Fordyce was under restraint also, and the burden of the talk fell upon Congdon, who proceeded in his amusingly hit-or-miss way to detail the important or humorous happenings, of the town, and so they rolled along up the wide avenue to the big stone steps before the looming, lamp-lit palace which they called home.
Just when you think you've got your hand on a pretty bird she flutters away and sings merrily in another part of the wood." "Right!" ejaculated Congdon. "By George, that expresses it exactly!" "About your child, up there in Michigan," said Archie, pleased that he was scoring as a man of wisdom, "it's wholly possible that your wife sent you the wire as an approach to a reconciliation."
He rose to his feet, turning a contorted face to the others. "Poisonous," he cried. "More volcano," said Trendon. He bent to the black hole and sniffed cautiously. "I'll go in, sir," volunteered Congdon. "I've had fire-practice." "My business," said Trendon, briefly. "Decomposition; unpleasant, but not dangerous." Pushing the lantern before him, he wormed his way until the light was blotted out.
The room made a pleasant impression on Bertha, though she could not have told why. The ceiling was dark, the walls green, the woodwork stained pine, and yet it had charm. Mrs. Congdon explained meanwhile that Frank had made the big centre-table of plank, and the book-shelves as well. "He likes to tinker at such things," she said.
His face was grave and his voice sad. "Not a thing! My Svengali pass didn't work. I was as the idle wind to her. Therefore, I withdrew and 'phoned the police." "What an extraordinary thing," said Ben. Mrs. Congdon brightly answered: "It would be for any one else, but I'm so used to that now I don't mind.
Haney was habitual and ungrudging. "How do you do, Mrs. Haney?" Lee began. "I'm Mrs. Congdon." Bertha threw the rug over Mart's knees before turning to offer her hand. "I'm glad to meet you," she responded, with gravity. "I've seen you on the street." Lee couldn't quite make out whether this remark was intended for reproach or not, but she went on, quickly: "I was just about to call.
Congdon was a friend of yours I should have acted differently, very differently indeed." He was attracting attention. The porter, the bell-boy supporting Isabel's bag, and a few passers-by paused, amused by the spectacle of a heated gentleman earnestly addressing a young woman who seemed greatly annoyed by his attentions.
Their luncheon had just been served and he continued to inspect them with a deepening conviction that the woman was Mrs. Congdon and these the children mentioned in the telegram he had found tucked under the plate of the Bailey Harbor house. The resemblance between the young woman and the child with the roguish smile was unmistakable.
Ben exulted as he watched her moving about the room, so supple, so powerful, and so graceful, but, though he was careful not to utter one word of praise, he could not keep the glow of admiration from his eyes. An hour later as he said good-night and went away with Congdon, his heart burned with secret, rebellious fire.
At the supper table a new direction was given to Archie's thoughts, for a time at least. Fortunately his nerves had grown accustomed to shocks and he was only dazed now by the intrusion of a new figure on the scene. The Governor and Congdon were already at the table when he reached the dining-room. Mrs.