The Amazing Interlude (Chapter 5, page 1 of 15)


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Chapter 5

Yet for a day or two nothing much was changed. Mr. Travers sent Sara
Lee a note that he was taking up her problem with the Foreign Office;
and he did indeed make an attempt. He also requested his wife to ask
Sara Lee to tea.

Sara Lee was extremely nervous on the day she went. She wore a black
jacket suit with a white collar, and she carried Aunt Harriet's mink
furs, Aunt Harriet mourning thoroughly and completely in black astrachan.
She had the faculty of the young American girl of looking smart without
much expense, and she appeared absurdly young.

She followed the neat maid up a wide staircase to a door with a screen
just inside, and heard her name announced for the first time in her life.
Sara Lee took a long breath and went inside, to a most discouraging half
hour.

Mr. Travers was on the hearth rug. Mrs. Travers was in a chair, a portly
woman with a not unkindly face, but the brusque manner many Englishwomen
acquire after forty. She held Sara Lee's hand and gave her a complete
if smiling inspection.

"And it is you who are moving heaven and earth to get to the Front!
You--child!"

Sara Lee's heart fell, but she smiled also.

"But I am older than I look," she said. "And I am very strong."

Mrs. Travers looked helplessly at her husband, while she rang the bell
for tea. That was another thing Sara Lee had read about but never
seen--that ringing for tea. At home no one served afternoon tea; but
at a party, when refreshments were coming, the hostess slipped out to
the kitchen and gave a whispered order or two.

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