It was at this agonising moment that the amiable Lord Hunsdon presented the chair, with the murmured hope that he was not taking a liberty and that she recalled his having had the good fortune to be presented to her by his friend Mrs. Nunn earlier in the day.
After leaving Nunn I started out at a quick pace, alert and confident.
Our baggage was hustled into the three front compartments. I put Nunn and the Portuguese party in one and my wife and I occupied the rear compartment. Thank Heaven! once more alone together. The soldiers and inhabitants flocked around, and we were the observed of all observers. The local railway chief was more than anxious to see us off, as I added another five to the five escudos already given.
Her experiences and struggles bore a close resemblance to those which Rhoda Nunn had gone through, and the time of trial had lasted longer. Mental and moral stamina would have assured her against such evils of celibacy as appeared in the elder Maddens, but it was to a change of worldly fortune that she owed this revival of youthful spirit and energy in middle life.
Nunn, pretending to saunter through the saloon and morning rooms with Anne, introduced her naturally to a number of young people, and finally left her with a group, returning to the more congenial society of Lady Hunsdon and Lady Constance Mortlake.
'Oh yes. And looked very nice. 'Do describe it to me. Can you remember? Seeing that no woman ever forgot the details of another's dress, on however trivial an occasion, and at whatever distance of time, Monica was of course able to satisfy the inquirer. Her curiosity excited, she ventured in turn upon one or two insidious questions. 'You couldn't imagine Miss Nunn in such a costume?
As he concluded, his eyes met those of Miss Nunn, and the latter suddenly spoke. 'Why will men marry fools? Barfoot was startled. He looked down into his plate, smiling. 'A most sensible question, said the hostess, with a laugh. 'Why, indeed? 'But a difficult one to answer, remarked Everard, with his most restrained smile.
I was very fortunate in my servant Nunn, he being devoted to me, a resolute fellow as well, and thoroughly trustworthy. He felt very badly over my leaving him behind in Havana. Nor would I have done so under ordinary circumstances.
Nunn, and she would re-live the morning hours before other mere mortals scattered those precious images in her mind. Warner had taken her up to his hut concealed in a hollow of the mountain and surrounded on all sides by the jungle, then, while she sat on the one chair the establishment boasted, he had cooked their breakfast, a palatable mess of rice and plantains, and the best of coffee.
So, after some cogitation, I determined to return to Havana, say good-bye to all our friends and embark as soon as possible for Vera Cruz. I was impatient to set off at once, but it was both dangerous and difficult work to go through the jungle by night, so telling Nunn to be ready to start at sunrise I went to bed.