“Here you are,” he said lightly, as he came upon Eunice, with another woman and two men, all of whom were silently concentrating on what was quite evidently a stiff game.
“Yes, here I am,” she returned; “don’t speak please, until I finish this hand.”
Eunice was playing the hand, and though her face paled, and a spot of bright color appeared on either cheek she did not lose her head, and carried the hand through to a successful conclusion.
“Game and rubber!” she cried, triumphantly, and the vanquished pair nodded regretfully.
“And the last game, please, for my wife,” Embury said, in calm, courteous tones. “You can get a substitute, of course. Come, Eunice!”
There was something icy in his tones that made Eunice shiver, though it was not noticeable to strangers, and she rose, smiling, with a few gay words of apology.
“Perfectly awful of me to leave, when I’m winning,” she said, “but there are times, you know, when one remembers the ‘obey’ plank in the matrimonial platform! Dear Fifi, forgive me—”
She moved about gracefully, saying a word or two of farewell, and then disappeared to get her wrap, with as little disturbance as possible of the other players.
“You naughty man!” and Mrs, Desternay shook her finger at Embury; “if you weren’t so good-looking I should put you in my black books!”
“That would at least keep me in your memory,” he returned, but his smile was now quite evidently a forced one.
And his words of farewell were few, as he led Eunice from the house and down to the car.
He handed her in, and then sat beside her, as the chauffeur turned homeward.
Not a word was spoken by either of them during the whole ride.
Several times Eunice decided to break the silence, but concluded not to. She was both angry and frightened, but the anger predominated.
Embury sat motionless, his face pale and stern, and when they arrived at their own house, he assisted her from the car, quite as usual, dismissed the chauffeur, with a word of orders for the next day, and then the pair went into the house.
Ferdinand met them at their door, and performed his efficient and accustomed services.
And then, after a glance at her husband, Eunice went into her own room and closed the door.
Embury smoked a cigarette or two, and at last went to his room.
Ferdinand attended him, and the concerned expression on the old servant’s face showed, though he tried to repress it, an anxiety as to the very evident trouble that was brewing.
But he made no intrusive remark or implication, though a furtive glance at his master betokened a resentment of his treatment of Eunice, the idol of Ferdinand’s heart.
Dismissed, he left Embury’s room, and closed the door softly behind him.
The door between the rooms of Embury and his wife stood a little ajar, and as his hand fell on it to shut it, he heard a stifled gasp of “Sanford!”