Ee Ray. I went to his house, little expecting to find him there. I was
shown, however, into the study, where he was hard at work with a pile of
correspondence. He wore an ancient shooting jacket, and his feet were
encased in slippers. As usual, his pipe was between his teeth, and the
tobacco smoke hung about him in little clouds. "Well," he said gruffly.
"What do you want of me? I am busy. Speak to the point." "I have come to
ask your advice," I said. "I am afraid that I must resign my post."
"Why?" "My father is in London. I have seen and spoken with him." "With
that woman?" "Yes." "And you have spoken to him in a public place,
perhaps?" Ray was silent for a moment. Then he looked at me keenly. "Do
you want to give it up?" he asked. "No," I answered. "But do you suppose
Lord Chelsford and the others would be willing for me to continue--under
the circumstances?" "Probably not," he admitted. "The Duke would not, at
any rate." "Then what am I to do?" I asked. "I don't know!" he answered
shortly. "It requires consideration. I will see Lord Cheisford. You
shall hear from me in the morning." That was all the consolation I had
from Colonel Mostyn Ray. At ten o'clock the next morning the Duke came
to me in the study, where I was already at work. He was looking, even
for him, particularly trim and smart, and he wore a carefully-selected
pink rosebud in his buttonhole. His greeting was almost cordial. He gave
me a few instructions, and then lit a cigarette. "What is this about
your resignation, Ducaine?" he asked. "I do not wish to resign, sir," I
answered. "I have explained certain circumstances to Colonel Ray, which
it seemed to me might make my resignation necessary. He promised to
confer with Lord Cheisford, and let me know the result." The urbanity
slowly faded from the Duke's face. "I am your employer," he said coldly.
"I do not understand why you thought it necessary to go to Colonel Ray."
"It was entirely owing to Colonel Ray, sir," I answered, "that I
received the appointment, and he has practically made himself
responsible for me." "You are mistaken," the Duke answered. "The
responsibility is shared by all of us. Your unfortunat