“The shortest possible service, please, Doctor Short. Jarvis is so busy to-day.”
Doctor Short looked from the strange pair to Professor Parkhurst, who looked back at him.
“You are sure this is all right?” he questioned.
“Do tell him to be quick, Bambi. If it’s about that landlady I cannot——”
“’Sh! Go ahead, Doctor Short.”
Doctor Short read the service, and between the three of them they induced Jarvis to make the proper responses. He seemed utterly unaware of what was going on about him, and at the end of a brief service, when Bambi’s hand was taken from his arm, he sat down to work at once. Bambi led the other two men from the room.
“He acted as if he were drunk, or drugged, but he isn’t. He’s just full of an idea,” she smilingly explained.
“Have you known this young man long?” Doctor Short asked the Professor.
“Have we, my dear?”
“We have known him fifteen years,” she answered.
“Well, of course that makes a difference,” murmured the reverend gentleman. “I wish you every happiness, Mrs. Jocelyn,” he added, and took his departure.
“How soon can you get him out of my study?” asked the Professor, looking at his watch. “I have only one hour left before lunch.”
“Felicitate me, Professor, felicitate me on my marriage.”
“I hope you will be happy, my dear, but I doubt it. His lack of consideration in taking my study——”
Bambina looked at him, and began to laugh. Peal followed peal of laughter until tears stood in her eyes.
“I’ll go rescue the study, Herr Professor. Oh, this is too rich! Bernard Shaw ought to know about me,” she laughed, as she tripped upstairs.
So it was that Bambina acquired a husband.
Two days later Jarvis, shaved, properly dressed, and apparently sane, appeared on the piazza, where Bambi and the Professor were at lunch. He hesitated on the threshold until they both turned toward him.
“Good morning,” he ventured.
“Good morning, Jarvis,” said Bambi gayly.
“Morning,” tersely, from the head of the house.
“Might I ask how long I have been sojourning on the top floor of this house, and how I got there?”
“Do you mean to say you don’t know?”
“Haven’t an idea. I have a faint recollection of a big disturbance, and then peace, heavenly peace, with black coffee every once in a while, and big ideas flowing like Niagara.”
Bambina’s eyes shone at him, but her father looked troubled.
“You know what the big disturbance was, don’t you?” he asked.
“It seems to me I wanted paper—that somebody was taking my things away——”
“You’d better tell him, Francesca; he doesn’t remember, so I don’t think it can be legal.”
Jarvis looked from one to the other.