“If the Seigneur hadn’t stopped you, I would. But I’m inclined to think he’d have seen to you all right.”
“By Jove, he looked it! What would he have done?”
“Confined you as a harmless lunatic till the ceremony was over, I should say, and then sent you home with the proverbial insect in your ear.”
“And if he hadn’t?”
“Then I should have taken matters into my own hands and bottled you up till you couldn’t do any mischief. You could have hauled me before the court here, and I’d probably have been fined one and eightpence. It would have been worth the money, and cheap at the price, simply to see the proceedings.”
“It’s an extraordinary place this.”
“It’s without exception the most delightful little place in the world.”
“Jolly nice house you’ve got here too. Think of stopping long?”
“Some months probably. The curious thing about Sark is that the longer you stop the longer you want to stop. It grows on you. First week I was here it seemed to me very small—felt afraid of walking fast lest I should step over the edge, and all that kind of thing. Now that I’ve been here a couple of months it is growing bigger every day. I’m not sure that one could know Sark under a lifetime. We’ll take you round in a boat and show it you from the outside.”
“I’ll have to get back, I’m sorry to say. You see, I started at a moment’s notice. Things are duller than a ditch in the City, but I’d no chance to make any arrangements for a stay. But I’ll tell you what. If you’re stopping on here and like to send me an invitation for a week or two, I’d come like a shot. I’ll take a carriage up that road from the harbour, though, next time. Jove! I felt like a convict on the treadmill.”
“You have the invitation now, my boy, and we’ll be delighted to see you whenever it suits you to come.”
“That’s very good of you. Miss Penny be stopping on with you?”
“As long as she will. She’d got a bit run down and it’s done her a heap of good.”
“Well, if you’ll show me how to go, I’ll toddle off home now. I haven’t the remotest idea where my digs are.”
And Graeme led him through the back fields among the tethered cows, who stopped their slow chewing as they passed, and lay gazing after them in blank astonishment, into the Avenue and so to the Bel-Air.
“I’ll come round then a bit before eleven and we’ll all go along together,” was Charles Svendt’s parting word.
“Right! Au revoir!” and Graeme went home across the fields smiling happily to himself.
When Graeme came swinging over the green dyke in the early morning, with his towel round his neck and his two dogs racing in front, he found the Seigneur sitting in a long chair in the verandah, with four aristocratic dogs wandering about, who proceeded to intimate to Punch and Scamp that they were rather low fisher-dogs and not of seigneurial rank.