"I'm always polite, mother," answered Alice, "except when you tell me not to be. The trouble is I never know myself."
The victoria stopped in front of the door, and the irreproachable Waters advanced across the porch.
"Waters," said Mrs. Pomfret, "I suppose Mr. Crewe is too busy to come out."
"I'm afraid so, madam," replied Waters; "there's a line of gentlemen waitin' here" (he eyed them with no uncertain disapproval). and I've positive orders not to disturb him, madam."
"I quite understand, at a time like this," said Mrs. Pomfret, and added, for the benefit of her audience, "when Mr. Crewe has been public-spirited and unselfish enough to undertake such a gigantic task. Tell him Miss Pomfret and I call from time to time because we are so interested, and that the whole of Leith wishes him success."
"I'll tell him, madam," said Waters,
But Mrs. Pomfret did not give the signal for her coachman to drive on. She looked, instead, at the patient gathering.
"Good morning, gentlemen," she said.