The Secret Adversary
27. A Supper Party At The Savoy
THE supper party given by Mr. Julius Hersheimmer to a few friends on the evening of
the 30th will long be remembered in catering circles. It took place in a private room, and
Mr. Hersheimmer's orders were brief and forcible. He gave carte blanche--and when a
millionaire gives carte blanche he usually gets it!
Every delicacy out of season was duly provided. Waiters carried bottles of ancient and
royal vintage with loving care. The floral decorations defied the seasons, and fruits of the
earth as far apart as May and November found themselves miraculously side by side. The
list of guests was small and select. The American Ambassador, Mr. Carter, who had
taken the liberty, he said, of bringing an old friend, Sir William Beresford, with him,
Archdeacon Cowley, Dr. Hall, those two youthful adventurers, Miss Prudence Cowley
and Mr. Thomas Beresford, and last, but not least, as guest of honour, Miss Jane Finn.
Julius had spared no pains to make Jane's appearance a success. A mysterious knock had
brought Tuppence to the door of the apartment she was sharing with the American girl. It
was Julius. In his hand he held a cheque.
"Say, Tuppence," he began, "will you do me a good turn? Take this, and get Jane
regularly togged up for this evening. You're all coming to supper with me at the Savoy.
See? Spare no expense. You get me?"
"Sure thing," mimicked Tuppence. "We shall enjoy ourselves. It will be a pleasure
dressing Jane. She's the loveliest thing I've ever seen."
"That's so," agreed Mr. Hersheimmer fervently.
His fervour brought a momentary twinkle to Tuppence's eye.
"By the way, Julius," she remarked demurely, "I--haven't given you my answer yet."
"Answer?" said Julius. His face paled.
"You know--when you asked me to--marry you," faltered Tuppence, her eyes downcast
in the true manner of the early Victorian heroine, "and wouldn't take no for an answer.
I've thought it well over----"
"Yes?" said Julius. The perspiration stood on his forehead.
Tuppence relented suddenly.
"You great idiot!" she said. "What on earth induced you to do it? I could see at the time
you didn't care a twopenny dip for me!"