"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
"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 I feel!"
"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 think?"
"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
"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
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 other.
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
"That's not very likely," scoffed Tommy.
"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
"Oh, I dare say."
"But I suppose you prefer sterling worth," said Tuppence
"I--oh, dash it all, Tuppence, you know!"
"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 thoughtfully.
"We're going to get a cheque each. Mr. Carter told me so."
"Did you ask how much?" inquired Tommy sarcastically.
"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
"You're insatiable, Tuppence. I've had quite enough adventures
for the present."
"Well, shopping is almost as good," said Tuppence dreamily.
"Think of buying old furniture, and bright carpets, and futurist
silk curtains, and a polished dining-table, and a divan with lots
"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
"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
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
"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.