"You're too kind, Miss Maddison."
The Count assisted them in, greatly pleased to see this amicable spirit. Then shaking hands heartily with each, he said--
"I can speak for my friend with conviction, because my own regard for the lady in question is as deep and as sincere as his. Believe me, I shall never forget her!"
He was rewarded with two of the kindest smiles ever bestowed upon him, and as they drove away each secretly wondered why she had previously preferred the Baron to the Count. It seemed a singular folly.
"Two deuced nice girls," mused he; "I do believe I told 'em the truth in every particular!"
He watched their car dwindle to a scurrying speck, and then strolled back thoughtfully to purchase his ticket.
He found the signals down, and the far-off clatter of the train distinctly audible through the early morning air. A few minutes more and he was stepping into a first-class compartment, his remarkable costume earning (he could not but observe) the pronounced attention of the guard. The Baron and Alicia, with an air of mutual affection, entered another; both the doors were closed, everything seemed ready, yet the train lingered.
"Start ze train! Start ze train! I vill give you a pound--two pound--tree pound, to start him!"