( Originally Published Early 1900's )
BY W. HEATH ROBINSON
BY ANTHONY HOPE
JOHN (smoking). THOMAS (smoking). (JOHN speaks).
" Hullo ! here's a notice of Flossie Maurice's marriage." " What ? to Charlie Denton ? "
" Yes. They had a bishop, and an archdeacon, and everything handsome about them."
" It's been on some time, hasn't it ? "
" Oh, I don't know. They seem to have lots of presents."
" Did you send one ? "
" No, I've not seen her lately, and I never knew him." " No more did I—more than to nod to."
" She used to be rather pretty."
" Yes, in a way."
" Oh, I didn't mean she was a beauty."
" She knew how to make the most of herself."
" Yes ; wonder how Denton'll like it ! "
" He's an easy-going fellow, I hear."
" I hope he'll find it easy going."
" Well, I suppose she's a bit of a flirt."
" They used to say so at Scarborough."
" They said a good many things at Scarborough."
" Well, a good many things were true at Scarborough."
" Not a bad place, though ; was it, Jack ? "
" Not if you met the right girl on the front, old fellow." " Let's see—Flossie Maurice used to be there some-times, wasn't she ? "
" I think I remember seeing her once."
" Denton wasn't there, was he ? "
" No ; she didn't know Denton then."
" She always had lots of partners at the dances."
" Yes, Tommy—when she didn't prefer one for the whole evening."
" I'm not sure she wasn't right there, you know." " Pleasant, but dangerous, old fellow."
" The fact is, she took amazingly."
" Oh, there was a sort of go about her."
" Wasn't there ? By Jove ! I remember her one night—she was in pale blue, and looked-
" Gad, I remember that night, Tom ; I was there."
" Of course you were, old fellow. We had a drink together before we went away."
" Yes, I remember wanting a drink."
" So do I. The room was beastly hot."
" Well, just to show you how that girl went down, to my certain knowledge she had two offers that one evening." " Not really ? "
" Yes, and one of them a fellow who was well off, you know."
" How did you hear about it, Jack ? "
" Oh, somehow or other."
" Well, she did look ripping that night."
'C Didn't she ? I sat out a dance with her." What, in that old conservatory ? "
Why, do you know it ? "
Every time, old chap."
" Behind that palm ? "
" Rather. I sat out one with her there too."
(An interval of five minutes. They smoke. THOMAS resumes the conversation.)
" You know, if I'd stayed there long, I won't swear T shouldn't have made an ass of myself."
" Well, where a girl has eyes like that
" By Jove, Jack, what eyes she had ! "
" Nice hair, too ; jolly and soft."
" Hullo, old fellow ? "
" Looked silky, I mean, Tom."
" Oh—ah, yes. Pretty little hand too."
" Seemed like nothing when you held it shaking hands, I mean."
" And she used to look as if don't you know ? "
" I know—as if she'd come on purpose to meet you." " I suppose she did it to everybody ? "
" Looks like it, Tom, doesn't it ? "
(An interval, etc. Jo-NN resumes.)
" I was a young ass."
" Pass the weeds. What ? "
" You know, Jack—hang the thing ! it won't light—I never saw her after that night."
" Neither did I. But then I had to go the next day."
I went the next day too ; I forget why." Well, there wasn't much to stay for." No, was there ? "
What's this fellow Denton like, Tom ? Oh, an overgrown, lopsided beggar." Shekels ? "
That's why she took him, I suppose." Must be."
" I don't mind saying, Jack, that I was a bit gone on that girl myself. Just that night, you know."
" I was beginning to guess it. We might have been rivals."
" What, you were--"
" Well, not far off."
" She did look so deuced--"
" Yes, didn't she ? "
" She entered so into all you said."
" Oh, she wasn't a fool by a long way."
" A sort of sympathy about her."
" I don't wonder at a fellow asking her, Jack." " I've known it done with less excuse, Tom."
(An interval, etc. THOMAS resumes.)
" Jack, old man, I did make a fool of myself that night." " What ? You don't mean to say you did ask her ? " " Yes, I did—just before that drink."
" Gad, now, so did I, half an hour before it."
" What did she say to you ? "
" Told me we should always be friends, hang her ! " " That's what she told me. I've never seen her since." " No more have I."
" I'd no notion you asked her."
" Well, I never thought you did till just now."
" I wanted that drink, Jack." " So did I, old man."
(An interval, etc. JOHN resumes.)
" Ever asked a girl since, Tom ? " " No, have you ? "
" No. Have a drink ?
" I don't mind if I do, Jack."