“Why, whom on earth have you seen?” questioned Miss Van Tuyl. There was just the slightest suspicion of a tremour in her voice, and her eyes were apprehensive. The speaker, however, detected neither. He had, in fact, quite forgotten, if he had ever heard, that there had been an attachment between the man he had that day met on the69 terrasse of the Café de la Paix and the woman who sat at his side.
“Carey Grey, the absconder!”
The words struck her as a blow from a clenched fist. Her cheeks, which had been a trifle flushed, went suddenly white as the damask napery. Her jewelled fingers clutched the edge 佛山桑拿按摩技师网 of the table. She felt that she was falling backward, that everything was receding, and she caught the table edge to save herself.
“Carey Grey!” repeated Nicholas Van Tuyl, in amazement. “Surely you must have been mistaken!”
“Not a bit of it. I talked to him.”
“The devil!” exclaimed Edson and then apologised.
“You’d never know him,” Frothingham went on, after emptying his champagne glass; “he has bleached his hair, and he is wearing a bleached beard, too.”
“Oh, horrible!” This from Mrs. Dickie.
“Told a most remarkable story
about not knowing anything for five months; brain fever or something. I must admit he was very convincing.”
70 “I wonder if that is the man I knew?” Lady Constance broke in. “He came over with an American polo team; he was a great friend of Lord Stanniscourt’s.”
“Same man,” said Van Tuyl, with a glint 佛山夜生活 of admiration in his tone. “He was a capital polo player, and—yes, by Jove, a rattling good fellow in every way. It was a surprise to everyone when he went wrong.” He had been watching his daughter with no little anxiety. Now her colour was returning and her hands were in her lap.
“Yes, to everyone,” Mrs. Dickie volunteered, “the whole thing was simply astounding. He had a good business, hadn’t he? What do you suppose he wanted with that money?”
“Nobody was ever able to conjecture,” answered Frothingham, as he helped himself
to some caneton.
“And he is really here in Paris?” queried Edson, twirling the long stem of a fragile wineglass between thumb and finger. “Where is he stopping?”
Hope Van Tuyl unconsciously leaned forward to catch the address.
71 “I don’t know. I never thought to inquire.”
From the violins of the 佛山桑拿那里的技师好 tziganes glided the languorous strains of the “Valse Bleue,” and instantly all other sounds dwindled. Even the clatter of knives and forks seemed gradually to cease and the babble of tongues was vague and far away. Into the girl’s dark eyes came an expression of melancholy, and the corners of her red-lipped mouth drooped. The leaves of her calendar had been fluttered back a twelvemonth by the melody, and she was out under the stars with the cool breeze from the Hudson fanning her flushed cheeks. Through the open French windows of the clubhouse at her back the music was floating. Beside her, his arm girdling her waist, was the man to whom she had just promised her love and loyalty—the man whose name she would be proud to wear through all her days—Carey Grey. The ineffable joy, the blissful content of the moment were, in some 佛山桑拿网蒲友论坛 mystic manner, reborn by the chords that sang and swelled and vibrated and whispered, and yet over all, mingling with the delicious, intoxicating happiness of this reincarnated experience,72 was an overpowering sense of loss—dire, monstrous, crushing.
“Hope, dear,”—it was her father’s voice that brought her back to the present. His anxious eyes had still been upon her. “Drink your wine, girl; you aren’t ill, are you? Mr. Edson has been speaking to you and I don’t believe you’ve heard a word.”
“Oh, I beg your pardon, Mr. Edson,” she ejaculated, recovering herself. “I fear for the moment I was very far off. Would you mind repeating what you said?”
“I was proposing a coaching party to Versailles for Saturday, and as everybody seemed to approve I took the opportunity to ask you if you would do me the honour of occupying the box 佛山桑拿论坛0757 seat.”
“With pleasure,” she accepted, smiling bravely, though a dull, leaden pain was gripping her heart; “I think it will be simply lovely.”
The sextet had come to the restaurant crowded into Mr. Edson’s big touring car, and when at length the dinner was finished and the men had smoked their cigars and the moon had come up from behind the trees and floated like a silver boat73 in the deep blue sea of the heavens, they took their places again and went spinning at frantic speed out into the Allée de Longchamp. A quick turn to the left and in another instant the Porte Dauphine had been passed and the machine was flying smoothly down the Avenue du Bois de Boulogne with the Arc de Triomphe rising massively white in the moonlight ahead.
Frothingham found himself brought very close to Hope Van Tuyl by the exigencies of the 佛山桑拿有什么服务 arrangement of six goodly sized persons in a space designed for five; and he was glad that it was so. He had seen much of her during the winter season in New York, and he had come abroad chiefly because he knew that she and her father had planned to spend the early summer in Europe. She was the type of woman he admired. She was tall and athletic, fond of sports and clever at them, but not so much of an enthusiast as to be open to the charge of having unsexed herself. She was, indeed, intensely feminine. Though she could handle a coach and four as dexterously as the average masculine whip and could drive a golf ball well on to two hundred yards, her hands were as74 delicately white and her fingers as long and taper as those of a girl whose most strenuous exertion was the execution of a Chopin nocturne. Her hair was dark, almost 南海桑拿按摩论坛 black, with glinting bronze reflections in the sunlight. Her eyes were the brown of chestnuts and her eyebrows black and perfectly arched. Frothingham had dreamed night after night of her mouth—it was so red and so tenderly curved, and her lips seemed always moist.
He had noticed her preoccupation towards the close of the dinner, and he had marvelled as to the cause. It was such an unusual mood for her. Now, as they were sweeping with exhilarating speed down the long avenue, with its double row of glittering lights that flashed by in streaks—while all the rest were laughing, shouting, shrieking in the exuberance of the moment—she was still abstracted, silent.
Frothingham ventured to place a hand over one of hers, but she drew her own away instantly, as though the contact were painful. He fancied then that he had perhaps 佛山桑拿会所美女图片 unwittingly offended her in some way, and he whispered, close to her ear:
“I hope you are not annoyed at me. Have I75 been guilty of any discourtesy? I am sure I——”
But it was very evident she was not listening, and he broke off in the middle of the sentence.
The Van Tuyls were stopping at the Ritz, and there Edson put them down. Frothingham, who had taken lodgings not far away, alighted too, and Nicholas Van Tuyl asked him in.
“I feel like a brandy and soda,” he said, “and I want company.”
Hope excused herself and went directly to her room. She was very nervous and very distraite. The story that Carey Grey was not only alive and in Paris, but had been ill, delirious and therefore unaccountable, disquieted and distressed her. She had loved him more than she knew until his crime and his flight, and, above all, his desertion without a word of explanation, revealed to her the fulness of her passion. Then she had battled with herself for a time; had grown philosophic and had reasoned, and eventually had gathered together the pages of her life that bore his name, had torn them out and, as she believed, destroyed them utterly. And now they were here before her, suddenly76 restored as a magician makes whole again the articles that he tears into bits before his auditors’ eyes.
As she entered her room her maid, who had been reading near a window, arose, took up something from her dressing-table and came toward her with it in her outstretched hand.
“A telegram for m’amselle,” she said. She was a very pretty French maid, and she had a very delicious French accent. She preferred to speak in English, though Miss Van Tuyl invariably answered her in French. “It came not ten minutes ago, m’amselle.”
Hope walked listlessly to where an electric lamp glowed under a Dresden shade, tearing open the envelope as she went. Unfolding the inclosure, she held it in the light’s glare; and then the little blue sheet dropped from her nerveless fingers, and she reeled. Had it not been for Marcelle she might have fallen; but the girl, burning with curiosity to learn the contents of the telegram—or cablegram, as it proved—had followed her mistress’s every movement, and now her arm was about her waist.
77 “Oh, m’amselle, m’amselle,” she cried in alarm; “my poor m’amselle! Is it that you hear the bad news?”
But Miss Van Tuyl made no reply. Recovering herself, she crossed the room and sat down in the chair by the window that Marcelle had just vacated. The girl stood for a moment irresolute. Then she stooped and picked up the sheet of blue paper, placing it on the table under the lamp. As she did so her quick eye took in enough to satisfy her as to its import. It was from Miss Van Tuyl’s brother in New York, and it repeated a cable just received. The words made a very deep impression on Marcelle because of one of them, of which, though it was quite as much French as it was English, she did not know the meaning.
“That he is here in Paris I can understand; and that he is alive and well, oh, yes!” she iterated and reiterated to herself; “but what is it he means by ‘in-ex-pleek-able’? ‘Conditions in-ex-pleek-able’? Oh, I fear, I fear, that is something very terrible.”
There came a gentle tap on Grey’s door; then a rap, louder and more insistent; and then repeated knocking, aggressive, commanding; and Grey, aroused suddenly from what was more stupor than sleep, sat up in bed, startled, crying:
“Come in! Entrez! Herein!”
The door opened and Johann entered.
“It is long after noon, Herr Arndt,” he said, bowing, “and the funeral is arranged for three o’clock.”