“Right. I say, in case I don’t get another chance alone with you what do I do when Cayley comes to tuck me up?”
“It’s difficult to say. Be as natural as you can. I mean, if he just knocks lightly and looks in, be asleep. Don’t overdo the snoring. But if he makes a hell of a noise, you’ll have to wake up and rub your eyes, and wonder what on earth he’s doing in your room at all. You know the sort of thing.”
“Right. And about the dummy figure. I’ll make it up directly we come upstairs, and hide it under the bed.”
“Yes .... I think we’d better go completely to bed ourselves. We shan’t take a moment dressing again, and it will give him time to get safely into the passage. Then come into my room.”
“Right .... Are you ready?”
They went downstairs together.
Mr. Beverley Takes the Water
Cayley seemed very fond of them that night. After dinner was over, he suggested a stroll outside. They walked up and down the gravel in front of the house, saying very little to each other, until Bill could stand it no longer. For the last twenty turns he had been slowing down hopefully each time they came to the door, but the hint had always been lost on his companions, and each time another turn had been taken. But in the end he had been firm.
“What about a little billiards?” he said, shaking himself free from the others.
“Will you play?” said Antony to Cayley.
“I’ll watch you,” he said, and he had watched them resolutely until the game, and then another game after that; had been played.
They went into the hall and attacked the drinks.
“Well, thank heaven for bed,” said Bill; putting down his glass. “Are you coming?”
“Yes,” said Antony, and finished his drink. He looked at Cayley.
“I’ve just got one or two little things to do,” said Cayley. “I shan’t be long following you.”
“Well, good night, then.”
“Good night,” called Bill from half-way up the stairs. “Good night, Tony.”
Bill looked at his watch. Half-past eleven. Not much chance of anything happening for another hour. He pulled open a drawer and wondered what to wear on their expedition. Grey flannel trousers, flannel shirt, and a dark coat; perhaps a sweater, as they might be lying out in the copse for some time. And good idea a towel. He would want it later on, and meanwhile he could wear it round his waist.
Tennis-shoes .... There Everything was ready. Now then for the dummy figure.
He looked at his watch again before getting into bed. Twelve-fifteen. How long to wait before Cayley came up? He turned out the light, and then, standing by the door in his pyjamas, waited for his eyes to become accustomed to the new darkness .... He could only just make out the bed in the corner of the room. Cayley would want more light than that if he were to satisfy himself from the door that the bed was occupied. He pulled the curtains a little way back. That was about right. He could have another look later on, when he had the dummy figure in the bed.