‘I am passing through Edinburgh, and thought I might find you at home,’ Merton said.
‘Mr. Macnab,’ said Lumley, shaking hands with the chief, ’you have not taken my friend into custody?’
’No, professor; Mr. Merton will tell you that he is released, and I’ll be going home.’
‘You won’t stop and smoke?’
‘No, I should be de trop,’ answered the chief; ’good night, professor; good night, Mr. Merton.’
‘But the broken window?’
‘Oh, we’ll settle that, and let you have the bill.’
Merton gave his club address, and the chief shook hands and departed.
‘Now, what have you been doing, Merton?’ asked Lumley.
Merton briefly explained the whole set of circumstances, and added, ’Now, Lumley, you are my sole hope. You can give me a bed to-night?’
‘With all the pleasure in the world.’
‘And lend me a set of Mrs. Lumley’s raiment and a lady’s portmanteau?’
‘Are you quite mad?’
’No, but I must get to London undiscovered, and, for certain reasons, with which I need not trouble you, that is absolutely the only possible way. You remember, at Oxford, I made up fairly well for female parts.’
‘Is there absolutely no other way?’
’None, I have tried every conceivable plan, mentally. Mourning is best, and a veil.’
At this moment Mrs. Lumley’s cab was heard, returning from her party.
‘Run down and break it to Mrs. Lumley,’ said Merton. ’Luckily we have often acted together.’
‘Luckily you are a favourite of hers,’ said Lumley.
In ten minutes the pair entered the study. Mrs. Lumley, a tall lady, as Merton had said, came in, laughing and blushing.
’I shall drive with you myself to the train. My maid must be in the secret,’ she said.
‘She is an old acquaintance of mine,’ said Merton. ’But I think you had better not come with me to the station. Nobody is likely to see me, leaving your house about nine, with my veil down. But, if any one does see me, he must take me for you.’
‘Oh, it is I who am running up to town incognita?’
‘For a day or two—you will lend me a portmanteau to give local colour?’
‘With pleasure,’ said Mrs. Lumley.
’And Lumley will telegraph to Trevor to meet you at King’s Cross, with his brougham, at 6.15 P. M.?’
This also was agreed to, and so ended this romance of Bradshaw.
At about twenty-five minutes to seven, on March 7, the express entered King’s Cross. A lady of fashionable appearance, with her veil down, gazed anxiously out of the window of a reserved carriage. She presently detected the person for whom she was looking, and waved her parasol. Trevor, lifting his hat, approached; the lady had withdrawn into the carriage, and he entered.