The Duke of Westerham desired to see Miss Le Mesurier. The butler was respectful but doubtful. Miss Le Mesurier had just arrived from a journey and was lying down. The Duke, however, was insistent. He waited twenty minutes in a small back morning-room and presently Jeanne came in to him. He held out his hands. "Little girl," he said, "you know what you promised.
The gulf between the generations, however hidden for the moment, was always there. Yet, after all, James and Mary Mesurier possessed an incorruptible treasure, which their children had neither given nor could take away.
'We have been waiting for you, said Mallinson to his wife. 'I couldn't think where you had got to, and he glanced from her to Drake. 'I have been here all the time, she said with a certain defiance. Mallinson turned and walked down the stairs again, without as much as a word to Drake. Clarice followed him, and after her came Drake. 'Ah, here you are! said Captain Le Mesurier. 'Now we're ready.
"I know only what the world knows, that you are the daughter of Carl le Mesurier, and that he left you the residue of one of the greatest fortunes in Europe." Jeanne drew a letter from her pocket. "The Princess," she remarked, "must have forgotten to tell you. This great fortune that all the world has spoken of, and that seems to have made me so famous, has been all the time something of a myth.
"All right, Mary, I would prefer then that we spoke no more on the matter for this evening," and James Mesurier turned to his diary, to record, along with the state of the weather, and the engagements of the day, the undutiful conduct of Esther, and a painful difference with his wife.
I had mentioned him as a friend of mine at one time, and Miss Le Mesurier invited me to bring him on the day he reached London. 'So soon as that! It's funny Clarice never mentioned him to me. You, of course, told her the date of Mr. Drake's arrival. 'No, she found that out from an interview in the Meteor. 'I remember. 'You read it? 'Yes. So you introduced him to Clarice? 'No.
The company was floated towards the end of the month, and with immediate success. Mr. Le Mesurier read out at breakfast a letter which he had received from Drake, announcing that every share had been taken up on the very day of flotation. 'Then he is coming, said Clarice. 'When? Mr. Le Mesurier mistook his daughter's anxiety, and smiled satisfaction at her.
And what's the use of being a privileged friend of the family if you can't be rude? Drake came to the rescue. 'Mr. Le Mesurier is quite right, said he. 'Incidents of the kind I mentioned are best left untold. 'I don't doubt it, said Fielding. 'A man loses all sight of humanitarian principles the moment he's beyond view of a fireside. 'Oh, does he? replied Drake.
Then he said: 'Miss Le Mesurier' and the change in his voice made the girl turn swiftly to face him 'I leave Sark to-morrow morning by the early boat, so I thought I would say good-bye to you to-night. 'But you are coming back, she said quickly; 'I shall see you, of course, when you come back. What takes you away?
He leaned forward as he spoke from the embrasure of the second window, which was in a line with, and but a few feet apart from, that at which she was sitting. Miss Le Mesurier flushed, and asked, 'How did you hear? 'Both windows are open. Mallinson was leaning out. The girl's confusion increased, and with it Fielding's enjoyment. He repeated, 'So he's doing no work?