The Mucker

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 16

him
quite as had their host. Barbara Harding seemed particularly taken with
the Count de Cadenet, insisting that he join those who occupied her
car, and so it was that the second officer of the Halfmoon rode out of
Honolulu in pleasant conversation with the object of his visit to the
island.

Barbara Harding found De Cadenet an interesting man. There was no
corner of the globe however remote with which he was not to some degree
familiar. He was well read, and possessed the ability to discuss what
he had read intelligently and entertainingly. There was no evidence of
moodiness in him now. He was the personification of affability, for was
he not monopolizing the society of a very beautiful, and very wealthy
young lady?

The day's outing had two significant results. It put into the head of
the second mate of the Halfmoon that which would have caused his skipper
and the retiring Mr. Divine acute mental perturbation could they have
guessed it; and it put De Cadenet into possession of information which
necessitated his refusing the urgent invitation to dine upon the yacht,
Lotus, that evening--the information that the party would sail the
following morning en route to Manila.

"I cannot tell you," he said to Mr. Harding, "how much I regret
the circumstance that must rob me of the pleasure of accepting your
invitation. Only absolute necessity, I assure you, could prevent me
being with you as long as possible," and though he spoke to the girl's
father he looked directly into the eyes of Barbara Harding.

A young woman of less experience might have given some outward
indication of the effect of this speech upon her, but whether she was
pleased or otherwise the Count de Cadenet could not guess, for she
merely voiced the smiling regrets that courtesy demanded.

They left De Cadenet at his hotel, and as he bid them farewell the man
turned to Barbara Harding with a low aside.

"I shall see you again, Miss Harding," he said, "very, very soon."

She could not guess what was in his mind as he voiced this rather, under
the circumstances, unusual statement. Could she have, the girl would
have been terror-stricken; but she saw that in his eyes which she could
translate, and she wondered many times that evening whether she were
pleased or angry with the message it conveyed.

The moment De Cadenet entered the hotel he hurried to the room where the
impatient Mr. Ward awaited him.

"Quick!" he cried. "We must bundle out of here posthaste. They sail
tomorrow morning. Your duties as valet have been light and short-lived;
but I

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