“I want him immediately, but I cannot ask him or you to mix in this miserable game. There may be a scandal and I won’t drag you all into it,” he said, dejectedly.
“I’ll send for Bob, just the same, dear boy. What are friends for, pray?”
She left him with the firm and secret determination to carry the war for friendship’s sake to the very door of Dorothy Garrison’s stubborn heart, and that without delay.
THE DAY OF THE WEDDING
When Lord Bob reached Brussels on Friday he found affairs in a sorry shape. His wife’s never-failing serenity was in a sad state of collapse. Quentin was showing wonderful signs of recuperation, and it almost required lock and key to keep him from breaking forth into the wildest indiscretions. Gradually and somewhat disconnectedly he became acquainted with existing conditions. He first learned that his wife had carried Quentin’s banner boldly up to the walls of the fortress, and then—well, Lady Saxondale’s pride was very much hurt by what happened there. Miss Garrison was exceedingly polite, but quite ungrateful for the kindness that was being bestowed upon her. She assured her ladyship that she was making no mistake in marrying Prince Ravorelli, and, if she were, she alone would suffer.
“I am so furious with her, Bob, for marrying Prince Ugo that I am not going to the wedding,” said Lady Saxondale.
“Whew! That’s a bracer! But, by the way, my dear, did you introduce any real proof that he is the scoundrel you say he is? Seems to me the poor girl is right in the stand she takes. She wants proof, and positive proof, you know. I don’t blame her. How the deuce can she break it off with the fellow on the flimsy excuse that Phil Quentin and Lady Saxondale say he is a rascal? You’ve all been acting like a tribe of ninnies, if you’ll pardon my saying so.”
“She is sensible enough to know that we would not misrepresent matters to her in such a serious case as this,” she retorted.
“What proof have you that Ravorelli is a villain?”
“Good heavens, Bob, did he not try to have Phil murdered?” she exclaimed, pityingly.
“Do you know that to be a positive fact?”
“Phil and Mr. Savage are quite thoroughly convinced.”
“But if anyone asked you to go on to the witness stand and swear that Prince Ugo tried to take the life of Philip Quentin, could you do so?” he persisted.
“You goose, I was not an eye-witness. How could I swear to such a thing?”
“Well, if I understand the situation correctly, Miss Garrison is the judge, Ravorelli the accused, and you are one of the witnesses. Now, really, dear, how far do you imagine your hearsay evidence—which is no evidence at all—goes with the fair magistrate? What would be your verdict if some one were to come to you and say, ’Saxondale is a blackguard, a rascal, a cutthroat?’”