The Zeppelin's Passenger
The three dinner guests entered together, Lessingham in the middle. Sir Henry's presence
was obviously a surprise to all of them.
"No idea that you were back, sir," Harrison observed, shaking hands.
Sir Henry greeted them all good-humouredly. "I turned up about three quarters of an hour
ago," he explained, "just too late to join you at dinner."
"Bad luck, sir," Sinclair remarked. "I hope that you had good sport?"
"Not so bad," Sir Henry admitted. "We had to go far enough for it, though. What do you
think of that for an October codling?"
They all approached the scales and admired the fish. Sir Henry stood with his hands in
his pockets, listening to their comments.
"You are enjoying your stay here, I hope, Mr. Lessingham?" he enquired.
"One could scarcely fail to enjoy even the briefest holiday in so delightfully hospitable a
place," was the somewhat measured reply.
"You're by way of being a fisherman yourself, I hear?" Sir Henry continued.
"In a very small way," Lessingham acknowledged. "I have been out once or twice."
"With Ben Oates, eh?"
"I believe that was the man's name."
Philippa glanced up from her work with a little exclamation of surprise.
"I had no idea of that, Mr. Lessingham. Whatever made you choose Ben Oates? He is a
most disgraceful person."
"It was entirely by accident," Lessingham explained. "I met him on the front. It happened
to be a fine morning, and he was rather pressing in his invitation."
"I'm afraid he didn't show you much sport," Sir Henry observed. "From what Jimmy
Dumble's brother told him, he seems to have taken you in entirely the wrong direction,
and on the wrong tide."
"We had a small catch," Lessingham replied. "I really went more for the sail than the
sport, so I was not disappointed."
"The coast itself," Sir Henry remarked, "is rather an interesting one."