Princess Aline, by Richard Harding Davis
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THE PRINCESS ALINE
RICHARD HARDING DAVIS
THE PRINCESS ALINE
H. R. H. the Princess Aline of Hohenwald came into the
life of Morton Carlton--or "Morney" Carlton, as men called
him--of New York city, when that young gentleman's affairs and
affections were best suited to receive her. Had she made her
appearance three years sooner or three years later, it is
quite probable that she would have passed on out of his life
with no more recognition from him than would have been
expressed in a look of admiring curiosity.
But coming when she did, when his time and heart were both
unoccupied, she had an influence upon young Mr. Carlton which
led him into doing several wise and many foolish things, and
which remained with him always. Carlton had reached a point
in his life, and very early in his life, when he could afford
to sit at ease and look back with modest satisfaction to what
he had forced himself to do, and forward with pleasurable
anticipations to whatsoever he might choose to do in the
future. The world had appreciated what he had done, and had
put much to his credit, and he was prepared to draw upon this
At the age of twenty he had found himself his own master, with
excellent family connections, but with no family, his only
relative being a bachelor uncle, who looked at life from the
point of view of the Union Club's windows, and who objected to
his nephew's leaving Harvard to take up the study of art in
Paris. In that city (where at Julian's he was nicknamed the
junior Carlton, for the obvious reason that he was the older
of the two Carltons in the class, and because he was well
dressed) he had shown himself a harder worker than others who
were less careful of their appearance and of their manners.
His work, of which he did not talk, and his ambitions, of
which he also did not talk, bore fruit early, and at
twenty-six he had become a portrait-painter of international
reputation. Then the French government purchased one of his
paintings at an absurdly small figure, and placed it in the
Luxembourg, from whence it would in time depart to be buried
in the hall of some provincial city; and American
millionaires, and English Lord Mayors, members of Parliament,
and members of the Institute, masters of hounds in pink coats,
and ambassadors in gold lace, and beautiful women of all
nationalities and conditions sat before his easel. And so
when he returned to New York he was welcomed with an
enthusiasm which showed that his countrymen had feared that
the artistic atmosphere of the Old World had stolen him from
them forever. He was particularly silent, even at this date,
about his work, and listened to what others had to say of it
with much awe, not unmixed with some amusement, that it should
be he who was capable of producing anything worthy of such
praise. We have been told what the mother duck felt when her
ugly duckling turned into a swan, but we have never considered
how much the ugly duckling must have marvelled also.
"Carlton is probably the only living artist," a brother artist
had said of him, "who fails to appreciate how great his work
is." And on this being repeated to Carlton by a good-natured
friend, he had replied cheerfully, "Well, I'm sorry, but it is
certainly better to be the only one who doesn't appreciate it
than to be the only one who does."
He had never understood why such a responsibility had been
intrusted to him. It was, as he expressed it, not at all in
his line, and young girls who sought to sit at the feet of the
master found him making love to them in the most charming
manner in the world, as though he were not entitled to all the
rapturous admiration of their very young hearts, but had to
sue for it like any ordinary mortal. Carlton always felt as
though some day some one would surely come along and say:
"Look here, young man, this talent doesn't belong to you; it's
mine. What do you mean by pretending that such an idle
good-natured youth as yourself is entitled to such a gift of
genius?" He felt that he was keeping it in trust, as it were;
that it had been changed at birth, and that the proper
guardian would eventually relieve him of his treasure.
Personally Carlton was of the opinion that he should have been
born in the active days of knights-errant--to have had nothing
more serious to do than to ride abroad with a blue ribbon
fastened to the point of his lance, and with the spirit to
unhorse any one who objected to its color, or to the claims of
superiority of the noble lady who had tied it there. There
was not, in his opinion, at the present day any sufficiently
pronounced method of declaring admiration for the many lovely
women this world contained. A proposal of marriage he
considered to be a mean and clumsy substitute for the older
way, and was uncomplimentary to the many other women left
unasked, and marriage itself required much more constancy than
he could give. He had a most romantic and old-fashioned ideal
of women as a class, and from the age of fourteen had been a
devotee of hundreds of them as individuals; and though in that
time his ideal had received several severe shocks, he still
believed that the "not impossible she" existed somewhere, and
his conscientious efforts to find out whether every women he
met might not be that one had led him not unnaturally into
"The trouble with me is," he said, "that I care too much to
make Platonic friendship possible, and don't care enough to
marry any particular woman--that is, of course, supposing that
any particular one would be so little particular as to be
willing to marry me. How embarrassing it would be, now," he
argued, "if, when you were turning away from the chancel after
the ceremony, you should look at one of the bridesmaids and
see the woman whom you really should have married! How
distressing that would be! You couldn't very well stop and
say: `I am very sorry, my dear, but it seems I have made a
mistake. That young woman on the right has a most interesting
and beautiful face. I am very much afraid that she is the
one.' It would be too late then; while now, in my free state,
I can continue my, search without any sense of
"Why"--he would exclaim--"I have walked miles to get a glimpse
of a beautiful woman in a suburban window, and time and time
again when I have seen a face in a passing brougham I have
pursued it in a hansom, and learned where the owner of the
face lived, and spent weeks in finding some one to present me,
only to discover that she was self-conscious or uninteresting
or engaged. Still I had assured myself that she was not the
one. I am very conscientious, and I consider that it is my
duty to go so far with every woman I meet as to be able to
learn whether she is or is not the one, and the sad result is
that I am like a man who follows the hounds but is never in at
"Well," some married woman would say, grimly, "I hope you will
get your deserts some day; and you WILL, too. Some day some
girl will make you suffer for this."
"Oh, that's all right," Carlton would answer, meekly. "Lots
of women have made me suffer, if that's what you think I need."
"Some day," the married woman would prophesy, "you will care
for a woman so much that you will have no eyes for any one
else. That's the way it is when one is married."
"Well, when that's the way it is with ME," Carlton would
reply, "I certainly hope to get married; but until it is, I
think it is safer for all concerned that I should not."
Then Carlton would go to the club and complain bitterly to one
of his friends.
"How unfair married women are!" he would say. "The idea of
thinking a man could have no eyes but for one woman! Suppose
I had never heard a note of music until I was twenty-five
years of age, and was then given my hearing. Do you suppose
my pleasure in music would make me lose my pleasure in
everything else? Suppose I met and married a girl at
twenty-five. Is that going to make me forget all the women I
knew before I met her? I think not. As a matter of fact, I
really deserve a great deal of credit for remaining single,
for I am naturally very affectionate; but when I see what poor
husbands my friends make, I prefer to stay as I am until I am
sure that I will make a better one. It is only fair to the
Carlton was sitting in the club alone. He had that sense of
superiority over his fellows and of irresponsibility to the
world about him that comes to a man when he knows that his
trunks are being packed and that his state-room is engaged.
He was leaving New York long before most of his friends could
get away. He did not know just where he was going, and
preferred not to know. He wished to have a complete holiday,
and to see Europe as an idle tourist, and not as an artist
with an eye to his own improvement. He had plenty of time and
money; he was sure to run across friends in the big cities,
and acquaintances he could make or not, as he pleased, en
route. He was not sorry to go. His going would serve to put
an end to what gossip there might be of his engagement to
numerous young women whose admiration for him as an artist, he
was beginning to fear, had taken on a more personal tinge. "I
wish," he said, gloomily, "I didn't like people so well. It
seems to cause them and me such a lot of trouble."
He sighed, and stretched out his hand for a copy of one of the
English illustrated papers. It had a fresher interest to him
because the next number of it that he would see would be in
the city in which it was printed. The paper in his hands was
the St. James Budget, and it contained much fashionable
intelligence concerning the preparations for a royal wedding
which was soon to take place between members of two of the
reigning families of Europe. There was on one page a
half-tone reproduction of a photograph, which showed a group
of young people belonging to several of these reigning
families, with their names and titles printed above and below
the picture. They were princesses, archdukes, or grand-dukes,
and they were dressed like young English men and women, and
with no sign about them of their possible military or social rank.
One of the young princesses in the photograph was looking out
of it and smiling in a tolerant, amused way, as though she had
thought of something which she could not wait to enjoy until
after the picture was taken. She was not posing consciously,
as were some of the others, but was sitting in a natural
attitude, with one arm over the back of her chair, and with
her hands clasped before her. Her face was full of a fine
intelligence and humor, and though one of the other princesses
in the group was far more beautiful, this particular one had a
much more high-bred air, and there was something of a
challenge in her smile that made any one who looked at the
picture smile also. Carlton studied the face for some time,
and mentally approved of its beauty; the others seemed in
comparison wooden and unindividual, but this one looked like a
person he might have known, and whom he would certainly have
liked. He turned the page and surveyed the features of the
Oxford crew with lesser interest, and then turned the page
again and gazed critically and severely at the face of the
princess with the high-bred smile. He had hoped that he would
find it less interesting at a second glance, but it did not
prove to be so.
"`The Princess Aline of Hohenwald,'" he read. "She's probably
engaged to one of those Johnnies beside her, and the
Grand-Duke of Hohenwald behind her must be her brother." He
put the paper down and went into luncheon, and diverted
himself by mixing a salad dressing; but after a few moments he
stopped in the midst of this employment, and told the waiter,
with some unnecessary sharpness, to bring him the last copy of
the St. James Budget.
"Confound it!" he added, to himself.
He opened the paper with a touch of impatience and gazed long
and earnestly at the face of the Princess Aline, who continued
to return his look with the same smile of amused tolerance.
Carlton noted every detail of her tailor-made gown, of her
high mannish collar, of her tie, and even the rings on her
hand. There was nothing about her of which he could fairly
disapprove. He wondered why it was that she could not have
been born an approachable New York girl instead of a princess
of a little German duchy, hedged in throughout her single
life, and to be traded off eventually in marriage with as much
consideration as though she were a princess of a real kingdom.
"She looks jolly too," he mused, in an injured tone; "and so
very clever; and of course she has a beautiful complexion.
All those German girls have. Your Royal Highness is more than
pretty," he said, bowing his head gravely. "You look as a
princess should look. I am sure it was one of your ancestors
who discovered the dried pea under a dozen mattresses." He
closed the paper, and sat for a moment with a perplexed smile
of consideration. "Waiter," he exclaimed, suddenly, "send a
messenger-boy to Brentano's for a copy of the St. James
Budget, and bring me the Almanach de Gotha from the library.
It is a little fat red book on the table near the window."
Then Carlton opened the paper again and propped it up against
a carafe, and continued his critical survey of the Princess
Aline. He seized the Almanach, when it came, with some
"Hohenwald (Maison de Grasse)," he read, and in small type
"1. Ligne cadette (regnante) grand-ducale: Hohenwald et de
"Guillaume-Albert-Frederick-Charles-Louis, Grand-Duc de
Hohenwald et de Grasse, etc., etc., etc."
"That's the brother, right enough," muttered Carlton.
And under the heading "Soeurs" he read:
"4. Psse Aline.--Victoria-Beatrix-Louise-Helene, Alt.
Gr.-Duc. Nee a Grasse, Juin, 1872."
"Twenty-two years old," exclaimed Carlton. "What a perfect
age! I could not have invented a better one." He looked from
the book to the face before him. "Now, my dear young lady,"
he said, "I know all about YOU. You live at Grasse, and you
are connected, to judge by your names, with all the English
royalties; and very pretty names they are, too--Aline, Helene,
Victoria, Beatrix. You must be much more English than you are
German; and I suppose you live in a little old castle, and
your brother has a standing army of twelve men, and some day
you are to marry a Russian Grand-Duke, or whoever your
brother's Prime Minister if he has a Prime Minister-decides is
best for the politics of your little toy kingdom. Ah! to
think," exclaimed Carlton, softly, "that such a lovely and
glorious creature as that should be sacrificed for so
insignificant a thing as the peace of Europe when she might
make some young man happy?"
He carried a copy of the paper to his room, and cut the
picture of the group out of the page and pasted it carefully
on a stiff piece of card-board. Then he placed it on his
dressing-table, in front of a photograph of a young woman in a
large silver frame-which was a sign, had the young woman but
known it, that her reign for the time being was over.
Nolan, the young Irishman who "did for" Carlton, knew better
than to move it when he found it there. He had learned to
study his master since he had joined him in London, and
understood that one photograph in the silver frame was
entitled to more consideration than three others on the
writing-desk or half a dozen on the mantel-piece. Nolan had
seen them come and go; he had watched them rise and fall; he
had carried notes to them, and books and flowers; and had
helped to dispose them from the silver frame and move them on
by degrees down the line, until they went ingloriously into
the big brass bowl on the side table. Nolan approved highly
of this last choice. He did not know which one of the three
in the group it might be; but they were all pretty, and their
social standing was certainly distinguished.
Guido, the Italian model who ruled over the studio, and Nolan
were busily packing when Carlton entered. He always said that
Guido represented him in his professional and Nolan in his
social capacity. Guido cleaned the brushes and purchased the
artists' materials; Nolan cleaned his riding-boots and bought
his theatre and railroad tickets.
"Guido," said Carlton, "there are two sketches I made in
Germany last year, one of the Prime Minister, and one of
Ludwig the actor; get them out for me, will you, and pack them
for shipping. Nolan," he went on, "here is a telegram to send."
Nolan would not have read a letter, but he looked upon
telegrams as public documents, the reading of them as part of
his perquisites. This one was addressed to Oscar Von Holtz,
First Secretary, German Embassy, Washington, D.C., and the
"Please telegraph me full title and address Princess Aline of
Hohenwald. Where would a letter reach her?
The next morning Nolan carried to the express office a box
containing two oil-paintings on small canvases. They were
addressed to the man in London who attended to the shipping
and forwarding of Carlton's pictures in that town.
There was a tremendous crowd on the New York. She sailed at
the obliging hour of eleven in the morning, and many people,
in consequence, whose affection would not have stood in the
way of their breakfast, made it a point to appear and to say
goodbye. Carlton, for his part, did not notice them; he knew
by experience that the attractive-looking people always leave
a steamer when the whistle blows, and that the next most
attractive-looking, who remain on board, are ill all the way
over. A man that he knew seized him by the arm as he was
entering his cabin, and asked if he were crossing or just
seeing people off.
"Well, then, I want to introduce you to Miss Morris and her
aunt, Mrs. Downs; they are going over, and I should be glad if
you would be nice to them. But you know her, I guess?" he
asked, over his shoulder, as Carlton pushed his way after him
down the deck.
"I know who she is," he said.
Miss Edith Morris was surrounded by a treble circle of
admiring friends, and seemed to be holding her own. They all
stopped when Carlton came up, and looked at him rather
closely, and those whom he knew seemed to mark the fact by a
particularly hearty greeting. The man who had brought him up
acted as though he had successfully accomplished a somewhat
difficult and creditable feat. Carlton bowed himself away,
leaving Miss Morris to her friends, and saying that she would
probably have to see him later, whether she wished it or not.
He then went to meet the aunt, who received him kindly, for
there were very few people on the passenger list, and she was
glad they were to have his company. Before he left she
introduced him to a young man named Abbey, who was hovering
around her most anxiously, and whose interest, she seemed to
think it necessary to explain, was due to the fact that he was
engaged to Miss Morris. Mr. Abbey left the steamer when the
whistle blew, and Carlton looked after him gratefully. He
always enjoyed meeting attractive girls who were engaged, as
it left him no choice in the matter, and excused him from
finding out whether or not that particular young woman was the one.
Mrs. Downs and her niece proved to be experienced sailors, and
faced the heavy sea that met the New York outside of Sandy
Hook with unconcern. Carlton joined them, and they stood
together leaning with their backs to the rail, and trying to
fit the people who flitted past them to the names on the
"The young lady in the sailor suit," said Miss Morris, gazing
at the top of the smoke-stack, "is Miss Kitty Flood, of Grand
Rapids. This is her first voyage, and she thinks a steamer is
something like a yacht, and dresses for the part accordingly.
She does not know that it is merely a moving hotel."
"I am afraid," said Carlton, "to judge from her agitation,
that hers is going to be what the professionals call
a`dressing-room' part. Why is it," he asked, "that the girls
on a steamer who wear gold anchors and the men in
yachting-caps are always the first to disappear? That man
with the sombrero," he went on, "is James M. Pollock, United
States Consul to Mauritius; he is going out to his post. I
know he is the consul, because he comes from Fort Worth,
Texas, and is therefore admirably fitted to speak either
French or the native language of the island."
"Oh, we don't send consuls to Mauritius," laughed Miss Morris.
"Mauritius is one of those places from which you buy stamps,
but no one really lives or goes there."
"Where are you going, may I ask?" inquired Carlton.
Miss Morris said that they were making their way to
Constantinople and Athens, and then to Rome; that as they had
not had the time to take the southern route, they purposed to
journey across the Continent direct from Paris to the Turkish
capital by the Orient Express.
"We shall be a few days in London, and in Paris only long
enough for some clothes," she replied.
"The trousseau," thought Carlton. "Weeks is what she should
The three sat together at the captain's table, and as the sea
continued rough, saw little of either the captain or his other
guests, and were thrown much upon the society of each other.
They had innumerable friends and interests in common; and Mrs.
Downs, who had been everywhere, and for long seasons at a
time, proved as alive as her niece, and Carlton conceived a
great liking for her. She seemed to be just and kindly
minded, and, owing to her age, to combine the wider judgment
of a man with the sympathetic interest of a woman. Sometimes
they sat together in a row and read, and gossiped over what
they read, or struggled up the deck as it rose and fell and
buffeted with the wind; and later they gathered in a corner of
the saloon and ate late suppers of Carlton's devising, or
drank tea in the captain's cabin, which he had thrown open to
them. They had started knowing much about one another, and
this and the necessary proximity of the ship hastened their
The sea grew calmer the third day out, and the sun came forth
and showed the decks as clean as bread-boards. Miss Morris
and Carlton seated themselves on the huge iron riding-bits in
the bow, and with their elbows on the rail looked down at the
whirlin-blue water, and rejoiced silently in the steady rush
of the great vessel, and in the uncertain warmth of the March
sun. Carlton was sitting to leeward of Miss Morris, with a
pipe between his teeth. He was warm, and at peace with the
world. He had found his new acquaintance more than
entertaining. She was even friendly, and treated him as
though he were much her junior, as is the habit of young women
lately married or who are about to be married. Carlton did
not resent it; on the contrary, it made him more at his ease
with her, and as she herself chose to treat him as a youth, he
permitted himself to be as foolish as he pleased.
"I don't know why it is," he complained, peering over the
rail, "but whenever I look over the side to watch the waves a
man in a greasy cap always sticks his head out of a hole below
me and scatters a barrelful of ashes or potato peelings all
over the ocean. It spoils the effect for one. Next time he
does it I am going to knock out the ashes of my pipe on the
back of his neck." Miss Morris did not consider this worthy
of comment, and there was a long lazy pause.
"You haven't told us where you go after London," she said; and
then, without waiting for him to reply, she asked, "Is it your
professional or your social side that you are treating to a
trip this time?"
"Who told you that?" asked Carlton, smiling.
"Oh, I don't know. Some man. He said you were a Jekyll and
Hyde. Which is Jekyll? You see, I only know your
"You must try to find out for yourself by deduction," he said,
"as you picked out the other passengers. I am going to
Grasse," he continued. "It's the capital of Hohenwald. Do
you know it?"
"Yes," she said; "we were there once for a few days. We went
to see the pictures. I suppose you know that the old Duke,
the father of the present one, ruined himself almost by buying
pictures for the Grasse gallery. We were there at a bad time,
though, when the palace was closed to visitors, and the
gallery too. I suppose that is what is taking you there?"
"No," Carlton said, shaking his head. "No, it is not the
pictures. I am going to Grasse," he said, gravely, "to see
the young woman with whom I am in love."
Miss Morris looked up in some surprise, and smiled
consciously, with a natural feminine interest in an affair of
love, and one which was a secret as well.
"Oh," she said, "I beg your pardon; we--I had not heard of it."
"No, it is not a thing one could announce exactly," said
Carlton; "it is rather in an embryo state as yet--in fact, I
have not met the young lady so far, but I mean to meet her.
That's why I am going abroad."
Miss Morris looked at him sharply to see if he were smiling,
but he was, on the contrary, gazing sentimentally at the
horizon-line, and puffing meditatively on his pipe. He was
apparently in earnest, and waiting for her to make some
"How very interesting!" was all she could think to say.
"Yes, when you know the details, it is,----VERY
interesting," he answered. "She is the Princess Aline of
Hohenwald," he explained, bowing his head as though he were
making the two young ladies known to one another. "She has
several other names, six in all, and her age is twenty-two.
That is all I know about her. I saw her picture in an
illustrated paper just before I sailed, and I made up my mind
I would meet her, and here I am. If she is not in Grasse, I
intend to follow her to wherever she may be." He waved his
pipe at the ocean before him, and recited, with mock
"`Across the hills and far away,
Beyond their utmost purple rim,
And deep into the dying day,
The happy Princess followed him.'
"Only in this case, you see," said Carlton, "I am following
the happy Princess."
"No; but seriously, though," said Miss Morris, "what is it you
mean? Are you going to paint her portrait?"
"I never thought of that," exclaimed Carlton. "I don't know
but what your idea is a good one. Miss Morris, that's a great
idea." He shook his head approvingly. "I did not do wrong to
confide in you," he said. "It was perhaps taking a liberty;
but as you have not considered it as such, I am glad I spoke."
"But you don't really mean to tell me," exclaimed the girl,
facing about, and nodding her head at him, "that you are going
abroad after a woman whom you have never seen, and because you
like a picture of her in a paper?"
"I do," said Carlton. "Because I like her picture, and
because she is a Princess."
"Well, upon my word," said Miss Morris, gazing at him with
evident admiration, "that's what my younger brother would call
a distinctly sporting proposition. Only I don't see," she
added, "what her being a Princess has to do with it."
"You don't?" laughed Carlton, easily. "That's the best part
of it--that's the plot. The beauty of being in love with a
Princess, Miss Morris," he said, "lies in the fact that you
can't marry her; that you can love her deeply and forever, and
nobody will ever come to you and ask your intentions, or hint
that after such a display of affection you ought to do
something. Now, with a girl who is not a Princess, even if
she understands the situation herself, and wouldn't marry you
to save her life, still there is always some one--a father, or
a mother, or one of your friends--who makes it his business to
interfere, and talks about it, and bothers you both. But with
a Princess, you see, that is all eliminated. You can't marry
a Princess, because they won't let you. A Princess has got to
marry a real royal chap, and so you are perfectly ineligible
and free to sigh for her, and make pretty speeches to her, and
see her as often as you can, and revel in your devotion and
Miss Morris regarded him doubtfully. She did not wish to
prove herself too credulous. "And you honestly want me, Mr.
Carlton, to believe that you are going abroad just for this?"
"You see," Carlton answered her, "if you only knew me better
you would have no doubt on the subject at all. It isn't the
thing some men would do, I admit, but it is exactly what any
one who knows me would expect of me. I should describe it,
having had acquaintance with the young man for some time, as
being eminently characteristic. And besides, think what a
good story it makes! Every other man who goes abroad this
summer will try to tell about his travels when he gets back to
New York, and, as usual, no one will listen to him. But they
will HAVE to listen to me. `You've been across since I saw
you last. What did you do?' they'll ask, politely. And then,
instead of simply telling them that I have been in Paris or
London, I can say, `Oh, I've been chasing around the globe
after the Princess Aline of Hohenwald.' That sounds
interesting, doesn't it? When you come to think of it,"
Carlton continued, meditatively, "it is not so very remarkable.
Men go all the way to Cuba and Mexico, and even to India,
after orchids, after a nasty flower that grows in an
absurd way on the top of a tree. Why shouldn't a young man go
as far as Germany after a beautiful Princess, who walks on the
ground, and who can talk and think and feel? She is much more
worth while than an orchid."
Miss Morris laughed indulgently. "Well, I didn't know such
devotion existed at this end of the century," she said; "it's
quite nice and encouraging. I hope you will succeed, I am
sure. I only wish we were going to be near enough to see how
you get on. I have never been a confidante when there was a
real Princess concerned," she said; "it makes it so much more
amusing. May one ask what your plans are?"
Carlton doubted if he had any plans as yet. "I have to reach
the ground first," he said, "and after that I must
reconnoitre. I may possibly adopt your idea, and ask to paint
her portrait, only I dislike confusing my social and
professional sides. As a matter of fact, though," he said,
after a pause, laughing guiltily, "I have done a little of
that already. I prepared her, as it were, for my coming. I
sent her studies of two pictures I made last winter in Berlin.
One of the Prime Minister, and one of Ludwig, the tragedian at
the Court Theatre. I sent them to her through my London
agent, so that she would think they had come from some one of
her English friends, and I told the dealer not to let any one
know who had forwarded them. My idea was that it might help
me, perhaps, if she knew something about me before I appeared
in person. It was a sort of letter of introduction written by
"Well, really," expostulated Miss Morris, you certainly woo in
a royal way. "Are you in the habit of giving away your
pictures to any one whose photograph you happen to like? That
seems to me to be giving new lamps for old to a degree. I
must see if I haven't some of my sister's photographs in my
trunk. She is considered very beautiful."
"Well, you wait until you see this particular portrait,
and--you will understand it better," said Carlton.
The steamer reached Southampton early in the afternoon, and
Carlton secured a special compartment on the express to London
for Mrs. Downs and her niece and himself, with one adjoining
for their maid and Nolan. It was a beautiful day, and Carlton
sat with his eyes fixed upon the passing fields and villages,
exclaiming with pleasure from time to time at the white roads
and the feathery trees and hedges, and the red roofs of the
inns and square towers of the village churches.
"Hedges are better than barbed-wire fences, aren't they?" he
said. "You see that girl picking wild flowers from one of
them? She looks just as though she were posing for a picture
for an illustrated paper. She couldn't pick flowers from a
barbed-wire fence, could she? And there would probably be a
tramp along the road somewhere to frighten her; and see--the
chap in knickerbockers farther down the road leaning on the
stile. I am sure he is waiting for her; and here comes a
coach," he ran on. "Don't the red wheels look well against
the hedges? It's a pretty little country, England, isn't
it?--like a private park or a model village. I am glad to get
back to it--I am glad to see the three-and-six signs with the
little slanting dash between the shillings and pennies. Yes,
even the steam-rollers and the man with the red flag in front
"I suppose," said Mrs. Downs, "it's because one has been so
long on the ocean that the ride to London seems so
interesting. It always pays me for the entire trip. Yes,"
she said, with a sigh, "in spite of the patent-medicine signs
they have taken to putting up all along the road. It seems a
pity they should adopt our bad habits instead of our good
"They are a bit slow at adopting anything," commented Carlton.
"Did you know, Mrs. Downs, that electric lights are still as
scarce in London as they are in Timbuctoo? Why, I saw an
electric-light plant put up in a Western town in three days
once; there were over a hundred burners in one saloon, and the
engineer who put them up told me in confidence that--"
What the chief engineer told him in confidence was never
disclosed, for at that moment Miss Morris interrupted him with
a sudden sharp exclamation.
"Oh, Mr. Carlton," she exclaimed, breathlessly, "listen to
this!" She had been reading one of the dozen papers which
Carlton had purchased at the station, and was now shaking one
of them at him, with her eyes fixed on the open page.
"My dear Edith," remonstrated her aunt, "Mr. Carlton was
"Yes, I know," exclaimed Miss Morris, laughing, "but this
interests him much more than electric lights. Who do you
think is in London?" she cried, raising her eyes to his, and
pausing for proper dramatic effect. "The Princess Aline of
"No?" shouted Carlton.
"Yes," Miss Morris answered, mocking his tone. "Listen. `The
Queen's Drawing-room'--em--e--m--`on her right was the
Princess of Wales'--em--m. Oh, I can't find it--no--yes, here
it is. `Next to her stood the Princess Aline of Hohenwald.
She wore a dress of white silk, with train of silver brocade
trimmed with fur. Ornaments--emeralds and diamonds;
orders--Victoria and Albert, jubilee Commemoration Medal,
Coburg and Gotha, and Hohenwald and Grasse.'"
"By Jove!" cried Carlton, excitedly. "I say, is that really
there? Let me see it, please, for myself."
Miss Morris handed him the paper, with her finger on the
paragraph, and picking up another, began a search down its
"You are right," exclaimed Carlton, solemnly; "it's she, sure
enough. And here I've been within two hours of her and didn't
Miss Morris gave another triumphant cry, as though she had
discovered a vein of gold.
"Yes, and here she is again," she said, "in the Gentlewoman:
`The Queen's dress was of black, as usual, but relieved by a
few violet ribbons in the bonnet; and Princess Beatrice, who
sat by her mother's side, showed but little trace of the
anxiety caused by Princess Ena's accident. Princess Aline, on
the front seat, in a light brown jacket and a becoming bonnet,
gave the necessary touch to a picture which Londoners would be
glad to look upon more often.'"
Carlton sat staring forward, with his hands on his knees, and
with his eyes open wide from excitement. He presented so
unusual an appearance of bewilderment and delight that Mrs.
Downs looked at him and at her niece for some explanation.
"The young lady seems to interest you," said she, tentatively.
"She is the most charming creature in the world, Mrs. Downs,"
cried Carlton, "and I was going all the way to Grasse to see
her, and now it turns out that she is here in England, within
a few miles of us." He turned and waved his hands at the
passing landscape. "Every minute brings us nearer together."
"And you didn't feel it in the air!" mocked Miss Morris,
laughing. "You are a pretty poor sort of a man to let a girl
tell you where to find the woman you love."
Carlton did not answer, but stared at her very seriously and
frowned intently. "Now I have got to begin all over again and
readjust things," he said. "We might have guessed she would
be in London, on account of this royal wedding. It is a great
pity it isn't later in the season, when there would be more
things going on and more chances of meeting her. Now they
will all be interested in themselves, and, being extremely
exclusive, no one who isn't a cousin to the bridegroom or an
Emperor would have any chance at all. Still, I can see her!
I can look at her, and that's something."
"It is better than a photograph, anyway," said Miss Morris.
"They will be either at Buckingham Palace or at Windsor, or
they will stop at Brown's," said Carlton. "All royalties go
to Brown's. I don't know why, unless it is because it is so
expensive; or maybe it is expensive because royalties go
there; but, in any event, if they are not at the palace, that
is where they will be, and that is where I shall have to go too."
When the train drew up at Victoria Station, Carlton directed
Nolan to take his things to Brown's Hotel, but not to unload
them until he had arrived. Then he drove with the ladies to
Cox's, and saw them settled there. He promised to return at
once to dine, and to tell them what he had discovered in his
absence. "You've got to help me in this, Miss Morris," he
said, nervously. "I am beginning to feel that I am not worthy
"Oh yes, you are!" she said, laughing; "but don't forget that
`it's not the lover who comes to woo, but the lover's WAY of
wooing,' and that `faint heart'--and the rest of it."
"Yes, I know," said Carlton, doubtfully; "but it's a bit
sudden, isn't it?"
"Oh, I am ashamed of you! You are frightened."
"No, not frightened, exactly," said the painter. "I think
it's just natural emotion."
As Carlton turned into Albemarle Street he noticed a red
carpet stretching from the doorway of Brown's Hotel out across
the sidewalk to a carriage, and a bareheaded man bustling
about apparently assisting several gentlemen to get into it.
This and another carriage and Nolan's four-wheeler blocked the
way; but without waiting for them to move up, Carlton leaned
out of his hansom and called the bareheaded man to its side.
"Is the Duke of Hohenwald stopping at your hotel?" he asked.
The bareheaded man answered that he was.
"All right, Nolan," cried Carlton. "They can take in the trunks."
Hearing this, the bareheaded man hastened to help Carlton to
alight. "That was the Duke who just drove off, sir; and
those," he said, pointing to three muffled figures who were
stepping into a second carriage, "are his sisters, the Princesses."
Carlton stopped midway, with one foot on the step and the
other in the air.
"The deuce they are!" he exclaimed; "and which is--" he began,
eagerly, and then remembering himself, dropped back on the
cushions of the hansom.
He broke into the little dining-room at Cox's in so excited a
state that two dignified old gentlemen who were eating there
sat open-mouthed in astonished disapproval. Mrs. Downs and
Miss Morris had just come down stairs.
"I have seen her!" Carlton cried, ecstatically; "only half an
hour in the town, and I've seen her already!"
"No, really?" exclaimed Miss Morris. "And how did she look?
Is she as beautiful as you expected?"
"Well, I can't tell yet," Carlton answered.
"There were three of them, and they were all muffled up, and
which one of the three she was I don't know. She wasn't
labelled, as in the picture, but she was there, and I saw her.
The woman I love was one of that three, and I have engaged
rooms at the hotel, and this very night the same roof shelters
"The course of true love certainly runs smoothly with you,"
said Miss Morris, as they seated themselves at the table.
"What is your next move? What do you mean to do now?"
"The rest is very simple," said Carlton. "To-morrow morning I
will go to the Row; I will be sure to find some one there who
knows all about them--where they are going, and who they are
seeing, and what engagements they may have. Then it will only
be a matter of looking up some friend in the Household or in
one of the embassies who can present me."
"Oh," said Miss Morris, in the tone of keenest disappointment,
"but that is such a commonplace ending! You started out so
romantically. Couldn't you manage to meet her in a less
"I am afraid not," said Carlton. "You see, I want to meet her
very much, and to meet her very soon, and the quickest way of
meeting her, whether it's romantic or not, isn't a bit too
quick for me. There will be romance enough after I am
presented, if I have my way."
But Carlton was not to have his way; for he had overlooked the
fact that it requires as many to make an introduction as a
bargain, and he had left the Duke of Hohenwald out of his
considerations. He met many people he knew in the Row the
next morning; they asked him to lunch, and brought their
horses up to the rail, and he patted the horses' heads, and
led the conversation around to the royal wedding, and through
it to the Hohenwalds. He learned that they had attended a
reception at the German Embassy on the previous night, and it
was one of the secretaries of that embassy who informed him of
their intended departure that morning on the eleven o'clock
train to Paris.
"To Paris!" cried Carlton, in consternation. "What! all of them?"
"Yes, all of them, of course. Why?" asked the young German.
But Carlton was already dodging across the tan-bark to
Piccadilly and waving his stick at a hansom.
Nolan met him at the door of Brown's Hotel with an
"Their Royal Highnesses have gone, sir," he said. "But I've
packed your trunks and sent them to the station. Shall I
follow them sir?"
"Yes," said Carlton. "Follow the trunks and follow the
Hohenwalds. I will come over on the Club train at four. Meet
me at the station, and tell me to what hotel they have gone.
Wait; if I miss you, you can find me at the Hotel Continental;
but if they go straight on through Paris, you go with them,
and telegraph me here and to the Continental. Telegraph at
every station, so I can keep track of you. Have you enough money?"
"I have, sir--enough for a long trip, sir."
"Well, you'll need it," said Carlton, grimly. "This is going
to be a long trip. It is twenty minutes to eleven now; you
will have to hurry. Have you paid my bill here?"
"I have, sir," said Nolan.
"Then get off, and don't lose sight of those people again."
Carlton attended to several matters of business, and then
lunched with Mrs. Downs and her niece. He had grown to like
them very much, and was sorry to lose sight of them, but
consoled himself by thinking he would see them a few days at
least in Paris. He judged that he would be there for some
time, as he did not think the Princess Aline and her sisters
would pass through that city without stopping to visit the
shops on the Rue de la Paix.
"All women are not princesses," he argued, "but all princesses
"We will be in Paris on Wednesday," Mrs. Downs told him. "The
Orient Express leaves there twice a week, on Mondays and
Thursdays, and we have taken an apartment for next Thursday,
and will go right on to Constantinople."
"But I thought you said you had to buy a lot of clothes
there?" Carlton expostulated.
Mrs. Downs said that they would do that on their way home.
Nolan met Carlton at the station, and told him that he had
followed the Hohenwalds to the Hotel Meurice. "There is the
Duke, sir, and the three Princesses," Nolan said, "and there
are two German gentlemen acting as equerries, and an English
captain, a sort of A.D.C. to the Duke, and two elderly ladies,
and eight servants. They travel very simple, sir, and their
people are in undress livery. Brown and red, sir."
Carlton pretended not to listen to this. He had begun to
doubt but that Nolan's zeal would lead him into some
indiscretion, and would end disastrously to himself. He spent
the evening alone in front of the Cafe de la Paix, pleasantly
occupied in watching the life and movement of that great
meeting of the highways. It did not seem possible that he had
ever been away. It was as though he had picked up a book and
opened it at the page and place at which he had left off
reading it a moment before. There was the same type, the same
plot, and the same characters, who were doing the same
characteristic things. Even the waiter who tipped out his
coffee knew him; and he knew, or felt as though he knew, half
of those who passed, or who shared with him the half of the
sidewalk. The women at the next table considered the slim,
good-looking young American with friendly curiosity, and the
men with them discussed him in French, until a well-known
Parisian recognized Carlton in passing, and hailed him
joyously in the same language, at which the women laughed and
the men looked sheepishly conscious.
On the following morning Carlton took up his post in the open
court of the Meurice, with his coffee and the Figaro to
excuse his loitering there. He had not been occupied with
these over-long before Nolan approached him, in some
excitement, with the information that their Royal
Highnesses--as he delighted to call them--were at that moment
"coming down the lift."
Carlton could hear their voices, and wished to step around the
corner and see them; it was for this chance he had been
waiting; but he could not afford to act in so undignified a
manner before Nolan, so he merely crossed his legs nervously,
and told the servant to go back to the rooms.
"Confound him!" he said; "I wish he would let me conduct my
own affairs in my own way. If I don't stop him, he'll carry
the Princess Aline off by force and send me word where he has
The Hohenwalds had evidently departed for a day's outing, as
up to five o'clock they had not returned; and Carlton, after
loitering all the afternoon, gave up waiting for them, and
went out to dine at Laurent's, in the Champs Elysees. He had
finished his dinner, and was leaning luxuriously forward, with
his elbows on the table, and knocking the cigar ashes into his
coffee-cup. He was pleasantly content. The trees hung heavy
with leaves over his head, a fountain played and overflowed at
his elbow, and the lamps of the fiacres passing and repassing
on the Avenue of the Champs Elysees shone like giant
fire-flies through the foliage. The touch of the gravel
beneath his feet emphasized the free, out-of-door charm of the
place, and the faces of the others around him looked more than
usually cheerful in the light of the candles flickering under
the clouded shades. His mind had gone back to his earlier
student days in Paris, when life always looked as it did now
in the brief half-hour of satisfaction which followed a cold
bath or a good dinner, and he had forgotten himself and his
surroundings. It was the voices of the people at the table
behind him that brought him back to the present moment. A man
was talking; he spoke in English, with an accent.
"I should like to go again through the Luxembourg," he said;
"but you need not be bound by what I do."
"I think it would be pleasanter if we all keep together," said
a girl's voice, quietly. She also spoke in English, and with
the same accent.
The people whose voices had interrupted him were sitting and
standing around a long table, which the waiters had made large
enough for their party by placing three of the smaller ones
side by side; they had finished their dinner, and the women,
who sat with their backs towards Carlton, were pulling on
"Which is it to be, then?" said the gentleman, smiling. "The
pictures or the dressmakers?"
The girl who had first spoken turned to the one next to her.
"Which would you rather do, Aline?" she asked.
Carlton moved so suddenly that the men behind him looked at
him curiously; but he turned, nevertheless, in his chair and
faced them, and in order to excuse his doing so beckoned to
one of the waiters. He was within two feet of the girl who
had been called "Aline." She raised her head to speak, and
saw Carlton staring open-eyed at her. She glanced at him for
an instant, as if to assure herself that she did not know him,
and then, turning to her brother, smiled in the same tolerant,
amused way in which she had so often smiled upon Carlton from
"I am afraid I had rather go to the Bon March," she said.
One of the waiters stepped in between them, and Carlton asked
him for his bill; but when it came he left it lying on the
plate, and sat staring out into the night between the candles,
puffing sharply on his cigar, and recalling to his memory his
first sight of the Princess Aline of Hohenwald.
That night, as he turned into bed, he gave a comfortable sigh
of content. "I am glad she chose the dressmakers instead of
the pictures," he said.
Mrs. Downs and Miss Morris arrived in Paris on Wednesday, and
expressed their anxiety to have Carlton lunch with them, and
to hear him tell of the progress of his love-affair. There
was not much to tell; the Hohenwalds had come and gone from
the hotel as freely as any other tourists in Paris, but the
very lack of ceremony about their movements was in itself a
difficulty. The manner of acquaintance he could make in the
court of the Hotel Meurice with one of the men over a cup of
coffee or a glass of bock would be as readily discontinued as
begun, and for his purpose it would have been much better if
the Hohenwalds had been living in state with a visitors' book
and a chamberlain.
On Wednesday evening Carlton took the ladies to the opera,
where the Hohenwalds occupied a box immediately opposite them.
Carlton pretended to be surprised at this fact, but Mrs. Downs
doubted his sincerity.
"I saw Nolan talking to their courier to-day," she said, "and
I fancy he asked a few leading questions."
"Well, he didn't learn much if he did," he said. "The fellow
only talks German."
"Ah, then he has been asking questions!" said Miss Morris.
"Well, he does it on his own responsibility," said Carlton,
"for I told him to have nothing to do with servants. He has
too much zeal, has Nolan; I'm afraid of him."
"If you were only half as interested as he is," said Miss
Morris, "you would have known her long ago."
"Long ago?" exclaimed Carlton. "I only saw her four days
"She is certainly very beautiful," said Miss Morris, looking
across the auditorium.
"But she isn't there," said Carlton.
"That's the eldest sister; the two other sisters went out on
the coach this morning to Versailles, and were too tired to
come tonight. At least, so Nolan says. He seems to have
established a friendship for their English maid, but whether
it's on my account or his own I don't know. I doubt his
"How disappointing of her!" said Miss Morris. "And after you
had selected a box just across the way, too. It is such a
pity to waste it on us." Carlton smiled, and looked up at her
impudently, as though he meant to say something; but
remembering that she was engaged to be married, changed his
mind, and lowered his eyes to his programme.
"Why didn't you say it?" asked Miss Morris, calmly, turning
her glass to the stage. "Wasn't it pretty?"
"No," said Carlton--"not pretty enough."
The ladies left the hotel the next day to take the Orient
Express, which left Paris at six o'clock. They had bidden
Carlton goodbye at four the same afternoon, and as he had come
to their rooms for that purpose, they were in consequence a
little surprised to see him at the station, running wildly
along the platform, followed by Nolan and a porter. He came
into their compartment after the train had started, and shook
his head sadly at them from the door.
"Well, what do you think of this?" he said. "You can't get
rid of me, you see. I'm going with you."
"Going with us?" asked Mrs. Downs. "How far?"
Carlton laughed, and, coming inside, dropped onto the cushions
with a sigh. "I don't know," he said, dejectedly. "All the
way, I'm afraid. That is, I mean, I'm very glad I am to have
your society for a few days more; but really I didn't bargain
"You don't mean to tell me that THEY are on this train?"
said Miss Morris.
"They are," said Carlton. "They have a car to themselves at
the rear. They only made up their minds to go this morning,
and they nearly succeeded in giving me the slip again; but it
seems that their English maid stopped Nolan in the hall to bid
him good-bye, and so he found out their plans. They are going
direct to Constantinople, and then to Athens. They had meant
to stay in Paris two weeks longer, it seems, but they changed
their minds last night. It was a very close shave for me. I
only got back to the hotel in time to hear from the concierge
that Nolan had flown with all of my things, and left word for
me to follow. Just fancy! Suppose I had missed the train,
and had had to chase him clear across the continent of Europe
with not even a razor--"
"I am glad," said Miss Morris, "that Nolan has not taken a
fancy to ME. I doubt if I could resist such impetuosity."
The Orient Express, in which Carlton and the mistress of his
heart and fancy were speeding towards the horizon's utmost
purple rim, was made up of six cars, one dining-car with a
smoking-apartment attached, and five sleeping-cars, including
the one reserved for the Duke of Hohenwald and his suite.
These cars were lightly built, and rocked in consequence, and
the dust raised by the rapid movement of the train swept
through cracks and open windows, and sprinkled the passengers
with a fine and irritating coating of soot and earth. There
was one servant to the entire twenty-two passengers. He spoke
eight languages, and never slept; but as his services were in
demand by several people in as many different cars at the same
moment he satisfied no one, and the complaint-box in the
smoking-car was stuffed full to the slot in consequence before
they had crossed the borders of France.
Carlton and Miss Morris went out upon one of the platforms and
sat down upon a tool-box. "It's isn't as comfortable here as
in an observation-car at home," said Carlton, "but it's just
He pointed out to her from time to time the peasants gathering
twigs, and the blue-bloused gendarmes guarding the woods and
the fences skirting them. "Nothing is allowed to go to waste
in this country," he said. "It looks as though they went over
it once a month with a lawn-mower and a pruning-knife.
I believe they number the trees as we number the houses."
"And did you notice the great fortifications covered with grass?"
she said. "We have passed such a lot of them."
"And did you notice that they all faced only one way?"
Carlton laughed, and nodded again. "Towards Germany," he said.
By the next day they had left the tall poplars and white roads
behind them, and were crossing the land of low shiny black
helmets and brass spikes. They had come into a country of low
mountains and black forests, with old fortified castles
topping the hills, and with red-roofed villages scattered
around the base.
"How very military it all is!" Mrs. Downs said. "Even the men
at the lonely little stations in the forests wear uniforms;
and do you notice how each of them rolls up his red flag and
holds it like a sword, and salutes the train as it passes?"
They spent the hour during which the train shifted from one
station in Vienna to the other driving about in an open
carriage, and stopped for a few moments in front of a cafe to
drink beer and to feel solid earth under them again, returning
to the train with a feeling which was almost that of getting
back to their own rooms. Then they came to great steppes
covered with long thick grass, and flooded in places with
little lakes of broken ice; great horned cattle stood
knee-deep in this grass, and at the villages and way-stations
were people wearing sheepskin jackets and waistcoats covered
with silver buttons. In one place there was a wedding
procession waiting for the train to pass, with the friends of
the bride and groom in their best clothes, the women with
silver breastplates, and boots to their knees. It seemed
hardly possible that only two days before they had seen
another wedding party in the Champs Elysees, where the men
wore evening dress, and the women were bareheaded and with
long trains. In forty-eight hours they had passed through
republics, principalities, empires, and kingdoms, and from
spring to winter. It was like walking rapidly over a painted
panorama of Europe.
On the second evening Carlton went off into the smoking-car
alone. The Duke of Hohenwald and two of his friends had
finished a late supper, and were seated in the apartment
adjoining it. The Duke was a young man with a heavy beard and
eyeglasses. He was looking over an illustrated catalogue of
the Salon, and as Carlton dropped on the sofa opposite the
Duke raised his head and looked at him curiously, and then
turned over several pages of the catalogue and studied one of
them, and then back at Carlton, as though he were comparing
him with something on the page before him. Carlton was
looking out at the night, but he could follow what was going
forward, as it was reflected in the glass of the car window.
He saw the Duke hand the catalogue to one of the equerries,
who raised his eyebrows and nodded his head in assent.
Carlton wondered what this might mean, until he remembered
that there was a portrait of himself by a French artist in the
Salon, and concluded it had been reproduced in the catalogue.
He could think of nothing else which would explain the
interest the two men showed in him. On the morning following
he sent Nolan out to purchase a catalogue at the first station
at which they stopped, and found that his guess was a correct
one. A portrait of himself had been reproduced in black and
white, with his name below it.
"Well, they know who I am now," he said to Miss Morris, "even,
if they don't know me. That honor is still in store for them."
"I wish they did not lock themselves up so tightly," said Miss
Morris. "I want to see her very much. Cannot we walk up and
down the platform at the next station? She may be at the window."
"Of course," said Carlton. "You could have seen her at
Buda-Pesth if you had spoken of it. She was walking up and
down then. The next time the train stops we will prowl up and
down and feast our eyes upon her."
But Miss Morris had her wish gratified without that exertion.
The Hohenwalds were served in the dining-car after the other
passengers had finished, and were in consequence only to be
seen when they passed by the doors of the other compartments.
But this same morning, after luncheon, the three Princesses,
instead of returning to their own car, seated themselves in
the compartment adjoining the dining-car, while the men of
their party lit their cigars and sat in a circle around them.
"I was wondering how long they could stand three men smoking
in one of the boxes they call cars," said Mrs. Downs. She was
seated between Miss Morris and Carlton, directly opposite the
Hohenwalds, and so near them that she had to speak in a
whisper. To avoid doing this Miss Morris asked Carlton for a
pencil, and scribbled with it in the novel she held on her
lap. Then she passed them both back to him, and said, aloud:
"Have you read this? It has such a pretty dedication." The
dedication read, "Which is Aline?" And Carlton, taking the
pencil in his turn, made a rapid sketch of her on the
fly-leaf, and wrote beneath it: "This is she. Do you wonder
I travelled four thousand miles to see her?"
Miss Morris took the book again, and glanced at the sketch,
and then at the three Princesses, and nodded her head.
"It is very beautiful," she said, gravely, looking out at the
"Well, not beautiful exactly," answered Carlton, surveying the
hills critically, "but certainly very attractive. It is worth
travelling a long way to see, and I should think one would
grow very fond of it."
Miss Morris tore the fly-leaf out of the book, and slipped it
between the pages. "May I keep it?" she said. Carlton nodded.
nodded. "And will you sign it?" she asked, smiling. Carlton shrugged
his shoulders, and laughed. "If you wish it," he answered.
The Princess wore a gray cheviot travelling dress, as did her
sisters, and a gray Alpine hat. She was leaning back, talking
to the English captain who accompanied them, and laughing.
Carlton thought he had never seen a woman who appealed so
strongly to every taste of which he was possessed. She seemed
so sure of herself, so alert, and yet so gracious, so easily
entertained, and yet, when she turned her eyes towards the
strange, dismal landscape, so seriously intent upon its sad
beauty. The English captain dropped his head, and with the
pretence of pulling at his mustache, covered his mouth as he
spoke to her. When he had finished he gazed consciously at
the roof of the car, and she kept her eyes fixed steadily at
the object towards which they had turned when he had ceased
speaking, and then, after a decent pause, turned her eyes, as
Carlton knew she would, towards him.
"He was telling her who I am," he thought, "and about the
picture in the catalogue."
In a few moments she turned to her sister and spoke to her,
pointing out at something in the scenery, and the same
pantomime was repeated, and again with the third sister.
"Did you see those girls talking about you, Mr. Carlton?" Miss
Morris asked, after they had left the car.
Carlton said it looked as though they were.
"Of course they were," said Miss Morris.
"That Englishman told the Princess Aline something about you,
and then she told her sister, and she told the eldest one. It
would be nice if they inherit their father's interest in
painting, wouldn't it?"
"I would rather have it degenerate into an interest in
painters myself," said Carlton.
Miss Morris discovered, after she had returned to her own car,
that she had left the novel where she had been sitting, and
Carlton sent Nolan back for it. It had slipped to the floor,
and the fly-leaf upon which Carlton had sketched the Princess
Aline was lying face down beside it. Nolan picked up the
leaf, and saw the picture, and read the inscription below:
"This is she. Do you wonder I travelled four thousand miles
to see her?"
He handed the book to Miss Morris, and was backing out of the
compartment, when she stopped him.
"There was a loose page in this, Nolan," she said. "It's
gone; did you see it?"
"A loose page, miss?" said Nolan, with some concern. "Oh,
yes, miss; I was going to tell you; there was a scrap of paper
blew away when I was passing between the carriages. Was it
something you wanted, miss?"
"Something I wanted!" exclaimed Miss Morris, in dismay.
Carlton laughed easily. "It is just as well I didn't sign it,
after all," he said. "I don't want to proclaim my devotion to
any Hungarian gypsy who happens to read English."
"You must draw me another, as a souvenir," Miss Morris said.
Nolan continued on through the length of the car until he had
reached the one occupied by the Hohenwalds, where he waited on
the platform until the English maidservant saw him and came to
the door of the carriage.
"What hotel are your people going to stop at in
Constantinople?" Nolan asked.
"The Grande-Bretagne, I think," she answered.
"That's right," said Nolan, approvingly. "That's the one we
are going to. I thought I would come and tell you about it.
And, by-the-way," he said, "here's a picture somebody's made
of your Princess Aline. She dropped it, and I picked it up.
You had better give it back to her. Well," he added,
politely, "I'm glad you are coming to our hotel in
Constantinople; it's pleasant having some one to talk to who
can speak your own tongue."
The girl returned to the car, and left Nolan alone upon the
platform. He exhaled a long breath of suppressed excitement,
and then gazed around nervously upon the empty landscape.
"I fancy that's going to hurry things up a bit," he murmured,
with an anxious smile; "he'd never get along at all if it
wasn't for me."
For reasons possibly best understood by the German ambassador,
the state of the Hohenwalds at Constantinople differed greatly
from that which had obtained at the French capital. They no
longer came and went as they wished, or wandered through the
show-places of the city like ordinary tourists. There was, on
the contrary, not only a change in their manner towards
others, but there was an insistence on their part of a
difference in the attitude of others towards themselves. This
showed itself in the reserving of the half of the hotel for
their use, and in the haughty bearing of the equerries, who
appeared unexpectedly in magnificent uniforms. The visitors'
book was covered with the autographs of all of the important
people in the Turkish capital, and the Sultan's carriages
stood constantly before the door of the hotel, awaiting their
pleasure, until they became as familiar a sight as the street
dogs, or as cabs in a hansom-cab rank.
And in following out the programme which had been laid down
for her, the Princess Aline became even less accessible to
Carlton than before, and he grew desperate and despondent.
"If the worst comes," he said to Miss Morris, "I shall tell
Nolan to give an alarm of fire some night, and then I will run
in and rescue her before they find out there is no fire. Or
he might frighten the horses some day, and give me a chance to
stop them. We might even wait until we reach Greece, and have
her carried off by brigands, who would only give her up to me."
"There are no more brigands in Greece," said Miss Morris; "and
besides, why do you suppose they would only give her up to you?"
"Because they would be imitation brigands," said Carlton, "and
would be paid to give her up to no one else."
"Oh, you plan very well," scoffed Miss Morris, "but you don't
Carlton was saved the necessity of doing anything that same
morning, when the English captain in attendance on the Duke
sent his card to Carlton's room. He came, he explained, to
present the Prince's compliments, and would it be convenient
for Mr. Carlton to meet the Duke that afternoon? Mr. Carlton
suppressed an unseemly desire to shout, and said, after a
moment's consideration, that it would. He then took the
English captain down stairs to the smoking-room, and rewarded
him for his agreeable message.
The Duke received Carlton in the afternoon, and greeted him
most cordially, and with as much ease of manner as it is
possible for a man to possess who has never enjoyed the
benefits of meeting other men on an equal footing. He
expressed his pleasure in knowing an artist with whose work he
was so familiar, and congratulated himself on the happy
accident which had brought them both to the same hotel.
"I have more than a natural interest in meeting you," said the
Prince, "and for a reason which you may or may not know. I
thought possibly you could help me somewhat. I have within
the past few days come into the possession of two of your
paintings; they are studies, rather, but to me they are even
more desirable than the finished work; and I am not correct in
saying that they have come to me exactly, but to my sister,
the Princess Aline."
Carlton could not withhold a certain start of surprise. He
had not expected that his gift would so soon have arrived, but
his face showed only polite attention.
"The studies were delivered to us in London," continued the
Duke. "They are of Ludwig the tragedian, and of the German
Prime Minister, two most valuable works, and especially
interesting to us. They came without any note or message
which would inform us who had sent them, and when my people
made inquiries, the dealer refused to tell them from whom they
had come. He had been ordered to forward them to Grasse, but,
on learning of our presence in London, sent them direct to our
hotel there. Of course it is embarrassing to have so valuable
a present from an anonymous friend, especially so for my
sister, to whom they were addressed, and I thought that,
besides the pleasure of meeting one of whose genius I am so
warm an admirer, I might also learn something which would
enable me to discover who our friend may be." He paused, but
as Carlton said nothing, continued: "As it is now, I do not
feel that I can accept the pictures; and yet I know no one to
whom they can be returned, unless I send them to the dealer."
"It sounds very mysterious," said Carlton smiling; "and I am
afraid I cannot help you. What work I did in Germany was sold
in Berlin before I left, and in a year may have changed hands
several times. The studies of which you speak are
unimportant, and merely studies, and could pass from hand to
hand without much record having been kept of them; but
personally I am not able to give you any information which
would assist you in tracing them."
"Yes," said the Duke. "Well, then, I shall keep them until I
can learn more; and if we can learn nothing, I shall return
them to the dealer."
Carlton met Miss Morris that afternoon in a state of great
excitement. "It's come!" he cried--"it's come! I am to meet
her this week. I have met her brother, and he has asked me to
dine with them on Thursday night; that's the day before they
leave for Athens; and he particularly mentioned that his
sisters would be at the dinner, and that it would be a
pleasure to present me. It seems that the eldest paints, and
all of them love art for art's sake, as their father taught
them to do; and, for all we know, he may make me court
painter, and I shall spend the rest of my life at Grasse
painting portraits of the Princess Aline, at the age of
twenty-two, and at all future ages. And if he does give me a
commission to paint her, I can tell you now in confidence that
that picture will require more sittings than any other picture
ever painted by man. Her hair will have turned white by the
time it is finished, and the gown she started to pose in will
have become forty years behind the fashion!"
On the morning following, Carlton and Mrs. Downs and her
niece, with all the tourists in Constantinople, were placed in
open carriages by their dragomans, and driven in a long
procession to the Seraglio to see the Sultan's treasures.
Those of them who had waited two weeks for this chance looked
aggrieved at the more fortunate who had come at the eleventh
hour on the last night's steamer, and seemed to think these
latter had attained the privilege without sufficient effort.
The ministers of the different legations--as is the harmless
custom of such gentlemen--had impressed every one for whom
they had obtained permission to see the treasures with the
great importance of the service rendered, and had succeeded in
making every one feel either especially honored or especially
uncomfortable at having given them so much trouble. This
sense of obligation, and the fact that the dragomans had
assured the tourists that they were for the time being the
guests of the Sultan, awed and depressed most of the visitors
to such an extent that their manner in the long procession of
carriages suggested a funeral cortege, with the Hohenwalds in
front, escorted by Beys and Pashas, as chief mourners. The
procession halted at the palace, and the guests of the Sultan
were received by numerous effendis in single-button
frock-coats and freshly ironed fezzes, who served them with
glasses of water, and a huge bowl of some sweet stuff, of
which every one was supposed to take a spoonful. There was at
first a general fear among the Cook's tourists that there
would not be enough of this to go round, which was succeeded
by a greater anxiety lest they should be served twice. Some
of the tourists put the sweet stuff in their mouths direct and
licked the spoon, and others dropped it off the spoon into the
glass of water, and stirred it about and sipped at it, and no
one knew who had done the right thing, not even those who
happened to have done it. Carlton and Miss Morris went out on
to the terrace while this ceremony was going forward, and
looked out over the great panorama of waters, with the Sea of
Marmora on one side, the Golden Horn on the other, and the
Bosporus at their feet. The sun was shining mildly, and the
waters were stirred by great and little vessels; before them
on the opposite bank rose the dark green cypresses which
marked the grim cemetery of England's dead, and behind them
were the great turtle-backed mosques and pencil-like minarets
of the two cities, and close at hand the mosaic walls and
beautiful gardens of Constantine.
"Your friends the Hohenwalds don't seem to know you this
morning," she said.
"Oh yes; he spoke to me as we left the hotel," Carlton
answered. "But they are on parade at present. There are a
lot of their countrymen among the tourists."
"I feel rather sorry for them," Miss Morris said, looking at
the group with an amused smile. "Etiquette cuts them off from
so much innocent amusement. Now, you are a gentleman, and the
Duke presumably is, and why should you not go over and say,
`Your Highness, I wish you would present me to your sister,
whom I am to meet at dinner to-morrow night. I admire her
very much,' and then you could point out the historical
features to her, and show her where they have finished off a
blue and green tiled wall with a rusty tin roof, and make
pretty speeches to her. It wouldn't hurt her, and it would do
you a lot of good. The simplest way is always the best way,
it seems to me."
"Oh yes, of course," said Carlton. "Suppose he came over here
and said: `Carlton, I wish you would present me to your young
American friend. I admire her very much,' I would probably
say: `Do you? Well, you will have to wait until she
expresses some desire to meet you.' No; etiquette is all
right in itself, only some people don't know its laws, and
that is the one instance to my mind where ignorance of the law
is no excuse."
Carlton left Miss Morris talking with the Secretary of the
American Legation, and went to look for Mrs. Downs. When he
returned he found that the young Secretary had apparently
asked and obtained permission to present the Duke's equerries
and some of his diplomatic confreres, who were standing now
about her in an attentive semicircle, and pointing out the
different palaces and points of interest. Carlton was
somewhat disturbed at the sight, and reproached himself with
not having presented any one to her before. He was sure now
that she must have had a dull time of it; but he wished,
nevertheless, that if she was to meet other men, the Secretary
had allowed him to act as master of ceremonies.
"I suppose you know," that gentleman was saying as Carlton
came up, "that when you pass by Abydos, on the way to Athens,
you will see where Leander swam the Hellespont to meet Hero.
That little white light-house is called Leander in honor of
him. It makes rather an interesting contrast--does it
not?--to think of that chap swimming along in the dark, and
then to find that his monument to-day is a lighthouse, with
revolving lamps and electric appliances, and with ocean tramps
and bridges and men-of-war around it. We have improved in our
mechanism since then," he said, with an air, "but I am afraid
the men of to-day don't do that sort of thing for the women of
"Then it is the men who have deteriorated," said one of the
equerries, bowing to Miss Morris; "it is certainly not the
The two Americans looked at Miss Morris to see how she
received this, but she smiled good-naturedly.
"I know a man who did more than that for a woman," said
Carlton, innocently. "He crossed an ocean and several
countries to meet her, and he hasn't met her yet."
Miss Morris looked at him and laughed, in the safety that no
one understood him but herself.
"But he ran no danger," she answered.
"He didn't, didn't he?" said Carlton, looking at her closely
and laughing. "I think he was in very great danger all the time."
"Shocking!" said Miss Morris, reprovingly; "and in her very
presence, too." She knitted her brows and frowned at him. "I
really believe if you were in prison you would make pretty
speeches to the jailer's daughter."
"Yes," said Carlton, boldly, "or even to a woman who was a
"I don't know what you mean," she said, turning away from him
to the others. "How far was it that Leander swam?" she asked.
The English captain pointed out two spots on either bank, and
said that the shores of Abydos were a little over that
"As far as that?" said Miss Morris. "How much he must have
cared for her!" She turned to Carlton for an answer.
"I beg your pardon," he said. He was measuring the distance
between the two points with his eyes.
"I said how much he must have cared for her! You wouldn't
swim that far for a girl."
"For a girl!" laughed Carlton, quickly. "I was just thinking I
would do it for fifty dollars."
The English captain gave a hasty glance at the distance he had
pointed out, and then turned to Carlton. "I'll take you," he
said, seriously. "I'll bet you twenty pounds you can't do
it." There was an easy laugh at Carlton's expense, but he only
shook his head and smiled.
"Leave him alone, captain," said the American Secretary. "It
seems to me I remember a story of Mr. Carlton's swimming out
from Navesink to meet an ocean liner. It was about three
miles, and the ocean was rather rough, and when they slowed up
he asked them if it was raining in London when they left.
They thought he was mad."
"Is that true, Carlton?" asked the Englishman.
"Something like it," said the American, except that I didn't
ask them if it was raining in London. I asked them for a
drink, and it was they who were mad. They thought I was
drowning, and slowed up to lower a boat, and when they found
out I was just swimming around they were naturally angry.
"Well, I'm glad you didn't bet with me," said the captain,
with a relieved laugh.
That evening, as the Englishman was leaving the smoking-room,
and after he had bidden Carlton good-night, he turned back and
said: "I didn't like to ask you before those men this
morning, but there was something about your swimming adventure
I wanted to know: Did you get that drink?"
"I did," said Carlton--"in a bottle. They nearly broke my
As Carlton came into the breakfast-room on the morning of the
day he was to meet the Princess Aline at dinner, Miss Morris
was there alone, and he sat down at the same table, opposite
to her. She looked at him critically, and smiled with evident
"`To-day,'" she quoted, solemnly, "`the birthday of my life has come.'"
Carlton poured out his coffee, with a shake of his head, and
frowned. "Oh, you can laugh," he said, "but I didn't sleep at
all last night. I lay awake making speeches to her. I know
they are going to put me between the wrong sisters," he
complained, "or next to one of those old ladies-in-waiting, or
whatever they are."
"How are you going to begin?" said Miss Morris. "Will you tell
her you have followed her from London--or from New York,
rather--that you are young Lochinvar, who came out of the
"I don't know," said Carlton, meditatively, "just how I shall
begin; but I know the curtain is going to rise promptly at
eight o'clock--about the time the soup comes on, I think. I
don't see how she can help but be impressed a little bit. It
isn't every day a man hurries around the globe on account of a
girl's photograph; and she IS beautiful, isn't she?"
Miss Morris nodded her head encouragingly.
"Do you know, sometimes," said Carlton, glancing over his
shoulders to see if the waiters were out of hearing, "I fancy
she has noticed me. Once or twice I have turned my head in
her direction without meaning to, and found her looking--well,
looking my way, at least. Don't you think that is a good
sign?" he asked, eagerly.
"It depends on what you call a `good sign,`" said Miss Morris,
judicially. "It is a sign you're good to look at, if that's
what you want. But you probably know that already, and it's
nothing to your credit. It certainly isn't a sign that a
person cares for you because she prefers to look at your
profile rather than at what the dragomans are trying to show her."
Carlton drew himself up stiffly. "If you knew your ALICE
better," he said, with severity, "you would understand that it
is not polite to make personal remarks. I ask you, as my
confidante, if you think she has noticed me, and you make fun
of my looks! That's not the part of a confidante."
"Noticed you!" laughed Miss Morris, scornfully. "How could
she help it? You are always in the way. You are at the door
whenever they go out or come in, and when we are visiting
mosques and palaces you are invariably looking at her instead
of the tombs and things, with a wistful far-away look,
as though you saw a vision. The first time you did it, after you
had turned away I saw her feel to see if her hair was all right
You quite embarrassed her."
"I didn't--I don't!" stammered Carlton, indignantly. "I
wouldn't be so rude. Oh, I see I'll have to get another
confidante; you are most unsympathetic and unkind."
But Miss Morris showed her sympathy later in the day, when
Carlton needed it sorely; for the dinner towards which he had
looked with such pleasurable anticipations and lover-like
misgivings did not take place. The Sultan, so the equerry
informed him, had, with Oriental unexpectedness, invited the
Duke to dine that night at the Palace, and the Duke, much to
his expressed regret, had been forced to accept what was in
the nature of a command. He sent word by his equerry,
however, that the dinner to Mr. Carlton was only a pleasure
deferred, and that at Athens, where he understood Carlton was
also going, he hoped to have the pleasure of entertaining him
and making him known to his sisters.
"He is a selfish young egoist," said Carlton to Mrs. Downs.
"As if I cared whether he was at the dinner or not! Why
couldn't he have fixed it so I might have dined with his
sisters alone? We would never have missed him. I'll never
meet her now. I know it; I feel it. Fate is against me. Now
I will have to follow them on to Athens, and something will
turn up there to keep me away from her. You'll see; you'll
see. I wonder where they go from Athens?"
The Hohenwalds departed the next morning, and as their party
had engaged all the state-rooms in the little Italian steamer,
Carlton was forced to wait over for the next. He was very
gloomy over his disappointment, and Miss Morris did her best
to amuse him. She and her aunt were never idle now, and spent
the last few days of their stay in Constantinople in the
bazars or in excursions up and down the river.
"These are my last days of freedom," Miss Morris said to him
once, "and I mean to make the most of them. After this there
will be no more travelling for me. And I love it so!" she
Carlton made no comment, but he felt a certain contemptuous
pity for the young man in America who had required such a
sacrifice. "She is too nice a girl to let him know she is
making a sacrifice," he thought, "or giving up anything for
him, but SHE won't forget it." And Carlton again commended
himself for not having asked any woman to make any sacrifices
They left Constantinople for Athens one moonlight night, three
days after the Hohenwalds had taken their departure, and as
the evening and the air were warm, they remained upon the
upper deck until the boat had entered the Dardanelles. There
were few passengers, and Mrs. Downs went below early, leaving
Miss Morris and Carlton hanging over the rail, and looking
down upon a band of Hungarian gypsies, who were playing the
weird music of their country on the deck beneath them. The
low receding hills lay close on either hand, and ran back so
sharply from the narrow waterway that they seemed to shut in
the boat from the world beyond. The moonlight showed a little
mud fort or a thatched cottage on the bank fantastically, as
through a mist, and from time to time as they sped forward
they saw the camp-fire of a sentry, and his shadow as he
passed between it and them, or stopped to cover it with wood.
The night was so still that they could hear the waves in the
steamer's wake washing up over the stones on either shore, and
the muffled beat of the engines echoed back from either side
of the valley through which they passed. There was a great
lantern hanging midway from the mast, and shining down upon
the lower deck. It showed a group of Greeks, Turks, and
Armenians, in strange costumes, sleeping, huddled together in
picturesque confusion over the bare boards, or wide-awake and
voluble, smoking and chatting together in happy company. The
music of the tizanes rose in notes of passionate ecstasy and
sharp, unexpected bursts of melody. It ceased and be-an
again, as though the musicians were feeling their way, and
then burst out once more into shrill defiance. It stirred
Carlton with a strange turbulent unrest. From the banks the
night wind brought soft odors of fresh earth and of heavy
"The music of different countries," Carlton said at last,
"means many different things. But it seems to me that the
music of Hungary is the music of love."
Miss Morris crossed her arms comfortably on the rail, and he
heard her laugh softly. "Oh no, it is not," she said,
undisturbed. "It is a passionate, gusty, heady sort of love,
if you like, but it's no more like the real thing than
burgundy is like clear, cold, good water. It's not the real
thing at all."
"I beg your pardon," said Carlton, meekly.
"Of course I don't know anything about it." He had been waked
out of the spell which the night and the tizanes had placed
upon him as completely as though some one had shaken him
sharply by the shoulder. "I bow," he said, "to your superior
knowledge. I know nothing about it."
"No; you are quite right. I don't believe you do know
anything about it," said the girl, "or you wouldn't have made
such a comparison."
"Do you know, Miss Morris," said Carlton, seriously, "that I
believe I'm not able to care for a woman as other men do--at
least as some men do; it's just lacking in me, and always will
be lacking. It's like an ear for music; if you haven't got
it, if it isn't born in you, you'll never have it. It's not a
thing you can cultivate, and I feel that it's not only a
misfortune, but a fault. Now I honestly believe that I care
more for the Princess Aline, whom I have never met, than many
other men could care for her if they knew her well; but what
they feel would last, and I have doubts from past experience
that what I feel would. I don't doubt it while it exists, but
it never does exist long, and so I am afraid it is going to be
with me to the end of the chapter." He paused for a moment,
but the girl did not answer. "I am speaking in earnest now,"
he added, with a rueful laugh.
"I see you are," she replied, briefly. She seemed to be
considering his condition as he had described it to her, and
he did not interrupt her. From below them came the notes of
the waltz the gypsies played. It was full of the undercurrent
of sadness that a waltz should have, and filled out what
Carlton said as the music from the orchestra in a theatre
heightens the effect without interrupting the words of the
actor on the stage.
"It is strange," said Miss Morris. "I should have thought you
were a man who would care very much and in just the right way.
But I don't believe really--I'm sorry, but I don't believe you
do know what love means at all."
"Oh, it isn't as bad as that," said Carlton. "I think I know
what it is, and what it means to other people, but I can't
feel it myself. The best idea I ever got of it--the thing
that made it clear to me--was a line in a play. It seemed to
express it better than any of the love-poems I ever read. It
was in Shenandoah."
Miss Morris laughed.
"I beg your pardon," said Carlton.
"I beg yours," she said. "It was only the incongruity that
struck me. It seemed so odd to be quoting Shenandoah here
in the Dardanelles, with these queer people below us and
ancient Troy on one hand--it took me by surprise, that's all.
Please go on. What was it impressed you?"
"Well, the hero in the play," said Carlton, "is an officer in
the Northern army, and he is lying wounded in a house near the
Shenandoah Valley. The girl he loves lives in this house, and
is nursing him; but she doesn't love him, because she
sympathizes with the South. At least she says she doesn't
love him. Both armies are forming in the valley below to
begin the battle, and he sees his own regiment hurrying past
to join them, So he gets up and staggers out on the stage,
which is set to show the yard in front of the farm-house, and
he calls for his horse to follow his men. Then the girl runs
out and begs him not to go; and he asks why, what does it
matter to her whether he goes or not? And she says, `But I
cannot let you go; you may be killed.' And he says again,
`What is that to you?' And she says: `It is everything to
me. I love you.' And he makes a grab at her with his wounded
arm, and at that instant both armies open fire in the valley
below, and the whole earth and sky seem to open and shut, and
the house rocks. The girl rushes at him and crowds up against
his breast, and cries: `What is that? Oh, what is that?' and
he holds her tight to him and laughs, and says: `THAT?
That's only a battle--you love me.'"
Miss Morris looked steadfastly over the side of the boat at
the waters rushing by beneath, smiling to herself. Then she
turned her face towards Carlton, and nodded her head at him.
"I think," she said, dryly, "that you have a fair idea of what
it means; a rough working-plan at least--enough to begin on."
"I said that I knew what it meant to others. I am complaining
that I cannot feel it myself."
"That will come in time, no doubt," she said, encouragingly,
with the air of a connoisseur; "and let me tell you," she
added, "that it will be all the better for the woman that you
have doubted yourself so long."
"You think so?" said Carlton, eagerly.
Miss Morris laughed at his earnestness, and left him to go
below to ask her aunt to join them, but Mrs. Downs preferred
to read in the saloon, and Miss Morris returned alone. She
had taken off her Eton jacket and pulled on a heavy blue
football sweater, and over this a reefer. The jersey clung to
her and showed the lines of her figure, and emphasized the
freedom and grace with which she made every movement. She
looked, as she walked at his side with her hands in the
pockets of her coat and with a flat sailor hat on her head,
like a tall, handsome boy; but when they stopped and stood
where the light fell full on her hair and the exquisite
coloring of her skin, Carlton thought her face had never
seemed so delicate or fair as it did then, rising from the
collar of the rough jersey, and contrasted with the hat and
coat of a man's attire. They paced the deck for an hour
later, until every one else had left it, and at midnight were
still loath to give up the beautiful night and the charm of
their strange surroundings. There were long silent places in
their talk, during which Carlton tramped beside her with his
head half turned, looking at her and noting with an artist's
eye the free light step, the erect carriage, and the
unconscious beauty of her face. The captain of the steamer
joined them after midnight, and falling into step, pointed
out to Miss Morris where great cities had stood, where others
lay buried, and where beyond the hills were the almost
inaccessible monasteries of the Greek Church. The moonlight
turned the banks into shadowy substances, in which the ghosts
of former days seemed to make a part; and spurred by the young
girl's interest, the Italian, to entertain her, called up all
the legends of mythology and the stories of Roman explorers
and Turkish conquerors.
"I turn in now," he said, after Miss Morris had left them. "A
most charming young lady. Is it not so?" he added, waving his
cigarette in a gesture which expressed the ineffectiveness of
"Yes, very," said Carlton. "Good-night, sir."
He turned, and leaned with both elbows on the rail, and looked
out at the misty banks, puffing at his cigar. Then he dropped
it hissing into the water, and, stifling a yawn, looked up and
down the length of the deserted deck. It seemed particularly
bare and empty.
"What a pity she's engaged!" Carlton said. "She loses so much
They steamed slowly into the harbor of the Piraeus at an early
hour the next morning, with a flotilla of small boats filled
with shrieking porters and hotel-runners at the sides. These
men tossed their painters to the crew, and crawled up them
like a boarding crew of pirates, running wildly about the
deck, and laying violent hands on any piece of baggage they
saw unclaimed. The passengers' trunks had been thrown out in
a heap on the deck, and Nolan and Carlton were clambering over
them, looking for their own effects, while Miss Morris stood
below, as far out of the confusion as she could place herself,
and pointed out the different pieces that belonged to her. As
she stood there one of the hotel-runners, a burly, greasy
Levantine in pursuit of a possible victim, shouldered her
intentionally and roughly out of the way. He shoved her so
sharply that she lost her balance and fell back against the
rail. Carlton saw what had happened, and made a flying leap
from the top of the pile of trunks, landing beside her, and in
time to seize the escaping offender by the collar. He jerked
him back off his feet.
"How dare you--" he began.
But he did not finish. He felt the tips of Miss Morris's
fingers laid upon his shoulder, and her voice saying, in an
annoyed tone: "Don't; please don't." And, to his surprise,
his fingers lost their grip on the man's shirt, his arms
dropped at his side, and his blood began to flow calmly again
through his veins. Carlton was aware that he had a very quick
temper. He was always engaging in street rows, as he called
them, with men who he thought had imposed on him or on some
one else, and though he was always ashamed of himself later,
his temper had never been satisfied without a blow or an
apology. Women had also touched him before, and possibly with
a greater familiarity; but these had stirred him, not quieted
him; and men who had laid detaining hands on him had had them
beaten down for their pains. But this girl had merely touched
him gently, and he had been made helpless. It was most
perplexing; and while the custom-house officials were passing
his luggage, he found himself rubbing his arm curiously, as
though it were numb, and looking down at it with an amused
smile. He did not comment on the incident, although he smiled
at the recollection of his prompt obedience several times
during the day. But as he was stepping into the cab to drive
to Athens, he saw the offending ruffian pass, dripping with
water, and muttering bitter curses. When he saw Carlton he
disappeared instantly in the crowd. Carlton stepped over to
where Nolan sat beside the driver on the box. "Nolan," he
said, in a low voice, "isn't that the fellow who--"
"Yes, sir," said Nolan, touching his hat gravely. "He was
pulling a valise one way, and the gentleman that owned it,
sir, was pulling it the other, and the gentleman let go
sudden, and the Italian went over backwards off the pier."
Carlton smiled grimly with secret satisfaction.
"Nolan," he said, "you're not telling the truth. You did it
yourself." Nolan touched his cap and coughed consciously.
There had been no detaining fingers on Nolan's arm.
"You are coming now, Miss Morris," exclaimed Carlton from the
front of the carriage in which they were moving along the
sunny road to Athens, "into a land where one restores his lost
illusions. Anybody who wishes to get back his belief in
beautiful things should come here to do it, just as he would
go to a German sanitarium to build up his nerves or his
appetite. You have only to drink in the atmosphere and you
are cured. I know no better antidote than Athens for a siege
of cable-cars and muddy asphalt pavements and a course of
Robert Elsmeres and the Heavenly Twins. Wait until you
see the statues of the young athletes in the Museum," he
cried, enthusiastically, "and get a glimpse of the blue sky
back of Mount Hymettus, and the moonlight some evening on the
Acropolis, and you'll be convinced that nothing counts for
much in this world but health and straight limbs, and tall
marble pillars, and eyes trained to see only what is
beautiful. Give people a love for beauty and a respect for
health, Miss Morris, and the result is going to be, what they
once had here, the best art and the greatest writers and
satirists and poets. The same audience that applauded
Euripides and Sophocles in the open theatre used to cross the
road the same day to applaud the athletes who ran naked in the
Olympian games, and gave them as great honor. I came here
once on a walking tour with a chap who wasn't making as much
of himself as he should have done, and he went away a changed
man, and became a personage in the world, and you would never
guess what it was that did it. He saw a statue of one of the
Greek gods in the Museum which showed certain muscles that he
couldn't find in his own body, and he told me he was going to
train down until they did show; and he stopped drinking and
loafing to do it, and took to exercising and working; and by
the time the muscles showed out clear and strong he was so
keen over life that he wanted to make the most of it, and, as
I said, he has done it. That's what a respect for his own
body did for him."
The carriage stopped at the hotel on one side of the public
square of Athens, with the palace and its gardens blocking one
end, and yellow houses with red roofs, and gay awnings over
the cafes, surrounding it. It was a bright sunny day, and the
city was clean and cool and pretty.
"Breakfast?" exclaimed Miss Morris, in answer to Carlton's
inquiry; "yes, I suppose so, but I won't feel safe until I
have my feet on that rock." She was standing on the steps of
the hotel, looking up with expectant, eager eyes at the great
Acropolis above the city.
"It has been there for a long time now," suggested Carlton,
"and I think you can risk its being there for a half-hour
"Well," she said, reluctantly, "but I don't wish to lose this
chance. There might be an earthquake, for instance."
"We are likely to see THEM this morning," said Carlton, as
he left the hotel with the ladies and drove towards the
Acropolis. "Nolan has been interviewing the English maid, and
she tells him they spend the greater part of their time up
there on the rock. They are living very simply here, as they
did in Paris; that is, for the present. On Wednesday the King
gives a dinner and a reception in their honor."
"When does your dinner come off?" asked Miss Morris.
"Never," said Carlton, grimly.
"One of the reasons why I like to come back to Athens so
much," said Mrs. Downs, "is because there are so few other
tourists here to spoil the local color for you, and there are
almost as few guides as tourists, so that you can wander
around undisturbed and discover things for yourself. They
don't label every fallen column, and place fences around the
temples. They seem to put you on your good behavior. Then I
always like to go to a place where you are as much of a
curiosity to the people as they are to you. It seems to
excuse your staring about you."
"A curiosity!" exclaimed Carlton; "I should say so! The last
time I was here I tried to wear a pair of knickerbockers
around the city, and the people stared so that I had to go
back to the hotel and change them. I shouldn't have minded it
so much in any other country, but I thought men who wore
Jaeger underclothing and women's petticoats for a national
costume might have excused so slight an eccentricity as
knickerbockers. THEY had no right to throw the first stone."
The rock upon which the temples of the Acropolis are built is
more of a hill than a rock. It is much steeper upon one side
than the other, with a sheer fall a hundred yards broad; on
the opposite side there are the rooms of the Hospital of
Aesculapius and the theatres of Dionysus and Herodes Atticus.
The top of the rock holds the Parthenon and the other smaller
temples, or what yet remains of them, and its surface is
littered with broken marble and stones and pieces of rock.
The top is so closely built over that the few tourists who
visit it can imagine themselves its sole occupants for a half-
hour at a time. When Carlton and his friends arrived, the
place appeared quite deserted. They left the carriage at the
base of the rock, and climbed up to the entrance on foot.
"Now, before I go on to the Parthenon," said Miss Morris, "I
want to walk around the sides, and see what is there. I shall
begin with that theatre to the left, and I warn you that I
mean to take my time about it. So you people who have been
here before can run along by yourselves, but I mean to enjoy
it leisurely. I am safe by myself here, am I not?" she asked.
"As safe as though you were in the Metropolitan Museum," said
Carlton, as he and Mrs. Downs followed Miss Morris along the
side of the hill towards the ruined theatre of Herodes, and
stood at its top, looking down into the basin below. From
their feet ran a great semicircle of marble seats, descending
tier below tier to a marble pavement, and facing a great
ruined wall of pillars and arches which in the past had formed
the background for the actors. From the height on which they
stood above the city they could see the green country
stretching out for miles on every side and swimming in the
warm sunlight, the dark groves of myrtle on the hills, the
silver ribbon of the inland water, and the dark blue AEgean
Sea. The bleating of sheep and the tinkling of the bells came
up to them from the pastures below, and they imagined they
could hear the shepherds piping to their flocks from one
little hill-top to another.
"The country is not much changed," said Carlton, "And when you
stand where we are now, you can imagine that you see the
procession winding its way over the road to the Eleusinian
Mysteries, with the gilded chariots, and the children carrying
garlands, and the priestesses leading the bulls for the sacrifice."
"What can we imagine is going on here?" said Miss Morris,
pointing with her parasol to the theatre below.
"Oh, this is much later," said Carlton. "This was built by
the Romans. They used to act and to hold their public
meetings here. This corresponds to the top row of our
gallery, and you can imagine that you are looking down on the
bent backs of hundreds of bald-headed men in white robes,
listening to the speakers strutting about below there."
"I wonder how much they could hear from this height?"
said Mrs. Downs.
"Well, they had that big wall for a sounding-board, and the
air is so soft here that their voices should have carried
easily, and I believe they wore masks with mouth-pieces, that
conveyed the sound like a fireman's trumpet. If you like, I
will run down there and call up to you, and you can hear how
it sounded. I will speak in my natural voice first, and if
that doesn't reach you, wave your parasol, and I will try it a
"Oh, do!" said Miss Morris. "It will be very good of you. I
should like to hear a real speech in the theatre of Herodes,"
she said, as she seated herself on the edge of the marble
"I'll have to speak in English," said Carlton, as he
disappeared; "my Greek isn't good enough to carry that far."
Mrs. Downs seated herself beside her niece, and Carlton began
scrambling down the side of the amphitheatre. The marble
benches were broken in parts, and where they were perfect were
covered with a fine layer of moss as smooth and soft as green
velvet, so that Carlton, when he was not laboriously feeling
for his next foothold with the toe of his boot, was engaged in
picking spring flowers from the beds of moss and sticking
them, for safe-keeping, in his button-hole. He was several
minutes in making the descent, and so busily occupied in doing
it that he did not look up until he had reached the level of
the ground, and jumped lightly from the first row of seats to
the stage, covered with moss, which lay like a heavy rug over
the marble pavement. When he did look up he saw a tableau
that made his heart, which was beating quickly from the
exertion of the descent, stand still with consternation. The
Hohenwalds had, in his short absence, descended from the
entrance of the Acropolis, and had stopped on their way to the
road below to look into the cool green and white basin of the
theatre. At the moment Carlton looked up the Duke was
standing in front of Mrs. Downs and Miss Morris, and all of
the men had their hats off. Then, in pantomime, and
silhouetted against the blue sky behind them, Carlton saw the
Princesses advance beside their brother, and Mrs. Downs and
her niece courtesied three times, and then the whole party
faced about in a line and looked down at him. The meaning of
the tableau was only too plain.
"Good heavens!" gasped Carlton. "Everybody's getting
introduced to everybody else, and I've missed the whole thing!
If they think I'm going to stay down here and amuse them, and
miss all the fun myself, they are greatly mistaken." He made
a mad rush for the front first row of seats; but there was a
cry of remonstrance from above, and, looking up, he saw all of
the men waving him back.
"Speech!" cried the young English Captain, applauding loudly,
as though welcoming an actor on his first entrance. "Hats off!"
he cried. "Down in front! Speech!"
"Confound that ass!" said Carlton, dropping back to the marble
pavement again, and gazing impotently up at the row of figures
outlined against the sky. "I must look like a bear in the
bear-pit at the Zoo," he growled. "They'll be throwing buns
to me next." He could see the two elder sisters talking to
Mrs. Downs, who was evidently explaining his purpose in going
down to the stage of the theatre, and he could see the
Princess Aline bending forward, with both hands on her parasol,
and smiling. The captain made a trumpet of his hands,
and asked why he didn't begin.
"Hello! how are you?" Carlton called back, waving his hat at
him in some embarrassment. "I wonder if I look as much like a
fool as I feel?" he muttered.
"What did you say? We can't hear you," answered the captain.
"Louder! louder!" called the equerries. Carlton swore at them
under his breath, and turned and gazed round the hole in which
he was penned in order to make them believe that he had given
up the idea of making a speech, or had ever intended doing so.
He tried to think of something clever to shout back at them,
and rejected "Ye men of Athens" as being too flippant, and
"Friends, Countrymen, Romans," as requiring too much effort.
When he looked up again the Hohenwalds were moving on their
way, and as he started once more to scale the side of the
theatre the Duke waved his hand at him in farewell, and gave
another hand to his sisters, who disappeared with him behind
the edge of the upper row of seats. Carlton turned at once
and dropped into one of the marble chairs and bowed his head.
When he did reach the top Miss Morris held out a sympathetic
hand to him and shook her head sadly, but he could see that
she was pressing her lips tightly together to keep from
"Oh, it's all very funny for you," he said, refusing her hand.
"I don't believe you are in love with anybody. You don't know
what it means."
They revisited the rock on the next day and on the day after,
and then left Athens for an inland excursion to stay
overnight. Miss Morris returned from it with the sense of
having done her duty once, and by so doing having earned the
right to act as she pleased in the future. What she best
pleased to do was to wander about over the broad top of the
Acropolis, with no serious intent of studying its historical
values, but rather, as she explained it, for the simple
satisfaction of feeling that she was there. She liked to
stand on the edge of the low wall along its top and look out
over the picture of sea and plain and mountains that lay below
her. The sun shone brightly, and the wind swept by them as
though they were on the bridge of an ocean steamer, and there
was the added invigorating sense of pleasure that comes to us
when we stand on a great height. Carlton was sitting at her
feet, shielded from the wind by a fallen column, and gazing up
at her with critical approval.
"You look like a sort of a `Winged Victory' up there," he
said, "with the wind blowing your skirts about and your hair
"I don't remember that the `Winged Victory' has any hair to
blow about," suggested Miss Morris.
"I'd like to paint you," continued Carlton, "just as you are
standing now, only I would put you in a Greek dress; and you
could stand a Greek dress better than almost any one I know.
I would paint you with your head up and one hand shielding
your eyes, and the other pressed against your breast. It
would be stunning." He spoke enthusiastically, but in quite
an impersonal tone, as though he were discussing the posing of
Miss Morris jumped down from the low wall on which she had
been standing, and said, simply, "Of course I should like to
have you paint me very much."
Mrs. Downs looked up with interest to see if Mr. Carlton was serious.
"When?" said Carlton, vaguely. "Oh, I don't know. Of course
this is entirely too nice to last, and you will be going home
soon, and then when I do get back to the States you will--you
will have other things to do."
"Yes," repeated Miss Morris, "I shall have something else to
do besides gazing out at the AEgean Sea." She raised her head
and looked across the rock for a moment with some interest.
Her eyes, which had grown wistful, lighted again with
amusement. "Here are your friends," she said, smiling.
"No!" exclaimed Carlton, scrambling to his feet.
"Yes," said Miss Morris. "The Duke has seen us, and is coming
When Carlton had gained his feet and turned to look, his
friends had separated in different directions, and were
strolling about alone or in pairs among the great columns of
the Parthenon. But the Duke came directly towards them, and
seated himself on a low block of marble in front of the two
ladies. After a word or two about the beauties of the place,
he asked if they would go to the reception which the King gave
to him on the day following. They answered that they should
like to come very much, and the Prince expressed his
satisfaction, and said that he would see that the chamberlain
sent them invitations. "And you, Mr. Carlton, you will come
also, I hope. I wish you to be presented to my sisters. They
are only amateurs in art, but they are great admirers of your
work, and they have rebuked me for not having already
presented you. We were all disappointed," he continued,
courteously, "at not having you to dine with us that night in
Constantinople, but now I trust I shall see something of you
here. You must tell us what we are to admire."
"That is very easy," said Carlton. "Everything."
"You are quite right," said the Prince, bowing to the ladies
as he moved away. "It is all very beautiful."
"Well, now you certainly will meet her," said Miss Morris.
"Oh no, I won't," said Carlton, with resignation. "I have had
two chances and lost them, and I'll miss this one too."
"Well, there is a chance you shouldn't miss," said Miss
Morris, pointing and nodding her head. "There she is now, and
all alone. She's sketching, isn't she, or taking notes? What
is she doing?"
Carlton looked eagerly in the direction Miss Morris had
signified, and saw the Princess Aline sitting at some distance
from them, with a book on her lap. She glanced up from this
now and again to look at something ahead of her, and was
apparently deeply absorbed in her occupation.
"There is your opportunity," said Mrs. Downs; "and we are
going back to the hotel. Shall we see you at luncheon?"
"Yes," said Carlton, "unless I get a position as
drawing-master; in that case I shall be here teaching the
three amateurs in art. Do you think I can do it?" he asked
"Decidedly," she answered. "I have found you a most
educational young person."
They went away together, and Carlton moved cautiously towards
the spot where the Princess was sitting. He made a long and
roundabout detour as he did so, in order to keep himself
behind her. He did not mean to come so near that she would
see him, but he took a certain satisfaction in looking at her
when she was alone, though her loneliness was only a matter of
the moment, and though he knew that her people were within a
hundred yards of her. He was in consequence somewhat annoyed
and surprised to see another young man dodging in and out
among the pillars of the Parthenon immediately ahead of him,
and to find that this young man also had his attention centred
on the young girl, who sat unconsciously sketching in the foreground.
"Now what the devil can he want?" muttered Carlton, his
imagination taking alarm at once. "If it would only prove to
be some one who meant harm to her," he thought--"a brigand, or
a beggar, who might be obligingly insolent, or even a tipsy
man, what a chance it would afford for heroic action!"
With this hope he moved forward quickly but silently, hoping
that the stranger might prove even to be an anarchist with a
grudge against royalty. And as he advanced he had the
satisfaction of seeing the Princess glance over her shoulder,
and, observing the man, rise and walk quickly away towards the
edge of the rock. There she seated herself with her face
towards the city, and with her back firmly set against her
"He is annoying her!" exclaimed Carlton, delightedly, as he
hurried forward. "It looks as though my chance had come at
last." But as he approached the stranger he saw, to his great
disappointment, that he had nothing more serious to deal with
than one of the international army of amateur photographers,
who had been stalking the Princess as a hunter follows an elk,
or as he would have stalked a race-horse or a prominent
politician, or a Lord Mayor's show, everything being fish that
came within the focus of his camera. A helpless statue and an
equally helpless young girl were both good subjects and at his
mercy. He was bending over, with an anxious expression of
countenance, and focussing his camera on the back of the
Princess Aline, when Carlton approached from the rear. As the
young man put his finger on the button of the camera, Carlton
jogged his arm with his elbow, and pushed the enthusiastic
tourist to one side.
"Say," exclaimed that individual, "look where you're going,
will you? You spoiled that plate."
"I'll spoil your camera if you annoy that young lady any
longer," said Carlton, in a low voice.
The photographer was rapidly rewinding his roll, and the fire
of pursuit was still in his eye.
"She's a Princess," he explained, in an excited whisper.
"Well," said Carlton, "even a Princess is entitled to some
consideration. Besides," he said, in a more amicable tone,
"you haven't a permit to photograph on the Acropolis. You
know you haven't." Carlton was quite sure of this, because
there were no such permits.
The amateur looked up in some dismay. "I didn't know you had
to have them," he said. "Where can I get one?"
"The King may give you one," said Carlton. "He lives at the
palace. If they catch you up here without a license, they
will confiscate your camera and lock you up. You had better
vanish before they see you."
"Thank you. I will," said the tourist, anxiously.
"Now," thought Carlton, smiling pleasantly, "when he goes to
the palace with that box and asks for a permit, they'll think
he is either a dynamiter or a crank, and before they are
through with him his interest in photography will have
sustained a severe shock."
As Carlton turned from watching the rapid flight of the
photographer, he observed that the Princess had remarked it
also, as she had no doubt been a witness of what had passed,
even if she had not overheard all that had been said. She
rose from her enforced position of refuge with a look of
relief, and came directly towards Carlton along the rough path
that led through the debris on the top of the Acropolis.
Carlton had thought, as he watched her sitting on the wall,
with her chin resting on her hand, that she would make a
beautiful companion picture to the one he had wished to paint
of Miss Morris--the one girl standing upright, looking
fearlessly out to sea, on the top of the low wall, with the
wind blowing her skirts about her, and her hair tumbled in the
breeze, and the other seated, bending intently forward, as
though watching for the return of a long-delayed vessel; a
beautifully sad face, fine and delicate and noble, the face of
a girl on the figure of a woman. And when she rose he made no
effort to move away, or, indeed, to pretend not to have seen
her, but stood looking at her as though he had the right to do
so, and as though she must know he had that right. As she
came towards him the Princess Aline did not stop, nor even
shorten her steps; but as she passed opposite to him she bowed
her thanks with a sweet impersonal smile and a dropping of the
eyes, and continued steadily on her way.
Carlton stood for some short time looking after her, with his
hat still at his side. She seemed farther from him at that
moment than she had ever been before, although she had for the
first time recognized him. But he knew that it was only as a
human being that she had recognized him. He put on his hat,
and sat down on a rock with his elbows on his knees, and
filled his pipe.
"If that had been any other girl," he thought, "I would have
gone up to her and said, `Was that man annoying you?' and she
would have said, `Yes; thank you,' or something; and I would
have walked along with her until we had come up to her
friends, and she would have told them I had been of some
slight service to her, and they would have introduced us, and
all would have gone well. But because she is a Princess she
cannot be approached in that way. At least she does not think
so, and I have to act as she has been told I should act, and
not as I think I should. After all, she is only a very
beautiful girl, and she must be very tired of her cousins and
grandmothers, and of not being allowed to see any one else.
These royalties make a very picturesque show for the rest of
us, but indeed it seems rather hard on them. A hundred years
from now there will be no more kings and queens, and the
writers of that day will envy us, just as the writers of this
day envy the men who wrote of chivalry and tournaments, and
they will have to choose their heroes from bank presidents,
and their heroines from lady lawyers and girl politicians and
type-writers. What a stupid world it will be then!"
The next day brought the reception to the Hohenwalds; and
Carlton, entering the reading-room of the hotel on the same
afternoon, found Miss Morris and her aunt there together
taking tea. They both looked at him with expressions of such
genuine commiseration that he stopped just as he was going to
seat himself and eyed them defiantly.
"Don't tell me," he exclaimed, "that this has fallen through too!"
Miss Morris nodded her head silently.
Carlton dropped into the chair beside them, and folded his
arms with a frown of grim resignation. "What is it?" he
asked. "Have they postponed the reception?"
"No," Miss Morris said; "but the Princess Aline will not be there."
"Of course not," said Carlton, calmly, "of course not. May I
ask why? I knew that she wouldn't be there, but I may
possibly be allowed to express some curiosity."
"She turned her ankle on one of the loose stones on the
Acropolis this afternoon," said Miss Morris, "and sprained it
so badly that they had to carry her--"
"Who carried her?" Carlton demanded, fiercely.
"Some of her servants."
"Of course, of course!" cried Carlton.
"That's the way it always will be. I was there the whole
afternoon, and I didn't see her. I wasn't there to help her.
It's Fate, that's what it is--Fate! There's no use in my
trying to fight against Fate. Still," he added, anxiously,
with a sudden access of hope, "she may be well by this evening."
"I hardly think she will," said Miss Morris, "but we will
The King's palace and gardens stretch along one end of the
public park, and are but just across the street from the hotel
where the Hohenwalds and the Americans were staying. As the
hotel was the first building on the left of the square,
Carlton could see from his windows the illuminations, and the
guards of honor, and the carriages arriving and departing, and
the citizens of Athens crowding the parks and peering through
the iron rails into the King's garden. It was a warm night,
and lighted grandly by a full moon that showed the Acropolis
in silhouette against the sky, and gave a strangely theatrical
look to the yellow house fronts and red roofs of the town.
Every window in the broad front of the palace was illuminated,
and through the open doors came the sound of music, and one
without could see rows of tall servants in the King's blue and
white livery, and the men of his guard in their white
petticoats and black and white jackets and red caps. Carlton
pulled a light coat over his evening dress, and, with an
agitation he could hardly explain, walked across the street
and entered the palace. The line of royalties had broken by
the time he reached the ballroom, and the not over-severe
etiquette of the Greek court left him free, after a bow to
those who still waited to receive it, to move about as he
pleased. His most earnest desire was to learn whether or not
the Princess Aline was present, and with that end he clutched
the English adjutant as that gentleman was hurrying past him,
and asked eagerly if the Princess had recovered from her
"No," said the officer; "she's able to walk about, but not to
stand, and sit out a dinner, and dance, and all this sort of
thing. Too bad, wasn't it?"
"Yes," said Carlton, "very bad." He released his hand from
the other's arm, and dropped back among the men grouped about
the doorway. His disappointment was very keen. Indeed, he
had not known how much this meeting with the Princess had
meant to him until he experienced this disappointment, which
was succeeded by a wish to find Miss Morris, and have her
sympathize and laugh with him. He became conscious, as he
searched with growing impatience the faces of those passing
and repassing before him, of how much the habit of going to
Miss Morris for sympathy in his unlucky love-affair had grown
of late upon him. He wondered what he would have done in his
travels without her, and whether he should have had the
interest to carry on his pursuit had she not been there to
urge him on, and to mock at him when he grew fainthearted.
But when he finally did discover her he stood quite still, and
for an instant doubted if it were she. The girl he saw seemed
to be a more beautiful sister of the Miss Morris he knew--a
taller, fairer, and more radiant personage; and he feared that
it was not she, until he remembered that this was the first
time he had ever seen her with her hair dressed high upon her
head, and in the more distinguished accessories of a décolleté
gown and train. Miss Morris had her hand on the arm of one of
the equerries, who was battling good-naturedly with the crowd,
and trying to draw her away from two persistent youths in
diplomatic uniform who were laughing and pressing forward in
close pursuit on the other side. Carlton approached her with
a certain feeling of diffidence, which was most unusual to
him, and asked if she were dancing.
"Mr. Carlton shall decide for me," Miss Morris said, dropping
the equerry's arm and standing beside the American. "I have
promised all of these gentlemen," she explained, "to dance
with them, and now they won't agree as to which is to dance
first. They've wasted half this waltz already in discussing
it, and they make it much more difficult by saying that no
matter how I decide, they will fight duels with the one I
choose, which is most unpleasant for me."
"Most unpleasant for the gentleman you choose, too," suggested
"So," continued Miss Morris, "I have decided to leave it to you."
"Well, if I am to arbitrate between the powers," said Carlton,
with a glance at the three uniforms, "my decision is that as
they insist on fighting duels in any event, you had better
dance with me until they have settled it between them, and
then the survivor can have the next dance."
"That's a very good idea," said Miss Morris; and taking
Carlton's arm, she bowed to the three men and drew away.
"Mr. Carlton," said the equerry, with a bow, "has added
another argument in favor of maintaining standing armies,
and of not submitting questions to arbitration."
"Let's get out of this," said Carlton. "You don't want to
dance, do you? Let us go where it's cool."
He led her down the stairs, and out on to the terrace. They
did not speak again until they had left it, and were walking
under the trees in the Queen's garden. He had noticed as they
made their way through the crowd how the men and women turned
to look at her and made way for her, and how utterly
unconscious she was of their doing so, with that
unconsciousness which comes from familiarity with such
discrimination, and Carlton himself held his head a little
higher with the pride and pleasure the thought gave him that
he was in such friendly sympathy with so beautiful a creature.
He stopped before a low stone bench that stood on the edge of
the path, surrounded by a screen of tropical trees, and
guarded by a marble statue. They were in deep shadow
themselves, but the moonlight fell on the path at their feet,
and through the trees on the other side of the path they could
see the open terrace of the palace, with the dancers moving in
and out of the lighted windows. The splash of a fountain came
from some short distance behind them, and from time to time
they heard the strains of a regimental band alternating with
the softer strains of a waltz played by a group of Hungarian
musicians. For a moment neither of them spoke, but sat
watching the white dresses of the women and the uniforms of
the men moving in and out among the trees, lighted by the
lanterns hanging from the branches, and the white mist of the moon.
"Do you know," said Carlton, "I'm rather afraid of you to-
night!" He paused, and watched her for a little time as she
sat upright, with her hands folded on her lap.
"You are so very resplendent and queenly and altogether
different," he added. The girl moved her bare shoulders
slightly and leaned back against the bench.
"The Princess did not come," she said.
"No," Carlton answered, with a sudden twinge of conscience at
having forgotten that fact. "That's one of the reasons I took
you away from those men," he explained. "I wanted you to
sympathize with me."
Miss Morris did not answer him at once. She did not seem to
be in a sympathetic mood. Her manner suggested rather that
she was tired and troubled.
"I need sympathy myself to-night," she said. "We received a
letter after dinner that brought bad news for us. We must go
home at once."
"Bad news!" exclaimed Carlton, with much concern. "From home?"
"Yes, from home," she replied; "but there is nothing wrong
there; it is only bad news for us. My sister has decided to
be married in June instead of July, and that cuts us out of a
month on the Continent. That's all. We shall have to leave
immediately--tomorrow. It seems that Mr. Abbey is able to go
away sooner than he had hoped, and they are to be married on
"Mr. Abbey!" exclaimed Carlton, catching at the name. "But
your sister isn't going to marry him, is she?"
Miss Morris turned her head in some surprise. "Yes--why not?"
"But I say!" cried Carlton, "I thought your aunt told me that
YOU were going to marry Abbey; she told me so that day on
the steamer when he came to see you off."
"I marry him--my aunt told you--impossible!" said Miss Morris,
smiling. "She probably said that `her niece' was going to
marry him; she meant my sister. They had been engaged some time."
"Then who are YOU going to marry?" stammered Carlton.
"I am not going to marry any one," said Miss Morris.
Carlton stared at her blankly in amazement. "Well, that's
most absurd!" he exclaimed.
He recognized instantly that the expression was hardly
adequate, but he could not readjust his mind so suddenly to
the new idea, and he remained looking at her with many
confused memories rushing through his brain. A dozen
questions were on his tongue. He remembered afterwards how he
had noticed a servant trimming the candle in one of the
orange-colored lanterns, and that he had watched him as he
disappeared among the palms.
The silence lasted for so long a time that it had taken on a
significance in itself which Carlton recognized. He pulled
himself up with a short laugh. "Well," he remonstrated,
mirthlessly, "I don't think you've treated ME very well."
"How, not treated you very well?" Miss Morris asked, settling
herself more easily. She had been sitting during the pause
which followed Carlton's discovery with a certain rigidity, as
if she was on a strain of attention. But her tone was now as
friendly as always, and held its customary suggestion of
amusement. Carlton took his tone from it, although his mind
was still busily occupied with incidents and words of hers
that she had spoken in their past intercourse.
"Not fair in letting me think you were engaged," he said.
"I've wasted so much time: I'm not half civil enough to
engaged girls," he explained.
"You've been quite civil enough to us," said Miss Morris, "as
a courier, philosopher, and friend. I'm very sorry we have to
"Part company!" exclaimed Carlton, in sudden alarm. "But, I
say, we mustn't do that."
"But we must, you see," said Miss Morris. "We must go back for
the wedding, and you will have to follow the Princess Aline."
"Yes, of course," Carlton heard his own voice say. "I had
forgotten the Princess Aline." But he was not thinking of
what he was saying, nor of the Princess Aline. He was
thinking of the many hours Miss Morris and he had been
together, of the way she had looked at certain times, and of
how he had caught himself watching her at others; how he had
pictured the absent Mr. Abbey travelling with her later over
the same route, and without a chaperon, sitting close at her
side or holding her hand, and telling her just how pretty she
was whenever he wished to do so, and without any fear of the
consequences. He remembered how ready she had been to
understand what he was going to say before he had finished
saying it, and how she had always made him show the best of
himself, and had caused, him to leave unsaid many things that
became common and unworthy when considered in the light of her
judgment. He recalled how impatient he had been when she was
late at dinner, and how cross he was throughout one whole day
when she had kept her room. He felt with a sudden shock of
delightful fear that he had grown to depend upon her, that she
was the best companion he had ever known; and he remembered
moments when they had been alone together at the table, or in
some old palace, or during a long walk, when they had seemed
to have the whole world entirely to themselves, and how he had
consoled himself at such times with the thought that no matter
how long she might be Abbey's wife, there had been these
moments in her life which were his, with which Abbey had had
nothing to do.
Carlton turned and looked at her with strange wide-open eyes,
as though he saw her for the first time. He felt so sure of
himself and of his love for her that the happiness of it made
him tremble, and the thought that if he spoke she might answer
him in the old, friendly, mocking tone of good-fellowship
filled him with alarm. At that moment it seemed to Carlton
that the most natural thing in the world for them to do would
be to go back again together over the road they had come,
seeing everything in the new light of his love for her, and so
travel on and on for ever over the world, learning to love
each other more and more each succeeding day, and leaving the
rest of the universe to move along without them.
He leaned forward with his arm along the back of the bench,
and bent his face towards hers. Her hand lay at her side, and
his own closed over it, but the shock that the touch of her
fingers gave him stopped and confused the words upon his
tongue. He looked strangely at her, and could not find the
speech he needed.
Miss Morris gave his hand a firm, friendly little pressure and
drew her own away, as if he had taken hers only in an
exuberance of good feeling.
"You have been very nice to us," she said, with an effort to
make her tone sound kindly and approving. "And we--"
"You mustn't go; I can't let you go," said Carlton, hoarsely.
There was no mistaking his tone or his earnestness now. "IF
you go," he went on, breathlessly, "I must go with you."
The girl moved restlessly; she leaned forward, and drew in her
breath with a slight, nervous tremor. Then she turned and
faced him, almost as though she were afraid of him or of
herself, and they sat so for an instant in silence. The air
seemed to have grown close and heavy, and Carlton saw her
dimly. In the silence he heard the splash of the fountain
behind them, and the rustling of the leaves in the night wind,
and the low, sighing murmur of a waltz.
He raised his head to listen, and she saw in the moonlight
that he was smiling. It was as though he wished to delay any
answer she might make to his last words.
"That is the waltz," he said, still speaking in a whisper,
"that the gypsies played that night--" He stopped, and Miss
Morris answered him by bending her head slowly in assent. It
seemed to be an effort for her to even make that slight
"YOU don't remember it," said Carlton. "It meant nothing to
you. I mean that night on the steamer when I told you what
love meant to other people. What a fool I was!" he said, with
an uncertain laugh.
"Yes, I remember it," she said--"last Thursday night, on the steamer."
"Thursday night!" exclaimed Carlton, indignantly. "Wednesday
night, Tuesday night, how should I know what night of the week
it was? It was the night of my life to me. That night I knew
that I loved you as I had never hoped to care for any one in
this world. When I told you that I did not know what love
meant I felt all the time that I was lying. I knew that I
loved you, and that I could never love any one else, and that
I had never loved any one before; and if I had thought then
you could care for me, your engagement or your promises would
never have stopped my telling you so. You said that night
that I would learn to love all the better, and more truly, for
having doubted myself so long, and, oh, Edith," he cried,
taking both her hands and holding them close in his own, "I
cannot let you go now! I love you so! Don't laugh at me;
don't mock at me. All the rest of my life depends on you."
And then Miss Morris laughed softly, just as he had begged her
not to do, but her laughter was so full of happiness, and came
so gently and sweetly, and spoke so truly of content, that
though he let go of her hands with one of his, it was only
that he might draw her to him, until her face touched his, and
she felt the strength of his arm as he held her against his breast.
The Hohenwalds occupied the suite of rooms on the first floor
of the hotel, with the privilege of using the broad balcony
that reached out from it over the front entrance. And at the
time when Mrs. Downs and Edith Morris and Carlton drove up to
the hotel from the ball, the Princess Aline was leaning over
the balcony and watching the lights go out in the upper part
of the house, and the moonlight as it fell on the trees and
statues in the public park below. Her foot was still in
bandages, and she was wrapped in a long cloak to keep her from
the cold. Inside of the open windows that led out on to the
balcony her sisters were taking off their ornaments, and
discussing the incidents of the night just over.
The Princess Aline, unnoticed by those below, saw Carlton help
Mrs. Downs to alight from the carriage, and then give his hand
to another muffled figure that followed her; and while Mrs.
Downs was ascending the steps, and before the second muffled
figure had left the shadow of the carriage and stepped into
the moonlight, the Princess Aline saw Carlton draw her
suddenly back and kiss her lightly on the check, and heard a
protesting gasp, and saw Miss Morris pull her cloak over her
head and run up the steps. Then she saw Carlton shake hands
with them, and stand for a moment after they had disappeared,
gazing up at the moon and fumbling in the pockets of his coat.
He drew out a cigar-case and leisurely selected a cigar, and
with much apparent content lighted it, and then, with his
head, thrown back and his chest expanded, as though he were
challenging the world, he strolled across the street and
disappeared among the shadows of the deserted park.
The Princess walked back to one of the open windows, and stood
there leaning against the side. "That young Mr. Carlton, the
artist," she said to her sisters, "is engaged to that
beautiful American girl we met the other day."
"Really!" said the elder sister. "I thought it was probable.
Who told you?"
"I saw him kiss her good-night," said the Princess, stepping
into the window, "as they got out of their carriage just now."
The Princess Aline stood for a moment looking thoughtfully at
the floor, and then walked across the room to a little
writing-desk. She unlocked a drawer in this and took from it
two slips of paper, which she folded in her hand. Then she
returned slowly across the room, and stepped out again on to
One of the pieces of paper held the picture Carlton had drawn
of her, and under which he had written: "This is she. Do you
wonder I travelled four thousand miles to see her?" And the
other was the picture of Carlton himself, which she had cut
out of the catalogue of the Salon.
From the edge of the balcony where the Princess stood she
could see the glimmer of Carlton's white linen and the red
glow of his cigar as he strode proudly up and down the path of
the public park, like a sentry keeping watch. She folded the
pieces of paper together and tore them slowly into tiny
fragments, and let them fall through her fingers into the
street below. Then she returned again to the room, and stood
looking at her sisters.
"Do you know," she said, "I think I am a little tired of
travelling so much. I want to go back to Grasse." She put
her hand to her, forehead and held it there for a moment.
"I think I am a little homesick," said the Princess Aline.
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