Romance Island (Chapter 15, page 1 of 11)

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Chapter 15

Upon Mrs. Hastings and Mr. Augustus Frothingham, drowsing over the pocket chess-board, the sound of footsteps and men's voices in the corridor acted with electrical effect. Then the door was opened and behind Olivia and Antoinette appeared the two visitors who seemed to have fallen from the neighbouring heavens. The two chess-pretenders looked up aghast. If there were a place in the world where chaperonage might be relaxed the uninformed observer would say that it would be the top of Mount Khalak.

"Mercy around us!" cried Mrs. Medora Hastings, "if it isn't that newspaper man! He's probably come over here to cable it all over the front page of every paper in New York. Well," she added complacently, as if she had brought it all about, "it seems good to see some of your own race. How did you get here? Some trick, I suppose?"

"My dear fellows," burst out Mr. Augustus Frothingham fervently, "thank God! I'm not, ordinarily, unequal to my situations, but I confess to you, as I would not to a client, that I don't object to sharing this one. How did you come?"

"It's a house-party!" said Antoinette ecstatically.

Amory looked at her in her blue gown in the light of the white room, and his spirits soared heavenward. Why should St. George have an idea that he controlled the hour?

From a tumult of questioning, none of which was fully answered before Mrs. Hastings put another query, the lawyer at length elicited the substance of what had occurred.

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