“Sibylla!” almost shouted Lionel, “we are waiting for more tea in this quarter. Never mind, Gordon.”
They looked at him with surprise. He was leaning towards his wife; his face crimson, his tones agitated. Sibylla stared at him, and said, if he called out like that, she would not get up another morning. Lionel replied, talking fast; and just then the letters were brought in. Altogether, the subject of the man with the mark upon his cheek dropped out of the discussion.
Bread fast over, Lionel put his arm within Mr. Gordon’s and drew him outside upon the terrace. Not to question him upon the man he had seen—Lionel would have been glad that that encounter should pass out of Mr. Gordon’s remembrance, as affording less chance of Sibylla’s hearing of it again—but to get information on another topic. He had been rapidly making up his mind during the latter half of breakfast, and had come to a decision.
“Gordon, can you inform me where Captain Cannonby is to be found?”
“Can you inform me where the comet that visited us last year may be met with this?” returned Mr. Gordon. “I’d nearly as soon undertake to find out the locality of the one as of the other. Cannonby did go to Paris; but where he may be now, is quite another affair.”
“Was he going there for any length of time?”
“I fancy not. Most likely he is back in London by this time. Had he told me he was coming back, I should have paid no attention to it. He never knows his own mind two hours together.”
“I particularly wish to see him,” observed Lionel. “Can you give me any address where he may be found in London?—if he has returned?”
“Yes. His brother’s in Westminster. I can give you the exact number and address by referring to my notebook. When Cannonby’s in London, he makes it his headquarters. If he is away, his brother may know where he is.”
“His brother may be out of town also. Few men are in it at this season.”
“If they can get out. But Dr. Cannonby can’t. He is a physician, and must stop at his post, season or no season.”
“I am going up to town to-day,” remarked Lionel, “and——”
“You are! For long?”
“Back to-morrow, I hope; perhaps to-night. If you will give me the address, I’ll copy it down.”
Lionel wrote it down; but Mr. Gordon told him there was no necessity; any little ragged boy in the street could direct him to Dr. Cannonby’s. Then he went to make his proposed journey known to Sibylla. She was standing near one of the terrace pillars, looking up at the sky, her eyes shaded with her hand. Lionel drew her inside an unoccupied room.
“Sibylla, a little matter of business is calling me to London,” he said. “If I can catch the half-past ten train, I may be home again to-night, late.”
“How sudden!” cried Sibylla. “Why didn’t you tell me? What weather shall we have to-day, do you think?”