Selingman dived once more into his pocket-book. He passed a packet across the table.
“Young man,” he said, “that sum has been collected for your funds by the friends of your country abroad. Take it and use it as you think best. All that I ask from you is that what you do, you do quickly. Let me suggest an occasion for you. The Archduke of Austria will be in your capital almost as soon as you can reach home.”
The boy’s face was transfigured. His great eyes were lit with a wonderful fire. His frame seemed to have filled out. Norgate looked at him in wonderment. He was like a prophet; then suddenly he grew calm. He placed his pardon, to which was attached his passport, and the notes, in his breast-coat pocket. He rose to his feet and took the cap from the floor by his side.
“There is a train to-night,” he announced. “I wish you farewell, gentlemen. I know nothing of you, sir,” he added, turning to Selingman, “and I ask no questions. I only know that you have pointed towards the light, and for that I thank you. Good night, gentlemen!”
He left them and walked out of the restaurant like a man in a dream. Selingman helped himself to a liqueur and passed the bottle to Norgate.
“It is in strange places that one may start sometimes the driving wheels of Fate,” he remarked.
Anna almost threw herself from the railway carriage into Norgate’s arms. She kissed him on both cheeks, held him for a moment away from her, then passed her arm affectionately through his.
“You dear!” she exclaimed. “Oh, how weary I am of it! Nearly a week in the train! And how well you are looking! And I am not going to stay a single second bothering about luggage. Marie, give the porter my dressing-case. Here are the keys. You can see to everything.”
Norgate, carried almost off his feet by the delight of her welcome, led her away towards a taxicab.
“I am starving,” she told him. “I would have nothing at Dover except a cup of tea. I knew that you would meet me, and I thought that we would have our first meal in England together. You shall take me somewhere where we can have supper and tell me all the news. I don’t look too hideous, do I, in my travelling clothes?”
“You look adorable,” he assured her, “and I believe you know it.”
“I have done my best,” she confessed demurely. “Marie took so much trouble with my hair. We had the most delightful coupe all to ourselves. Fancy, we are back again in London! I have been to Italy, I have spoken to kings and prime ministers, and I am back again with you. And queerly enough, not until to-morrow shall I see the one person who really rules Italy.”
“Who is that?” he asked.
“I am not sure that I shall tell you everything,” she decided. “You have not opened your mouth to me yet. I shall wait until supper-time. Have you changed your mind since I went away?”