‘She will be of no use to us,’ said Merton. ’If ever a young woman looked fancy-free it is that girl. What did you say her name is, Logan?’
’I did not say, but, though you won’t believe it, her name is Miss Blossom, Miss Florry Blossom. Her godfathers and godmothers must bear the burden of her appropriate Christian name; the other, the surname, is a coincidence—designed or not.’
‘Well, she is not suitable,’ said Merton sternly. ’Misplaced affections she might distract, but then, after she had distracted them, she might reciprocate them. As a conscientious manager I cannot recommend her to clients.’
‘But,’ said Trevor, ’she may be useful for all that, as well as decidedly ornamental. Merton, you’ll want a typewriter for your business correspondence, and Miss Blossom typewrites: it is her profession.’
‘Well,’ said Merton, ’I am not afraid. I do not care too much for “that garden in her face,” for your cherry-ripe sort of young person. If a typewriter is necessary I can bear with her as well as another.’
‘I admire your courage and resignation,’ said Trevor, ’so now let us go and take rooms for the Society.’
They found rooms, lordly rooms, which Trevor furnished in a stately manner, hanging a selection of his mezzotints on the walls—ladies of old years, after Romney, Reynolds, Hoppner, and the rest. A sober opulence and comfort characterised the chambers; a well-selected set of books in a Sheraton bookcase was intended to beguile the tedium of waiting clients. The typewriter (Miss Blossom accepted the situation) occupied an inner chamber, opening out of that which was to be sacred to consultations.
The firm traded under the title of Messrs. Gray and Graham. Their advertisement—in all the newspapers—addressed itself ’To Parents, Guardians, Children and others.’ It set forth the sorrows and anxieties which beset families in the matter of undesirable matrimonial engagements and entanglements. The advertisers proposed, by a new method, to restore domestic peace and confidence. ’No private inquiries will, in any case, be made into the past of the parties concerned. The highest references will in every instance be given and demanded. Intending clients must in the first instance apply by letter to Messrs. Gray and Graham. No charge will be made for a first interview, which can only be granted after satisfactory references have been exchanged by letter.’
‘If that does not inspire confidence,’ said Merton, ’I don’t know what will.’
‘Nothing short of it will do,’ said Logan.
‘But the mezzotints will carry weight,’ said Trevor, ’and a few good cloisonnes and enamelled snuff-boxes and bronzes will do no harm.’
So he sent in some weedings of his famous collection.