“They will not eat,” I whispered to Lamartine. “Tell me, who is the man?”
“Hush!” Lamartine said. “Look there!”
Apparently angry words had been passing between Felicia and Delora. She had risen to her feet, notwithstanding his efforts to detain her, swept past my table with scarcely a glance, and made her way towards where the two latest arrivals were sitting. She stooped down towards the man, and talked to him earnestly for several moments. All the time he looked at her with the puzzled, half-vacant expression of a child who is confronted with something which it does not understand. Delora had risen to his feet, and stood nervously clutching the serviette in his hand. Louis hurried up to him, and they talked together for a moment.
“At all costs,” I heard Louis say, “she must be fetched away. They will not remain here to eat. Rotherby has warned them. See how he is looking at her! It is not safe!”
Something more passed between them in a low tone. Delora glanced at his watch, and then at the clock. Finally he crossed the room to where his niece was standing, and laid his hand upon the man’s shoulder.
“Ferdinand,” he said, “I am glad to see that you are better. Come up to my rooms for a few minutes. We must have a talk.”
At the sound of his voice something seemed to come back to the face of the older man. He rose slowly to his feet. I could see his white fingers trembling, but I could see his eyes suddenly fill with a new and stronger light.
“You!” he exclaimed. “Yes, I am here to talk to you! It had better be at once! Lead the way!”
I saw Delora look towards the lady of the turquoises. Apparently he made some remark which I failed to overhear.
“This lady is my companion,” I heard the other say. “She has been very kind to me—kinder, I am afraid, as a stranger, than others have been on whom I should have relied. She will accompany us. She does not leave me.”
Then the four of them turned towards the door. Lamartine jogged my shoulder and I too rose. Behind, Louis was hovering, watching their departure with a nervous anxiety which he could not conceal. Lamartine and I went out close upon their heels.
“A new move, Louis?” I asked, as I passed.
“The last, monsieur,” Louis answered, with a bow.
The entrance to the Milan Court was small and unimposing, compared with the entrance to the hotel proper. I reached it to find some confusion reigning. A tall, gray-bearded man was talking anxiously to the hall-porter, Felicia, standing a little apart, was looking around with an air of bewilderment. My lady of the turquoises was standing by the side of the lift, with her arm drawn through her companion’s. Lamartine no sooner saw the face of the man who was in conversation with the hall-porter than he sprang forward.