The maid her name, not that it matters, was Susan, and she was engaged to be married, though the point is of no importance, to the second assistant at Green's Grocery Stores in Windlehurst approached Mr. Bennett. "Please, sir, a gentleman to see you." "Eh?" said Mr. Bennett, torn from a dream of large pink slices edged with bread-crumbed fat. "A gentleman to see you, sir. In the drawing-room.
"I cannot, will not, bear the humiliation and the shame. This letter here you see!" "It is the letter of a woman who has had more affaires than any man in London. She is preternaturally clever, my dear Windlehurst would tell you so. The brilliant and unscrupulous, the beautiful and the bad, have a great advantage in this world. Eglington was curious, that is all.
Your work is cut out, Betty, and I know you will do it as no one else can." "Oh, Windlehurst," she answered, with a hand clutching at his arm, "if we fail, it will kill me." "If she fails, it will kill her," he answered, "and she is very young. What is in her mind, who can tell? But she thinks she can help Claridge somehow. We must save her, Betty."
"A set-back, a sharp set-back," said Lord Windlehurst, in the Peers' Gallery, as the cheers of the Opposition and of a good number of ministerialists sounded through the Chamber. There were those on the Treasury Bench who saw danger ahead.
While her mind was engaged subconsciously with what Lord Windlehurst and David said, comprehending it all, and, when Lord Windlehurst appealed to her, offering by a word contribution to the 'pourparler', she was studying David as steadily as her heated senses would permit her.
As she sat in the evening light, David and Lacey came, and were received by the Duchess of Snowdon, who could only say to David, as she held his hand, "Windlehurst sent his regards to you, his loving regards. He was sure you would come home come home. He wished he were in power for your sake."
Good-bye," she added hurriedly, and her eyes were so blurred that she could scarcely see the graceful, demure figure pass into the sunlit street. That afternoon Lord Windlehurst entered the Duchess of Snowdon's presence hurried and excited. She started on seeing his face. "What has happened?" she asked breathlessly. "She is gone," he answered. "Our girl has gone to Egypt."
Look at it dispassionately, and you will see much to admire in his skill. He pleases, he amuses, he startles, he baffles, he mystifies." The Duchess made an impatient exclamation. "The silly newspapers call him a 'remarkable man, a personality. Now, believe me, Windlehurst, he will overreach himself one of these days, and he'll come down like a stick." "There you are on solid ground.
Inquiries had poured in from friends in town, many had asked to come and see her; flowers came from one or two who loved her benignly, like Lord Windlehurst; and now and then she had some cheerful friend with her who cared for music or could sing; and then the old home rang; but she was mostly alone, and Eglington was kept in town by official business the greater part of each week.
Not in a long time had she neared her home with such expectation and longing. Often on the doorstep she had shut her eyes to the light and warmth and elegance of it, because of that which she did not see. Now, with a thrill of pleasure, she saw its doors open. It was possible Eglington might have come home already. Lord Windlehurst had said that he had left the House.