"Made on the spur of the moment," she said lightly. "But it may be regarded as official."
"I'm afraid it must be declined on the spur of the moment," he answered in the same tone. "And equally to be regarded as official. Well, au revoir. Please tell Mr. Peterson how sorry I am to have missed him."
"I will most certainly," answered the girl. "But then, mon ami, you will be seeing him again soon, without doubt…"
She waved a charming hand in farewell, and turned to her companion, who was beginning to manifest symptoms of impatience. But Drummond, though he went into the hall outside, did not immediately leave the hotel. Instead, he button-holed an exquisite being arrayed in gorgeous apparel, and led him to a point of vantage.
"You see that girl," he remarked, "having tea with a man at the third table from the big palm? Now, can you tell me who the man is? I seem to know his face, but I can't put a name to it."
"That, sir," murmured the exquisite being, with the faintest perceptible scorn of such ignorance, "is the Marquis of Laidley. His lordship is frequently here."
"Laidley!" cried Hugh, in sudden excitement. "Laidley! The Duke of Lampshire's son! You priceless old stuffed tomato—the plot thickens."
Completely regardless of the scandalised horror on the exquisite being's face, he smote him heavily in the stomach and stepped into Pall Mall. For clean before his memory had come three lines on the