And Zara forgot her usual dignity as she almost rushed across the hall to the library, to talk:—it was Mimo, of course, so her presence of mind came to her and as the butler held the door for her she said, “Call a taxi at once.”
She took the receiver up, and it was, indeed, Mimo’s voice—and in terrible distress.
It appeared from his almost incoherent utterances that little Agatha had teased Mirko and finally broken his violin. And that this had so excited him, in his feverish state, that it had driven him almost mad, and he had waited until all the household, including the nurse, were asleep, and, with superhuman cunning, crept from his bed and dressed himself, and had taken the money which his Cherisette had given him for an emergency that day in the Park, and which he had always kept hidden in his desk; and he had then stolen out and gone to the station—all in the night, alone, the poor, poor lamb!—and there he had waited until the Weymouth night mail had come through, and had bought a ticket, and got in, and come to London to find his father—with the broken violin wrapped in its green baize cover. And all the while coughing—coughing enough to kill him! And he had arrived with just enough money to pay a cab, and had come at about five o’clock and could hardly wake the house to be let in; and he, Mimo, had heard the noise and come down, and there found the little angel, and brought him in, and warmed him in his bed. And he had waited to boil him some hot milk before he could come to the public telephone near, to call her up. Oh! but he was very ill—very, very ill—and could she come at once—but oh!—at once!
And Tristram, entering the room at that moment, saw her agonized face and heard her say, “Yes, yes, dear Mimo, I will come now!” and before he could realize what she was doing she brushed past him and rushed from the room, and across the hall and down to the waiting taxicab into which she sprang, and told the man where to go, with her head out of the window, as he turned into Grosvenor Street.
The name “Mimo” drove Tristram mad again. He stood for a moment, deciding what to do, then he seized his coat and hat and rushed out after her, to the amazement of the dignified servants. Here he hailed another taxi, but hers was just out of sight down to Park Street, when he got into his.
“Follow that taxi!” he said to the driver, “that green one in front of you—I will give you a sovereign if you never lose sight of it.”
So the chase began! He must see where she would go! “Mimo!” the “Count Sykypri” she had telegraphed to—and she had the effrontery to talk to her lover, in her uncle’s house! Tristram was so beside himself with rage he knew if he found them meeting at the end he would kill her. His taxi followed the green one, keeping it always in view, right on to Oxford Street, then Regent Street, then Mortimer Street. Was she going to Euston Station? Another of those meetings perhaps in