“What’s up?” he asked, irritably. “You look as white as a ghost.”
“I will get into the carriage,” I said, “I am cold.” And Atkinson and McGreggor arranged my cushion and rugs for me, Augustus uneasily watching the platform meanwhile.
Two of the men who had been at Harley passed, and, seeing me, came up and spoke. They were going to Myrlton, too, I found.
“Why don’t you get in here?” I said, graciously, to the funny one they had called “Billy,” and whose other name I had never grasped. “It is so dull to travel alone with one’s husband.”
He got in and sat opposite me. We talked merrily.
“Why don’t you get in, Gurrage?” he said, “It is horribly cold with the door open.”
Augustus is not clever under these circumstances. He has no sang-froid, and is inclined to become ill-tempered.
At the last moment, before the train started, Lady Grenellen tore down the platform. Augustus rushed to meet her, and the guard slammed our door.
Whether they had got in somewhere else we should not know until we arrived at Rugby Junction, where we were to change onto a branch line. I used the whole force of my will to put the matter out of my head. I told myself the doings of Augustus were nothing to me, and henceforth should not concern me in any way.
At last I succeeded in being quite able to enjoy my companion’s conversation.
At Rugby we had a quarter of an hour to wait. Nothing of the other couple was to be seen. Apparently they must have missed the train, after all.
A few moments before the branch train started a special dashed into the station, and out got Lady Grenellen and Augustus. She was looking most radiant and lovely, but Augustus had an expression of unease and self-consciousness as he greeted us.
“Was it not too provoking, just missing the train,” Lady Grenellen said, laughing. “Mr. Gurrage insisted upon having a special. Such a mercy he was there, as I could not possibly have afforded one.”
This was the first time she had acknowledged my existence. Mr. Billy chaffed Augustus, and we all got into a saloon carriage together. It had been engaged by the Duke, and four or five people were already seated in it. They appeared all to be friends of Lady Grenellen’s, and she was soon the soul of the party, laughing and telling of her mishap about the train, her white teeth gleaming and her rouge-pink cheeks glowing like a peach. No one could be more attractive, and I ceased to blame Augustus, I could understand a man, if this lovely creature looked at him with eyes of favor, giving up any one, or committing any folly, for her sake.
Apparently, for the moment, she had finished with Augustus, for she snubbed him sharply once or twice, and finally retired with a beautiful young man into the compartment beyond, kissing her hand to the rest as she went through the door.
“I am going to talk business with Luffy till we get to Myrlton,” she said.