Nothing interested Anthony more than to discuss the problems of life with his niece, but at the moment his mind was not sufficiently disengaged. He was sorry to interrupt her, but he was obliged to go and have a few words with her governess.
"That's all right," said Antonia. "I'll go too." And she slipped her arm through his and, leaning her head against the point of his shoulder prepared to descend the steps.
But Anthony explained to her that he wished to talk to Miss Exeter by himself. Antonia was disappointed. She had looked forward to being present when her uncle and the governess met again, but she adjusted herself as usual.
"There's Mr. Albertson," she said. "I'll get him to come and sit with me while I have supper, and tell me stories of crime. He says there aren't any people like Sherlock Holmes, and that stories like that make it hard for real detectives. I suppose that's true, and yet it's horrid to face facts sometimes, isn't it, Uncle Anthony? It makes real life seem pretty dull sometimes."
"Real life is not dull, Antonia," said her uncle, "take it from me."
He watched her safely into a conversation with Mr. Albertson, and then, with his hands in his pockets, he sauntered down the steps, across the sand toward that rose-colored parasol.
"Good afternoon, Miss Exeter," he said pleasantly.
It had been kept a profound secret that Anthony was on his