Mr. Purcey's shrewd grey eyes perceived at once that he had a character to deal with.
"Ah, yes!" he said; "I see--you allude to the present time. That's very nice. Ha, ha!"
The old man answered: "The emotion of fear is inseparably connected with a primitive state of fratricidal rivalry."
This sentence put Mr. Purcey on his guard.
'The old chap,' he thought, 'is touched. He evidently oughtn't to be out here by himself.' He debated, therefore, whether he should hasten away toward his car, or stand by in case his assistance should be needed. Being a kind-hearted man, who believed in his capacity for putting things to rights, and noticing a certain delicacy--a "sort of something rather distinguished," as he phrased it afterwards--in the old fellow's face and figure, he decided to see if he could be of any service. They walked along together, Mr. Purcey watching his new friend askance, and directing the march to where he had ordered his chauffeur to await him.
"You are very fond of birds, I suppose," he said cautiously.
The answer was of a nature to determine Mr. Purcey in his diagnosis of the case.
"I've got my car here," he said. "Let me give you a lift home."