“You don’t need to tell me that,” said Frederica. “All I didn’t know was how it started. Didn’t I sit there and watch for a mortal hour, not able to do a thing? I tried to signal to Martin, but of course he wasn’t opposite to me and ...”
“He did all he could, really,” Violet answered her. “I told him to go to the rescue, and he did, bravely. But what with Hermione being so miffy about getting frozen out, and Martin himself being so interested in what they were shouting at each other—because it was frightfully interesting, you know, if you didn’t have to pretend you understood it—why, there wasn’t much he could do.”
In the light of this disaster, she was rather glad the men lingered in the dining-room as long as they did—glad that Hermione had ordered her car for ten and took the odd girl with her. She made no effort to resist the departure of the others, with reasonable promptitude, in their train. When, after the front door had closed for the last time, Martin released a long yawn, she told him to run along to bed; she wanted to talk with Rodney, who was to spend the night while his own clothes were drying out in the laundry.
“Good night, old chap,” said Martin in accents of lively commiseration, “I’m glad I’m not in for what you are.”
ROSALIND STANTON DOESN’T DISAPPEAR
Rodney found a pipe of his that he kept concealed on the premises, loaded and lighted it, sat down astride a spindling little chair that looked hardly up to his weight, settled his elbows comfortably on the back of it, and then asked his sister what Martin had meant—what was he in for?
Frederica, curled up in a corner of the sofa, finished her own train of thought aloud, first.
“She’s awfully attractive, don’t you think? His wife, I mean. Oh, James Randolph’s, of course.” She turned to Rodney, looked at him at first with a wry pucker between her eyebrows, then with a smile, and finally answered his question. “Nothing,” she said. “I mean, I was going to scold you, but I’m not.”
“Why, yes,” he admitted through his smoke. “Randolph’s wife’s a mighty pretty woman. But I expect that lets her out, doesn’t it?”
Frederica shook her head. “She’s a good deal of a person, I should say, on the strength of to-night’s showing. She kept her face perfectly through the whole thing—didn’t try to nag at him or apologize to the rest of us. I’d like to know what she’s saying to him now.”