“Hullo, I thought I had lost you,” said Suzanne, making her way through an obstructive knot of shoppers. “Where is Bertram?”
“I got separated from him long ago. I thought he was on ahead with you,” said Eleanor. “We shall never find him in this crush.”
Which turned out to be a true prediction.
“All our trouble and forethought thrown away,” said Suzanne sulkily, when they had pushed their way fruitlessly through half a dozen departments.
“I can’t think why you didn’t grab him by the arm,” said Eleanor; “I would have if I’d known him longer, but I’d only just been introduced. It’s nearly four now, we’d better have tea.”
Some days later Suzanne rang Eleanor up on the telephone.
“Thank you very much for the photograph frame. It was just what I wanted. Very good of you. I say, do you know what that Kneyght person has given me? Just what you said he would—a wretched fan. What? Oh yes, quite a good enough fan in its way, but still . . .”
“You must come and see what he’s given me,” came in Eleanor’s voice over the ’phone.
“You! Why should he give you anything?”
“Your cousin appears to be one of those rare people of wealth who take a pleasure in giving good presents,” came the reply.
“I wondered why he was so anxious to know where she lived,” snapped Suzanne to herself as she rang off.
A cloud has arisen between the friendships of the two young women; as far as Eleanor is concerned the cloud has a silver-fox lining.
Jocantha Bessbury was in the mood to be serenely and graciously happy. Her world was a pleasant place, and it was wearing one of its pleasantest aspects. Gregory had managed to get home for a hurried lunch and a smoke afterwards in the little snuggery; the lunch had been a good one, and there was just time to do justice to the coffee and cigarettes. Both were excellent in their way, and Gregory was, in his way, an excellent husband. Jocantha rather suspected herself of making him a very charming wife, and more than suspected herself of having a first-rate dressmaker.
“I don’t suppose a more thoroughly contented personality is to be found in all Chelsea,” observed Jocantha in allusion to herself; “except perhaps Attab,” she continued, glancing towards the large tabby-marked cat that lay in considerable ease in a corner of the divan. “He lies there, purring and dreaming, shifting his limbs now and then in an ecstasy of cushioned comfort. He seems the incarnation of everything soft and silky and velvety, without a sharp edge in his composition, a dreamer whose philosophy is sleep and let sleep; and then, as evening draws on, he goes out into the garden with a red glint in his eyes and slays a drowsy sparrow.”
“As every pair of sparrows hatches out ten or more young ones in the year, while their food supply remains stationary, it is just as well that the Attabs of the community should have that idea of how to pass an amusing afternoon,” said Gregory. Having delivered himself of this sage comment he lit another cigarette, bade Jocantha a playfully affectionate good-bye, and departed into the outer world.