At last they flung their cloaks around them, as their servants announced their carriage for the third time.
“Such an evening!” moaned Von Engel.
It might mean anything!
Bee bit her lip.
“I was never more loath to leave. Promise that you will be here when we return. It will only be ten days! Promise us!”
“I hardly think—” began Jimmie, but Bee trod on his foot.
“Ouch!” said Jimmie, fiercely.
“I beg your pardon, Jimmie, dear!” murmured Bee. “It is possible,” said Bee to Von Engel. “We never make plans, you know. We go whenever we are bored, or when we have nothing pleasant to look forward to.”
“Oh, then, pray remain! We shall fly to see you the moment we are free!”
“That surely is an inducement,” said Bee, with a little laugh, which caused Von Engel to colour.
Von Engel’s servant, under pretext of arranging the collar of his master’s cloak, here whispered peremptorily to him, and the officer started with a hurried “Yes, yes!” to his servant.
They bent and kissed our hands, and Von Furzmann, in the violence of his emotion, flung his arms around Jimmie and kissed him on the cheek. Then they dashed away down the long corridor, looking back and waving their hands to us.
Jimmie came into the room with his hand on the spot where Von Furzmann had kissed him.
“Well, I’ll be damned!” he said. “That was all your fault,” he added, looking at Bee.
“I’ve always said somebody would steal you, Jimmie!” I said.
“Did you enjoy yourself, dear?” asked Mrs. Jimmie kindly of Bee.
Bee stood up yawning.
“Oh, I don’t know,” she said. “These officers try to be so impressive. They urge you to take a little more pepper in the same tone that they would ask you to elope.”
Jimmie beamed on her.
When Bee and I were alone, I dropped limply on the bed. Bee turned to the light and read a crumpled note which Von Furzmann had thrust into her hand at parting. She handed it to me:
“I shall write every day, and shall count the hours until I see you again!” it read. I could just hear him shouting, “My heart is on fire!”
“Well, did you enjoy it?” I asked her.
“Enjoy it? Certainly not!”
“Why, I thought you were having the time of your life!” I cried.
“Oh, yes, in a way it was amusing. But did it ever occur to you that it wasn’t very flattering for those two unmarried officers to select the two married women in our party for their attentions when you, being unmarried, were the only legitimate object of their interest?”
I said nothing. To tell the truth I had not thought of it.