Desmond held up his hand to restrain her toothless babble. Nur-el-Din had stirred and was sitting up, rubbing her eyes. Then she caught sight of Desmond and scrambled rather unsteadily to her feet.
"Monsieur Bellward?" she said in French, "oh, how glad I am to see you!"
"All right, Martha," said Desmond, "see that the spare room is ready for this lady, and don't go to bed just yet. I shall want you to take this lady to her room."
The old woman hobbled away, leaving the two alone. As soon as the door had closed behind her, Nur-el-Din exclaimed:
Desmond bowed in the most correct Continental manner.
"Who does not know the charming Nur-el-Din?" he replied.
"No!" Nur-el-Din commanded with flashing eyes, "no, not that name! I am Madame Le Bon, you, understand, a Belgian refugee, from Termonde!"
Rather taken aback by her imperious manner, Desmond bowed again but said nothing.