“Who was who?”
“That devastating creature in white flannels!”
The man chuckled. “Matinee sort of devastator—what? Monte Cristo hair, noble profile—”
“You’d better tell me,” she interrupted earnestly—“if you don’t want me to ask the waiter.”
“But I don’t know him.”
“I saw you speak to him.”
“I thought it was a man I met three years ago out in San Francisco, but I was mistaken. There was a slight resemblance. This fellow might have been a rather decent younger brother of the man I knew. He was the—”
My strong impression was that if the speaker had not been interrupted at this point he would have said something very unfavourable to the character of the man he had met in San Francisco; but there came a series of blasts from the automobile horns and loud calls from others of the party, who were evidently waiting for these two.
“Coming!” shouted the man.
“Wait!” said his companion hurriedly, “Who was the other man, the older one with the painting things and such a coat?”
“Never saw him before in my life.”
I caught a last word from the girl as the pair moved away.
“I’ll come back here with a Band to-morrow night, and serenade the beautiful one.
“Perhaps he’d drop me his card out of the window!”
The horns sounded again; there was a final chorus of laughter, suddenly ceasing to be heard as the cars swept away, and Les Trois Pigeons was left to its accustomed quiet.
“Monsieur is served,” said Amedee, looking in at my door, five minutes later.
“You have passed a great hour just now, Amedee.”
“It was like the old days, truly!”
“They are off for Trouville, I suppose.”
“No, monsieur, they are on their way to visit the chateau, and stopped here only because the run from Paris had made the tires too hot.”
“To visit Quesnay, you mean?”
“Truly. But monsieur need give himself no uneasiness; I did not mention to any one that monsieur is here. His name was not spoken. Mademoiselle Ward returned to the chateau to-day,” he added. “She has been in England.”
“Quesnay will be gay,” I said, coming out to the table. Oliver Saffren was helping the professor down the steps, and Keredec, bent with suffering, but indomitable, gave me a hearty greeting, and began a ruthless dissection of Plato with the soup. Oliver, usually, very quiet, as I have said, seemed a little restless under the discourse to-night. However, he did not interrupt, sitting patiently until bedtime, though obviously not listening. When he bade me good night he gave me a look so clearly in reference to a secret understanding between us that, meaning to keep only the letter of my promise to him, I felt about as comfortable as if I had meanly tricked a child.