I did succeed at last.
"I hate to discourage you, but if I were you, Colonel," my teacher said, as he put the five pounds into his pocket, "I'd keep the tune to myself and play something simpler to my friends."
I didn't take this advice, though I now see that he was right. But at that time I intended to serenade Linda. Her house was situated at the northern end of Park Lane, and I had already bribed a servant to let me into the small garden between the house and the street. Late in June I at last learned that she intended to stay at home for an evening. "I'll make an attempt," I thought, and at nine o'clock I took up my horn and drove to Marble Arch, where I got out and walked to her house. I was stopped by the voice of Porcharlester calling, "Hello, Colonel!"
The meeting was most inconvenient. I did not want him to ask me where I was going, so I thought it best to ask him first.
"I'm going to see Linda," he answered. "She told me last night that she would be all alone this evening. You know how good she is. I love her. If I could be sure that it is myself and not my voice that she likes, I should be the happiest man in England."
"I'm quite sure it can't be your voice," I said.
"Thank you," he said. "It's very kind of you to say so. Do you know I've never had the courage to sing that serenade since she told me she loved it?"
"Why? Doesn't she like the way you sing it?"
"I never dare sing it before her, but I'm going to surprise her with it tomorrow at Mrs Locksley Hall's. If you meet her, don't say a word of this. It's to be a surprise."
"I have no doubt it will be," I said, happy to know that he would be a day too late.