"Morel Walter Morel!" the cashier repeated, his finger and thumb on the invoice, ready to pass on. Paul was suffering convulsions of self-consciousness, and could not or would not shout. The backs of the men obliterated him. Then Mr. Winterbottom came to the rescue. "He's here. Where is he? Morel's lad?" The fat, red, bald little man peered round with keen eyes. He pointed at the fireplace.
I am afraid that I have not the pleasure of knowing your names, and must request the honour of being introduced." Lieutenant Winterbottom bowed. "I've had the pleasure of reading Lieutenant Winterbottom's name several times this forenoon," observed Captain Oughton, as he returned the salute. "You refer to my luggage, I'm afraid, Captain Oughton?"
Kirk left his tune unfinished, and launched himself in the direction of Ken, who scooped him into his arms. "Do you know, Phil," Ken said, voicing at once the thought he had felt all the way up Winterbottom Road; "do you know, I think, after all, this is the very best thing we could have done." "What?" Phil asked, not being a mind-reader. "This," Ken said, sweeping his arm about the lamplit room.
"Jenkins," said he to the man christened Caliban, "you did not forget the salad?" "No, sir, I brought it myself. It's on the top of the little hamper." Mr Winterbottom, who, it appears, was extremely partial to salad, was satisfied with the reply, and walked slowly away. "Well," said Tom to me, wiping the perspiration from his brow with his handkerchief, "I wouldn't have missed this for anything.
Reckon I'll leave you at the gate where I kin turn good." The flap-flop of the horse's hoofs died on Winterbottom Road, and no sound came but the wind sighing in old apple-boughs, and from somewhere the melancholy creaking of a swinging shutter. The gate-way was grown about with grass; Ken crushed it as he forced open the gate, and the faint, sweet smell rose.
Before anyone realized what was happening a big grey car shot down the road with the slender figure of Mrs. Winterbottom at the wheel. Clinging to the running-board was her English chauffeur and beside her sat my little Kansas photographer, Donald Thompson.
Just before he reached Winterbottom Road, he saw, rather vaguely through the twilight, the figures of a man and a small boy, coming toward him. They had, apparently, seen him, also, for the man walked more quickly for a step or two, then stopped altogether, and finally turned sharply off the road and swung the child over a stone wall, with a quick remark which Ken did not hear.
Kirk sniffed, but Ken went on relentlessly: "What were you doing outside the gate, anyway? You're not allowed there. I don't like your going to the Maestro's, even, but at least it's a safe path. There are automobiles on Winterbottom Road, and they suppose that you can see 'em and get out of their way. I'm afraid we'll have to say that you can't leave the house without Phil or me."
An hour later, a tall man and a radiant small boy pushed open the gate on Winterbottom Road and walked across the yellow grass. Kirk broke away and ran toward the house, hands outflung. "Phil! Ken!" he called jubilantly. His face shadowed as his hands came against the unyielding door of the house. "Phil " he faltered. "Perhaps they haven't the telegram," Mr. Martin said.
Rudolph Winterbottom holds any Government situation. His private fortune is fully sufficient for all demands of even good society. Ah! now I have it! His son Rudy his third or fourth son holds some appointment. That will be your man." "Very likely. An invalid is he not? Something wrong with his lungs?" "So I should imagine, now that you mention it.