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"I must apologise for my friend's language," murmured Hugh gently, "but you must admit he has some justification. Besides, he was, I regret to state, quite wonderfully drunk earlier this evening, and just as he was sleeping it off these desperadoes abducted him."

The next moment the door burst open, and an infuriated object rushed in. His face was wild, and his hand was bandaged, showing a great red stain on the thumb.

"What's this —— jest?" he howled furiously. "And this damned bandage all covered with red ink?"

"You must ask our friend here, Mullings," said Hugh. "He's got a peculiar sense of humour. Anyway, he's got the bill in his hand."

In silence they watched Peterson open the paper and read the contents, while the girl leant over his shoulder.

To Mr. Peterson, The Elms, Godalming.
£ s. d.
To hire one demobilised soldier 5 0 0
To making him drunk (in this item present
strength and cost of drink and said soldier's
capacity must be allowed for)
5 0 0
To bottle of red ink 0 0 1
To shock to system 10 0 0
TOTAL £20 0 1

It was Irma who laughed.

"Oh! but, my Hugh," she gurgled, "que vous êtes adorable!"

But he did not look at her. His eyes were on Peterson, who with a perfectly impassive face was staring at him fixedly.