A thick voice shattered the silence.
“In the circumstances your lordship will appreciate that I can carry my case no further.”
With a swish of silk, counsel resumed his seat.
As was to be expected, the jury delivered its verdict without leaving the box. As the applause subsided—
“I ask for judgment with costs,” said Tristram.
The Judge nodded.
“And I direct,” he said, “that the documents of the case be impounded and be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.”
Amid the buzz of excitement which succeeded his words, I felt a touch on my shoulder. Our leader was smiling.
“Cast your bread upon the waters,” he said. “For you shall find it after many days.”
HOW JONAH OBEYED HIS ORDERS, AND DAPHNE AND KATHARINE FESTIVAL BACKED THE SAME HORSE.
Berry laid down his knife and fork and raised his eyes to heaven.
“This,” he said, “is the frozen edge. I’m getting used to the distemper which is brought me in lieu of soup, and, although I prefer salmon cooked to raw, you may have noticed that I consumed my portion without a word. But this....” Contemptuously he indicated the severed tournedos upon his plate. “You know, they must have been using the lime-kiln. Nobody could get such a withered effect with an electric cooker. Oh, and look at our olive. Quick, before it shuts up.”
Jill began to shake with laughter.
“I can’t help it,” said Daphne desperately. “I know it’s awful, but what can we do?”
“There must be some cooks somewhere,” said I. “The breed isn’t extinct. And they can’t all be irrevocably suited. I always thought the Cooks’ Brigade was one of the most mobile arms of domestic service.”
“I’ve done everything,” said my sister, “except advertise. Katharine Festival put me off that. She says she spent seven pounds on advertisements and never got a single answer. But I’ve done everything else. I’ve asked everybody I know, my name’s on the books of every registry office I’ve ever heard of, and I’ve written and sent stamped addressed envelopes to every cook whose name I’ve been given. Three out of about sixty have replied, saying they were already suited. One came here, practically said she’d come, and then wrote to say she was frightened of the electric cooker. And another wanted a hundred a year and a private bathroom. It’s simply hopeless.”
“If,” said Berry, “we survive this meal, I’ll write to Jonah and tell him to bring one back with him. If he can’t raise one in Paris, he ought to be shot. And now let’s have a sweep on the savoury. I’ll bet it tastes of paraffin and looks like a pre-War divvot.”
“Let’s try advertising,” said Jill. “Katharine mayn’t have had a good one.”
“I agree,” said I. “I’ll get one out to-night. A real snorter.”