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|The Secret Adversary||Agatha Christie|
XXVIII And After
|Page 1 of 3||
"THAT was a mighty good toast, Jane," said Mr. Hersheimmer, as he and his cousin were being driven back in the Rolls-Royce to the Ritz.
"The one to the joint venture?"
"No--the one to you. There isn't another girl in the world who could have carried it through as you did. You were just wonderful! "
Jane shook her head.
"I don't feel wonderful. At heart I'm just tired and lonesome--and longing for my own country."
"That brings me to something I wanted to say. I heard the Ambassador telling you his wife hoped you would come to them at the Embassy right away. That's good enough, but I've got another plan. Jane--I want you to marry me! Don't get scared and say no at once. You can't love me right away, of course, that's impossible. But I've loved you from the very moment I set eyes on your photo--and now I've seen you I'm simply crazy about you! If you'll only marry me, I won't worry you any--you shall take your own time. Maybe you'll never come to love me, and if that's the case I'll manage to set you free. But I want the right to look after you, and take care of you."
"That's what I want," said the girl wistfully. "Some one who'll be good to me. Oh, you don't know how lonesome I feel!"
"Sure thing I do. Then I guess that's all fixed up, and I'll see the archbishop about a special license to-morrow morning."
"Well, I don't want to hustle you any, Jane, but there's no sense in waiting about. Don't be scared--I shan't expect you to love me all at once."
But a small hand was slipped into his.
"I love you now, Julius," said Jane Finn. "I loved you that first moment in the car when the bullet grazed your cheek...."
Five minutes later Jane murmured softly:
"I don't know London very well, Julius, but is it such a very long way from the Savoy to the Ritz?"
"It depends how you go," explained Julius unblushingly. "We're going by way of Regent's Park!"
"Oh, Julius--what will the chauffeur think?"
"At the wages I pay him, he knows better than to do any independent thinking. Why, Jane, the only reason I had the supper at the Savoy was so that I could drive you home. I didn't see how I was ever going to get hold of you alone. You and Tuppence have been sticking together like Siamese twins. I guess another day of it would have driven me and Beresford stark staring mad!"
"Oh. Is he----?"
"Of course he is. Head over ears."
"I thought so," said Jane thoughtfully.
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