He touched her lips timorously. Then she sprang away from him, her cheeks aflame, her eyes on fire, her hair strangely ruffled. She pointed to the door.
He picked up his hat.
“But, Mary! I—”
She stamped her foot.
“I will write. You shall hear from me to-morrow. But if you have any pity for me at all you will go now—this moment.”
He rose and went. She heard him turn the handle of the door, heard his footsteps upon the stone stairs outside.
She counted them idly. One, two, three, four now he was on the next landing. She heard them again, less distinctly, always less distinctly. Then silence. She ran to the window. There he was upon the pavement, now he was crossing the road on his way to the underground station. She tore at her handkerchief, waved it wildly for a moment—and then stopped. He was gone—and she. The hot colour came rushing painfully into her cheeks. She threw herself face downwards upon the sofa.
LORD ARRANMORE IN A NEW ROLE
“The epoch-making nights of one’s life,” Mr. Hennibul remarked, “are few. Let us sit down and consider what has happened.”
“A seat,” Lady Caroom sighed. “What luxury! But where?”
“My knowledge of the geography of this house,” Mr. Hennibul answered, “has more than once been of the utmost service to me, but I have never appreciated it more than at this moment. Accept my arm, Lady Caroom.”
They made a slow circuit of the room, passed through an ante-chamber and came out in a sort of winter-garden looking over the Park. Lady Caroom exclaimed with delight.
“You dear man,” she exclaimed. “Of course I knew of this place—isn’t it charming?—but I had no idea that we could reach it from the reception-rooms. Let us move our chairs over there. We can sit and watch the hansoms turn into Piccadilly.”
“It shall be as you say,” he answered. “I wonder if all London is as excited to-night as the crowd we have just left.”
“To me,” she murmured, “London seems always imperturbable, stonily indifferent to good or evil. I believe that on the eve of a revolution we should dine and go to the theatre, choose our houses at which to spend the evening, and avoid sweet champagne with the same care. You and I may know that to-night England has thrown overboard a national policy. Yet I doubt whether either of us will sleep the less soundly.”
“Not only that,” he said, “but the Government have to-day shown themselves possessed of a penetration and appreciation of mind for which I for one scarcely gave them credit. They have made me a peer.”
She looked at him with an amused smile.
“They make judges and peers for two reasons” she remarked.