“And don’t forget to send out for that pack of cards, Arranmore,” the elder lady said. “We are going to play bridge driving home with that wonderful little electric lamp of yours.
“I will not forget,” he promised. “We are to be partners, you know.”
He was on the point of sitting down when he saw Brooks at the next table. He held out his hand.
“How do you do, Mr. Brooks?” he said. “I am glad to see that you are going to get your man in.
“Thank you,” Brooks answered, rising and waiting for his companion, who was buttoning her gloves. “I was afraid that your sympathies would be on the other side.”
“Dear me, no,” the Marquis answered. “My enemies would tell you that I have neither sympathy nor politics, but I assure you that at heart I am a most devout Radical. I have a vote, too, and you may count upon me.
“I am very glad to hear it,” Brooks answered. “Shall I put you down on the list ’to be fetched’?”
The Marquis laughed.
“I’ll come without,” he declared. “I promise. Just remind me of the day.”
He glanced towards Mary Scott, and for a moment seemed about to include her in some forthcoming remark. But whatever it might have been—it was never made. She kept her eyes averted, and though her self-possession was absolutely unruffled she hastened her departure. “I am not hurrying you, Mr. Brooks?” she asked. “Not in the least,” he assured her.
He raised his hat to the Marquis and his party, and the former nodded good-humouredly. There was silence until the two were in the street. Then one of the men who had been looking after them dropped his eye-glass.
“I tell you what,” he said to his vis-a-vis. “There’s some chance for us in Medchester after all. I don’t believe Arranmore is popular amongst the ladies of his own neighbourhood.”
The Marquis laughed softly.
“She has a nice face,” he remarked, “and I should imagine excellent perceptions. Curiously enough, too, she reminded me of some one who has every reason to hate me. But to the best of my belief I never saw her before in my life. Lady Caroom, that weird-looking object in front of you is a teapot—and those are teacups. May I suggest a use for them?”
THE MAN WHO WENT TO HELL
The Hon. Sydney Chester Molyneux stood with his cue in one hand, and an open telegram in the other, in the billiard-room at Enton. He was visibly annoyed.
“Beastly hard luck,” he declared. “Parliament is a shocking grind anyway. It isn’t that one ever does anything, you know, but one wastes such a lot of time when one might have been doing something worth while.”
“Do repeat that, Sydney,” Lady Caroom begged, laying down her novel for a moment. “It really sounds as though it ought to mean something.”
“I couldn’t!” he admitted. “I wish to cultivate a reputation for originality, and my first object is to forget everything I have said directly I have said it, in case I should repeat myself.”