"Who is your friend, Norton?" Braine asked indifferently, his head still unturned.
"Stanley Hargreave. Met him in Hongkong when I was sent over to handle a part of the revolution. War correspondence stuff. First time I ever ran across him on Broadway at night. We've since had some powwows over some rare books. Queer old cock; brave as a lion, but as quiet as a mouse."
"Bookish, eh? My kind. Bring him over." Underneath the table Braine maneuvered to touch the foot of the countess.
"I don't know," said the reporter dubiously. "He might say no, and that would embarrass the whole lot of us. He's a bit of a hermit. I'm surprised to see him here."
"Try," urged the countess. "I like to meet men who are hermits."
"I haven't the least doubt about that," the reporter laughed. "I'll try; but don't blame me if I'm rebuffed."
He left the table with evident reluctance and approached Hargreave. The two shook hands....