“You’ll go back to Feldwick to-morrow, or maybe Saturday, Cicely,” she said. “You understand now?”
“How long—will this go on?”
Joan drew herself up. The fierceness of the prophetess was in her dark face.
“Till my hands are upon him,” she said. “Till I have dragged him out from the shadows of this hateful city.”
A PLAIN QUESTION AND A WARNING
Douglas Jesson had his opportunity, accepted it and became one of the elect. He passed on to the staff of the Courier, where his work was spasmodic and of a leisurely character, but always valuable and appreciated. His salary, which was liberal, seemed to him magnificent. Besides, he had the opportunity of doing other work. All the magazines were open to him, although he was tied down to write for no other newspaper. The passionate effort of one night of misery had brought him out for ever from amongst the purgatory of the unrecognised. For his work was full of grit, often brilliant, never dull. Even Drexley, who hated him, admitted it. Emily de Reuss was charmed.
Douglas’s first visit was to Rice, whom he dragged out with him to lunch, ordering such luxuries as were seldom asked for at Spargetti’s. They lingered over their cigarettes and talked much. Yet about Rice there was a certain restraint, the more noticeable because of his host’s gaiety. Douglas, well-dressed, debonair, with a flower in his buttonhole, and never a wrinkle upon his handsome face, was in no humour for reservations. He filled his companion’s glass brimful of wine, and attacked him boldly.
“I want to know,” he said, “what ails my philosophic friend. Out with it, man. Has Drexley been more of a bear than usual, or has Spargetti ceased his credit?”
“Neither,” Rice answered, smiling. “Drexley is always a bear, and Spargetti’s credit is a thing which not one of the chosen has ever seen the bottom of.”
“Then what in the name of all that is unholy,” Douglas asked, “ails you?”
Rice lighted a cigarette, glanced around, and leaned over the table.
“You, my friend and host. You are upon my mind. I will confess.”