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which is so homely a Continental usage. pathway of a lady. It was full of chiThen she opened a scarlet fan, and held valric homage. it lightly pressed against her bosom as “Interesting old room,” said Mrs. she took a leisurely survey of the per- Van Corlear, turning languidly to Mrs. sons at the table. She was quite Span- Oliver, who was seated at her left ish in her coloring as she sat thus. hand.
Her attention was arrested at once "Interesting ? It is simply ravishby a Spanish gentleman, almost directly ing!” said that lady. “It's so Spanish.” across from her. He was a large man Mrs. Oliver's expressions were always a with an air of great dignity and distinc- little in advance of her appreciations. tion. His carefully trimmed beard came It was interesting, ånd also Spanish, to a point, and this, like his full wavy whether ravishing or no. The cool dinmustaches, was of a jet black. The col- ing-room opened on one side upon an or of his skin was a clear translucent arcade through whose gray
arches brown. But the most striking feature gleamed in riotous color the affluence of his strikingly handsome face were of bright plants and green leaves in the
Large, full, and of the most inner court. The air came softly in liquid brilliancy, they were eyes that through the windows, and the sunlight could never be hard, though they looked was of a golden brown. as if they could be surcharged with the A girl with a large shallow basket glow of anger. But their usual expres- filled with bouquets and flowers passed sion was one of the most subjugating along by the guests at the table, seeking tenderness.
to vend her wares. The Señor raised They were turned full upon Mrs. his finger to arrest her, and murmured Van Čorlear, and as she caught their something in her ear. The girl nodded eloquent gleam she seemed to have been and continued her round. When she grasped by something, and felt as if a reached the place where Mrs. Van Cornew relation had germinated in her lear and Mrs. Oliver were seated, she life. The expression of those superb picked a large bunch of roses from her eyes was bewildering, they were so ar- basket and laid them at Mrs. Oliver's dent, so respectful, so brilliant, so melt- plate. ing
Instinctively Mrs. Van Corlear flashed That burning melancholy glance held a glance across to where the Señor was. her for a moment breathless. Despite She caught the vanishing end of a smile herself, she felt her breath quicken a of comical disgust on his full lips. little. Her firm bosom rose and fell Mrs. Oliver turned to her friend. slightly with a sort of ground-swell of “ What would you do? That man emotion. It was so electric, that look must have sent me these roses. Aren't of the Señor's eyes! Whether her sen- they beautiful ? ” and Eve-like, Mrs. Olisation was one of pleasure or pain, she ver dwelt on their rich color. could not for the life of her have told “Oh, I don't know,” said Mrs. Van at the moment. Mrs. Van Corlear did Corlear. “ It's so Spanish !” she murnot often let go of herself, and she ral- mured. lied quickly from this slight overthrow, She could hardly keep her lips in orwith the faintest dilation of her nos der. The coy reluctance of Mrs. Oliver trils. She calmly directed her glance to accept flowers which had only come farther down the table.
to her by a mistake stirred Mrs. Van Not, however, before the Spaniard had Corlear's sense of humor. read the light touch of resenting hau Mrs. Oliver raised the flowers absentteur which his glance had awakened, mindedly and inhaled their fragrance and had slowly let the lids with their moderately. When she rose to leave long silky lashes sweep down over his the table she left the flowers but turned brilliant eyes. When he raised them a decorously languid glance on the his look was elsewhere. But that slow Señor. To her discomfiture he was movement of his eyes was like the court- quite absorbed in a pomegranate. ly bow with which a gentleman might The next morning after breakfast Mrs. deprecate unwitting intrusion on the Van Corlear surveyed Roger a
before he went out to air his golden with great red roses, the dew glistening curls in the Park with Miss Rutger, on the petals with wholesome freshness. and then went up to her room. As she She stood for a moment looking at them. opened the door a sensuous sweetness The vision of a pair of eyes, limpid and came drifting out of the room. On her deep, full of tender caressingness, rose dressing-table was a wicker basket filled before her. She slowly stooped and
buried her face in the mass of flowers. Roger. There is nowhere we are anxIt was like taking a bath in perfume, as ious to go. Why hurry away?” Mrs. she held her cheeks pressed close to Van Corlear said. Mr. Van Corlear the cool petals. When she raised her hadn't the faintest wish to hurry away head with a drop or two of dew, on her from anywhere unless it was to get back face like a dashed-away tear, she saw a to New York and the comforts of home. card among the roses. She pulled it So they stayed. out. There was a line on it in Spanish. Every morning on opening her door, Miss Rutger was the only one of the Mrs. Van Corlear saw the beautiful red party who knew Spanish.
roses on her table. As a rule, the flow“What does this say, Rutger ?” she ers were solely the large red roses so asked, handing her the card when she common in Barcelona, sometimes loosely came in. Miss Rutger took it and trans- massed in a basket, sometimes bound lated it into English. “With the pro- into a large bouquet. She began to feel found respect of a friend.”
a certain restless desire after breakfast “Oh,” said Mrs. Van Corlear.
to get back to her room and see if they As soon as they entered the dining- were there. They never failed. room that evening, she noticed the Señor Occasionally, in the beginning, but in his place of the night before. The afterward every evening, Mrs. Van Corservant was about to usher them to lear selected the richest rose of them places higher up the table.
all and wore it in her bosom to dinner. I think we will keep our old seats,” The Señor's eyes were waiting for it. said Mrs. Van Corlear. “We will sit in It was strange how perfectly he could this place while we are here. I cannot express such different sentiments with bear to be changing constantly,” she his eyes, while the rest of his face was said to Mrs. Oliver as they sank into as quiet as the shadow of a wall. They their chairs. She made a slight bow to could look so serious, then brighten into the guests and her glance swept the a questioning glance, veiled but vivid, Señor's face. His gleaming eyes were and then melt so marvellously into that bent on her with their soft intensity. look of retiring homage, a soft burning
The next morning Mrs. Van Corlear glance suffused with tenderness. inspected Roger before his walk, and Sometimes there seemed to be a grave, kissed him good-by with even more scarcely perceptible inclination of the clinging affection than usual. Then she handsome head as Mrs. Van Corlear walked up the stairs about a quarter of would seat herself and suffer her eyes a minute more rapidly than yesterday, to fall for a moment on the Señor. and when she opened her door her glance Probably it was only the slow veiling sought the table at once. There they of his eyes, but it seemed like a silent were, fresh, dewy, and blushing. There salutation. To look at him and not look was no card with them this time. at his eyes was impossible. They con
That evening as she was about leaving strained and held one. But between her room to go down to dinner Mrs. the Señor and Mrs. Van Corlear this Van Corlear paused a moment, then was all. If there were any advance it went back to her dressing-table and se was so graduated that it could only be lecting a large red rose pinned it in her felt, not descried. At the end of the dress. There was the least additional five weeks they were outwardly precisely dignity in her carriage as she entered where they were when Mrs. Van Corlear the room, and she did not look at the entered the dining-room of the Cuatro Señor at all, though she felt that he was Naciones five weeks before. there with a brighter glow in his soft “You are running the flower-business: eyes. Mrs. Van Corlear was beginning pretty well, aren't you?” said Mr. Van to feel that drinking from the living Corlear one forenoon when he saw a wells of the Señor's eyes was taking a large vase of the red roses on his wife's. stimulant, whose strength she did not table. He did not deprecate it. She fully know.
could have had them by the tub-full if For five weeks they remained in Bar- she chose. Mr. Van Corlear never recelona. "I like it. The air is good for fused her anything-that she asked for.
But there are some things for which with her boy. She was like a young women do not ask.
girl with this small blonde son, and he “Roses are like the air in Barcelona. adored her. They almost grow into one's hands, When they had got on the steamer, answered Mrs. Van Corlear.
Mrs. Van Corlear came out, sat down It was nearly time for the Carnival of Flowers at Nice, and Mr. Van Corlear thought he would like to go. It was so long since he had seen any Americans. So he ordered their luggage to be taken to the packet for Marseilles the next day, and settled the bill with a cheerful indifference to its three large figures.
Not a word had passed between the Señor and Mrs. Van Corlear. His eyes had discoursed to her as subtilely "Isn't he a funny gentleman ?' she said to him in the playful tone she used with her boy." and as exhaustively as an old schoolman of Coim- on a deck-chair, and looked at the old bra, and the roses at her breast, his town. The line of her eyebrows was roses, may have had speech for the Se- more plaintive in its curve than ever. ñor. But spoken word there had been Was she thinking of the Señor's matutinot one. The Spanish gentleman fre- nal roses which she was forsaking ? quently met Roger in the Park and She must certainly have recalled them treated him to bonbons and donkey- a moment later when a closed carriage rides till that young gentleman thought drove up to the quay and an imposing his benevolence and
worth supreme. He Spaniard got out with a dignity which chattered away to his mamma about the made the action quite a ceremony. He dark gentleman with the ungrudging walked up the gangway followed by his enthusiasm of his four years. Mrs. Van man, who carried à travelling-bag and Corlear listened with her arms around something which showed red through his neck and her face pressed to his. white tissue paper. They disappeared
Mamma,” he said to her on one of in the cabin. these occasions, “the dark gentleman The trip was a rough one. The boat thought Miss Rutger was my mamma. began to pitch half an hour after they He knew who my papa was, though.” started, and kept it up with a vigor
“Isn't he a funny gentleman ?” she which drove most of the passengers into said to him in the playful tone she used an obscurity suited to the particular