He hesitated a few minutes before he mailed the letter. He really did
not want to do anything to involve _her_ in a scandal, but, after
all, it was simply anticipating the inevitable, and--he pulled himself
up short and put the letter in the box. He could not afford any mawkish
sentiment in this.
Simpkins received a monosyllabic telegram from Naylor, instructing him
to "stay," but after working in the Society's office for another three
days he was about ready to give up all hope of getting at the facts.
Some other reason, he scarcely knew what, kept him on. Perhaps it was
Mrs. Athelstone herself. For though he appreciated how ridiculous his
infatuation was, he found a miserable pleasure in merely being near her.
And she was pleased with her new clerk, amused at what she called his
quaint Americanisms, and if she noticed his too unrepressed admiration
for her, she smiled it aside. It was something to which she was
accustomed, an involuntary tribute which most men who saw her often
She never referred, even indirectly, to her husband, but Simpkins,
as he watched her move about the hall, divined that he was often in
her thoughts. And there was another whom he watched--Brander; for he
felt certain now that the acting president's interest in his handsome
secretary was not purely that of the Egyptologist.