driven can always workon improving operations. But the
'Twas but a moment, and her sharp breathing became even and regular as though at her command; her face composed itself, and she turned to the bell and rang it as with imperious haste.
When the lacquey entered, she was standing holding papers in her hand as if she had but just been consulting them.
"Follow Sir John Oxon," she commanded. "Tell him I have forgot an important thing and beg him to return at once. Lose no time. He has but just left me and can scarce be out of sight."
The fellow saw there was no time to lose. They all feared that imperial eye of hers and fled to obey its glances. Bowing, he turned, and hastened to do her bidding, fearing to admit that he had not seen the guest leave, because to do so would be to confess that he had been absent from his post, which was indeed the truth.
She knew he would come back shortly, and thus he did, entering somewhat breathed by his haste.
"My lady," he said, "I went quickly to the street, and indeed to the corner of it, but Sir John was not within sight."
"Fool, you were not swift enough!" she said angrily. "Wait, you must go to his lodgings with a note. The matter is of importance."
She went to a table--'twas close to the divan, so close that if she had thrust forth her foot she could have touched what lay beneath it--and wrote hastily a few lines. They were to request That which was stiffening within three feet of her to return to her as quickly as possible that she might make inquiries of an important nature which she had forgotten at his departure.