And then, as Markham went indoors in search of chairs, in a lower tone to Hermia, "With a person you have professed to detest you seem to be getting on famously, my dear.
The others were not approaching and Markham straightened as Hermia came toward him.
" "O Hermia, after falling this morning!
Hermia's beating Reggie Armistead at tennis, and it's as much as one's life is worth to interrupt.
Hermia climbed the steps slowly amid the congratulations of the guests and smiled as Markham came forward to meet her.
Mrs. Berkley Hammond, the Gormeley twins, and now Hermia" "Miss Challoner!" in surprise.
panted Hermia, laughing.
"Hermia, darling, you always do go into things feet first, but it's perilous in French heels.
" Hermia glanced at Markham, who was leaning over the back of the bench watching the scene with alien eyes.
She must stop playing cards so late, get up earlier, take long walks in the air, play tennis as Hermia
She stopped and watched them for a moment, when Hermia joined her and they walked toward the house together.
"At any rate," continued Hermia, "you've driven him away from 'Wake-Robin'.
New York first and then" "Normandy?" queried Hermia impertinently.
It was not until the train had been brought to a stop that Markham had had time to notice that the motorist was a womannot until she turned a rather wan face in his direction that he saw that the victim of this misfortune was Hermia Challoner.
And as the crowd still surrounded Hermia he put his arm in hers and led her away.
" He stopped with a laugh and glanced down the road toward the scene of Hermia's accident.
She only glanced at Markham, for she was used to the visits of traveling craftsmen along the highwaybut she studied Hermia's modish frock with a critical eye.
One room with a four-poster, which the host announced had once been occupied by no less a personage than Henri Quatre, Markham picked out for Hermia, and chose for himself a small room overlooking the courtyard at the rear.
She had confessed her predicament to Madame Bordier, who, after assuring herself that Hermia was not an escaping criminal, had entered with grace and even some avidity upon the bargain.
They dined alone at the Htel des Rois, Monsieur Duchanel himself doing them the honor of serving the repast, which Hermia soon discovered had none of the characteristics of the vagabond fare promised hera velvety souppetits pois la crme, an entre, then poulet rti, salade endive, cheese and coffeea meal for the gods, which these mortals partook of with unusual enjoyment.
A rain had fallen in the night but Hermia splashed through the mud and water joyously, like a child, thankful nevertheless for Markham's thoughtfulness which had provided her last night with a pair of stout shoes and heavy stockings.
Markham sat beside Hermia on the warm rock, and, between them, without further words, they finished both the wine and the food.
After a glance at Hermia, in whose face he read affirmation, Markham assented, and urging the unwilling donkey, he and Hermia followed their host down the slope and into the glen.
The Signora, relinquishing the bambino to Hermia, looked over his shoulder, more pleased, even, than he.
He wished at least that Hermia had bade him good night.