The next morning I was on the bridle path at the same hour. Finally she came galloping along with the same group, and after they had almost gone from sight, I galloped after them. I found out where they kept their horses and after they had dismounted I sauntered up to the stable and made inquiries. I learned that they always went out at the same time of day. Thereafter I made it my business to pass the lady on the bridle path day after day. I pride myself on few things, but my horsemanship is one of them. Many a hard tussle and bleeding nose I got riding Brumbies across the wild tracks of Australia. I also learned a trick or two among my Tuareg friends which I exhibited for the lady's benefit on various occasions. I did not hope to gain an introduction, but only to attract attention and familiarize her party with my appearance, applying one of the test points of human psychology. I employed the theory of the subconscious attraction of an often-seen, though unknown face.
I soon ascertained that my lady and her friends followed all the whims of London society. One in particular interested me. They were in the habit of frequenting Carlton Terrace between three and four every afternoon and eating strawberries. I also went to eat strawberries.
Carlton Terrace during the strawberry season is an exquisitely colored fashion plate of life's butterflies and drones. This throng of fashion and beauty, marked with its air of distinction carelessly abandoned to pleasure, ever murmuring pleasant nothings and tossing light persiflage from table to table, is truly an interesting study of the lighter sides of life. One sits on a magnificent markee-covered, glass-enclosed terrace, overlooking the Thames with its ever-changing scenes of fussy tugs and squat barges.
At Carlton Terrace one pays well for the subtleties of eating. By courteous consideration of the waitresses I managed to secure a much-coveted outside corner table, near to the one reserved for the lady and her party. I always made it a point to withhold my entrance until the lady was in the terrace; then I would stroll in alone, take a seat alone, and show a desire to be alone. They have a very clever way of serving strawberries at the Carlton. A vine, growing from ten to twelve large luscious berries is brought on in a silver pot. It is the acme of luxury. You pick the fresh berries from the vine on your table, the Terrace supplies quantities of cream, and you pay half a sovereign--$2.50--for a dish of strawberries. One dish is enough for the average customer. Every afternoon I ordered five!
Day after day I consumed in strawberries two sovereigns and a half--$12.50--of the Grand Duke of Mecklenburg-Schwerein's money. Always tipping the girl a half sovereign which made my daily strawberry bill come up to three sovereigns ($15). For about ten days I did this, always at the same time, always being careful to make my entrance after the lady's party was seated, always ordering the same number of portions, always giving the girl the same tip. It wasn't long before I began to be observed. I soon saw that not only the attendants but the patrons of the Terrace were becoming interested in my foible. One day as I passed I heard someone say