The plan devised by our hostess, Mrs. Davenport, that a story should be told by one of us each evening, had met with courtesy, but not I with immediate enthusiasm. But Mrs. Davenport had chosen her guests with her usual wisdom, and after the first experiment, story telling proved so successful that none of us would have readily abandoned it. When the time had come for Richard Field to entertain the company with the promised tale from his life experience, his hope of escaping this ordeal had altogether vanished.
Mrs. Field, it had been noticed as early as breakfast time, was inclined to be nervous on her husband's account. Five years of married life had not cured her of this amiable symptom, and she made but a light meal. He, on the other hand, ate heartily and without signs of disturbance. Apparently he was not even conscious of the glances that his wife so frequently stole at him.
"Do at least have some omelet, my dear," whispered Mrs. Davenport urgently. "It's quite light."
But Mrs. Field could summon no appetite.
"I see you are anxious about him," Mrs. Davenport continued after breakfast. "You are surely not afraid his story will fail to interest us?"
"It can't be that he has given up the one he expected to tell us and can think of no other?"
"Oh, no; he is going to tell that one."
"And you don't like his choice?"