"So," he half sighed, half snorted, "so . . ." But Mademoiselle had married Mr. Pedder of the local brewery-no one stuck roses in his buttonhole now.
The telephone buzzed in a low muted voice on his table. "In ten minutes," he said. "Not before."
"You will come down tomorrow?"
"Good morning , Mr. Bacon," said the duchess. And she held out her hand which came through the slit of her white glove. She took from her bag a long weathered pouch and from a slit she dropped pearls-ten pearls.
Oliver Bacon inspects the pearls
"How much?" he queried. "Twenty thousand," she whispered.
"You will come down tomorrow?" she urged, she interrupted. "The Prime Minister-His Royal Highness . . ." She stopped. "And Diana," she added. He knew them; adored them. But it was Diana he loved.
"Are they false or are they real?" "Forgive me, oh my mother!" he sighed, raising his hands as if he asked pardon of the old woman.