Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/205

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201
HE GOES TO PARIS FOR A NIGHT

"Five minutes of Heaven….By Jove! But you look great—simply great."

The girl smiled up at him.

"It strikes me, Master Hugh, that you have failed to remove your beard this morning."

Hugh grinned.

"Quite right, kid. They omitted to bring me my shaving water on to the roof."

After a considerable interval, in which trifles such as beards mattered not, she smoothed her hair and sat down on the arm of a chair.

"Tell me what's happened, boy," she said eagerly.

"Quite a crowded night." With a reminiscent smile he lit a cigarette. And then quite briefly he told her of the events of the past twelve hours, being, as is the manner of a man, more interested in watching the sweet colour which stained her cheeks from time to time, and noticing her quickened breathing when he told her of his fight with the gorilla, and his ascent of the murderous staircase. To him it was all over and now finished, but to the girl who sat listening to the short, half-clipped sentences, each one spoken with a laugh and a jest, there came suddenly the full realisation of what this man was doing for her. It was she who had been the cause of his running all these risks; it was her letter that he had answered. Now she felt that if one hair of his head was touched, she would never forgive herself.

And so when he had finished, and pitched the stump of his cigarette into the grate, falteringly she tried to dissuade him. With her hands on his coat, and her big eyes misty with her fears for him, she