More than half an hour passed. It was not a pleasant train of thought that now occupied her. Her lips were drawn together, her brows were slightly wrinkled; the self-control which at other times was agreeably expressed upon her features had become rather too cold and decided. At one moment it seemed to her that she heard a sound in the bedroom--the doors were purposely left ajar- -and her head turned quickly to listen, the look in her eyes instantaneously softening; but all remained quiet. The street would have been silent but for a cab that now and then passed-- the swing of a hansom or the roll of a four-wheeler--and within the buildings nothing whatever was audible.
Yes, a footstep, briskly mounting the stone stairs. Not like that of the postman. A visitor, perhaps, to the other flat on the topmost landing. But the final pause was in this direction, and then came a sharp rat-tat at the door. Amy rose immediately and went to open.
Jasper Milvain raised his urban silk hat, then held out his hand with the greeting of frank friendship. His inquiries were in so loud a voice that Amy checked him with a forbidding gesture.
'By Jove! I always forget,' he exclaimed in subdued tones. 'Does the infant flourish?'
'Reardon out? I got back on Saturday evening, but couldn't come round before this.' It was Monday. 'How close it is in here! I suppose the roof gets so heated during the day. Glorious weather in the country! And I've no end of things to tell you. He won't be long, I suppose?'
He left his hat and stick in the passage, came into the study, and glanced about as if he expected to see some change since he was last here, three weeks ago.
'So you have been enjoying yourself?' said Amy as, after listening for a moment at the door, she took a seat.
'Oh, a little freshening of the faculties. But whose acquaintance do you think I have made?'