
: : PATERNOSTER HOUSE, E.C. : :



ft

037



CONTENTS



CHAPTER

I AT A LOOSE END -

II ENCHANTMENT -

III ELYSIUM - - -

IV THE TRAIL - - - - -
V TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS -

VI A FORCED DECISION - - -

VII A GOOD SAMARITAN -

VIII A TWO-BERTH CABIN -

IX THE PLANTER - - - -

X EPISODES BY THE WAY

XI THE ENGINEER -

XII COMPARISONS ARE ODIOUS -

XIII THE INVITATION -

XIV THE KID -

XV A MINISTERING ANGEL -

XVI CHRISTMAS DAY -

XVII MEETING THE EXPRESS

XVIII BREWING TROUBLE

XIX AN ESCORT -

XX THE MISCHIEF MAKER -

XXI THE SHANTY -

XXII THE COMPACT -

XXIII THE SUBSTANCE FOR THE SHADOW

XXIV THE ELOPEMENT - - - -
XXV THE DIAGNOSIS -

XXVI BETTER FISH -

XXVII THE TRUTH -



PACK

7

18

31
40

52

65
78
89

97
1 08
116
126

135
146

155
165
176
187
197
206
218
227
241

254

263
272
281






SATAN FINDS

CHAPTER I

AT A LOOSE END

IT is one thing to leave for India with a host of friends
and relatives to see you off at the docks with " God
speed" and "farewell" called across the widening
gap as the vessel moves out, and another to return
after five years to an estranged England ; for five years
make a vast difference in these days to people and
places. Familiar spots revisited after a long absence,
have an aloof aspect ; relations have died or migrated ;
friends have fallen away, and your place is so well
filled, that you have the feeling of a visitor a bird of
passage the uprooted sense ; and find you are almost
an alien in your own land. The girls you once flirted
with, are married ; some are walking behind per-
ambulators. They are pleased to meet you again, but
the old footing is lost. In fact, you have lost touch
completely. Even the kiddies you had ragged in their
leggy youth, wearing the shortest of short skirts on
their naked limbs, are beginning to annex admirers
and steep their souls in dancing and the great game
of sex. You find you are speaking a different
language to theirs and that it is an effort to claim
their attention, while their eternal reference among
themselves to this and that of which you are in ignor-
ance to people by their Christian names of whom
you know nothing gets on your nerves till you
wonder why you came home at all. Better to have

7



8 SATAN FINDS

spent your furlough in America or Australia where
there can be no disappointments and disillusionments
for the Englishman and holiday maker.

In the home land, you realise that you are lonely,
and you resent it; also, you resent the feeling of
having dropped out of things; for the few months
you have in which to shake off dull care and business
routine, are not long enough if you would create new
interests for yourself and enjoy the best out of life.
Consequently, you wander aimlessly from one spot
to another a lonely spectator of other people's domes-
tic joys, and are bored, till you are ready to cut short
your leave and return to work before you are wanted
back in office unless you have been lucky enough
to meet with another lonely soul who, like yourself,
is home on furlough, and able to share your wander-
ings and grousings.

Perhaps, when you are due to return to India and
duty, you are introduced to the "one girl in the
world," who shows that she might grow fond of you
if only there were time to improve the acquaintance 1
But there is no time, and you leave England cursing
your fate; or, you marry in haste to repent at leisure.

Life is full of perversities which was how Gareth
felt after his furlough had nearly expired and he
met

But of that, anon I

There were few fellows lonelier than Gareth Wyn-
stay of the Indian Civil Service, when it came to
counting up relatives still existing in the United
Kingdom ; and they were so scattered, that he grace-
fully declined to do more than spend a few days with
each in rural places in the neighbourhood of Land's
End and Aberdeen, Donegal and Kilkenny. Life is
too short to waste in quiet spots, when on a holiday
and you come from the jungles of Hindustan. So
Gareth clung to London cultivating youthful cynicism
as he watched humanity and the vagaries of society.
He was quaintly old-fashioned in mind and ideals,



AT A LOOSE END 9

and had not ceased to wonder at the change five years
had wrought in the minds and manners of his genera-
tion. Women amazed him, yet intrigued him ; and
had it not been for a natural sense of refinement and
love of virtue and goodness in the sex, he might have
dipped deeper into the well of temptation than was
wise. But Gareth had acquired astonishing self-con-
trol for a man of his years which his contempt for vice
assisted materially, so that certain phases of London
life did not appeal to him and left him a dignified out-
sider.

He made a few acquaintances whose astounding
ignorance of India made conversation difficult. Some
feather-brained women were surprised that he should
still be so fair; just as though they expected him to
look like an Indian ! Had he shot tigers? and had he
suffered from the cholera morbus ? Most girls looked
upon him as a subject for pity since he was obliged
to live in a vast jungle among only blacks !

" I couldn't imagine anyone voluntarily choosing
to live in that ghastly country," said one. " Think
of the unsettled state of the natives! "

" Yes, indeed," said another. " And what a
broken home life I A cousin of mine writes that she
spends six months out of the twelve in the hills be-
cause the climate is so impossible in the plains in hot
weather; and next year she is bringing the babies
home while he remains behind to make the income."

" Appalling ! Marrying a man who works in India
is like a picnic. It can't last happy."

" And what a waste of existence if one has to vege-
tate in the jungles! "

" No one who regards marriage in India as a picnic,
and thinks life wasted if spent with him in the jungles,
should dream of undertaking it," was Gareth's sincere
advice. As a magistrate, he was obliged to put up
with jungle places while climbing the ladder of effici-
ency to fame. At the top, there were soft jobs even
knighthoods for those who have made their mark ;



io SATAN FINDS

hut it was true that any girl he married would have to
endure periods of isolation and quiet that few brought
up to a round of social engagements could endure, so
he was determined not to be in a hurry about taking
unto himself a wife. When he had sailed for home,
he had had a lurking hope that he would meet with
some sweet girl who would care for him sufficiently
to share all that was his lot to bear. He had seen
women face dangers and difficulties for the men they
love, and India offered many noble examples of wifely
devotion as well as matrimonial failures. He had
nursed ideals and dreams, and while ideals live and
dreams are beautiful, one never despairs.

However, before his holiday was over, he was very
nearly in despair of finding his ideal girl. It seemed
to him as an onlooker, that, since the war, girls
wanted a great deal of entertainment. When it was
not a theatre, it was a dance. Mostly, girls were
crazy on dancing, and could talk of nothing else. A
girl, for a companion, was an expensive indulgence
in fact, a luxury, he observed; for she expected pre-
sents, and drank champagne at dinner regardless of
its cost and the fact that, often, the boy who was treat-
ing her, could ill-afford the money. She was thought-
less, giddy, and artificial, even to the colour of her
hair and cheeks; and, conceiving it to be her mission
to entertain her escort, she was so at the cost of her
self-respect.

What was wrong with the girls of to-day ? Gareth
asked himself as he neared the end of his holiday
without having experienced a single attraction or been
able to lose himself in admiration of a woman. He
wondered if the war had spoilt girls as it had ruined
the lives of many men. Girls had had things very
much their own way during the general upheaval, and
children had grown up with unfortunate examples to
follow.

Gareth had a long talk with " Mousie " Errol about
it one day, but could not agree with her tolerant view



AT A LOOSE END n

of people and life. She was too absurdly charitable
but what could you expect from the daughter of such
a mother? Mrs. Errol had been one of the shining
examples of wifehood that had kept Gareth's respect
for women, alive, in spite of much that was disillusion-
ing. And her reward was a selfish and unappreciative
husband.

Mousie, aged twenty-eight and looking twenty,
whose proper name was Elizabeth, was a girl that took
some knowing to understand; but when you under-
stood her, you wondered how men were so blind as to
pass her by when looking for a partner in life. Yet
Gareth committed that mistake because he was accus-
tomed to using Mousie as a pal someone in whom to
confide and grouse to, just as though she were another
" fellow " with an intelligent mind and a sympathetic
heart. Had she been extraordinarily beautiful, he
might have been won to admiration and love; but
Mousie's nose was far from classical, and her baby
face too indefinite to appeal to his artistic sense. He
loved nothing better than sparring with her over a cup
of afternoon tea and talking of old times when her
father was a deputy magistrate in the same station,
and Mousie, finished with schooling, had travelled
out to her parents on the same boat that took Gareth
to his first post in the East. That was years ago.
Mousie's father had since retired on pension to a
popular suburb of London, taking with him his wife
and only child to minister to his comforts as in
Bengal, and in his dislike of entertaining, had de-
prived the girl of all chance of meeting eligible
bachelors and settling happily in life. She had failed
in India to impress the men, so was hardly likely, he
remarked bitterly to his wife, to do better at home
where men were scarce and thoroughly spoiled.

She had failed in India, said her mother, because
young married women absorbed the attentions of the
young men that were marriageable. As for Gareth
Wynstay . . . She could never make out Gareth



12 SATAN FINDS

Wynstay who seemed fond of Mousie, but never
wanted to propose. It was the same in India; theirs
was a great friendship which had resulted in a fitful
correspondence when Mousie came home to Baling,
and was just as warm and sincere during his holiday
when the Errols' house was accustomed to his sudden
appearances and as sudden departures. He would
drop in, refuse all invitations to dine, treat Mousie to
a theatre or two in the week, then vanish completely
till his need of a confidante brought him again to the
Errol's front door.

Mousie said, when questioned tactlessly by her
ingenuous mother, that it was perfectly natural for
Gareth and herself to be as brother and sister, since
neither had anyone in such close relationship, and
welcomed the comfort of the free and easy companion-
ship with no sentiment to spoil the frankness of their
intercourse.

Poor Mousie worked early and late to save her
parents the expense of a maid, and, consequently, had
little leisure to spare for sentiment, or the outward ex-
pression of it. Gareth who adored beautiful hands,
was furious to think how house-work was spoiling
Mousie's, when she would not have had to sacrifice
them had her father spent less on his own pleasures
and considered the comforts of his family, more. But
he doled out what he thought was ample for house
expenses and the needs of the two stay-at-homes,
while he attended race meetings and visited his club
whenever in the mood; and Mrs. Errol and her
daughter loved him too much to criticise his conduct
or disapprove. " Poor dear," said his wife, setting
the example of tolerance, "if it were not for these
amusements he would break up as many do after re-
tiring from India, just for want of an active life and
an interest in something as a hobby." That he spent
a great deal more on himself than was just, was never
mentioned, since who had the greatest right to the
lion share of the pension than he who had earned it



AT A LOOSE END 13

by the sweat of his brow? was Mrs. Errol's
philosophy.

" I shall never marry," said Gareth to Elizabeth
one day when they had discussed his chances while
home on leave. " Girls are intensely artificial now-a-
days, and I can't see anyone I have met, so far, caring
to sacrifice her the dansants, her Wimbledons and her
Henleys for the back o' beyond with any man who is
daft about her."

" She would, if she really loved him," said Mousie.

" They don't love like that in these giddy times.
I'll give it up and remain a bachelor to the end."

" You think so now ! Wait till the ' one and only '
comes along, and then you'll say something very
different."

"No, I won't. There will never be a 'one and
only,' for they are all cut on the same pattern. ' Mass
production,' I call it. They are all cheap like Ford
cars. See the way they lip-stick and powder in public,
just as though it were something to be proud of that
nature was being assisted by art."

" I suppose when we are hot and sticky, powder is
a great relief."

" Don't say 'we,' MoiJsie ! You never do it."

" Don't I ? " cried Mousie surveying her shiny nose
in the mirror opposite. " I would do it now, only I
haven't powder handy. I hate a polished skin as
much as anyone, and always snatch a moment to
smear my nose if it looks like a beacon."

" You, at least, don't do it in public.'*

" I admire those who are honest enough to do it in
public and in the presence of their admirers. It is
only a question of nerve. I haven't the strength of
mind, nor the admirers, so powder in secret."

" You always look neat and nice, and, with your
s'&in, are independent of powder. Girls in towns get
pale and pasty because they are out too late dancing
and flirting and living on their energy."



i 4 SATAN FINDS

" Oh, my dear Gareth ! I take no credit for my
rosy cheeks and early hours. If I hadn't so much to
do, I, too, might be jazzing and playing the very
devil. ' But for the grace of God ' don't forget
that! "

" You couldn't do it I "

"Couldn't I? Couldn't every mortal girl, given
the temptation ? but, wait, there is someone at the
back door and mother is out shopping. I'll be back
in a moment."

It was always like that at the Errols' house. Mousie
was either slogging in the kitchen or answering door-
bells, while her mother was making the house spot-
less above stairs, mending the linen, or buying stores.
Gareth always departed from the Errols' house with
the feeling of being left in mid-air ; there was gener-
ally an unfinished argument owing to domestic inter-
ruptions, or an unsatisfactory conversation conducted
in snatches, while Elizabeth rushed about her house-
hold duties which could not be neglected for any
caller. It was extremely annoying, for he knew that
Mousie could be very stimulating if it were possible
to pin her down for a talk as to-day, for instance.
He was just beginning to draw sparks when the
butcher, baker, or candle-stick maker must needs ring
the back door bell ! Confounded system of middle-
class dwellings ! Gareth thanked God inwardly that
his Service gave a bumper pension at the end of his
time, so that his wife and daughter (daughters?)
would have no drudgery, and plenty of leisure for
social life.

To return to Gareth Wynstay's boredom.

His holiday, on the whole, was disappointing. So
much so, that he determined never to take another
holiday again, unless in company with a kindred
spirit, that they might knock about together.

Two weeks before he was booked to sail, he was
passing through a wondrously lovely portion of Inver-
ness when his car broke down and obliged him to



AT A LOOSE END 15

break journey at a wayside hotel. He was exceed-
ingly annoyed at the delay, but knew immediately
that Fate had a hand in the business when he saw, in
the restaurant not far from where he was dining, the
loveliest and most delightfully feminine creature he
had ever in his life beheld. Gareth forgot his manners
in his admiration, and stared with unpardonable rude-
ness unable to take his eyes from her vivacious beauty.
She was dining at a table with two others, a man and
his wife, whom Gareth learned afterwards were pass-
ing hotel acquaintances, and the allure of her was
something he had never before known. The sparkle
in her violet eyes, the dimples in her velvet cheeks,
her little impudent way, were all greatly intriguing,
so that Gareth was determined to know her if he spent
the rest of his holiday chasing her about.

By and by, he discovered from the hotel register
that she was " Mrs. Smith," and the manager said
she was a widow in fact, she had admitted it when
booking her suite. Well off, he was sure, for she did
not seem to mind what she spent. She had come
there a week ago to renew her acquaintance with a
spot she had been familiar with in childhood, and did
not seem in a hurry to leave.

How was Gareth to effect an introduction, was the
important consideration. That he would have to
know her, and soon, was becoming imperative. Dun-
more, with its exquisite scenery and almost primeval
silence, offered ample opportunities for cultivating an
acquaintance, for the walks were picturesque and
lonely, a lake at the bottom of the hill held possi-
bilities of excursions and picnics, a deux.

And why not ? even if he had to return to India in
a fortnight, there was no reason why he should not
make the most of the time left and carry away with
hiai delightful memories? He had even heard of
couples marrying after a week's acquaintance, when
time pressed ! Gareth coloured hotly at the thour 1

and thrilled from head to foot at his own mat

2



16 SATAN FINDS

4MB

He was in love. Fallen headlong into it at first sight,
like any callow youth because the lady was a siren,
and her charm hypnotic.

For a very short while he fought the growing in-
fatuation, smoking on the terrace alone and bringing
all his common sense and logic to bear on the subject
while trying to realise that to stay on at that hotel
was utter folly, but was completely under a spell the
moment he returned into the lighted foyer and saw
the lady smoking a cigarette, alone.

How exquisitely she was dressed I how perfect
were the lines of her figure in the clinging
gown 1 With all his detestation of modern girls
and their freedom, his distrust of their characters,
he reluctantly admitted that this one would com-
pel adoration wherever she went. Though he
knew nothing about her, he was willing to
believe that she was virtuous and good ; for any-
one with such an angelic face and soft, confiding
looks, could be nothing but an angel of God. That
her vivid beauty was lightly assisted by art, made no
difference to the fact that she was a lady to her finger
tips. Ladies were now making free with the rouge
pot and lip-salves; and those only were condemned
who outraged nature by the clumsiness of their art.
Gareth took up a newspaper from behind which he
could feast his soul with stolen glances and wonder
how he could possibly get to know her. It was ter-
rible to know that day after day might pass before he
had the luck to make her acquaintance. He could not
imagine himself going up to her and introducing him-
self. What excuse had he for such a procedure ? He
could not say that he had been " bowled clean out "
by her beauty and charm, and could not exist another
hour without the privilege of her acquaintance!
Some men were brazen enough to do more, bui he
had never forced himself on the society of strange
passrtls or been guilty of other impertinences. A snub
ness w!d have been desperately humiliating.



AT A LOOSE END 17

However, to his amazement, far from wishing to
snub him, the lady's eyes, softly encouraging, met his
across the carpeted space between them, and she
signed to him to approach.

Gareth thrilled as he rose and obeyed, instantly.



CHAPTER II

ENCHANTMENT

" 1 DO think it is stupid, don't you ? " the lady asked
with downcast eyes as Gareth reached her side.
" Here we are, you and I, two perfectly harmless
people, debarred from associating with each other in
this dull place because there is no one to introduce
us!"

" I have been cursing my luck from the moment I
saw you," murmured Gareth, whom women thought
"slow." It only shows that men are quite daring
and capable of initiative when the spirit moves them.

" I refuse to be governed by conventions," said
she, delightfully, her voice sweetly flattering, and
further captivating him by the shy droop of her lids
and her air of coquetry. " I felt from the moment I
saw you that I I would have to know you. Does that
sound ' dreffully' bold?"

"It is the most charming thing I have heard for
years and it is very sweet of you to be frank. Of
course, I have been racking my brains for an excuse to
talk to you, but was so afraid you would think me
intrusive." He loved her mimic lisp and small affec-
tations.

" I have wonderful intuitions," said she, engag-
ingly, pulling at the tassel of a cushion. " I knew,
the moment 1 saw you, that I could trust you. You
are not like other men. You have such a protecting
way, so it makes me glad to think that you and I may
be friends."

18



ENCHANTMENT 19

" Thank you," said Gareth, with a wildly beating
heart. " I want you to look on me as a friend. My
name is "

" Oh, don't ! don't spoil it all ! " she cried, inter-
rupting him with a swift movement of her soft palm
on his lips, done with the impulsiveness of a child.
" I think it half the fun that we should not know any-
thing about each other, but just be two people meet-
ing out of a clear sky, so to speak, and accepting each
other on our face value, as they say, to enjoy an ideal
holiday ! I love adventure ! Let this be in the nature
of an adventure, will you? I could discover your
name in the hotel register, but I shall not look and
you ? I suppose you have already looked ? and they
say women are more curious than men I " she laughed
naively. " But that doesn't matter, it is not my name.
I couldn't be a ' Smith ' could you ? "

" It is a good, honest name but I will say it is far
too unromantic and practical for you, who are the
spirit of romance and adventure. But what shall we
call each other? "

She regarded him contemplatively for a moment,
her head on one side, her lips pursed, her eyes spark-
ling. " I'll call you Jack and you can call me Jill."

" No that's not half good enough for such a
romantic setting. You can call me Gareth and I shall
call you Lynette.' 1

The girl clapped her hands. " I love that I
' Gareth ' suits you it is so English and fair, while
' Lynette ' is sweet I "

" It suits you. So I am not to ask questions? " he
went on regarding her wistfully. " I should love
nothing better than to tell you all about myself. Who
I am, where I come from, my position in life "

" Why should you ? " she interrupted. "It is not
as if anything depended on the information. Nor can
it concern you to know why I am here so long as I
have come and mean to have a happy time with you.
When the time comes to part, we'll remember only



20 SATAN FINDS

' Gareth ' and ' Lynette ' and Dunmore hidden in the
mountains, the lake and the lovely scenery. We will
look back on our holiday as a ray of sunlight brighten-
ing the world for a space. Perhaps, if we are great
friends, we will each carry away a little memento of
this divine spot, till we grow old and cease to remem-
ber how we passed the time."

Gareth looked steadily into her dancing eyes, his
own suddenly grave as with foreboding. " You don't
believe that," said he, quietly. " You cannot believe
for an instant that you can flash in and out of a man's
life and think that things will ever be the same for him
again ? Other men must have made you aware of


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