“Fool,” said his wife.
“Some people are very hard to please. If I were you, I should take a course of ventriloquism. Then you can ask yourself questions and give yourself any perishing answers you like. At times you might even revile yourself.”
Five minutes later Jonah announced that he was going to Ranelagh, and inquired whether any one wanted a round of golf. Berry accepted the invitation, and they left together.
The arrival of Fitch with the car at half-past three reminded my sister that she was going to call upon some one in Regent’s Park, and she withdrew in a state of profound depression.
Jill, who was on the very brink of tears, refused to leave her post until a quarter to four, and, when that hour arrived, slow-treading but coalless, it was only my promise to take her to see Charlie Chaplin forthwith that could coax the ghost of a smile to play about her lips.
As I closed the front-door behind us, a neighbouring clock struck four.
Moodily we walked down the street, talking of cinemas and thinking of coal. Had our thoughts been otherwise employed, the condition of the pavement outside a house about a hundred and twenty yards down on the opposite side would have recalled them pellmell to our disappointment. It was obvious that a considerable quantity of coal had been recently delivered to a more fortunate menage. Idly I looked at the number of the house. From either pillar of the porch a freshly painted “38” grinned at me. For a moment I stared at them blankly. Then Jill gave a choking cry and caught at my arm....
I realized with a shock that, while Mr. Lewis had been as good as his word, my brother-in-law’s recollection of our change of address was less dependable.
HOW NOBBY ATTENDED A WEDDING, AND BERRY SPOKE NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
“If I am to drive,” said Jonah, “I won’t be responsible for doing it in a minute under two hours.” He looked down at Nobby, who, with a section of one of my shoe-trees in his mouth, was importuning him to play by the simple expedient of thrusting the bauble against the calf of his leg. “My good dog, if you expect me to interrupt an agreeable breakfast to join you in the one-sided game of which you never tire, you are doomed to disappointment. Go and worry your owner.”
With a reproachful look the terrier took his advice and, trotting across to the sideboard, laid his toy at my feet and looked up expectantly. I hardened my heart.
“It is not my practice,” said I, “to gambol upon an empty stomach. Try Jill.”
Slowly the brown eyes sank from mine to the bottom button of my waistcoat. As I moved to my place, plate in hand, he gave a protesting bark, which was answered by a fox-terrier from the box-seat of a passing van. In a flash Nobby was upon the sill of the open window, hurling defiance at the intruder.