She did not speak at once, but all sorts of things were in her eyes. He ground his teeth together, and made one effort to remain his old self.
“You have come to offer—your sympathy. How delightful of you. The bishop got on my nerves, you know, and I really am not answerable for what I said. Catherine!”
She threw her arms around his neck.
“You dear!” she exclaimed. “I am not afraid of you any more. Kiss me, Philip, and don’t talk nonsense, because I shan’t listen to you.”
Brooks drove up in hot haste. The butler stopped him respectfully.
“His lordship is particularly engaged, sir.”
“He will see me,” Brooks answered. “Please announce me—Lord Kingston of Ross!”
“I beg your pardon, sir,” the man stammered.
“Lord Kingston of Ross,” Brooks repeated, casting off for ever the old name as though it were a disused glove. “Announce me at once.”
It was the Arranmore trick of imperiousness, and the man recognized it. He threw open the study door with trembling fingers, but he was careful to knock first.
“Lord Kingston of Ross.”
He walked to his father with outstretched hand.
“You were right, sir,” he said, simply. “I was a prig!”
They stood for a moment, their hands locked. It was a silent greeting, but their faces were eloquent. Brooks looked from his father to Lady Caroom and smiled.
“I could not wait,” he said. “I was forced to come to you at once. But I think that I will go now and pay another call.”
He stood outside on the kerb while they fetched him a hansom. The fresh night wind blew in his face, cool and sweet. From Piccadilly came the faint hum of tram, and the ceaseless monotonous beat of hurrying footsteps. The hansom pulled up before him with a jerk. He sprang lightly in.
“No. 110, Crescent Flats, Kensington.”
***End of the project gutenberg EBOOK A prince of sinners***
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