“Miss Huntington—Lois—” he said; “one moment.”
But she opened the door and passed out.
Wickersham walked down the street in a sort of maze.
KEITH TRIES HIS FORTUNES IN ANOTHER LAND
In fact, as usual, Mrs. Nailor’s statement to Lois had some foundation, though very little. Mrs. Lancaster had gone abroad, and Keith had followed her.
Keith, on his arrival in England, found Rhodes somewhat changed, at least in person. Years of high living and ease had rounded him, and he had lost something of his old spirit. At times an expression of weariness or discontent came into his eyes.
He was as cordial as ever to Keith, and when Keith unfolded his plans he entered into them with earnestness.
“You have come at a good time,” he said. “They are beginning to think that America is all a bonanza.”
After talking over the matter, Rhodes invited Keith down to the country.
“We have taken an old place in Warwickshire for the hunting. An old friend of yours is down there for a few days,”—his eyes twinkled,—“and we have some good fellows there. Think you will like them—some of them,” he added.
“Who is my friend?” asked Keith.
“Her name was Alice Yorke,” he replied, with his eyes on Keith’s face.
At the name another face sprang to Keith’s mind. The eyes were brown, not blue, and the face was the fresh face of a young girl. Yet Keith accepted.
Rhodes did not tell him that Mrs. Lancaster had not accepted their invitation until after she had heard that he was to be invited. Nor did he tell him that she had authorized him to subscribe largely to the stock of the new syndicate.
On reaching the station they were met by a rich equipage with two liveried servants, and, after a short drive through beautiful country, they turned into a fine park, and presently drove up before an imposing old country house; for “The Keep” was one of the finest mansions in all that region. It was also one of the most expensive. It had broken its owners to run it. But this was nothing to Creamer of Creamer, Crustback & Company; at least, it was nothing to Mrs. Creamer, or to Mrs. Rhodes, who was her daughter. She had plans, and money was nothing to her. Rhodes was manifestly pleased at Keith’s exclamations of appreciation as they drove through the park with its magnificent trees, its coppices and coverts, its stretches of emerald sward and roll of gracious hills, and drew up at the portal of the mansion. Yet he was inclined to be a little apologetic about it, too.
“This is rather too rich for me,” he said, between a smile and a sigh. “Somehow, I began too late.”
It was a noble old hall into which he ushered Keith, the wainscoting dark with age, and hung with trophies of many a chase and forgotten field. A number of modern easy-chairs and great rich rugs gave it an air of comfort, even if they were not altogether harmonious.