Then they went, Bim clasping his money-box in one hand and the mug in the other. The mug was wrapped in beautiful blue paper that smelt, as we were all afterwards to testify, of dates and spices. The crocodile flapped against the wall, the bell tinkled, and the shop was left behind them. “Most at once,” Bim said they were by the fruit shop again; he knew that Mr. Jack was going, and he had a sudden most urgent longing to go with him, to stay with him, to be with him always. He wanted to cry; he felt dreadfully unhappy, but all of his thanks, his strange desires, that he could bring out was, in a quavering voice, trying hard, you understand, not to cry, “Mr. Jack. Oh! Mr.——” and his friend was gone.
He trotted home; with every step his pride increased. What would Lucy say? And dim, unrealised, but forming, nevertheless, the basis for the whole of his triumph, was his consciousness that she who had scoffed, derided, at his “Mr. Jack,” should now so absolutely benefit by him. This was bringing together, at last, the two of them.
His nurse, in a fine frenzy of agitation, met him. Her relief at his safety swallowed her anger. She could only gasp at him. “Well, Master Bim, and a nice state—— Oh, dear! to think; wherever——”
On the doorstep he forced his nurse to pause, and, turning, looked at the gardens now in shadow of spun gold, with the fountain blue as the sky. He nodded his head with satisfaction. It had been a splendid time. It would be a very long while, he knew, before he was allowed out again like that. Yes. He clasped the mug tightly, and the door closed behind him.
I don’t know that there is anything more to say. There were the empty money-box and the mug. There was Bim’s unhesitating and unchangeable story. There is a shop, just behind the Square, where they have some Russian crockery. But Bim alone!
I don’t know.
Mr. Munty Ross’s house was certainly the smartest in March Square; No. 14, where the Duchess of Crole lived, was shabby in comparison. Very often you may see a line of motor-cars and carriages stretching down the Square, then round the corner into Lent Street, and you may know then—as, indeed, all the Square did know and most carefully observed—that Mrs. Munty Boss was giving another of her smart little parties. That dark-green door, that neat overhanging balcony, those rows—in the summer months—of scarlet geraniums, that roll of carpet that ran, many times a week, from the door over the pavement to the very foot of the waiting vehicle—these things were Mrs. Munty Ross’s.