“You don’t smoke!” he repeated. “I wonder how you get through your spare time?”
Sir Patrick closed the conversation:
“Sir,” he said, with a low bow, “you may wonder.”
While this little skirmish was proceeding Lady Lundie and her step-daughter had organized the game; and the company, players and spectators, were beginning to move toward the lawn. Sir Patrick stopped his niece on her way out, with the dark young man in close attendance on her.
“Leave Mr. Brinkworth with me,” he said. “I want to speak to him.”
Blanche issued her orders immediately. Mr. Brinkworth was sentenced to stay with Sir Patrick until she wanted him for the game. Mr. Brinkworth wondered, and obeyed.
During the exercise of this act of authority a circumstance occurred at the other end of the summer-house. Taking advantage of the confusion caused by the general movement to the lawn, Miss Silvester suddenly placed herself close to Mr. Delamayn.
“In ten minutes,” she whispered, “the summer-house will be empty. Meet me here.”
The Honorable Geoffrey started, and looked furtively at the visitors about him.
“Do you think it’s safe?” he whispered back.
The governess’s sensitive lips trembled, with fear or with anger, it was hard to say which.
“I insist on it!” she answered, and left him.
Mr. Delamayn knitted his handsome eyebrows as he looked after her, and then left the summer-house in his turn. The rose-garden at the back of the building was solitary for the moment. He took out his pipe and hid himself among the roses. The smoke came from his mouth in hot and hasty puffs. He was usually the gentlest of masters—to his pipe. When he hurried that confidential servant, it was a sure sign of disturbance in the inner man.
BUT two persons were now left in the summer-house—Arnold Brinkworth and Sir Patrick Lundie.
“Mr. Brinkworth,” said the old gentleman, “I have had no opportunity of speaking to you before this; and (as I hear that you are to leave us, to-day) I may find no opportunity at a later time. I want to introduce myself. Your father was one of my dearest friends—let me make a friend of your father’s son.”
He held out his hands, and mentioned his name.
Arnold recognized it directly. “Oh, Sir Patrick!” he said, warmly, “if my poor father had only taken your advice—”
“He would have thought twice before he gambled away his fortune on the turf; and he might have been alive here among us, instead of dying an exile in a foreign land,” said Sir Patrick, finishing the sentence which the other had begun. “No more of that! Let’s talk of something else. Lady Lundie wrote to me about you the other day. She told me your aunt was dead, and had left you heir