Elizabeth turned and smiled at him sympathetically.
“Your coming must have been rather a shock,” she reminded Beatrice. “You came with the idea, did you not, that—you would find Mr. Douglas Romilly?”
The girl nodded and glanced around for the maid, who had disappeared, however, into an inner apartment.
“They were always alike,” she confided,—“the same figures, same shaped head and that sort of thing. Douglas was a little overfond of life, though, and Philip here hasn’t found out yet what it means. It was a shock, though, Miss Dalstan. Philip was sitting in the dark when I arrived at his rooms this evening, and—I thought it was Douglas.”
Elizabeth shivered a little.
“Don’t let us talk about it,” she begged. “You must come and see me, won’t you, Miss Wenderley? Philip will tell you where I live. Are you going back to England at once?”
“I haven’t made up my mind yet,” the girl replied, with a slight frown. “It just depends.”
Elizabeth glanced at the little clock upon her table, and Philip threw away his cigarette and came forward.
“We must go, Beatrice,” he announced. “Miss Dalstan has to change her dress for this act.”
He held out his hand and Elizabeth rose lightly to her feet. So far, no word as to their two selves had passed their lips. She smiled at him and all this sense of throbbing, almost theatrical excitement subsided. He was once more conscious of the beautiful things beyond. Once more he felt the rest of her presence.
“You must let me see something of you tomorrow, Philip,” she said. “Telephone, will you? Good night, Miss Wenderley.”
The maid, who had just returned, held the door open. Philip glanced back over his shoulder. Elizabeth blew him a kiss, a gesture which curiously enough brought a frown to Beatrice’s face.
The close of the performance left them both curiously tongue-tied. They waited until the theatre was half empty before they left their seats. Then they joined the little throng of stragglers at the end.
“Your play!” she murmured, as they faced the soft night air. “I can’t believe it, even now. We’ve seen it together—your play—and this is New York! That’s a new ending, isn’t it?”
“Absolutely,” he confessed. “The ending was always what bothered me, you know.”
She laughed, not quite naturally. She was unexpectedly impressed.
“So you’re a genius, after all,” she went on. “Sometimes I wondered—but never mind that now. Philip, do you know I am starving? We took exactly ten minutes over dinner!”
He led her to a huge restaurant a few doors away, where they found a corner table. Up in the balcony an orchestra was playing light music, and a little crowd of people were all the time streaming through the doors. Beatrice settled herself down with an air of content. Few of the people were in evening dress, and the tone of the place was essentially democratic. Philip, who had learnt a little about American dishes, gave an order, and Beatrice sipped her cocktail with an air of growing appreciation.