Still more moved by the mystery of this affair, Bob Pillin could only mutter:
"I never gave you their address; we were only talking about old Heythorp."
And at the smile which spread between Mr. Ventnor's whiskers, he jumped up, crying:
"It's not the thing, and you're not going to put me off. I insist on an explanation."
Mr. Ventnor leaned back, crossing his stout legs, joining the tips of his thick fingers. In this attitude he was always self-possessed.
"Yes. You must have had some reason.'
"I'll give you a piece of advice, young cock, and charge you nothing for it, too: Ask no questions, and you'll be told no lies. And here's another: Go away before you forget yourself again."
The natural stolidity of Bob Pilings face was only just proof against this speech. He said thickly: