There was a knock at the door, and a footman entered, ushering in a visitor.
“The young lady whom you were expecting, sir,” he announced discreetly.
Mr. Harvey rose at once to his feet.
“My dear Penelope,” he said, shaking hands with her, “this is charming of you.”
“It seems quite like old times to feel myself at home here once more,” she declared.
Mr. Harvey did not pursue the subject. He was perfectly well aware that Penelope, who had been his first wife’s greatest friend, had never altogether forgiven him for his somewhat brief period of mourning. He drew an easy chair up to the side of his desk and placed a footstool for her.
“I should not have sent for you,” he said, “but I am really and honestly in a dilemma. Do you know that, apart from endless cables, Washington has favored me with one hundred and forty pages of foolscap all about the events of the week before last?”
Penelope shivered a little.
“Poor Dicky!” she murmured, looking away into the fire. “And to think that it was I who sent him to his death!”
Mr. Harvey shook his head.
“No,” he said, “I do not think that you need reproach yourself with that. As a matter of fact, I think that I should have sent Dicky in any case. He is not so well known as the others, or rather he wasn’t associated so closely with the Embassy, and he was constantly at the Savoy on his own account. If I had believed that there was any danger in the enterprise,” he continued, “I should still have sent him. He was as strong as a young Hercules. The hand which twisted that noose around his neck must have been the hand of a magician with fingers of steel.”