“It’s been a perfect treat,” she said. “You’re both dears, aren’t they, Tommy? You must come and have tea at the hospital any day: just walk in. Mine’s Ward 3. Come about four o’clock, and you’ll find me any day this week, Tommy’s opposite. There’s usually a crush at tea, but you must come. By the way, where’s your camp? Aren’t you going heaps out of your way? Solomon, where do you live? Tell me.”
Peter grinned in the dark, and told her.
“Oh, you perfect beast!” she said, “Then you knew the Quai de France all the time. Well, you’re jolly near, anyway.” “Oh, Lord!” she exclaimed suddenly, “you aren’t the new padre?”
“I am,” said Peter.
“Good Lord! what a spree! Then you’ll come in on duty. You can come in any hour of the day or night. Tommy, do you hear that? Solomon’s our spiritual pastor. He’s begun well, hasn’t he?”
Peter was silent. It jarred him horribly. But just then the car slowed down.
“What’s up now?” demanded Donovan.
“Only the sentry at the swing bridge,” said Tommy. “They stop all cars at night. He’s your side, dear; give him the glad eye.”
The door opened, and a red-cap looked in. “Hospital, corporal; it’s all right,” said Julie, beaming at him.
“Oh, all right, miss. Good-night,” said the man, stepping back and saluting in the light of the big electric standard at the bridgehead. “Carry on, driver!”
“We’re just there,” said Julie; “I am sorry. It’s been rippin’. Stop the car, Solomon, somewhere near the leave-boat; it won’t do to drive right up to the hospital; we might be spotted.”
Peter leaned out of the window on his side. The lights on the quay glowed steadily across the dark water, and made golden flicking streaks upon it as the tide swelled slowly in. In the distance a great red eye flashed in and out solemnly, and on their side he could see the shaded lights of the hospital ship, getting ready for her night crossing. He judged it was time, and told the man to stop.
“Where’s my powder-puff?” demanded Julie. “I believe you’ve bagged it, Captain Donovan. No, it’s here. Skip out, Tommy. Is anyone about?”
“No,” said the girl from the step. “But don’t wait all night. We’d best run for it.”
“Well, good-night,” said Julie. “You have both been dears, but whether I’m steady enough to get in safely I don’t know. Still, Tommy’s a rock. See you again soon. Good-bye-ee!”
She leaned forward. “Now, if you’re good,” she said to Donovan. He kissed her, laughing; and before he knew what she was doing, she reached over to Peter, kissed him twice on the lips, and leaped lightly out. “Be good,” she said, “and if you can’t, be careful.”