'Elsa,' said the wretched man, 'I had no idea--you don't think--'
When the men trailed into the presence of the ladies for that brief seance on which etiquette insisted before permitting the stampede to the billiard-room, Elsa was not to be seen.
'Elsa?' said Mrs Keith in answer to Martin's question.
There was an early start for the guns next morning, and as Elsa did not appear at breakfast Martin had to leave without seeing her.
Tom,' she said, as Mr Keith came up, 'I'm so worried about Elsa. I haven't seen her all day.
Mrs Keith had assured him that there was nothing wrong with Elsa, that she was only tired, but he was anxious, and had remained at home, where bulletins could reach him.
'It was, it was, it was !' cried Elsa, thumping the pillow malignantly.
'I think you're a little hard on poor Mr Barstowe, Elsa. It was just an accident, you know.
I gathered from remarks that was passed that you was somewhat hat a loss to account for Miss Elsa's non-appearance, sir.'
'I think it 'ighly possible, sir, that Miss Elsa and Mr Barstowe may be on the hisland in the lake, sir.' About half a mile from the house was a picturesque strip of water, some fifteen hundred yards in width and a little less in length, in the centre of which stood a small and densely wooded island.
I think that possibly Miss Elsa and Mr Barstowe might 'ave taken a row out there.
If Elsa has been kept starving all day on that island by that long-haired--Here, come along, Martin.'