"What d'you bet?"
"No," Helen said, thinking of her stepmother. "Notya wouldn't like it."
"Bah! Pish! Faugh! Pshaw--and ugh! What do I care? I shall!"
"Oh, a rotten thing to do," said John.
"And, anyhow, it doesn't matter," Helen said. "We're here."
"Rupert?" Miriam begged.
"Better not," he answered kindly. "Not worth while." He lay back in a big chair and watched the world through his tobacco smoke. He had all Miriam's darkness and much of her beauty, but he had already acquired a tolerant view of things which made him the best of companions, the least ambitious of young men. "Live and let live, my dear."
"I shan't promise. I suppose I'm not up to your standards of honour, but if a person makes a mystery, why shouldn't the others try to find it out? That's what it's for! And there's nothing else to do."
"You're inventing the mystery," Rupert said. "If Notya and our absent parent didn't get on together--and who could get on