“I will call for you at the Waldorf at half-past one,” Mr. Sabin said. “Unless you have any choice, I will take you to a little place downtown where we can imagine ourselves back on the Continent, and where we shall be spared the horror of green corn.”
“Delightful,” she murmured, buttoning her glove. “Then you shall take me for a drive to Fifth Avenue, or to see somebody’s tomb, and my woman shall make some real Russian tea for us in my sitting-room. Really, I think I’m doing very well for the first day. Is the spell beginning to work?”
“Hideously,” he assured her. “I feel already that the only thing I dread in life are these two hours before luncheon.”
“That is quite as it should be. Don’t trouble to come down with me. I believe that Dalkeith pere is hanging round somewhere, and in view of my headache perhaps you had better remain in the background for the moment. At one-thirty, then!”
Mr. Sabin smiled as she passed out of the room, and lit a cigarette.
“I think,” he said to himself, “that the arrival of Felix is opportune.”
They sat together at a small table, looking upon a scene which was probably unique in the history of the great restaurant. The younger man was both frankly interested and undoubtedly curious. Mr. Sabin, though his eyes seemed everywhere, retained to the full extent that nonchalance of manner which all his life he had so assiduously cultivated.
“It is wonderful, my dear Felix,” he said, leisurely drawing his cigarette-case from his pocket, “wonderful what good fellowship can be evolved by a kindred interest in sport, and a bottle or so of good champagne. But, after all, this is not to be taken seriously.”
“Shamrock the fourth! Shamrock the fourth!”
A tall young American, his thick head of hair, which had once been carefully parted in the middle, a little disheveled, his hard, clean-cut face flushed with enthusiasm, had risen to his feet and stood with a brimming glass of champagne high over his head. Almost every one in the room rose to their feet. A college boy sprang upon a table with extended arms. The Yale shout split the room. The very glasses on the table rattled.
It was an Englishman now who had leaped upon a vacant table with upraised glass. There was an answering roar of enthusiasm. Every one drank, and every one sat down again with a pleasant thrill of excitement at this unique scene. Felix leaned back in his chair and marveled.
“One would have imagined,” he murmured, “that America and England together were at war with the rest of the world and had won a great victory. To think that this is all the result of a yacht race. It is incredible!”
“All your life, my dear Felix,” Mr. Sabin remarked, “you have underrated the sporting instinct. It has a great place amongst the impulses of the world. See how it has brought these people together.”