To this unwarranted attack Bob Pillin made no answer save a laugh; he perceived that a manservant had entered the room.
"A Mrs. Larne, sir. Will you see her?"
At this announcement the old man seemed to try and start; then he nodded, and held out the note he had written. Bob Pillin received it together with the impression of a murmur which sounded like: "Scratch a poll, Poll!" and passing the fine figure of a woman in a fur coat, who seemed to warm the air as she went by, he was in the hall again before he perceived that he had left his hat.
A young and pretty girl was standing on the bearskin before the fire, looking at him with round-eyed innocence. He thought: 'This is better; I mustn't disturb them for my hat'; and approaching the fire, said:
He noticed that she had a large bunch of violets at her breast, a lot of fair hair, a short straight nose, and round blue-grey eyes very frank and open. "Er" he said, "I've left my hat in there."
"What larks!" And at her little clear laugh something moved within Bob Pillin.
She shook her head. "But it's rather scrummy, isn't it?"
Bob Pillin, who had never yet thought so answered: