When he reached Huntersfield, and the dogs barked, he had feared for the moment discovery. He was saved, however, by the friendly silence which followed that first note of alarm. The dogs knew him and followed him with wagging tails as he skirted the lawn and came at last to the gate which had closed a few minutes before on Dalton’s car. He saw the Judge go in, Aunt Claudia, Becky—shadowy figures between the white pillars.
Then, after a moment, a room on the second floor was illumined. The shade was up and he saw the interior as one sees the scene of a play. There was the outline of a rose-colored canopy, the gleam of a mirror, the shine of polished wood, and in the center, Becky in pale blue, with a candle in her hand.
And as he saw her there, Randolph knew why he had come. To worship at a shrine. That was where Becky belonged—high above him. The flame of the candle was a sacred fire.
RAIN AND RANDY’S SOUL
Madge came down the next morning dressed for her journey. “Oscar and Flora are going to take me as far as Washington in their car. They want you to make a fourth, Georgie.”
Dalton was eating alone. Breakfast was served at small tables on the west terrace. There was a flagged stone space with wide awnings overhead. Except that it overlooked a formal garden instead of streets, one might have been in a Parisian cafe. The idea was Oscar’s. Dalton had laughed at him. “You’ll be a boulevardier, Oscar, until you die.”
Oscar had been sulky. “Well, how do you want me to do it?”
“Breakfast in bed—or in a breakfast room with things hot on the sideboard, luncheon, out here on the terrace when the weather permits, tea in the garden, dinner in great state in the big dining-room.”
“I suppose you think you know all about it. But the thing that I am always asking myself is, were you born to it, Dalton?”
“I’ve been around a lot,” Dalton evaded. “Of course if you don’t want me to be perfectly frank with you, I won’t.”
“Be as frank as you please,” Oscar had said, “but it’s your air of knowing everything that gets me.”
Dalton’s breakfast was a hearty one—bacon and two eggs, and a pile of buttered toast. There had been a melon to begin with, and there was a pot of coffee. He was eating with an appetite when Madge came down.
“I had mine in bed,” Madge said, as George rose and pulled out a chair for her. “Isn’t this the beastliest fashion, having little tables?”
“That’s what I told Oscar.”
“Oscar and Flora will never have too much of restaurants. They belong to the class which finds all that it wants in a jazz band and scrambled eggs at Jack’s at one o’clock in the morning. Georgie, in my next incarnation, I hope there won’t be any dansants or night frolics. I’d like a May-pole in the sunshine and a lot of plump and rosy women and bluff and hearty men for my friends—with a fine old farmhouse and myself in the dairy making butter——”