"Made a mighty narrow escape," said he.
"How?" said I.
"B' George, the Countess was there!"
"Well, what of that?--don't she know you?"
"Know me? Absolutely worships me. I just did happen to catch a glimpse of her before she saw me--and out I shot. Haven't seen her for two months--to rush in on her without any warning might have been fatal. She could not have stood it. I didn't know she was in town--thought she was at the castle. Let me lean on you--just a moment--there; now I am better--thank you; thank you ever so much. Lord bless me, what an escape!"
So I never got to call on the Earl, after all. But I marked the house for future reference. It proved to be an ordinary family hotel, with about a thousand plebeians roosting in it.
In most things Rogers was by no means a fool. In some things it was plain enough that he was a fool, but he certainly did not know it. He was in the "deadest" earnest in these matters. He died at sea, last summer, as the "Earl of Ramsgate."