The Secret Adversary
3. A Set Back
THE moment was not quite so triumphant as it ought to have been. To begin with, the
resources of Tommy's pockets were somewhat limited. In the end the fare was managed,
the lady recollecting a plebeian twopence, and the driver, still holding the varied
assortment of coins in his hand, was prevailed upon to move on, which he did after one
last hoarse demand as to what the gentleman thought he was giving him?
"I think you've given him too much, Tommy," said Tuppence innocently. "I fancy he
wants to give some of it back."
It was possibly this remark which induced the driver to move away.
"Well," said Mr. Beresford, at length able to relieve his feelings, "what the--dickens, did
you want to take a taxi for?"
"I was afraid I might be late and keep you waiting," said Tuppence gently.
"Afraid--you--might--be--late! Oh, Lord, I give it up!" said Mr. Beresford.
"And really and truly," continued Tuppence, opening her eyes very wide, "I haven't got
anything smaller than a five-pound note."
"You did that part of it very well, old bean, but all the same the fellow wasn't taken in--
not for a moment!"
"No," said Tuppence thoughtfully, "he didn't believe it. That's the curious part about
speaking the truth. No one does believe it. I found that out this morning. Now let's go to
lunch. How about the Savoy?"
"How about the Ritz?"
"On second thoughts, I prefer the Piccadilly. It's nearer. We shan't have to take another
taxi. Come along."
"Is this a new brand of humour? Or is your brain really unhinged?" inquired Tommy.
"Your last supposition is the correct one. I have come into money, and the shock has been
too much for me! For that particular form of mental trouble an eminent physician
recommends unlimited Hors d'oeuvre, Lobster a l'americane, Chicken Newberg, and
Peche Melba! Let's go and get them!"
"Tuppence, old girl, what has really come over you?"