Page:The Lesson of the Master, The Marriages, The Pupil, Brooksmith, The Solution, Sir Edmund Orme (New York & London, Macmillan & Co., 1892).djvu/272

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"I should think you would be."

"I mean I'm glad I did it."

"You're a preux chevalier."

"No, I ain't." And, blushing, he got into the carriage, which rolled away.

Mrs. Rushbrook failed to give me the "sign" she promised, and two days after this I went, to get news of her, to the small hotel at which she intended to alight and to which she had told me, on my last seeing her at Albano, that she had sent her maid to make arrangements. When I asked if her advent had been postponed the people of the inn exclaimed that she was already there—she had been there since the beginning of the week. Moreover she was at home, and on my sending up my name she responded that she should be happy to see me. There was something in her face, when I came in, that I didn't like, though I was struck with her looking unusually pretty. I can't tell you now why I should have objected to that. The first words I said to her savoured, no doubt, of irritation: "Will you kindly tell me why you have been nearly a week in Rome without letting me know?"

"Oh, I've been occupied—I've had other things to do."

"You don't keep your promises."

"Don't I? You shouldn't say that," she answered, with an amused air.

"Why haven't I met you out—in this place where people meet every day?"

"I've been busy at home—I haven't been running about."

I looked round me, asked about her little girl, congratulated her on the brightness she imparted to the most banal room as soon as she began to live in it, took up her books, fidgeted, waited for her to say something about