DISCUSSING THE MYSTERY
At precisely half-past nine the next morning, Mr. Weatherley entered his office in Tooley Street. His appearance, as he passed through the outer office, gave rise to some comment.
“The governor looks quite himself again,” young Tidey remarked, turning round on his stool.
Mr. Jarvis, who was collecting the letters, nodded.
“It’s many months since I’ve heard him come in whistling,” he declared.
Arnold, in the outer office, received his chief’s morning salutation with some surprise. Mr. Weatherley was certainly, to all appearance, in excellent spirits.
“Glad to see your late hours don’t make any difference in the morning, Chetwode,” he said, pleasantly. “You seem to be seeing quite a good deal of the wife, eh?”
Arnold was almost dumbfounded. Any reference to the events of the preceding evening was, for the moment, beyond him. Mr. Weatherley calmly hung up his silk hat, took out the violets from the button-hole of his overcoat and carried them to his desk.
“Come along, Jarvis,” he invited, as the latter entered with a rustling heap of correspondence. “We’ll sort the letters as quickly as possible this morning. You come on the other side, Chetwode, and catch hold of those which we keep to deal with together. Those Mr. Jarvis can handle, I’ll just initial. Let me see—you’re sure those bills of lading are in order, Jarvis?”
Mr. Jarvis plunged into a few particulars, to which his chief listened with keen attention. For half an hour or so they worked without a pause. Mr. Weatherley was quite at his best. His instructions were sage, and his grasp of every detail referred to in the various letters was lucid and complete. When at last Mr. Jarvis left with his pile, he did not hesitate to spread the good news. Mr. Weatherley had got over his fit of depression, from whatever cause it had arisen; a misunderstanding with his wife, perhaps, or a certain amount of weariness entailed by his new manner of living. At all events, something had happened to set matters right. Mr. Jarvis was quite fluent upon the subject, and every one started his day’s work with renewed energy.
Mr. Weatherley’s energy did not evaporate with the departure of his confidential clerk. He motioned Arnold to a chair, and for another three-quarters of an hour he dictated replies to the letters which he had sorted out for personal supervision. When at last this was done, he leaned back in his seat, fetched out a box of cigars, carefully selected one and lit it.
“Now you had better get over to your corner and grind that lot out, Chetwode,” he said pleasantly. “How are you getting on with the typing, eh?”
“I am getting quicker,” Arnold replied, still wondering whether the whole events of last week had not been a dream. “I think, with a little more practice, I shall be able to go quite fast enough.”