She did not glance again in Maraton’s direction, nor did she offer him any form of farewell salutation. Mr. Foley frowned slightly as he glanced after her. Maraton, too, watched her leave the room. She paused for a moment on the threshold to gather up her train, a graceful but at the same time imperious gesture. She left them without a backward look. Mr. Foley turned quickly towards his companion and was relieved at the expression which he found in his face.
“My niece is a little earnest in her views,” he remarked, “too much so, I am afraid, for a practical politician. She is quite well-informed and a great help to me at times.”
“I found her altogether charming,” Maraton said quietly. “She has, too, the unusual gift of honesty.”
Mr. Foley was once more a little uneasy. It was impossible for him to forget Elisabeth’s outspoken verdict upon this man and all his works.
“The young are never tolerant,” he murmured.
“And quite rightly,” Maraton observed. “There is nothing more to be envied in youth than its magnificent certainty. It knows! . . . I am flattered, Mr. Foley, that you should have received me in your house to-night. Your niece’s attitude towards me, even if a trifle crude, is, I am afraid, the general one amongst your class in this country.”
“To be frank with you, I agree,” Mr. Foley assented. “I, personally, Mr. Maraton, am trying to be a dissenter. It is for that reason that I begged you to come here to-night and discuss the matter with me before you committed yourself to any definite plan of action in this country.”
“Your message was a surprise to me,” Maraton admitted calmly. “At the same time, it was a summons which I could not disregard. As you see, I am here.”
Mr. Foley drew a key from his pocket and led the way across the room towards a closed door.
“I want to make sure that we are not disturbed. I am going to take you through to my study, if I may.”
They passed into a small inner room, plainly but comfortably furnished.
“My own den,” Mr. Foley explained, closing the door behind him with an air of relief. “Will you smoke, Mr. Maraton, or drink anything?”
“Neither, thank you,” Maraton answered. “I am here to listen. I am curious to hear what there is that you can have to say to me.”
Mr. Foley pointed to an easy-chair. Maraton, however, did not at once respond to his gesture of invitation. He was standing, tense and silent, with head upraised, listening. From the street outside came a strange, rumbling sound.
“You permit?” he asked, stepping to the window and drawing the curtain a few inches on one side. “There is something familiar about that sound. I heard it last in Chicago.”
Mr. Foley rose slowly from the easy-chair into which he had thrown himself, and stood by his visitor’s side. Outside, the pavements were lined by policemen, standing like sentries about half-a-dozen yards apart. The tented entrance to the house was guarded by a solid phalanx of men in uniform. A mounted inspector was riding slowly up and down in the middle of the road. At the entrance to the street, barely fifty yards away, a moving mass of people, white-faced, almost spectral, were passing slowly beneath the pale gas-lamps.