“Don’t like it.”
“I play a hurry game myself,” he laughed. “Dance?”
“With a greatness of pleasure,” I answered.
After that for a time he puffed at his cigarette and I looked around the long dining room that was almost as large as the dining-hall at the Chateau de Grez and which was dark and rich and full of old silver on the sideboard and old portraits on the walls. Finally my Buzz put out the stub of his cigarette in his saucer and looked me keenly in the face as I raised my eyes to his.
“Booze?” he asked quietly.
“That’s good, old top. Me neither! Say, let’s go call on Sue and you can get a nice little initiation into the girl bunch before the General stops you by locking you away from them.”
“I wish that I might, but I must unpack my bags and write the letters to small Pierre and my nurse Nannette; also be ready for translations for my Uncle, the General Robert, when he arrives. Will you persuade the lovely Mademoiselle Sue that she save one little dance for me on that evening of Tuesday?” I said as we rose and walked down the long hall towards the wide door under the budding rose vine.
“She’ll dead sure give you one—of mine,” he answered me with a laugh, “but come along with me now, L’Aiglon. The General won’t be home until night. I laid some letters on his desk that will hold him and Governor Bill until sunset. They’ll have pie and milk sent in and work it all out together. What’s the use of having them to watch the affairs of the State of Harpeth for us if we don’t use the time they are on watch in having some joy life? Come on!”
“I go,” I made answer with a great pleasure.
Then we descended to the gray car of much speed and did use that speed in turning many streets until we came to another very fine old house, where, I was informed by my Mr. Buzz Clendenning, resides that Mademoiselle Susan of so much loveliness.
And it is of a truth that I discovered that loveliness to be as great as was told to me by her true lover. When I raised my head from the kiss of presentation I gave to her hand I looked into very deep and very wonderful girl eyes that had in their depths tears that were for a sympathy for me, I knew. My heart of an exile beat very high in my own girl’s breast that ached for the refuge of her woman’s arms, and I must have partly betrayed my yearning to her, for I saw an expression of confused question come into her eyes that looked into mine; then the beautiful thing that had come into my Mr. Buzz Clendenning’s eyes for me came also into hers in place of the question. I saw then in those eyes a sister born to the boy Robert Carruthers of a great French strangeness.
“I’ve been thinking about you all morning, Mr. Carruthers, and hoping Buzz would bring you with him to see me first of all. I wanted to be the first one of the girls to say, ‘Welcome home’ to you.” And as she spoke those words of much tenderness I again bent over her hand in salutation because I could give forth no words from my throat.