THE OUTLAWS DELIVER THE GOODS 158
" I keep ringing up the police station. Hardly a minute goes by but what I ring up the police station to see if they've heard anything yet. They aren't a bit sympathetic. I'd always heard that the police were such nice men, but they aren't a bit. They're most unsympathetic about my poor little Toto. I've just sent notices round to all the newspapers with descriptions of him. . . . He's so appealing. I expect that someone met him and simply couldn't resist him. He is like that—irresistible. I keep thinking about him. He must miss me so terribly. ... I do so hope that he's not been stolen by anyone cru-u-u-u-uel ! '
Again the bereaved one buried her face in her handkerchief. Her hostess seized the opportunity to change the subject—
" Now let us tell Mrs. Peters about our little society."
William craned forward again.
Mrs. Peters had earnest eyes and an earnest mouth and an earnest nose. She quivered with earnestness from head to foot. Every word she uttered thrilled with earnestness.
" Oh do ! " she said, " I'm so interested. I'm so honoured to be chosen."
" He was so beautiful," moaned Toto's mistress. " I wouldn't have come out of course if I hadn't felt that I'd go mad if I'd stayed at home alone thinking of Toto any longer."
Her hostess ignored her and continued talking to the earnest lady.
"I'm sorry none of the other members could come to tea to meet you, but Tarkers down at Breenside are selling off their stock half price so most of them have gone down there. They say that there are some quite good silk stockings to be got for three and eleven three."
" How marvellous," said the earnest lady earnestly. " How too marvellous, but do go on and tell me about the society."