THE ARM-CHAIR AT THE INN
him, completing the last and most important requirement on our list—good-fellowship. That he had lived outside the restrictions of civilization was noticeable in his clothes, which were of an ancient cut and looked as if they had just been pulled out of a trunk where they had lain in creases for years, which was true, for during the past decade he had been acting Engineer-in-Chief of one section of the great dam on the Nile, and was now home on leave. He had, he told us, left London the week before, had crossed with his car at Dieppe, and was making a run down the coast by way of Trouville when he bumped into Le Blanc and, hearing Herbert was within reach, had made bold to drop in upon us.
When Mignon and Leà had cleared the table, dinner being over, and the coffee had been served—and somehow the real talk always began after the coffee—for then Lemois was with us—Herbert looked at The Engineer long and searchingly, a covetous light growing in his eyes—the look of a housed sailor sniffing the brine on a comrade’s reefer just in from the sea—and said dryly:
“Are you glad to get home?”
“Yes and no. My liver had begun to give