"I know! But what?"
"What's the trouble?" enquired Mr. Blumenthal, mystified.
"Go over to their table and talk to them," said Lucille.
"Me!" Archie quivered. "No, I say, old thing, really!"
"Get them away!"
"How do you mean?"
"I know!" cried Lucille, inspired. "Father promised that you should be manager of the new hotel when it was built. Well, then, this strike affects you just as much as anybody else. You have a perfect right to talk it over with them. Go and ask them to have dinner up in our suite where you can discuss it quietly. Say that up there they won't be disturbed by the—the music."
At this moment, while Archie wavered, hesitating like a diver on the edge of a spring-board who is trying to summon up the necessary nerve to project himself into the deep, a bell-boy approached the table where the Messrs. Brewster and Connolly had seated themselves. He murmured something in Mr. Brewster's ear, and the proprietor of the Cosmopolis rose and followed him out of the room.
"Quick! Now's your chance!" said Lucille, eagerly, "Father's been called to the telephone. Hurry!"
Archie took another drink of ice-water to steady his shaking nerve-centers, pulled down his waistcoat, straightened his tie, and then, with something of the air of a Roman gladiator entering the arena, tottered across the room. Lucille turned to entertain the perplexed music-publisher.The nearer Archie got to Mr. Aloysius Connolly the