“There is no one else,” she answered calmly, “but if there ever should be, Oscar Immelan, and if you ever interfered with him, either in this country or any other, my arm would follow you around the world. Remember that.”
She turned away for a moment, eager to gain a brief respite from his darkening face. When she looked around, he was gone. She heard his footsteps passing down the corridor, the bell ringing for the lift, the clank of the gates as he stepped in. Once more she gazed out over the uninspiring prospect. There was a little more sunshine upon the river; more of the dusty chimney-pots seemed bathed in its silvery radiance. As she stood there, she felt herself growing calmer. The tension passed from her nerves. Her eyes grew soft again. Then an impulse came to her. She stretched out her hand for the telephone book, turned over the pages restlessly, looked through the “D’s” until she found the name for which she was searching. For a long time she hesitated. When at last she took up the receiver and asked for a number, she was conscious of a slight thrill, a sense of excitement which in moments of more complete self-control would at least have served as a warning to her.
The curtain fell upon the first act of “Louise.” The lights were turned up, the tenseness relaxed, men made dives for their hats, and the unmusical murmured the usual platitudes. Naida leaned forward from the corner of her box to the man who was her sole companion.
“Father,” she said, “I am expecting a caller with whom I wish to speak—Lord Dorminster. If he comes, will you leave us alone? And if any one else should be here, please take them away.”
“More mysteries,” her father muttered, not unkindly. “Who is this man Dorminster?”
Naida leaned back in her chair and fanned herself slowly.
“No one I know very much about,” she acknowledged. “I have selected him in my mind, however as being a typical Englishman of his class. I wish to talk to him, to appreciate his point of view. You know what Paul said when he gave you the appointment and sent us over here: ’Find out for me what sort of men these Englishmen are.’”
“Matinsky should know,” her father observed. “He was here twelve years ago. He came over with the first commission which established regular relations with the British Government.”
“No doubt,” she said equably, “he was able to gauge the official outlook, but this country, during the last ten years, has gone through great vicissitudes. Besides, it is not only the official outlook in which Paul is interested. He doesn’t understand, and frankly I don’t, the position of what they call over here ‘the man in the street.’ You see, he must be either a fool, or he must be grossly deceived.”
“So far as my dealings with him go, I should never call the Englishman a fool,” Karetsky confessed.