“Mind? Of course not,” Stella answered. “I have been rather a beast to him myself, and I think it’s very decent of you, after everything, to have anything to do with me. Who on earth is this young man?”
They were in the hall of the Mansions, face to face with a young man who was in the act of entering. Virginia looked up, and gave a startled little cry.
“You!” she exclaimed breathlessly.
Guy quite ignored her companion, and took her by the hands. “Virginia!” he exclaimed. “At last! Where have you been hiding yourself, and how dared you run away from me?”
“There didn’t seem to be much else for me to do,” Virginia answered smiling; “but I am very glad to see you again now,” she added in a lower tone.
“How well you look!” he exclaimed. “Where can we go and sit down? I want to talk to you, and remember I am not going to let you out of my sight again.”
Stella, whom they had both forgotten, intervened.
“It seems to me,” she said, “that it is fortunate I have an engagement. At eight o’clock then, Virginia.”
Guy lifted his hat, and Virginia murmured something.
“It is my cousin Stella,” she said. “What is it that you want to say to me, Guy?” she added, half shyly, as soon as they were alone.
“Come and get in my automobile,” he said. “We will sit behind and let the man drive. Then we can talk. But the first thing I have to say to you is this: that I do not want to ask you a single question, nor am I going to permit any one else to ask you anything. Whoever you are and whatever you are, you are going to be my wife as soon as I can get another special license.”
She laughed softly.
“Very well,” she said, “only you must come in my automobile instead, and send yours away. If you like I will take you for a little drive.”
“Just as you like,” he answered, looking with some surprise at the car which stood waiting for Virginia, with its two immaculate servants. “It seems to me, dear,” he added, with a note of disappointment in his tone, “that you have reached the end of your troubles without my help.”
“I think I have, Guy,” she answered, “but I am just as pleased to see you. Would you like to come and be introduced to my uncle and guardian?”
“Rather!” he answered.
“Back to Claridge’s,” she told the footman, and they stepped inside.
“This isn’t a dream, is it?” Guy asked.
“I don’t believe so,” she answered. “You will find my uncle human enough, at any rate.”
A DINNER PARTY
Phineas Duge in London was still a man of affairs. With a cigar in his mouth, and his hands behind his back, he was strolling about his handsomely furnished sitting-room at Claridge’s, dictating to a secretary, while from an adjoining room came the faint click of a typewriter. Virginia entered somewhat unceremoniously, followed by Guy. Phineas Duge looked at them both in some surprise.