A moment later she had paid for her purchase, and they were out in the street again. "You look very down," she remarked. "I believe you must have been losing a lot at Monte, and that a little sympathy and good advice would do you good. I meant to go to Rumpelmayer's presently, but suppose we go now and have tea together?"
"Confess that this is better than Rumpelmayer's or the Ritz," she murmured lazily. "It is better," he admitted. "It is a very wonderful place." "You have nothing like it in China?" she asked him. "It would not be possible," he answered. "Democracy there is confined to politics. In other respects, our class prejudices are far more rigid than yours.
The rain suggested to me that I should take a taxi to the Rumpelmayer's of Munich. A closed one was crawling by the kerb opposite to me, on the far side of the road. I put up my stick, and it slowed down. I crossed to it, spoke to the driver, who scowled at me, seemingly because I approached him from the road and not from the pavement Munich is very particular and got in.
Septimus, with his genius for the inharmonious, drank tea; not as the elegant nowadays drink at Colombin's or Rumpelmayer's, but a dirty, gray liquid served with rum, according to the old French fashion, before five-o'cloquer became a verb in the language.
They went out together, walking among the pine trees surrounding the hotel; and meanwhile Kate Gardiner had driven into the bright little town of Mentone, with its background of mountains, its foreground of blue-green sea. In the neighbourhood of the shops, she sent away her victoria, which was to pick her up at Rumpelmayer's at five o'clock.
Lady Gardiner hoped to see Loria before going back to the hotel, and an appointment had been made, to be kept as nearly to the time as possible; but he was not at Rumpelmayer's, the place of meeting, and, astonished at his defection, she was obliged to return to the Cap Martin without the expected talk. In her room she found a line from the Italian.
On the Riviera they find little to do except meet at Rumpelmayer's at Cannes, the London House at Nice, or the Casino at Monte-Carlo; and in Cairo they inaugurate a miniature London "season" over again, worked in the same groove of dinners, dances, drives, picnics, flirtations, and matrimonial engagements.
"We're to be married in a fortnight!" She could see the words dancing before her eyes. And she must waste a precious week here! "Do you want me, Miss Bellairs?" asked Charlie Ellerton, coming up to them. "Yes. I want oh, I want to go to Rumpelmayer's." "All right. Come along. I'm delighted to go with you." They walked off in silence. Dora was in distress. She saw that the General was immovable.
We mustn't betray ourselves." "Not for the world! I can never thank you enough. You'll come with us all the way?" "Yes." "Thank you again." She gave him her hand, which he pressed gently. "Hullo!" said he. "We seem to have got up by the church somewhere. Where were we going to?" "Why, to Rumpelmayer's." "Oh, ah! Well, let's go back to the hotel."
"Perhaps he wouldn't mind if we arranged for him to meet us in about an hour; and we might all three have tea together at Rumpelmayer's." Virginia looked embarrassed, which was unusual for her. "We didn't think of going into Mentone," she said. "We shall just stroll about, for the fact is, we've business to talk over."