“They’ll have to pass us. There’s no other way.” Words not utterable were smothered under Selwyn’s breath. “A few more minutes and they’ll be going down the mountain, however, and will soon be out of sight. Are you cold? Do you mind staying up here for a little while—with all the world away?”
“No. I want to stay.” I leaned forward. In the machine, now near enough to see that two people were in its back seat and the driver alone in front, there was also leaning forward; then hurried movement, then the man behind got up and waved his hat, and the girl beside him got up also.
Slowly Selwyn turned to me, in his eyes rebellious protest. “It is Mr. and Mrs. Cressy, and there’s no way of getting rid of them. They’ve motored over instead of waiting for the train. Have they no sense, no understanding?”
“And they think they’ve been so considerate in hurrying to us!” The tone of my voice was that of Selwyn’s. “Is there nothing we can do?”
“Nothing—unless we tell them to wait here while we go over to Shelby. The reward of virtue was never to my taste! Our one day together—”
He turned away, but quickly I followed him; in his hand slipped mine. “I’m sorry, Selwyn—but there will be another day—be many days.”
Many undeserved blessings have come to me in life and have made me temporarily meek and humble, but when punishments come which are unwarranted, meekness and humility (of which I have never possessed a sufficient amount, inasmuch as I am a person without money) disappear, and I am not a lowly-minded lady. I was punished for my part in helping Tom and Madeleine get married by action of Mrs. Swink that was as astounding as it was unexpected. Mrs. Swink is a wily woman. She has little education and large understanding of human nature. She knows when she is beaten. In a woman such knowledge is unusual.
The day after our return from Claxon she appeared in my sitting-room in Scarborough Square and, throwing her arms around me, kissed me three times. She attempted a fourth kiss, which I prevented, and followed the kisses with an outburst of tears that was proportionate to her person in volume and abundance. Feeling as one does who is overtaken by a shower when the sun is shining, I made effort to draw away, but my head was again pressed on her broad bosom, and with fresh tears I was thanked for my kindness in chaperoning her daughter on her matrimonial adventure; an adventure which would have subjected her to much criticism had I not been along. Also Mr. Thorne. The unexpectedness of these thanks was disconcerting and, with an expression that was hardly appreciative of the pose she was assuming, I finally rescued myself from her arms and, drawing off, looked at her for explanation. Mrs. Swink is not a person I care to have kiss me.