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_The M.S._ Can't you ask him to sit it out?
_Miss D._ That's _worse_! Let's hope he won't notice us.--Ah--he
[Illustration: "Our dance, I believe?"]
[_Mr. CUBSON, a podgy young man with small eyes and a scrubby
moustache, wearing a tailless evening-coat and a wrinkled
white waistcoat, advances._
_Mr. Cubson_. Our dance, I believe? (_The Orchestra strikes up._)
Isn't that the _Pas de Quatre?_ To tell you the truth, I'm not
very well up in these new steps, so I shall trust to you to pull me
through--soon get into it, y'know.
_Miss D._ (_to herself_). If I could only get _out_ of it! (_She
rises with a look of mute appeal to her_ Sister.) We can go through
this room. (_They pass into the Salle des Petits Chevaux._) Stop one
minute--I just want to see which horse wins. Don't you call this a
_Mr. C._ Well, I don't understand the way they play it here--too
complicated far _me_, you know!
_Miss D._ (_to herself_). Anything to gain time! (_Aloud._) Oh, it's
quite simple--you just put your money down on any number you choose,
and say "_Sur le_"--whatever it is, and, if it wins, you get seven
times your stake.
_Miss D._ I know what I should do--I should back 7 this time. I've a
presentiment he'll win.
_Mr. C._ Then why don't you back him?
_Miss D._ Because I don't happen to have brought any money with me.
_Mr. C._ Oh, I daresay I can accommodate you with a franc or two, if
_Miss D._ Thank you, I won't trouble you: but do back him yourself,
just to see if I'm not right.
_Croupier_. Les jeux sont faits. Rien ne va plus!
_Mr. C._ (_throwing a franc on the table_). Sur le sept! (_To_ Miss
D.) I say, he's raked it in. What'_s that_ for?
_Miss D._ For the Bank, or Charity, or something--they always do that
if you stake too late.
_Mr. C._ Swindle, _I_ call it. And I should have won, too--it _is_ 7.
I've had enough of this--suppose we go and dance?
_Miss D._ Why, you're not going to give in already--after so nearly
_Mr. C._ Ah, well, I'll have just one more go--and then we'll be off.
I'm going to try the 9 this time. [_He stakes._
_Miss D. I_ should have gone on the 4--it's time one of the even
numbers won again.
_Mr. C._ Oh, would you? All right, then. (_To_ Cr.) Pas sur le
neuf--le quatre. (_The_ Croupier _transfers the franc to 4._) They're
off--can't tell the winner yet. Now they're slower--4's good--4's very
good. See where he's stopped, not an inch from the post! This isn't
half a bad game.
[_A horse with a red flag at his head, labelled No. 9, creeps
slowly up, and stops just ahead of 4._
_Croupier_. Neuf, impair, et rouge!
_Mr. C._ It's 9 after all--and I backed him first. (_In an injured
tone._) I should have _won_ if you hadn't said that about 4!
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