MOSTLY SALLY

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse November 1 1921

MOSTLY SALLY

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse November 1 1921

MOSTLY SALLY

Pelham Grenville Wodehouse

SALLY stared at Ginger Kemp’s vermilion profile in frank amazement. Ginger, she had realized by this time, was in many ways a surprising young man, but she bad not expected him to be so surprising as this. “Marry you!”

“You know what I mean.”

“Well, yes, I suppose I do. You allude to the holy state. Yes, I know what you mean.”

"Then how about it?”

Sally began to regain her composure. Her sense of humor was tickled. She looked at Ginger gravely. He did not meet her eye, but continued to drink in the uniformed official, who was by now so carried away by the romance of it all that he had begun to hum a love ballad under his breath. The official could not hear what they were saying, and would not have been able to understand it even if he could have heard, but. he was an expert in the language of the eyes.

“But isn’t this—don’t think I’m trying to make difficulties—isn’t this a little sudden?”

“It’s got to be sudden,” said Ginger Kemp complainingly. “I thought you were going to be here for weeks.” “But, my infant, my babe, has it occurred to you that we are practically strangers?” She patted his hand tolerantly, causing the uniformed official to heave a tender sigh. “I see what has happened,” she said. “You’re mistaking me for some other girl, some girl you know really well and were properly introduced to. Take a good look at me and you’ll see.”

“If I take a good look at you,” said Ginger, feverishly, “I’m dashed if I’ll answer for the consequences.” “And this is the man I was going to lecture on Enterprise!”

“You’re the most wonderful girl I’ve ever met, dash it!” said Ginger, his gaze still riveted on the official by the door. “I dare say it is sudden. I can’t help that. I fell in love with you the moment I saw you, and there you are!”

“But—”

“Now, look here. I know I’m not much of a chap and all that, but— well, I’ve just won the deuce of a lot of money in there.”

“Would you buy me with your gold?”

“I mean to say, we should have enough to start on, and—of course I’ve made an infernal hash of everything I’ve tried up till now, but there must be something I can do and you can jolly well bet I’d have a goodish stab at it. I mean to say, with you to buck me up and so forth, don’t you know. Well, I mean—”

“Has it struck you that I may already be engaged to someone else?”

“Oh, golly! Are you?”

For the first time he turned and faced her, and there was a look in his eyes which touched Sally and drove all 'sense of the ludicrous'out of her. Absurd as it was, this man was really serious.

“Well, yes, as a matter of fact, I am,” she said soberly.

Ginger Kemp bit his lip, and for a moment was silent. “Oh, well,

.that’s torn it!” he said at last.

SALLY was aware of an emotion too complex for analysis. There was pity in it, but amusement too. The emotion, though she did not recognize it, was maternal.

Mothers, listening to'their children pleading with engaging absurdity for something wholly out of their power to bestrw, feel that same wavering between tears'and laughter. Sally

I VyHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR:, Sally Nich' I I V ’ olas, encumbered by an overfed, snobbish I brother, and engaged to a struggling play1

= wright, Gerald Foster, falls heir to a legacy on

I her 21 st birthday. She is enjoying herself ai 1

i Roville, France, when word comes from Gerald

1 that his play is to have a preliminary run at §

1 Detroit, Mich., the play being “taken up” by a ¡

1 man named Cracknell, known to Broad way as

1 the “Millionaire Kid," the latter insisting that

1 a flame of his, Mabel Hobson, whom Sally de

I tests, shall play a leading role. The evening

I previous to her departure. Sally is accidentally

I locked in the elevator of the hotel with a young

I English adventurer known as Lancelot (Ginger) §

I Kemp, Next day she discovers Ginger winning

I big stakes. Ginger asks her to marry him. §

wanted to pick Ginger up and kiss him. The one thing she could not do was to look on him, sorry as she was for him, as a reasonable, grown-up man.

“You don’t really mean it, you know.”

“Don’t I!” said Ginger hollowly. “Oh, don’t I!”

“You can’t! There isn’t such a thing in real life as love at first sight. Love’s a thing that comes when you know a person well and—” She paused. It had just occurred to'her that she was hardly the girl to lecture in this strain. Her own love for Gerald Foster had been sufficiently sudden, even instantaneous. What did she know of Gerald except'that she loved him! They had become engaged within two weeks of their first meeting. She found this recollection damping to her eloquence, and ended by saying tamely: “It’s ridiculous.”

Ginger had simmered down to a mood of melancholy resignation “I couldn’t'have expected you to care for me, I suppose, anyway,” he said somberly. “I’m not much of a chap.”

It was just the diversion from the theme under discussion which Sally had been longing to find. She owelcmed

the chance of continuing the conversation on a less intimate and sentimental note.

“That’s exactly what I wanted to talk to you about,” she said, seizing the opportunity offered by this d'splay of humility. “I’ve been looking for you all day to go on with what I was starting to say in the elevator last night when we were niterrupted. Do you mind if I talk to you like an auntcr a sister, suppose we say? Really, the best plan would be for you to adopt me as an honorary sister. What do you think?”

Ginger did not appear noticeably elated at the suggested relationship.

“Because I really do take a tremendous interest in you.” Ginger brightened. “That’s awfully good of you.” “I’m going to speak words of wisdom. Ginger, why don’t you brace up?”

“Brace up?”

“Yes, stiffen your backbone and stick out your chin and square your elbows and really amount to something? Why do you simply flop about and do nothing and leave everything to what you call ‘the family’? Why do you have to be helped all the time? Why don’t you help yourself? Why do you have to have jobs found for you? Why don’t you rush out and get one? Why do you have to worry about what ‘the family’ thinks of you? Why don’t you make yourself independent of them... By the way I hope you’re fond of conundrums? Because I’m

asking a good many, aren’t I!----1 know you had hard

luck, suddenly finding yourself without money, and all that, but, good heavens, everybody else in the world who has ever done anything has been broke at one time or another. It’s part of the fun. You’ll never get anywhere by letting yourself be picked up by the family like—like a floppy Newfoundland puppy—and dumped down in any old place that happens to suit them. A job’s a thing you’ve got to choose for yourself and get for yourself. Think what you can do—there must be something—and then go at it with a snort and grab it and bold it down and teach it to take a joke.”

GINGER KEMP did

not reply for a moment, He seemed greatly impressed. “When you talk quick,” he said at length in a serious, meditative voice, “your nose sort of goes all squiggly. Ripping it looks!”

Sally uttered an indignant cry. “Do you mean to say you haven’t been listening to a word I’ve been saying?” she demanded.

“Oh, rather! Oh, by Jove, yes.”

“Well, what did I say?” “You—er . . And your eyes sort of shine too.” “Never mind my eyes. What did I say?”

“You told me,” said Ginger on reflection, “to get a job.”

“Well, yes. I put it much better than that, but that’s what it amounted to, I suppose. All right, then. I’m glad you

Ginger was eyeing her - with mournful devotion. “I say,” he interrupted, “I wisii you’d let me write to you. Letters, I mean, and all that. I have an idea it would kind of buck me up.”

“You won’t have time for writing letters.”

"I’ll have time to write them to you, You haven’t an address or anything of that sort in America, have you, by any chance? I mean, so that I’d know where to write to.”

“I can give you an address which will always find me.” She told him the number and street of Mrs. Meecher’s boarding house, and he wrote them down reverently on

his shirt cuff. “Yes, on second thoughts, do write,” she sa d “Of course I shall want to know how you’ve got on. I—oh, my goodness! That clock’s not right?” “Just about. What time does your train go?”

“Go! It’s gone! Or at least, it goes in about two seconds.” She made a rush for the swing door, to the confusion of the uniformed official who had not been expecting this sudden activity. “Good-by, Ginger. Write to me and remember what I said.”

Ginger alert after his unexpected fashion when it became a question of physical action, had followed her through the swing door, and they emerged together and started running down the Square.

“Stick it!” said Ginger encouragingly. He was running easily and well, as becomes a man who in his day has been a snip for his international as scrum half.

Sally saved her breath. The train was beginning to move slowly out of the station as they sprinted abreast on to the platform. Ginger dived for the nearest door, wrenched it open, gathered Sally neatly in his arms, and flung her In. She landed squarely on the toes of a man who occupied the corner seat, and, bounding off again, made for the window. Ginger, faithful to the last, was trotting beside the train as it gathered speed.

"Ginger! My poor porter! Tip him. I forgot.” “Right-ho!”

“And don’t forget what I’ve been saying.” “Right-ho!”

“Look after yourself and—Death to the Family!” “Right-ho!”

The train passed smoothly out of the station. Sally cast one last look back at her red-haired friend, who had now halted, and was waving a handkerchief. Then she turned to apologize to the other occupant of the carriage.

“I’m so sorry,” she said breathlessly. “I hope I didn’t hurt you.”

She found herself facing Ginger’s cousin, the dark man of yesterday’s episode on the beach, Bruce Carmyle....

TV/fR. CARMYLE was not a man who readily allowed himself to be disturbed by 'ife’s little surprises, but at the present moment he could not help fee ing slightly dazed. He recognized Sally now as the French girl who had attracted his cousin Lancelot’s notice on the beach. At least, he had assumed that she was French, and it was startling to be addressed by her now in fluent English. How had she suddenly acquired this gift of tongues? And how on earth had she had time since yesterday when he had been a total stranger to her, to become sufficiently intimate with Cousin Lancelot to be sprinting with him down station platforms and addressing him out of railwaycarriage windows as Ginger? Bruce Carmyle was aware that most members of that subspecies of humanity, his cousin’s personal friends, called him by that familiar—and, so Carmyle held, vulgar —nickname, but how had this girl got hold of it?

If Sally had been less pretty, Mr. Carmyle would undoubtedly have looked disapprovingly at her for she had given his rather rigid sense of the proprieties a nasty jar. But as, panting and flushed from her run, she was prettier than any girl he had yet met, he contrived to smile.

“Not at all,” he said in answer to her question, though it was far from the truth. His left big toe was aching confoundedly. Even a girl with a foot as small as Sally’s can make her presence felt on a man’s toe if the scrum half who is handling her aims well and uses plenty of vigor.

“If you don’t mind,” said Sally, sitting down, “I think I’ll breathe a little.”

She breathed. The train sped on.

“Quite a close thing,” said Bruce Carmyle affably. The pain in his toe was diminishing. “You nearly missed it.”

“Yes. It was lucky Mr. Kemp was with me. He throws very straight, doesn’t he?”

“Tell me,” said Carmyle, “how do you come to know my cousin? On the beach yesterday morning—”

“Oh, we didn’t know each other then. But we were staying at the same hotel, and we spent an hour or so shut up in an elevator together. That was when we really got acquainted.”

A waiter entered the compartment, announcing in unexpected English that dinner was served in the restaurant car.

“Would you care for dinner?”

“I’m starving,” said Sally.

She reproved herself, as they made their way down the corridor, for being so foolish as to judge anyone by his appearance. This man was perfectly pleasant In spite of his grim exterior. She had decided, by the time they had seated themselves at the table, that she liked

At the table, however, Mr. Carmyle’s manner changed for the worse. He lost his amiability. He was evidently a man who took his meals seriously and believed in treating waiters with severity. He shuddered austerely at a stain on the tablecloth, and then concentrated himself frowningly on the bill of fare. Sally, meanwhile, was establishing cozy relations with the much-too-friendly waiter, a cheerful old man who from the start seemed to have

made up his mind to regard her as a favorite daughter. The waiter talked no English and Sally no French, but they were getting along capitally when Mr. Carmyle, who had been irritab’y waving aside the servitor’s lighthearted advice—at the Hotel Splendide the waiters never bent over you and breathed cordial suggestions down the side of your face—gave his order crisply in the AngloGallic dialect of the traveling Briton. The waiter remarked “Boum”! in a pleased sort of way and vanished. “Nice old man!” said Sally.

“Infernally familiar!” said Mr. Carmyle.

CALLY perceived that on the topic of the waiter she and her host did not see eye to eye and that little pleasure or profit could be derived from any discussion center-

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ing about him. She changed the subject. She was not liking Mr. Carmyle quite so much as she had done a few minutes ago, but it was courteous of him to give her dinner, and she tried to like him as much as she could. “By the way,” she said, “my name is Nicholas. I always think it’s a good thing to start with names, don’t you?”

“Mine—”

.“Oh, I know yours. Ginger—Mr. Kemp told me.”

Mr. Carmyle who since the waiter’s departure had been thawing, stiffened again at the mention of Ginger.

“Indeed?” he said coldly. “Apparently you got i.jtimate.”

Sally did not like his tone. He seemed to be criticizing her, and she resented criticism from a stranger. Her eyes opened wide and she looked dangerously across the table.

“Why ‘apparently’? I told you that we had got intimate, and I explained how. You can’t stay shut up in an elevator half the night with anybody without getting to know him. I found Mr. Kemp very pleasant.”

“Really?”

“And very interesting.”

Mr. Carmyle raised his eyebrows. “Would you call him interesting?”

“I did. call him interesting.” Sally was beginning to feel the exhilaration of battle. Men usually made themselves extremely agreeable to her, and she reacted belligerently under the stiff unfriendliness which had come over her companion in the last few minutes. “He told me all about himself.”

“And you found that interesting?”

“Why not?”

“Well....” A frigid half smile came and went on Bruce Carmyle’s dark face. “My cousin has many excellent qualities, no doubt—he used to play football well, and I understand that he is a capable amateur pugilist— but I should not have supposed him entertaining. We find him a little dull.”

“I thought it was only royalty that called themselves

“I meant myself—and the rest of the family.”

The mention of the Family was too much for Sally. She had to stop talking in order to allow her mind to clear itself of rude thoughts.

“Mr. Kemp was telling me about Mr. Scrymgeour,” she went on at length.

Bruce Carmyle stared foi a moment at the yard or so of French bread which the waiter had placed on the table.

“Indeed?” he said. “He has an engaging lack of reticence.”

The waiter returned, bearing soup, and dumped it

“V’la!” he observed with the satisfied air of a man Who has successfully performed a difficult conjuring trick. He smiled at Sally expectantly, as though confident of applause from this section of his audience at least. But Sally’s face was set and rigid. She had been snubbed, and the sensation was not as pleasant as it was novel.

Snubbed! And by a blue-chinned Englishman! She found herself now disliking Mr. Carmyle with an almost Gingerian intensity. Was it for this that her fathers had bled? Did he suppose that the Spirit of ’76 was in Cain’s Storehouse? If she wanted to talk about Ginger, she was going to talk about Ginger—yes, if the whole British Empire raised its eyebrows.

“I think Mr. Kemp had hard luck.”

“If you will excuse me, I would prefer not to discuss the matter.”

TV/fR. CARMYLE’S attitude was that Sally might be a pretty girl, but she was a stranger, and the intimate affairs of the Family were not to be discussed with strangers, however prepossessing.

“He was quite in the right. Mr. Scrymgeour was beating a dog. .. . ”

“I have heard the details.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that. Well, don’t you agree with me then?”

“I do not. A man who would throw away an excellent position simply because—”

“Oh, well, if that’s your view, I suppose it is useless to talk about it.”

“Still, there’s no harm in asking what you propose to do about Gin—about Mr. Kemp.”

Mr. Carmyle became more glacial. “I’m afraid I cannot discuss—”

Sally’s quick impatience, nobly restrained till now, finally got the better of her. “Oh, for goodness sake!” she snapped. “Do try to be human, and don’t always be snubbing people. You remind me of one of those portraits of men in the eighteenth century, with wooden faces, who look out of heavy gold frames at you with fishy eyes as if you were a regrettable incident.”

“Rosbif,” said the waiter genially, manifesting himself suddenly beside them as if he had popped out of a trap.

Bruce Carmyle attacked his roast beef morosely. Sally, who was in the mood when she knew that she would be ashamed of herself later on, but was full of battle at the moment, sat in silence.

“I am sorry,” said Mr. Carmyle ponderously, “if my eyes are fishy. The fact has not been called to my attention before.”

“I suppose you never had any sisters.” said Sally. “They would have told you.”

Mr. Carmyle relapsed into an offended dumbness which lasted till the waiter had brought the coffee.

“I think,” said Sally, getting up, “I’ll be going now, I don’t seem to want my coffee, and if I stay on I may say something rude. I thought I might be able to put in a good word for Mr. Kemp and save him from being massacred, but apparently it’s no use. Good-by, Mr. Carmyle and thank you for giving me dinner.”

She made cer way down the har, followed by Bruce Carmyle’s indignant, yet fascinated gaze. Strange emotions were stirring in Mr. Carmyle’s bosom.

COME few days later, owing to the fact that the latter, ^ being preoccupied, did not see him first, Bruce Carmyle met his cousin Lancelot in Piccadilly. They had returned by different routes from Roville, and Ginger would have preferred the separation to continue. He was hurrying on with a nod when Carmyle stopped him.

“Just the man I wanted to see,” he observed.

“Oh, hullo!” said Ginger without joy.

“I was thinking of calling at your club.”

“Yes?”

“Yes. Cigarette?”

Ginger peered at the proffered case with the vague suspicion of the man who has allowed himself to be lured on to the platform and is accepting a card from the conjurer. He felt bewildered. In all the years of their acquaintance he could not recall another such exhibition of geniality on his cousin’s part. He was surprised, indeed, at Mr. Carmyle’s speaking to him at all, for the Affaire Scrymgeou remained an unhealed wound, and the Family, Ginger knew, were even now in session upon it.

“Been back in London long?”

“Day or two.”

“I heard quite by accident that you had returned and that you were staying at the club. By the way, thank you for introducing me to Miss Nicholas.”

Ginger started violently. “What!”

“I was in that compartment, you know, at Roville ;Station. You threw her right on top of me. We agreed ■to consider that an introduction. An attractive girl.”

Bruce Carmyle had not entirely made up his mind regarding Sally, but on one point he was clear, that she should not, if he could help it, pass out of his life. Her abrupt departure had left him with that baffled and dissatisfied feeling which, though it has little in common with love at first sight, frequently produces the same ■effects. She had had, he could not disguise it from himself, the better of their late encounter, and he was conscious of a desire to meet her again and show her that there was more in him than she apparently supposed. Bruce Carmyle, in a word, was piqued: and, though he could not quite decide whether he liked or disliked Sally, he was very sure that a future without her would have an element of flatness.

“A very attractive girl. We had a very pleasant talk.”

“I bet you did,” said Ginger enviously.

“By the way, she did not give you her address by any chance?”

“Why?” said Ginger, suspiciously. His attitude toward Sally’s address resembled somewhat that of a connoisseur who has acquired an unique work of art. He wanted to have it to himself and gloat over it.

“Well, I—er—I promised to send her some books she was anxious to read. .. . ”

“I shouldn’t think she gets time for reading.”

“Books which are not published in America.”

“Oh, pretty nearly everything is published in America, what? Bound to be, I mean.”

“Well, these particular books are not,” said Mr. Carmyle shortly. He was finding Ginger’s reserve a little trying, and wished that he had been more inventive.

“Give them to me and I’ll send them to her,” suggested Ginger.

“Good Lord, man!” snapped Mr. Carmyle. “I’m capable of sending a few books to America. Where does she live?”

GINGER revealed the sacred number of the holy street which had the luck to be Sally’s headquarters. He did it because with a persistent devil like his cousin there seemed no way of getting out of it, but he did it grudgingly.

“Thanks.” Bruce Carmyle wrote the information down with a gold pencil in a dapper little morocco-bound notebook. He was the sort of man who always has a pencil, and the backs of old envelopes never entered into his life.

There was a pause. Bruce Carmyle coughed. “I saw Uncle Donald this morning, ” he said.

His manner had lost its geniality. There was no need for it now, and he was a man who objected to waste. He spoke coldly, and in his voice there was a familiar subtinkle of reproof.

"Yes?” said Ginger moodily. This was the uncle in whose office he had made his début as a hasher a worthy man, highly respected in the National Liberal Club, but never a favorite of Ginger's. There were other minor uncles and a few subsidiary aunts who went to make up the family, but Uncle Donald was unquestionably the managing director of that body, and it was Ginger’s considered opinion that in this capacity he approximated to a human blister.

“He wants you to dine with him tonight at Bleke’s.” Ginger’s depression deepened. A dinner with Uncle Donald would hardly have been a cheery function even in the surroundings of a banquet in the Arabian Nights. There was that about Uncle Donald’s personality which would have cast a sobering influence over the orgies of the Emperor Tiberius at Capri. To dine with him at a morgue like that relic of Old London, Bleke’s Coffee House which confined its custom principally to regular patrons who had not missed an evening there in half a century, was to touch something very near bedrock. Ginger was extremely doubtful whether flesh and blood were equal

t0 il • , ■> “To-night?” he said. “Oh, you mean to-night;

Well

“Don’t be a fool. You know as well as I do that you ve got to go.” Uncle Donald’s invitations were royal commands in the Family. “If you ve another engagement you must put it off.”

“Oh, all right.”

“Seven-thirty sharp.”

“All right,” said Ginger gloomily.

The two men went their ways, Bruce Carmyle eastward because he had clients to see in his chambers at the Temple; Ginger westward because Mr. Carmyle had gone east. There was little sympathy between these cousins; yet, oddly enough, their thoughts as they walked were centered on the same object. Bruce Carmyle, threading his way briskly through the crowds of Piccadilly Circus, was thinking of Sally, and so was Ginger as he loafed aimlessly toward Hyde Park Corner, bumping in a sort of coma from pedestrian to pedestrian.

CINCE his rectum to London Ginger had been in bad shape. He mooned through the days and slept poorly at night. If there is one thing rottener than another in a pretty blighted world, one thing which gives a fellow the pip and reduces him to the condition of an absolute onion, it is hopeless love. Hopeless love had got Ginger all stirred up. His had been hitherto a placid soul. Even the financial crash which

had so altered his life had not bruised him very deeply. His temperament had enabled him to bear the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune with a philosophic Rightho!” But now everything seemed different. Things irritated him acutely which before he had accepted as inevitable—his Uncle Donald’s mustache, for instance, and its owner’s habit of employing it during meals as a sort of zareba or earthwork against the assaults of soup.

“By gad!” thought Ginger, stopping suddenly opposite Devonshire House,

“if he uses that damned shrubbery as a soup strainer to-night, I’ll slosh him with a fork!”

Hard thoughts. .. .hard thoughts! And getting harder all the time, for nothing grows more quickly than a mood of rebellion.

Rebellion is a forest fire that flames across the soul.

The spark had been lighted in Ginger, and long before he reached Hyde Park Corner he was ablaze and crackling.

By the time he returned to his club he was practically a menace to society—to that section of it, at any rate, which embraced his uncle Donald, his minor uncles George and William, and his aunts Mary, Geraldine, and Louise.

Nor had the mood passed when he began to dress for the dismal festivities of Bleke’s Coffee House.

He scowled as he struggled morosely with an obstinate tie. One cannot. disguise the fact Ginger was warming up. And it was just

at this moment that . . .

Fate, as though it had been waiting for the psychological instant, applied the finishing touch knock at the door

There was a id a waiter came in with a te'egram.

Ginger looked at the envelope. It had been readdressed and forwarded or. from the Hotel Normandie. It was a

wireless, handed in on board the White Star liner Olympic, and it ran as follows:

Remember. Death to the Family.

Ginger sat down heavily on the bed.

The driver of the taxicab which at twenty-five minutes past seven drew up at the dingy door of the Bleke’s Coffee House in the Strand was rather struck by his fare’s manner and appearance. A determined-looking sort of young bloke, was the taxi-driver’s verdict.

IT HAD been Sally’s intention, on arriving in New York, to take a room at the St. Regis and revel in the gilded luxury to which her wealth entitled her before moving into the small but comfortable apartment which, as soon as she had time, she intended to find, and make her permanent abode. But when the moment came and she was giving directions to the taxi-driver at the dock, there seemed to her something revoltingly Fillmorian about the scheme. It would be time enough to sever herself from the boarding house which had been her home for three years when she had found the apartment. Meanwhile, the decent thing to do, if she did not want to brand herself in the sight of her conscience as a female Fillmore, was to go back temporarily to Mrs. Meecher’s admirable establishment and foregather with her old friends. After all, home is where the heart is, even if there are more prunes there than the gourmet would consider judicious.

Perhaps it was the unavoidable complacency induced by the thought that she was doing the right thing, or possibly it was the tingling expectation of meeting Gerald Foster again after all these weeks of separation, that made the familiar streets seem wonderfully bright as she drove through them. It was a perfect crisp New York morning, all blue sky and amber sunshine, and even the ash cans had a stimulating look about them. The street cars ware full of happy people rollicking off to work, policemen directed the traffic with jaunty affability, and the white-clad street cleaners went about their poetic tasks with a quiet but none the less noticeable relish. It was improbable that any of these people' knew that she was back, but somehow they all seemed to be behaving as though this were a special day.

“The first discordant note in this overture of happiness was struck by Mrs. Meecher, who informed Sally, after expressing her gratification at the news that she required her old room, that Gerald Foster had left town that morning.

“Gone to Detroit he has,” said Mrs. Meecher. “Miss Doland too.” She broke off to speak a caustic word to the boarding-house handy man who, with Sally’s trunk as

a weapon, was depreciating the value of the wall paper in the hall. “There’s that play of his being tried out there, you know, Monday,” resumed Mrs. Meecher, after the handy man had bumped his way up the staircase. “They been rehearsing ever since you left.”

CALL Y was disD appointed. New Vor): was so wonderful after the dull voyage in the liner that she was not going to allow herself to be depressed without good reason. After all, she could go on to Detroit to-morrow. It was nice to have something t o which she could look forward.

“Oh, is Elsa in the company?" she said.

“Sure. And very good too,

Mrs. Meecher was an ex-member of the profession, having been in the first production of “Florodora,” though, unlike everybody else, not one of the original Sextette. “Mr. Faucitt was down to see a rehearsal, and he said Miss Continued on page 41

you must tell Lady Margaret where you

,H?hat*li spoil everything,” answered Mary pouting, "Mother will want to come with me!"

“No, she won’t," urged her cousin, 'not if 1 tell her. She'll worry' herself to death, Mary, if she doesn’t know what has become of you. You’d better let me ring her up from the club and tell her you're running over to Rotterdam lor a few days. Look here. I'll tell her you’re going with me. She’ll be perfectly happy if slu* t hinks I'm to be with you

On that Mary surrendered.

"Have it your own way, "she said.

“I’ll pick you up here at a quarter past nine in the morning." said Euan as he hade the girl good-night at her hotel, "then we ll run down to the 1' O. and collect my bags and go on to the station!

“Euan,” the girl asked as she gave him her hand, “who is this man Schulz, do vou think?”

The King’s Messenger leant over and whispered:

“SecretService!”

"Secret Service!"

The girl repeated the words in a hushed

“Then Mr. Dulkinghorn is he that too?”

Euan nodded shortly.

“One of their leadin’ lights!” he ans-

*C“But, Euan,”—the girl was very serious now—"what has the secret service to do with Hartley Parrish’s clients in Holland?

The King’s Messenger laid a lean finger along his nose. , .

“Ah!” he said, “what!. That s what is beginning to interest me!”

To be Continual

Mostly Sally

Continued from, pane 23

Donald was fine. And he’s not easy to ] please, as you know.”

“How is Mr. Faucitt? ’

Mrs. Meecher, not unwillingly, lor she was a woman who enjoyed the tragedies of life, made her second essay in the direction of lowering Sally s uplifted

mood. . ... A

“Poor old gentleman, he am t over and above well. Went to lied early last night with a headache, and this morning I been to see him and he don't 'ook well. There’s a lot of this Spanish influenza about. It might be that. Lots o’ people been dying of it, if you believe what you see in the papers," said Mrs. Meecher buoyantly.

"Good gracious! You dont think

“Well, he ain’t turned black,” admitted Mrs. Meecher with regret. They sav they turn black. If you believe what you see in the papers, that is. Of course that may come later,” she added with the air of one confident that all will come right in the future. “The doctor’ll be in to see him pretty soon. Me s quite happy. Toto’s sitting with him.

‘T must go up and see him,” cried Sally. "Poor old dear!"

“Sure. You know his room. You can hear Toto talking to him now," said Mrs. Meecher complacently. “He wants a cracker, that’s what he wants. Toto likes a cracker after breakfast.

THE invalid's eyes, as Sally entered the room, turned wearily to the door. "Sally!” . ,

“I’ve only just arrived in my hired barouche from the pier."

“And you came to see your old friend without delayî 1 am grateful and flattered, Sally, my dear.”

"Of course 1 came to see you. Do you suppose that, when Mrs. Meecher told me you were sick. I just said Ts that so. and went on talking about the weather? Well, what do you mean by it? Frightening everybody. Poor old darling, do you feel very bad?”

"One thousand individual n*ce are nibbling the base of my spine, and I am conscious of a constant need of cooling refreshment. But what of that? Your presence is a tonic. Tell me. how did our Sally enjoy foreign travel?”

"Our Sally had the tune of her life. “Did you visit England?"

“Only passing through.”

“How did it look?” asked Mr. Faucitt, eagerly.