Herbert Courtland had found his way to her drawing room on the afternoon of his return to London; and it was upon this circumstance rather than upon her own unusual behavior in the presence of George Holland that Phyllis was dwelling so soon as she had recovered from her tearful outburst on her bed. (She had, of course, run into her bedroom and thrown herself upon the bed the moment that she had left the presence of the man whom she had once promised to marry.) She had wept in the sheer excitement of the scene in which she had played the part of leading lady; it had been a very exciting scene, and it had overwhelmed her; she had not accustomed herself to the use of such vehement language as she had found necessary to employ in order to adequately deal with Mr. Holland and that was how it came about that she was overwhelmed.
But so soon as she had partially recovered from her excitement, and had dried her eyes, she began to think of the visit which had been paid to her, not by George Holland, but by Herbert Courtland. She dwelt, moreover, less upon his amusing account of the cruise of the /Water Nymph/ than upon the words which he had said to her in regard to his last visit. She had expressed her surprise at seeing him. Had he not gone on a yachting cruise to Norway? Surely five days was under rather than over the space of time necessary to thoroughly enjoy the fine scenery of the fjords.
He had then laughed and said that he had received a letter at Leith making his immediate return absolutely necessary.
"How disappointed you must have felt!" she suggested, with something like a smile upon her face.
His smile was broader as he said:
"Well, I'm not so sure that my disappointment was such as would tend to make me take a gloomy view of life for an indefinite time. Lord Earlscourt is a very good sort of fellow; but----"
"Yes; I quite agree with you," said she, still smiling. "Knowing what follows that 'but' in everyone's mind, we all thought it rather strange on your part to start on that cruise. And so suddenly you seemed to make up your mind, too. You never hinted to me that afternoon that you were anxious to see Norway under the personal conductorship of Lord Earlscourt."
"It would have been impossible for me to give you such a hint," said he. "I had no idea myself that I wanted greatly to go to Norway, until I met Earlscourt."