“It is much better that you should be alone with her for a time. She will have innumerable questions to ask, and would, of course, prefer to have you to herself. I will come round tomorrow morning after breakfast.”
Anna had been instructed very carefully, by her mistress, not to say anything of what had happened, and in order that she might avoid questions, George Lechmere had seen her into a cab for Liverpool Street, as she wished to spend a week with some friends at Chelmsford. Then she was to join Bertha at Greendale.
Frank went to his chambers, where George Lechmere had driven with the luggage. The next morning he went early to Lady Greendale’s, so early that he found her and Bertha at breakfast.
“My dear Frank,” the former said, embracing him warmly, “how can I ever thank you for all that you have done for us! Bertha has been telling me all about how you rescued her. I hear that you were wounded, too.”
“The wound was of no great importance, and, as you see, I have thrown aside my sling this morning. Yes, we went through some exciting adventures, which will furnish us with a store of memories all our lives.
“How have you been, Lady Greendale? I am glad to see that, at any rate, you are looking well.”
“I have had a terribly anxious time of it, as you may suppose; but your letters were always so bright and hopeful that they helped me wonderfully. The first fortnight was the worst. Your letter from Gibraltar was a great relief, and of course the next, saying that you had heard that the yacht really did touch at Madeira, showed that you were on the right track. When you wrote from Madeira, I sent to Wild’s for the largest map of the West Indies that they had, and thus when I got your letters, I was able to follow your course and understand all about it. You are looking better than when I saw you last.”
“You should have seen him when I first met him, mamma. I hardly knew him, he looked so thin and worn; but during the last three weeks he has filled out again, and he seems to me to be looking quite himself.”
“And Bertha is looking well, too.”
“So I ought to do, mamma. I don’t think I ever looked very bad, in spite of my troubles, and the splendid voyage we have had would have set anyone up.”
“It has been a wonderful comfort to me,” Lady Greendale said, “that I have met hardly anyone that I know. The last three weeks or so I have met two or three people, but I only said that I was up in town for a short time. Of course, they asked after you, and I said that you were not with me, as you were spending a short time with some people whom you knew. We intend to go down home tomorrow.”
“The best thing that you can do, Lady Greendale. I shall be down for Christmas, and the first week in April, you know, I am to carry her off. So, you see, this excursion of ours has not altered any of our plans.”