“Can you describe this boy more closely?”
“Well, sir, I don’t know if I can say anything more about him except that he has red hair and big bright eyes that are too large for his face.”
“I thought so,” said Holymead as if speaking to himself. “It’s the same boy.”
“What did you say, sir?” asked Kemp.
“Nothing, Kemp, except that I think I’ve seen a boy of this description hanging about the street near the hotel.”
Holymead rose to his feet as he spoke, as an indication that the interview was at an end. Kemp got up and looked at him anxiously.
“I beg your pardon, sir, for coming here,” he said, fumbling with the rim of his hat as he spoke. “I didn’t know how you’d take it, but I hope I’ve done right. They didn’t want to let me see you.”
“You did quite right, Kemp. I am very much obliged to you.” He was feeling in his pocket for silver, but Kemp stopped him.
“No, no, sir. I don’t want to be paid anything. I wanted to oblige you like; I wanted to do you a good turn. I’d do anything for you, sir—you know I would.”
“I believe you would, Kemp. Good night.”
“Good night, sir.”
As Kemp passed down the hall he met the manager, who was obviously pleased to see such an unwelcome visitor making his departure. Kemp scowled at the manager as if he were a valued patron of the hotel and said, “It seems to me that you don’t know how to treat people properly when they come here.”
It was the first occasion on which Mrs. Holymead had visited her husband’s chambers in the Middle Temple. Mr. Mattingford, who had been Mr. Holymead’s clerk for nearly twenty years, seemed to realise that the visit was important, though as a married man he knew that a meeting between husband and wife in town was usually so commonplace as to verge on boredom for the husband. There were occasions when he had to meet Mrs. Mattingford, but these meetings were generally for the purpose of handing over to the lady her weekly dress allowance of ten shillings out of his salary, so that she might attend the sales at the big drapery shops in the West End and inspect the windows containing expensive articles that she could not hope to buy. Mr. Mattingford was an exceedingly thrifty man, and his wife possessed some of the qualities of a spendthrift. Thus it came about that Mr. Mattingford kept up the fiction that he had no savings and that each week’s salary must see him through till the next week. Mrs. Mattingford knew that her husband had saved money, and theoretically she would have given a great deal to know how much. She repeatedly accused him of being a miser, but this is a wifely denunciation which in all classes of life is lightly made when the purchase of feminine finery is under discussion. There are some men who resent it, but Mr. Mattingford was not one of these. Protests and prayers, abuse