As regarded his father there would be a difficulty. In the first place he had been fool enough to tell his father that he was going to make an offer to Mabel Grex. And then his father would surely refuse his consent to a marriage with an American stranger.
Do you remember how Miss Cassewary looked?" "Miss Cassewary knew all about it." "I daresay she did. And so I suppose did Mabel Grex. I had thought that perhaps I might make Mabel a confidante, but " Then she looked up into his face. "But what?" "You like Mabel, do you not? I do." "I like her very, very much." "Perhaps you have liked her too well for that, eh, Frank?" "Too well for what?"
I would fain see you surrounded by those things which ought to interest a nobleman in this country. Why is it all over with Lady Mabel Grex?" The young man looked imploringly at his father, as though earnestly begging that nothing more might be said about Mabel. "I had changed my mind before I found out that she was really in love with me!" He could not say that.
He is as good as a walking directory." "I wonder if either of you know some people named Grex?" Richard asked, with studious indifference. Mr. Draconmeyer for the first time showed some signs of interest. He looked at their questioner steadfastly. "Grex," he repeated. "A very uncommon name." "Very uncommon-looking people," Richard declared.
The Conservative papers remembered how excellent a politician he had been in his younger days, and the world was informed that the family of Grex of Grex was about the oldest in Great Britain of which authentic records were in existence. Then there came another note from Lady Mabel to Tregear.
I don't fancy the law of this Principality would see you out of any trouble if they got an idea that you were an English Secret Service man." Roche laughed shortly. "Exactly my own idea," he admitted. "However, we've got to see it through. I sha'n't consider I've done my work unless I hear something of what Grex and the others have to say to Douaille the next time they meet."
It seemed to her to be quite natural to do so, and there certainly was no reason why he should decline anything so pleasant. It was thus that he had intended to walk with Mabel Grex; only as yet he had not found her. "Oh yes," said Miss Boncassen, when they had been together about twenty minutes; "we shall be here all the summer, and all the fall, and all the winter.
He was holding open the door of a large, exceptionally handsome car. On the other side was a servant in white livery. Lane gripped his companion's arm. "There she goes!" he exclaimed. The girl, followed by Mr. Grex, stepped into the landaulette, which was brilliantly illuminated inside with electric light. Almost immediately the car glided noiselessly off.
Grex was anxious to keep apart his daughter and Lady Weybourne, whose relationship to Richard Lane he had only just apprehended; while he himself desired a little quiet conversation with Monsieur Douaille before they paid the visit which had been arranged for to the Club and the Casino. In the end, Mr. Grex was both successful and unsuccessful.
Of course the girl was the lovelier of the two. All the world was raving of her beauty. And there was no doubt as to the charm of her wit and manner. And then she had no touch of that blase used-up way of life of which Lady Mabel was conscious herself. It was natural that it should be so. And was she, Mabel Grex, the girl to stand in his way and to force herself upon him, if he loved another?