“How—how’s your husband?” he said irrelevantly. The car was keeping up with them.
“Very well, thank you.” (Would it reach the next station before them?)
“You—you have a pleasant home?” he asked. (A slight blockade below impeded, momentarily, the “taxi”. Mr. Heatherbloom raised his handkerchief to his moist brow.)
“Lovely,” she answered. “Are you going far?”
“Brooklyn,” he said at random. What were they talking about? (The car was once more under way; fortunately their progress overhead would not be impeded by a press of vehicles.)
“That’s where we live—Brooklyn,” she said.
“Is it? Got a nice house?” He had practically asked this question before; but he hardly knew what he was saying. A policeman had stopped the “taxi” and was shaking his head, as at a rather “fishy” story. Mr. Heatherbloom by a species of telepathy, seemed to overhear the excited talk waging below.
“Oh, yes; lovely!” Jane’s accents were but parenthetical to something else. The “taxi” had been allowed to proceed, in spite of the detaining thought-waves Mr. Heatherbloom had launched toward the officer of the law. The occupant had probably showed a badge; Mr. Heatherbloom stretched his neck out of the window.
“You can come around and see, sometime, if you want to.” Pride in her voice. “And meet my husband.” Husband was a very substantial baker.
“Charmed, I’m sure! Ha! ha!” He suddenly laughed.
“What is it?” She looked startled.
“Funniest accident!” He waved his hat, as at some one, out of the window. “See that taxi! Bumped into a dray. Ha! ha!”
“I don’t see anything so funny in that.” Straightening.
“No? You should have seen the expression on his face—”
“The—ah, drayman’s, of course! He—looked so mad.”
“I should have thought,” she observed, “the man in the car would have been the maddest It couldn’t have hurt the dray much.”
“No? Perhaps that’s what made it seem so funny to me.”
“Well,” she said, “I never noticed before that you had a great sense of humor.”
“You never knew me.” Jauntily.
They got off at Brooklyn Bridge together. As they made their way through the crowd, Mr. Heatherbloom appeared most care-free and very sedulous of his companion’s welfare, especially when they passed one or two loiterers who seemed eying the passengers rather closely.
“Two for Brooklyn.” Mr. Heatherbloom laid down a dime at the ticket office.
Soon, unmolested, he sped on once more; but as they crossed the busy river all his light-heartedness seemed suddenly to desert him; the questions he had been vainly asking himself earlier that day were reiterated in his brain. Where was she? What had become of her? His hands clasped closely. A red spot burned on his cheek.