The Zeppelin's Passenger HTML version

Chapter 9
"Captain Griffiths to see your ladyship."
Philippa's fingers rested for a moment upon the keyboard of the piano before which she
was seated, awaiting Lessingham's arrival. Then she glanced at the clock. It was ten
minutes to eight.
"You can show him in, Mills, if he wishes to see me."
Captain Griffiths was ushered into the room - awkward, unwieldly, nervous as usual. He
entered as though in a hurry, and there was nothing in his manner to denote that he had
spent the last few hours making up his mind to this visit.
"I must apologise for this most untimely call, Lady Cranston," he said, watching the
closing of the door. "I will not take up more than five minutes of your time."
"We are very pleased to see you at any time, Captain Griffiths," Philippa said hospitably.
"Do sit down, please."
Captain Griffiths bowed but remained standing.
"It is very near your dinner-time, I know, Lady Cranston," he continued apologetically.
"The fact of it is, however, that as Commandant here it is my duty to examine the bona
fides of any strangers in the place. There is a gentleman named Lessingham staying at the
hotel, who I understand gave your name as reference."
Philippa's eyes looked larger than ever, and her face more innocent, as she gazed up at
her visitor.
"Why, of course, Captain Griffiths," she said. "Mr. Lessingham was at college with my
brother, and one of his best friends. He has shot down at my father's place in Cheshire."
"You are speaking of your brother, Major Felstead?"
"My only brother."
"I am very much obliged to you, Lady Cranston," Captain Griffiths declared. "I can see
that we need not worry any more about Mr. Lessingham."
Philippa laughed.
"It seems rather old-fashioned to think of you having to worry about any one down here,"
she observed. "It really is a very harmless neighbourhood, isn't it?"
"There isn't much going on, certainly," the Commandant admitted. "Very dull the place
seems at times."