Framtree laughed again, and tried hard to understand what was in the other’s mind. Bedient’s simplicity was too deep for him. They talked for an hour, each singularly attracted, but evading any subject that would call in the matters of political unrest. Each felt that the other wanted to be square, but Bedient saw that it would be useless to impress upon Framtree how little hampered he was by Jaffier.... At daybreak the next morning, the fruity old Henlopen pointed out toward the reefs, and presently was nudging her way through the coral passage, as confidently as if the trick of getting to sea from Coral City was part of the weathered consciousness of her boilers and plates.
Andante con moto
THE LONG-AWAITED WOMAN
Bedient went directly to the house-number of David Cairns in West Sixty-seventh Street, without telephoning for an appointment. It happened that the time of his arrival was unfortunate. Something of this he caught, first from the look of the elevator attendant, who took him to the tenth floor of a modern studio-building; and further from the man-servant who answered his ring at the Cairns apartment.
“Mr. Cairns sees no one before two o’clock, sir,” said the latter, whose cool eye took in the caller.
Bedient hesitated. It was now twelve-forty-five. He felt that Cairns would be hurt if he went away. “Tell him that Andrew Bedient is here, and that I shall be glad to wait or call again, just as he prefers.”
And now the servant hesitated. “It is very seldom we disturb him, sir. Most of his friends understand that he is not available between nine and two.”
Bedient was embarrassed. The morning in the city had preyed upon him. Realizing his discomfort, and the petty causes of it, he became unwilling to leave. “I am not of New York and could not know. I think you’d better tell Mr. Cairns and let him judge——”
The servant had reached the same conclusion. Bedient was shown into a small room, furnished with much that was peculiarly metropolitan to read.... He rather expected Cairns to rush from some interior, and waited ten minutes, glancing frequently at the door through which the servant had left.... His heart had bounded at the thought of seeing David, and he smiled at his own hurt.... A door opened behind him. The writer came forward quietly, with warm dignity caught him by both shoulders and smilingly searched his eyes. Bedient was all kindness again. “Doubtless his friends come in from Asia often,” he thought.
“Andrew, it’s ripping good to see you.... Why didn’t you let me know you were coming?”
“I didn’t want you to alter your ways at all.”
“You see, I have to keep these morning hours——”
“Go back—I’ll wait gladly, or call when you like.”