Exactly. When you visited the castle last Thursday, there was a young lady with you."
Not realizing that the subject had been changed, George was under the impression that the other had shifted his front and was about to attack him from another angle. He countered what seemed to him an insinuation stoutly.
"We merely happened to meet at the castle. She came there quite independently of me."
Lord Marshmoreton looked alarmed. "You didn't know her?" he said anxiously.
"Certainly I knew her. She is an old friend of mine. But if you are hinting . . ."
"Not at all," rejoined the earl, profoundly relieved. "Not at all. I ask merely because this young lady, with whom I had some conversation, was good enough to give me her name and address. She, too, happened to mistake me for a gardener."
"It's those corduroy trousers," murmured George in extenuation.
"I have unfortunately lost them."
"You can always get another pair."
"I say you can always get another pair of corduroy trousers."
"I have not lost my trousers. I have lost the young lady's name and address."