She stepped in at once.
“As a matter of fact,” she told him, “I was looking for a taxicab. I have had a telegram from Ralph. He wants us to go down to Portsmouth by the first train we can catch this morning. He says that if we can get down there in time to have lunch at two o’clock, he can show us over the Scorpion. After to-day she will be closed to visitors, even his own relations. I was just going to see if Geraldine could come.”
Granet was thoughtful for a moment. He glanced at the little clock on the dashboard opposite to him.
“I tell you what,” he suggested, “why not let me motor you and Miss Conyers down? I don’t believe there’s another fast train before one o’clock, and we’d get down in a couple of hours, easily. It’s just what I’m longing for, a good stretch into the country.”
“I should love it,” the girl exclaimed, “and I should think Geraldine would. Will you wait while I run in and see her?”
“Of course,” Granet replied. “Here we are, and there’s Miss Conyers at the window. You go in and talk her over and I’ll just see that we’ve got lots of petrol. I’ll have you down there within two hours, all right, if we can get away before the roads are crowded.”
She hurried into the house. Geraldine met her on the threshold and they talked together for a few moments. Then Olive reappeared, her face beaming.
“Geraldine would simply love it,” she announced. “She will be here in five minutes. Could we just stop at my house for a motor-coat?”
“Certainly!” Granet agreed, glancing at his watch. “This is absolutely ripping! We shall be down there by one o’clock. Why is this to be Conyers’ last day for entertaining?”
“I don’t know,” she answered indifferently. “Some Admiralty regulation, I suppose.”
“After all,” he declared, “I am not sure whether I chose the right profession. There is so much that is mysterious about the Navy. They are always inventing something or trying something new.”
Geraldine came down the steps, waving her hand.
“This is the most delightful idea!” she exclaimed, as Granet held the door open. “Do you really mean that you are going to take us down to Portsmouth and come and see Ralph?”
“I am not going to worry your brother,” he answered, smiling, “but I am going to take you down to Portsmouth, if I may. We shall be there long before you could get there by train, and—well, what do you think of my new toy?”
“Simply wonderful,” Geraldine declared. “Olive told me that your uncle had just given it you. What a lucky person you are, Captain Granet!”
He laughed a little shortly as they glided off.
“Do you think so?” he answered. “Well, I am lucky in my uncle, at any rate. He is one of those few people who have a great deal of money and don’t mind spending it. I was getting bored to death with my game leg and arm, and certainly this makes one forget both of them. Six cylinders, you see, Miss Conyers, and I wouldn’t like to tell you what we can touch if we were pressed.”