So, if Jaffery did lose his head over Doria, there might be the devil to pay. We sighed and reconciled ourselves to his exile in Crim Tartary. After all, it was his business in life to visit the dark places of the earth and keep the world informed of history in the making. And it was a business which could not possibly be carried on in the most cunningly devised home that could be purchased at Harrod’s Stores.
In the course of time Adrian and Doria returned from Venice, their heads full of pictures and lagoons and palaces, and took proud possession of their spacious flat in St. John’s Wood. They were radiantly happy, very much in love with each other. Having brought a common vision to bear upon the glories of nature and art which they had beheld, they were spared the little squabbles over matters of aesthetic taste which often are so disastrous to the serenity of a honeymoon. Touchingly they expounded their views in the first person plural. Even Adrian, whom I must confess to have regarded as an unblushing egotist, seldom delivered himself of an egotistical opinion. “We don’t despise the Eclectics,” said he. And—“We prefer the Lombardic architecture to the purely Venetian,” said Doria. And “we” found good in Italian wines and “we” found nothing but hideousness in Murano glass. They were, therefore, in perfect accord over decoration and furnishing. The only difference I could see between them was that Adrian loved to wallow in the comfort of a club or another person’s house, but insisted on elegant austerity in his own home, whereas Doria loved elegant austerity everywhere. So they had a pure Jacobean entrance hall, a Louis XV drawing-room, an Empire bedroom, and as far as I could judge by the barrenness of the apartment, a Spartan study for Adrian.