“But quite true!” asserted Olga with vehemence.
Max swung around with his hands in his pockets, and sauntered to the door. Reaching it, he glanced back for a moment at the eager, girlish face, unperturbed, inscrutable.
“Strange as it may seem,” he said, “I personally would rather that you remained like yourself.”
“What cheek!” said Olga, as the door shut.
“Oh, isn’t he allowed to say that?” enquired Nick.
She nestled to him, albeit half in protest. “Do let’s talk about important things!” she said.
And Nick at once took the hint.
Had Olga been a little less engrossed with the all-absorbing prospect that had just opened before her, she might have regarded as somewhat unusual the fact that Violet made no further mention of the proposed trip with Major Hunt-Goring during the week that followed. But, such was her preoccupation, she had even ceased to remember his existence. Little more than six weeks lay between her and the great adventure to which she was pledged, and she had already commenced her preparations. A visit to town would of course be inevitable, but this could not take place till Muriel’s return at the end of the month. Nevertheless Olga, being woman to the core, found many things to do at home, and immersed herself in sewing with a zest that provoked Nick to much mirth.
Violet watched her lazily, with occasional offers to help which were seldom meant or taken seriously.
“I believe I shall come after you, Allegro,” she said once. “It will be very dull without you.”
“You know you are never dull in the shooting season,” was Olga’s sensible reply. “You never have time to think of me then.”
“Quite true, dear,” Violet admitted. “I wonder what sort of crowd Bruce will collect this year, and if any of them will want to marry me. He is always furiously angry when that happens. I can’t imagine why. It amuses me,” said Violet, with a yawn.
“Perhaps he doesn’t want you to get married,” suggested Olga.
“Apparently not. And yet I am sure he would be thankful to be rid of me. We never agree.” The beautiful eyes gleamed mischievously. “I suppose he will expect me to marry a husband of his selection by-and-bye. He is very mediaeval in some things.”
“I don’t believe you ever mean to marry at all,” said Olga.
“Oh, yes, indeed I do!” Violet uttered her soft, low laugh. “But I am mediaeval too, Allegro. Have you never noticed? I am waiting for the first man who is brave enough to run away with me.”
It was on the day following this conversation that she prevailed upon Olga to leave her numerous occupations for an hour or so and motor her over to Brethaven to pay another visit to her old nurse, Mrs. Briggs. Nick wished to go over to Redlands to sort some papers, and offered his company as far as his own gates.