“Look here, my dear!” March said to his wife as soon as they parted from the rest, the general gallantly promising that his daughter and he would see Mrs. Adding safe to her hotel, and were making their way slowly home alone. “Did you know that Burnamy was in Carlsbad?”
“He’s going away on the twelve-o’clock train tonight,” she answered, firmly.
“What has that got to do with it? Where did you see him?”
“In the box, while you were behind the scenes.”
She told him all about it, and he listened in silent endeavor for the ground of censure from which a sense of his own guilt forced him. She asked suddenly, “Where did you see him?” and he told her in turn.
He added severely, “Her father ought to know. Why didn’t you tell him?”
“Why didn’t you?” she retorted with great reason.
“Because I didn’t think he was just in the humor for it.” He began to laugh as he sketched their encounter with the gendarme, but she did not seem to think it amusing; and he became serious again. “Besides, I was afraid she was going to blubber, any way.”
“She wouldn’t have blubbered, as you call it. I don’t know why you need be so disgusting! It would have given her just the moral support she needed. Now she will have to tell him herself, and he will blame us. You ought to have spoken; you could have done it easily and naturally when you came up with her. You will have yourself to thank for all the trouble that comes of it, now, my dear.”
He shouted in admiration of her skill in shifting the blame on him. “All right! I should have had to stand it, even if you hadn’t behaved with angelic wisdom.”
“Why,” she said, after reflection, “I don’t see what either of us has done. We didn’t get Burnamy to come here, or connive at his presence in any way.”
“Oh! Make Triscoe believe that! He knows you’ve done all you could to help the affair on.”
“Well, what if I have? He began making up to Mrs. Adding himself as soon as he saw her, to-night. She looked very pretty.”
“Well, thank Heaven! we’re off to-morrow morning, and I hope we’ve seen the last of them. They’ve done what they could to spoil my cure, but I’m not going to have them spoil my aftercure.”
Mrs. March had decided not to go to the Posthof for breakfast, where they had already taken a lavish leave of the ‘schone’ Lili, with a sense of being promptly superseded in her affections. They found a place in the red-table-cloth end of the pavilion at Pupp’s, and were served by the pretty girl with the rose-bud mouth whom they had known only as Ein-und-Zwanzig, and whose promise of “Komm’ gleich, bitte schon!” was like a bird’s note. Never had the coffee been so good, the bread so aerially light, the Westphalian ham so tenderly pink. A young married couple whom they knew came by, arm in arm, in their morning walk, and sat down with them, like their own youth, for a moment.