And then—Ben tapped gently and announced that dinner was served, and Harry stared at the moon-faced dial and saw that it was long after two o’clock, and wondered what in the world had become of the four hours that had passed since he had rushed down from his uncle’s and into Kate’s arms.
And so we will leave them—playing housekeeping—Harry pulling out her chair, she spreading her dainty skirts and saying “Thank you, Mr. Rutter—” and Ben with his face in so broad a grin that it got set that way—Aunt Dinah, the cook, having to ask him three times “Was he gwineter hab a fit” before he could answer by reason of the chuckle which was suffocating him.
And now as we must close the door for a brief space on the happy couple—never so happy in all their lives—it will be just as well for us to find out what the mischief is going on at the club—for there is something going on—and that of unusual importance.
Everybody is out on the front steps. Old Bowdoin is craning his short neck, and Judge Pancoast is saying that it is impossible and then instatly changing his mind, saying: “By jove it is!”—and Richard Horn and Warfield and Murdoch are leaning over the balcony rail still unconvinced and old Harding is pounding his fat thigh with his pudgy hand in ill-concealed delight.
Yes—there is no doubt of it—hasn’t been any doubt of it since the judge shouted out the glad tidings which emptied every chair in the club: Across the park, beyond the rickety, vine-covered fence and close beside the Temple Mansion, stands a four-in-hand, the afternoon sun flashing from the silver mountings of the harness and glinting on the polished body and wheels of the coach. Then a crack of the whip, a wind of the horn, and they are off—the leaders stretching the traces, two men on the box, two grooms in the rear. Hurrah! Well, by thunder, who would have believed it—that’s Temple inside on the back seat! “There he is waving his hand and Todd is with him. And yes! Why of course it’s Rutter! See him clear that curb! Not a man in this county can drive like that but Talbot.”
Round they come—the colonel straight as a whip—dusty-brown overcoat, flowers in his buttonhole—bell-crowned hat, brown driving gloves—perfectly appointed, even if he is a trifle pale and half blind. More horn—a long joyous note now, as if they were heralding the peace of the world, the colonel bowing like a grand duke as he passes the assembled crowd—a gathering of the reins together, a sudden pull-up at Seymours’, everybody on the front porch—Kate peeping over Harry’s shoulder—and last and best of all, St. George’s cheery voice ringing out:
“Where are you two sweethearts!” Not a weak note anywhere; regular fog-horn of a voice blown to help shipwrecked mariners.
“All aboard for Moorlands, you turtle-doves—never mind your clothes, Kate—nor you either, Harry. Your father will send for them later. Up with you.”