His eyes fairly glistened as they fell on the book.
“For heaven’s sake, don’t torture me. Give me the book and have it your own way, whatever it is you want.”
She laughed, gave him the book, and he was at the table instantly, sweeping back the dishes with a ruthless hand.
“No, no, into the study you go, while I make a descent on your landlady, rescue your clothes, and get the license and the minister, my liege lord.”
She settled him at his desk, where he was immediately lost to his surroundings.
Bambi slipped out noiselessly, dressed for the street, humming a little song, and presently departed.
Meanwhile, his first recitations being over, the Professor returned for two hours’ research in his study, to find Jarvis ensconced there, oblivious to the outside world. “Go away, go away!” he shouted to Professor Parkhurst.
“I’ll trouble you to get out of my study,” said the Professor.
“You’ll get your filthy money in due time, my good woman, so go away!” cried Jarvis.
“Whom are you addressing? Good woman, indeed!”
At this moment Bambi returned, and sensed the situation.
“Oh, I didn’t expect you back, Father Professor. This is Jarvis. You see he’s come. He has no objection at all to my marrying him, so I got a minister.”
“A minister? You got him?”
“Yes, you see Jarvis is busy. There is no need of our waiting, so we are going to be married in half an hour or so.”
“Yes, right here, as soon as Jarvis finishes this scene.”
“Is he going to occupy my library permanently?” wailed the Professor.
“No, no. I’ll fix him a place on the top floor.”
“He’s not at all my choice,” said Professor Parkhurst firmly, gazing at the unconscious Jocelyn. “You can see by the way he tosses paper about that he is neither methodical nor orderly.”
“Those are husband traits that I can do without, thank you.”
“‘Scuse me, but yo’ all expectin’ the preacher up here? He say Miss Bambi tol’ him to cum here at eleben o’clock.”
“Yes, show him right in here.”
Ardelia reappeared with the Reverend Dr. Short at her heels. Bambi greeted him, and Professor Parkhurst shook hands absently. Bambi went to lean over Jarvis. He suddenly threw down his pen, stretched himself, and groaned.
“Now, if I can just get the last act outlined——”
“Jarvis, just a minute, please.”
He suddenly looked at her, and at the other two.
“This is Reverend Dr. Short, Mr. Jarvis Jocelyn.”
“I have nothing to say to orthodoxy,” Jarvis began, but Bambi interrupted him.
“Doctor Short has come to marry us. Stand up here for a few moments, and then you can go on with your third act.”
She laid her hand on his arm, and drew him to his feet.