"AMIABLE personality,' I observed, seeing Fyne on the point of falling into a brown study. But I could not help adding with meaning: 'He hadn't the gift of prophecy though.'
" Fyne got up suddenly with a muttered 'No, evidently not.' He was gloomy, hesitating. I supposed that he would not wish to play chess that afternoon. This would dispense me from leaving my rooms on a day much too fine to be wasted in walking exercise. And I was disappointed when picking up his cap he intimated to me his hope of seeing me at the cottage about four o'clock--as usual.
"It wouldn't be as usual.' I put a particular stress on that remark. He admitted, after a short reflection, that it would not be. No. Not as usual. In fact it was his wife who hoped, rather, for my presence. She had formed a very favourable opinion of my practical sagacity.
"This was the first I ever heard of it. I had never suspected that Mrs. Fyne had taken the trouble to distinguish in me the signs of sagacity or folly. The few words we had exchanged last night in the excitement-- or the bother--of the girl's disappearance, were the first moderately significant words which had ever passed between us. I had felt myself always to be in Mrs. Fyne's view her husband's chess-player and nothing else--a convenience--almost an implement.