“That was a mighty good
toast, Jane,” said Mr. Hersheimmer, as he and
his cousin were being driven back in the Rolls-Royce
to the Ritz.
“The one to the joint venture?”
“No the one to you.
There isn’t another girl in the world who could
have carried it through as you did. You were just
Jane shook her head.
“I don’t feel wonderful.
At heart I’m just tired and lonesome and
longing for my own country.”
“That brings me to something
I wanted to say. I heard the Ambassador telling
you his wife hoped you would come to them at the Embassy
right away. That’s good enough, but I’ve
got another plan. Jane I want you to
marry me! Don’t get scared and say no at
once. You can’t love me right away, of
course, that’s impossible. But I’ve
loved you from the very moment I set eyes on your
photo and now I’ve seen you I’m
simply crazy about you! If you’ll only
marry me, I won’t worry you any you
shall take your own time. Maybe you’ll
never come to love me, and if that’s the case
I’ll manage to set you free. But I want
the right to look after you, and take care of you.”
“That’s what I want,”
said the girl wistfully. “Some one who’ll
be good to me. Oh, you don’t know how lonesome
“Sure thing I do. Then
I guess that’s all fixed up, and I’ll see
the archbishop about a special license to-morrow morning.”
“Well, I don’t want to
hustle you any, Jane, but there’s no sense in
waiting about. Don’t be scared I
shan’t expect you to love me all at once.”
But a small hand was slipped into his.
“I love you now, Julius,”
said Jane Finn. “I loved you that first
moment in the car when the bullet grazed your cheek....”
Five minutes later Jane murmured softly:
“I don’t know London very
well, Julius, but is it such a very long way from
the Savoy to the Ritz?”
“It depends how you go,”
explained Julius unblushingly. “We’re
going by way of Regent’s Park!”
“Oh, Julius what will the chauffeur
“At the wages I pay him, he
knows better than to do any independent thinking.
Why, Jane, the only reason I had the supper at the
Savoy was so that I could drive you home. I didn’t
see how I was ever going to get hold of you alone.
You and Tuppence have been sticking together like
Siamese twins. I guess another day of it would
have driven me and Beresford stark staring mad!”
“Oh. Is he ?”
“Of course he is. Head over ears.”
“I thought so,” said Jane thoughtfully.
“From all the things Tuppence didn’t say!”
“There you have me beat,” said Mr. Hersheimmer.
But Jane only laughed.
In the meantime, the Young Adventurers
were sitting bolt upright, very stiff and ill at ease,
in a taxi which, with a singular lack of originality,
was also returning to the Ritz via Regent’s Park.
A terrible constraint seemed to have
settled down between them. Without quite knowing
what had happened, everything seemed changed.
They were tongue-tied paralysed. All
the old camaraderie was gone.
Tuppence could think of nothing to say.
Tommy was equally afflicted.
They sat very straight and forbore to look at each
At last Tuppence made a desperate effort.
“Rather fun, wasn’t it?”
“I like Julius,” essayed Tuppence again.
Tommy was suddenly galvanized into life.
“You’re not going to marry
him, do you hear?” he said dictatorially.
“I forbid it.”
“Oh!” said Tuppence meekly.
“Absolutely, you understand.”
“He doesn’t want to marry me he
really only asked me out of kindness.”
“That’s not very likely,” scoffed
“It’s quite true.
He’s head over ears in love with Jane. I
expect he’s proposing to her now.”
“She’ll do for him very nicely,”
said Tommy condescendingly.
“Don’t you think she’s the most
lovely creature you’ve ever seen?”
“Oh, I dare say.”
“But I suppose you prefer sterling worth,”
said Tuppence demurely.
“I oh, dash it all, Tuppence, you
“I like your uncle, Tommy,”
said Tuppence, hastily creating a diversion.
“By the way, what are you going to do, accept
Mr. Carter’s offer of a Government job, or accept
Julius’s invitation and take a richly remunerated
post in America on his ranch?”
“I shall stick to the old ship,
I think, though it’s awfully good of Hersheimmer.
But I feel you’d be more at home in London.”
“I don’t see where I come in.”
“I do,” said Tommy positively.
Tuppence stole a glance at him sideways.
“There’s the money, too,” she observed
“We’re going to get a cheque each.
Mr. Carter told me so.”
“Did you ask how much?” inquired Tommy
“Yes,” said Tuppence triumphantly.
“But I shan’t tell you.”
“Tuppence, you are the limit!”
“It has been fun, hasn’t
it, Tommy? I do hope we shall have lots more
“You’re insatiable, Tuppence.
I’ve had quite enough adventures for the present.”
“Well, shopping is almost as good,” said
“Think of buying old furniture,
and bright carpets, and futurist silk curtains, and
a polished dining-table, and a divan with lots of
“Hold hard,” said Tommy. “What’s
all this for?”
“Possibly a house but I think a flat.”
“You think I mind saying it, but I don’t
in the least! Ours, so there!”
“You darling!” cried Tommy,
his arms tightly round her. “I was determined
to make you say it. I owe you something for the
relentless way you’ve squashed me whenever I’ve
tried to be sentimental.”
Tuppence raised her face to his.
The taxi proceeded on its course round the north side
of Regent’s Park.
“You haven’t really proposed
now,” pointed out Tuppence. “Not what
our grandmothers would call a proposal. But after
listening to a rotten one like Julius’s, I’m
inclined to let you off.”
“You won’t be able to
get out of marrying me, so don’t you think it.”
“What fun it will be,”
responded Tuppence. “Marriage is called
all sorts of things, a haven, and a refuge, and a
crowning glory, and a state of bondage, and lots more.
But do you know what I think it is?”
“And a damned good sport too,” said Tommy.