“We may be watched, after all,” he said, looking anxiously in all directions, a habit that had grown upon him to such an extent that he feared it would cling to him through life. “Go to your stateroom, dearest, and I’ll send you something hot to drink. Good Heavens, what an eternity it has been! Oh, if you could only know what I’ve been calling myself!”
“I’m ashamed to admit it, dear, but I’ve been calling you things, too. And I’ve been so worried about you. How did you get away from that man?”
“Not now, dear. I’ll meet you out here in the library in half an hour. I’ll see about the luggage.”
“You must change your clothes, Hugh. You’re frightfully wet. Send my small trunk and bag right up, dear.”
Like a thief and murderer, Hugh slunk out and attended to the trunks and bags, watching all the time for the dreaded plain-clothes man and his cohorts, trembling with a nervous fear so unbecoming in a strong man that the baggage master smiled in derision and imagined he was looking upon a “greenie” who was making his first voyage and was afraid of the sea. Offering up a prayer of thankfulness, he bolted into his own stateroom soon afterward and came forth later on in dry clothes and a new frame of mind. He was exuberant, happy once more.
They did not look like brother and sister as they sat on one of the wide sofas and drank the toddy that came from below in charge of a well-feed steward.
“Be careful, dear!” he warned, with returning reason. “They’ll think we’re bride and groom.”
“Oh, dear me,” she lamented. “It is almost out of the question to act like brother and sister after all we’ve been through to-night.”
“Now, tell me all about it. How did it all work out for you,” he asked eagerly.
“Well, it was all very simple—although I was frightened half to death—until I drove up to the spot where you saw me a little while ago. I thought it would be wise to take a look around before I tried to go aboard. Just as I left the cab a man rushed past me and I flew back into my seat like a bullet. He was a tall, slouchy fellow, with a sly look. All at once it came to me that he was a detective. You know, they’re always mysterious looking. So I stayed in the cab trying to think what to do next. I was quite sure you had not yet arrived, for I had come down as quickly as possible. And I wasn’t real sure, either, that you had escaped. I didn’t know how many drinks it might take, dear.”
“Don’t let me forget to tell you how sorry I was for Mr. Plain Clothes and what I did afterward for the kids,” interposed Hugh.
“Oh, I see. Well, pretty soon that awful man came out and stood at the corner. He was waiting for some one. He was nervous and sleuth-like. He acted so queerly that I was sure of it. He was after you and me. Of course, I nearly fainted. All the time I was afraid you would run right into his arms, so I was watching from both windows to warn you if possible. My plan was to get you into the cab and drive away like mad. Hours passed, it seemed to me, and—”