Cecil turned away, and his face grew darker as he crossed the hall.
“If Andrew interferes this time,” he muttered, “there will be trouble!”
The Princess appeared for luncheon and declared herself to be in a remarkably good humour.
“My dear Cecil,” she said, helping herself to an ortolan in aspic, “I like your climate and I like your chef. I had my window open for at least ten minutes, and the sea air has given me quite an appetite. I have serious thoughts of embracing the simple life.”
“You could scarcely,” Cecil de la Borne answered, “come to a better place for your first essay. I will guarantee that life is sufficiently simple here for any one. I have no neighbours, no society to offer you, no distractions of any sort. Still, I warned you before you came.”
“Don’t be absurd,” the Princess declared. “You have the sea almost at your front door, and I adore the sea. If you have a nice large boat I should like to go for a sail.”
Cecil looked at her with upraised eyebrows.
“If you are serious,” he said, “no doubt we can find the boat.”
“I am absolutely serious,” the Princess declared. “I feel that this is exactly what my system required. I should like to sit in a comfortable cushioned seat and sail somewhere. If possible, I should like you men to catch things from the side of the boat.”
“You will get sunburnt,” Lord Ronald remarked drily; “perhaps even freckled.”
“Adorable!” the Princess declared. “A touch of sunburn would be quite becoming. It is such an excellent foundation to build a complexion upon. Jeanne is quite enchanted with the place. She’s had adventures already, and been rescued from drowning by a marvellous person, who wore his trousers tucked into his boots and found fault with her shoes and stockings. She has promised to show me the place after luncheon, and I am going to stand there myself and see if anything happens.”
“You will get your feet very wet,” Cecil declared.
“And sand inside your shoes,” Forrest remarked.
“These,” the Princess declared, “are trifles compared with the delightful sensation of experiencing a real adventure. In any case we must sail one afternoon, Cecil. I insist upon it. We will not play bridge until after dinner. My luck last night was abominable. Oh, you needn’t look at me like that,” she added to Cecil. “I know I won, but that was an accident. I had bad cards all the time, and I only won because you others had worse. Please ring the bell, Mr. Host, and see about the boat.”
“Really,” Cecil remarked, as he called the butler and gave him some instructions, “I had no idea that I was going to entertain such enterprising guests.”
“Oh, there are lots of things I mean to do!” the Princess declared. “I am seriously thinking of going shrimping. I suppose there are shrimps here, and I should love to tuck up my skirts and carry a big net, like somebody’s picture.”