Tommy rose and looked at his watch, a shadow of his former proud manner settling on him as he put on his gloves. “She will be very much disappointed,” he remarked, “but I don’t see how she can forbid my coming here now, do you?”
“No, of course she can’t. And oh, Tommy, I have missed you! Are you at Golden Square to-night?”
“Yes. Coming to supper?”
“I think so. Good-bye, you darling little boy.”
After he had closed the door, Tommy pounded on it until she opened it.
“I say, Bicky, what happens to ambassadors who fail in their missions?” he asked, winking delightedly.
Yellow Dog Papillon lay asleep on the Chesterfield in Joyselle’s room. He was dreaming an enchanting dream about a particularly aromatic bone that he found in a dust-bin—a ham-bone slashed by a careless hand and cast away before all meat had been removed from it—a bone for which any dog would have risked much.
So it was tiresome to be awakened by a sound of low voices.
Opening one eye warily Yellow Dog Papillon looked up and saw something he had of late seen several times, his beloved master standing by the Girl Who Had Sometimes Just Come from a Cat.
The girl had water in her eyes, too.
“I am very sorry, Victor,” she was saying, “but I cannot, and will not. I can’t see why you should care.”
“But I do care. You know that I have always hated it. And Tommy told me himself that she let him go with the express purpose of making up with you. It is your duty to go back.”
She drew away from him.
“You mean you will not.”
“Exactly; I will not.”
Yellow Dog did not understand all of this dialogue, but he knew his master’s face as well as his voice, and because he liked the Girl Who Had Sometimes Just Come from a Cat, he would have liked to advise her to lay down her arms at once. “No good opposing him when his eyes are like that,” he said to himself; “if it was me, I’d just sit up and beg and make him laugh.”
But Brigit would not condescend to sit up and beg.
“There’s no use in discussing it,” she said very coldly, “for I will not go back.”
Joyselle watched her in silence for a long time. “Not even if I entreat you?” he asked in a gentle voice.
Her lips tightened, for tenderness with coercion behind it had no delusions for her.
“Not even if you entreat me. I have told you that I dislike my mother and I do not wish to see her. I will not tell you why, and that, at least, you ought to approve of.”
“It is horrible for a daughter to say that she does not like her mother——”
“It is horrible for me not to like her, but I can’t help it. And it is not horrible for me to tell—anything to you.”
But his face did not soften. “I wish you to go to Kingsmead, Brigit.”