BUT TAKES NO CHANCES
MICHAEL knew nothing of the City; and, in the spirit of the old cartographers: 'Where you know nothing, place terrors,' made his way through the purlieus of the Poultry, towards that holy of holies, the offices of Cuthcott, Kingson & Forsyte. His mood was attuned to meditation, for he had been lunching with Sibley Swan at the Café Crillon. He had known all the guests--seven chaps even more modern than old Sib-- save only a Russian so modern that he knew no French and nobody could talk to him. Michael had watched them demolish everything, and the Russian closing his eyes, like a sick baby, at mention of any living name. . . . 'Carry on!' he thought, several of his favourites having gone down in the mêlée.'Stab and bludge! Importance awaits you at the end of the alley.' But he had restrained his irreverence till the moment of departure.
"Sib," he said, rising, "all these chaps here are dead --ought they to be about in this hot weather?"
"What's that?" ejaculated Sibley Swan, amidst the almost painful silence of the chaps.
"I mean--they're alive--so they must be damned!" And avoiding a thrown chocolate which hit the Russian, he sought the door.
Outside, he mused: 'Good chaps, really! Not half so darned superior as they think they are. Quite a human touch--getting that Russian on the boko. Phew! It's hot!'
On that first day of the Eton and Harrow Match, all the forfeited heat of a chilly summer had gathered, and shimmered over Michael on the top of his Bank 'bus;