'I'm sorry, Anna.' Suddenly aware of Anna's grow-ing apprehension, Lucinda tried to speak calmly. 'It'sa shock, I admit, and while I don't doubt your wordI do find it hard to believe Lamont could do such athing. I never liked the man and perhaps it's unfor-tunate I never tried to conceal it, but I don't think forone minute, if he does mean to open the Castle as ahotel, that there could be anything personal behind hismotives. We've only met once or twice and it's appar-ently years since he's actually lived here.''He's been too busy amassing a fortune in foreignparts. At least we all know that,' Anna shook her grey-ing head sagely. 'What made him decide to return homepermanently is another matter. Maybe he just wants tospend the last of his days here, although, as Jock wassaying, he'll scarcely be forty.''Bruce Lamont isn't the sort of man to think abouthis last days,' Lucinda retorted bitterly. 'Each new one will merely be a challenge until he comes to the endof them. And then he'll be surprised!''Now I don't know,' Anna gazed at her young part-ner doubtfully. 'Anyway, dear, don't let him upset youtoo much until we learn a bit more. After all, he is just one man!''Against two women, you mean?' Lucinda's greeneyes darkened bleakly. 'You know he's the kind of man who could fight a dozen women and win, if only be-cause he has enough money to employ the most tellingmethods. In the Castle he has every weapon to deal with us that he could possibly require
and I don'tmean only those which decorate his impressive hall. What tourist coming here for a holiday would so muchas consider stopping at our humble door when he canhave such spectacular beauty, so much authentic at-mosphere just a mile or so away? To say nothing of Mr Lamont himself. However much one might deploresuch a man one could never deny he has the sort of presence strangers seem to look for in a Scottish laird!'