“Say, that’s some man, Sylvanus Power!” he exclaimed admiringly. “He is one of our multimillionaires, Mr. Ware. What do you think of him?”
“So far as one can judge from a few seconds’ conversation,” Philip remarked, “he seems to possess all the qualities essential to the production of a multimillionaire in this country.”
Mr. Fink grinned.
“Sounds a trifle sarcastic, but I guess he’s a new type to you,” he observed tolerantly.
“Absolutely,” Philip acknowledged, as he turned and made his way slowly out of the theatre.
Philip’s disposition had been so curiously affected by the emotions of the last few months that he was not in the least surprised to find himself, that evening, torn by a very curious and unfamiliar spasm of jealousy. After an hour or so of indecision he made his way, as usual, to the theatre, but instead of going at once to Elizabeth’s room, he slipped in at the back of the stalls. The house was crowded, and, seated in the stage box, alone and gloomy, his somewhat austere demeanour intensified by the severity of his evening clothes, sat Sylvanus Power with the air of a conqueror. Philip, unaccountably restless, left his seat in a very few minutes, and, making his way to the box office, scribbled a line to Elizabeth. The official to whom he handed it looked at him in surprise.
“Won’t you go round yourself, Mr. Ware?” he suggested. “Miss Dalstan has another ten minutes before she is on.”
Philip shook his head.
“I’m looking for a man I know,” he replied evasively. “I’ll be somewhere about here in five minutes.”
The answer came in less than that time. It was just a scrawled line in pencil:
“Forgive me, dear. I will explain everything in the morning, if you will come to my rooms at eleven o’clock. This evening I have a hateful duty to perform and I cannot see you.”
Philip, impatient of the atmosphere of the theatre, wandered out into the streets with the note in his pocket. Broadway was thronged with people, a heterogeneous, slowly-moving throng, the hardest crowd to apprehend, to understand, of any in the world. He looked absently into the varying stream of faces, stared at the whirling sky-signs, the lights flashing from the tall buildings, heard snatches of the music from the open doors of the cafes and restaurants. Men, and even women, elbowed him, unresenting, out of the way, without the semblance of an apology. It seemed to him that his presence there, part of the drifting pandemonium of the pavement, was in a sense typical of his own existence in New York. He had given so much of his life into another’s hands and now the anchor was dragging. He was suddenly confronted with the possibility of a rift in his relations with Elizabeth; with a sudden surging doubt, not of Elizabeth herself but simply a feeling of insecurity with regard to their future. He