Page:BulldogDrummondSapper.djvu/36

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32
 
HE TAKES TEA AT THE CARLTON

anything else he had sent his advertisement to the paper.

Her eyes, he could see, were very blue; and great masses of golden brown hair coiled over her ears, from under a small black hat. He glanced at her feet—being an old stager; she was perfectly shod. He glanced at her hands, and noted, with approval, the absence of any ring. Then he looked once more at her face, and found her eyes were fixed on him.

This time she did not look away. She seemed to think that it was her turn to conduct the examination, and Drummond turned to his tea while the scrutiny continued. He poured himself out a cup, and then fumbled in his waistcoat pocket. After a moment he found what he wanted, and taking out a card he propped it against the teapot so that the girl could see what was on it. In large block capitals he had written Box X10. Then he added milk and sugar and waited.

She spoke almost at once. "You'll do, X10," she said, and he turned to her with a smile.

"It's very nice of you to say so," he murmured. "If I may, I will return the compliment. So will you."

She frowned slightly. "This isn't foolishness, you know. What I said in my letter is literally true."

"Which makes the compliment even more returnable," he answered. "If I am to embark on a life of crime, I would sooner collaborate with you than—shall we say—that earnest eater over there with the tomato in her hat."