Kendal mounted to Elfrida’s appartement in the Rue Porte Royale to verify the intimation of her departure, or happily to forestall its execution the morning after her note reached him. He found it bare and dusty. A workman was mending the stove; the concierge stood looking on, with her arms folded above the most striking feature of her personality. Every vestige of Elfrida was gone, and the tall windows were open, letting the raw February air blow through. Outside the sunlight lay in squares and triangles on the roofs, and gave the place its finishing touch of characterlessness. Yes, truly, mademoiselle had gone, the evening before. Was monsieur then not aware? The concierge was of opinion that mademoiselle had had bad news, but her tone implied that no news could be quite bad enough to justify the throwing up of such desirable apartments upon such short notice. Mademoiselle had left in such haste that she had forgotten both to say where she was going and to leave an address for letters; and it would not be easy to surpass the consciousness of injury with which the concierge demanded what she was to say to the facteur on the day of the post from America, when there were always four or five letters for mademoiselle. Monsieur would be bien amiable, if he would allow that they should be directed to him. Upon reflection monsieur declined this responsibility. With the faintest ripple of resentment at being left out of Elfrida’s confidence, he stated to himself that it would be intrusive. He advised the concierge to keep them for a week or two, during which Miss Bell would be sure to remember to send for them, and turned to go.
“Mademoiselle est allee a la Gare du Nord,” added the concierge, entirely aware that she was contributing a fact to Kendal’s mental speculation, and wishing it had a greater intrinsic value. But Kendal merely raised his eyebrows in polite acknowledgment of unimportant information. “En effet!” he said, and went away. Nevertheless he could not help reflecting that Gare du Nord probably meant Calais, and Calais doubtless meant England, probably London. As he thought of it he assured himself that it was London, and his irritation vanished at the thought of the futility of Elfrida in London. It gave him a half curious, half solicitous amusement instead. He pictured her with her Hungarian peasant’s cloak and any one of her fantastic hats in the conventional highways he knew so well, and smiled. “She will have to take herself differently there,” he reflected, without pausing to consider exactly what he meant by it, “and she’ll find that a bore.” As yet he himself had never taken her differently so far as he was aware, and in spite of the obvious provocation of her behavior it did not occur to him to do it now. He reflected with a shade of satisfaction that she knew his London address. When she saw quite fit she would doubtless inform him as to what she was doing and where she