“Dear Mr. St. George,” said Mrs. Manners, going distractedly through her hand-bag for something unknown, “our secretary will thank you formally. It was she who sent you our request, was it not? She will so regret being absent to-day.”
“She did not send me a request, Mrs. Manners,” persisted St. George pleasantly, “but I’ve been uncommonly glad to do what I could. I am here simply on a mission for the Evening Sentinel.”
Mrs. Manners drew something indefinite from her bag and put it back again, and looked vaguely at St. George.
“Your voice reminds me so much of my brother, younger,” she observed, her eyes already straying to the literature for distribution.
With soft exclamatory twitters the Readers’ Guild thanked St. George, and Miss Bella Bliss Utter, who was of womankind who clasp their hands when they praise, stood thus beside him until he took his leave. The woman in the red waist summoned an attendant to show him back down the long corridor.
At the grated door within the entrance St. George found the warden in stormy conference with a pale blond youth in spectacles.
“Impossible,” the warden was saying bluntly, “I know you. I know your voice. You called me up this morning from the New York Sentinel office, and I told you then—”
“But, my dear sir,” expostulated the pale blond youth, waving a music roll, “I do assure you—”
“What he says is quite true, Warden,” St. George interposed courteously, “I will vouch for him. I have just been singing for the Readers’ Guild myself.”
The warden dropped back with a grudging apology and brows of tardy suspicion, and the old man blinked his buckle eyes.
“Gentlemen,” said St. George, “good morning.”
Outside the door, with its panels decorated in positive prohibitions, he eagerly unfolded the precious paper. It bore a single name and address: Tabnit, 19 McDougle Street, New York.
ST. GEORGE AND THE LADY
St. George lunched leisurely at his hotel. Upon his return from Westchester he had gone directly to McDougle Street to be assured that there was a house numbered 19. Without difficulty he had found the place; it was in the row of old iron-balconied apartment houses a few blocks south of Washington Square, and No. 19 differed in no way from its neighbours even to the noisy children, without toys, tumbling about the sunken steps and dark basement door. St. George contented himself with walking past the house, for the mere assurance that the place existed dictated his next step.