“I met her with her stepdaughter at Hereford House last night,” the Duke answered. “The Princess was looking as brilliant as ever, but the little girl was pale and bored. She had a dozen men around her, and not a smile for one of them. Dull little thing, I should think.”
Andrew said nothing. He was looking out of the window upon Pall Mall, but his eyes saw a little sandy hillock with blades of sprouting grass. Behind, the lavender-streaked marsh; in front, the yellow sands and the rippling sea. The sun seemed to warm his cheeks, the salt wind blew in his face. Westerham wondered for a moment what his friend saw in the grey flagged street to bring that faint reminiscent smile to his lips.
A messenger from the hall outside came in, and respectfully addressed the Duke.
“Your Grace is wanted upon the telephone,” he announced.
The Duke excused himself. He was absent only for a few minutes, and when he returned and took his place he leaned over towards Andrew.
“My message was from the detective,” he said. “He wants to see me. In fact, he is coming round here directly.”
Cecil came face to face with his brother in the room where refreshments were being dispensed by solemn-looking footmen and trim parlour-maids. He stared at him for a moment in surprise.
“What on earth are you doing here, Andrew?” he asked.
“Exactly what I was wondering myself,” Andrew answered, setting down his empty glass. “I met Bellamy Smith this afternoon in Bond Street, and he asked me to dine, without saying anything about this sort of show afterwards. By the by, Cecil,” he added, “what are you doing in town? I thought you said that you were not coming up until the late autumn.”
“No more I am, for any length of time,” Cecil answered. “I am up for the day, back to-morrow. There were one or two things I wanted, and it was easier to come up and see about them than to write.”
“Is Forrest still with you?” Andrew asked.
Cecil hesitated, and his brother had an unpleasant conviction that for a moment he was uncertain whether to tell the truth or no.
“Yes!” Cecil answered, “he is still there. I know you don’t like him, Andrew, but he really isn’t a bad sort, and he’s quite a sportsman.”
“Does he play cards with you?” Andrew asked.
“Never even suggested it,” Cecil declared eagerly. “Fact is, we’re out shooting all day, duck shooting, or fishing, or motoring, and we go to bed soon after dinner.”
“You can’t come to much harm at that,” Andrew admitted. “By the by, do you know that Engleton has never turned up?”
“I have heard so,” Cecil admitted. “I am not so surprised.”
“Why not?” Andrew asked.
Cecil raised his eyebrows in a superior manner.
“Well,” he said, “I know he was very sick about his brother looking too closely into his concerns. He has a little affair on just now that he wants to keep to himself, and I think that that is the reason he went off so quietly.”