Ulick’s manner at once grew so serious and formal that Innes feared he had offended him, and then Owen suddenly realised that they were both being sent away. In the street they must part, that was Owen’s intention, but before he could utter it Ulick begged of him to wait a second, for he had forgotten his gloves. Without waiting for an answer he ran back to the house, leaving Uwen standing on the pavement, asking himself if he should wait for this impertinent young man, who took it for granted that he would.
“You have got your gloves,” he said, looking disapprovingly at the tight kid gloves which Ulick was forcing over his fingers. “Do you remember the way? As well as I remember, one turns to the right.”
“Yes, to the right.” And talking of the old music, of harpsichords and viols, they walked on together till they heard the whistle of the train.
“We have just missed our train.”
There was no use running, and there was no other train for half an hour.
“The waiting here will be intolerable,” Owen said. “If you would care for a walk, we might go as far as Peckham. To walk to London would be too far, though, indeed, it would do both of us good.”
“Yes, the evening is fine—why not walk to London? We can inquire out the way as we go.”
“A Curious accident our meeting at Innes’s.”
“A lucky one for me. Far more pleasant living in this house than in that horrible hotel.”
Owen was lying back in an armchair, indulging in sentimental and fatalistic dreams, and did not like this materialistic interpretation of his invitation to Ulick to come to stay with him at Berkeley Square. He wished to see the hand of Providence in everything that concerned himself and Evelyn, and the meeting with this young man seemed to point to something more than the young man’s comfort.
“Looked at from another side, our meeting was unlucky. If you hadn’t come in, Innes would have told me more about Evelyn. She must have an address in London, and he must know it.”
“That doesn’t seem so sure. She may intend to live in Dulwich when she returns from America.”
“I can’t see her living with her father; even the nuns seem more probable. I wonder how it was that all this time you and she never ran across each other. Did you never write to her?”
“No; I was abroad a great deal. And, besides, I knew she didn’t want to see me, so what was the good in forcing myself upon her?”
It was difficult for Owen to reprove Ulick for having left Evelyn to her own devices. Had he not done so himself? Still, he felt that if he had remained in England, he would not have been so indifferent; and he followed his guest across the great tessellated hall towards the dining-room in front of a splendid servitude.
The footmen drew back their chairs so that they might sit down with the least inconvenience possible; and dinner at Berkeley Square reminded Ulick of some mysterious religious ceremony; he ate, overawed by the great butler—there was something colossal, Egyptian, hierarchic about him, and Ulick could not understand how it was that Sir Owen was not more impressed.