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'I suppose you don't know who the owner is?'

'Yes, I do; it must be Lady Wetherby.'

'Lady Wetherby!'

'She's a woman who dances at one of the restaurants. I read in a Sunday paper about her monkey. She has just taken a house near here. I don't see who else the animal could belong to. Monkeys are rarities on Long Island.'

Bill was silent. 'Sudden a thought came like a full-blown rose, flushing his brow.' For days he had been trying to find an excuse for calling on Lady Wetherby as a first step toward meeting Claire again. Here it was. There would be no need to interfere with Elizabeth's plans. He would be vague. He would say he had just seen the runaway, but would not add where. He would create an atmosphere of helpful sympathy. Perhaps, later on, Elizabeth would let him take the monkey back.

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'What are you thinking about?' asked Elizabeth.

'Oh, nothing,' said Bill.

'Perhaps we had better stow away our visitor for the night.'

Elizabeth got up.

'Poor, dear Nutty may be coming back at any moment now,' she said.

But poor, dear Nutty did not return for a full two hours. When he did he was dusty and tired, but almost cheerful.

'I didn't see the brute once all the time I was out,' he told Elizabeth. 'Not once!'