I was afraid he might think the corporal's stripe had been ill-bestowed, but one must draw the straight line of truth somewhere! Next morning when Di came back, I told her what was necessary to tell, and not a bit more. I explained how I had met Captain Eagleston March, and how we had spent the day and the heavenly evening.
I told him that I was Marguerite O'Malley, but that, as I wasn't a bit like a marguerite or even a common or garden daisy, I'd degenerated into Peggy. I didn't drag in anything about my family tree; it seemed unnecessary. He told me that he was Eagleston March, but that he had degenerated into "Eagle."
If I didn't tell this, nobody else ever would; certainly not Diana, nor Major Vandyke still less Eagle himself I mean Captain Eagleston March; and they and I are the only ones who know, except a few such people as presidents and secretaries of war and generals, who never tell anything even under torture. Besides, there is the unofficial part.
Only a few persons knew that to arrange a meeting between Sidney Vandyke, Diana, Milly, and Captain Eagleston March, was about as tactful as to invite the King of Belgium to dine with the German Kaiser. Only a few persons knew, and those most concerned were the very ones who would do least to shield Eagle's feelings.
"From French chocolate, perhaps," said I. "What is it you want with me, Major Vandyke? Tell me, and get it over." "I want to know exactly what it is in me that you dislike so much?" "Only everything." "That's a large order, and not very explicit. Would you have disliked me if I hadn't interfered with a er a person more to your taste; in other words, with Captain Eagleston March?"
I thought, too, that he would see the time had come at last to let the world know that "Monsieur Mars" and Captain Eagleston March were one. I longed for the day of revelation. It seemed to me that it would be a great day. I could hardly wait for it to arrive; but a fortnight passed and the papers had no more to say of "Mars, the elusive."
Privately, not publicly, of course, I'm inclined to believe in the former theory; and I think most people would agree with me if they knew all the circumstances " "As you put them!" "Let's go back to my object in inflicting myself upon you to-night, Lady Peggy. Eagleston March is the god of your idolatry. Let's take that for granted. He's bound to suffer.