As the train neared Tarrytown, Imogen Willard began to
wonder why she had consented to be one of Flavia's house party at
all. She had not felt enthusiastic about it since leaving the
city, and was experiencing a prolonged ebb of purpose, a current
of chilling indecision, under which she vainly sought for the
motive which had induced her to accept Flavia's invitation.
Perhaps it was a vague curiosity to see Flavia's husband,
who had been the magician of her childhood and the hero of
innumerable Arabian fairy tales. Perhaps it was a desire to see
M. Roux, whom Flavia had announced as the especial attraction of
the occasion. Perhaps it was a wish to study that remarkable
woman in her own setting.
Imogen admitted a mild curiosity concerning Flavia. She was
in the habit of taking people rather seriously, but somehow found
it impossible to take Flavia so, because of the very vehemence
and insistence with which Flavia demanded it. Submerged in her
studies, Imogen had, of late years, seen very little of Flavia;
but Flavia, in her hurried visits to New York, between her
excursions from studio to studio--her luncheons with this lady
who had to play at a matinee, and her dinners with that singer
who had an evening concert--had seen enough of her friend's
handsome daughter to conceive for her an inclination of such
violence and assurance as only Flavia could afford. The fact
that Imogen had shown rather marked capacity in certain esoteric
lines of scholarship, and had decided to specialize in a well-
sounding branch of philology at the Ecole des Chartes, had fairly
placed her in that category of "interesting people" whom Flavia
considered her natural affinities, and lawful prey.
When Imogen stepped upon the station platform she was immediately
appropriated by her hostess, whose commanding figure and assurance
of attire she had recognized from a distance. She was hurried into
a high tilbury and Flavia, taking the driver's cushion beside her,
gathered up the reins with an experienced hand.
"My dear girl," she remarked, as she turned the horses up the
street, "I was afraid the train might be late. M. Roux insisted
upon coming up by boat and did not arrive until after seven."
"To think of M. Roux's being in this part of the world at
all, and subject to the vicissitudes of river boats! Why in the
world did he come over?" queried Imogen with lively interest.
"He is the sort of man who must dissolve and become a shadow
outside of Paris."
"Oh, we have a houseful of the most interesting people,"
said Flavia, professionally. "We have actually managed to get
Ivan Schemetzkin. He was ill in California at the close of his
concert tour, you know, and he is recuperating with us, after his
wearing journey from the coast. Then there is Jules Martel, the
painter; Signor Donati, the tenor; Professor Schotte, who has dug
up Assyria, you know; Restzhoff, the Russian chemist; Alcee
Buisson, the philologist; Frank Wellington, the novelist; and
Will Maidenwood, the editor of Woman. Then there is my
second cousin, Jemima Broadwood, who made such a hit in Pinero's
comedy last winter, and Frau Lichtenfeld. Have you read
Imogen confessed her utter ignorance of Frau Lichtenfeld,
and Flavia went on.
"Well, she is a most remarkable person; one of those
advanced German women, a militant iconoclast, and this drive will
not be long enough to permit of my telling you her history. Such
a story! Her novels were the talk of all Germany when I was there
last, and several of them have been suppressed--an honor in
Germany, I understand. 'At Whose Door' has been translated. I
am so unfortunate as not to read German."
"I'm all excitement at the prospect of meeting Miss
Broadwood," said Imogen. "I've seen her in nearly everything she
does. Her stage personality is delightful. She always reminds me
of a nice, clean, pink-and-white boy who has just had his cold
bath, and come down all aglow for a run before breakfast."
"Yes, but isn't it unfortunate that she will limit herself to
those minor comedy parts that are so little appreciated in this
country? One ought to be satisfied with nothing less than the
best, ought one?" The peculiar, breathy tone in which Flavia
always uttered that word "best," the most worn in her vocabulary,
always jarred on Imogen and always made her obdurate.
"I don't at all agree with you," she said reservedly. "I
thought everyone admitted that the most remarkable thing about Miss
Broadwood is her admirable sense of fitness, which is rare enough
in her profession."
Flavia could not endure being contradicted; she always seemed
to regard it in the light of a defeat, and usually colored
unbecomingly. Now she changed the subject.
"Look, my dear," she cried, "there is Frau Lichtenfeld now,
coming to meet us. Doesn't she look as if she had just escaped out
of Valhalla? She is actually over six feet."
Imogen saw a woman of immense stature, in a very short skirt
and a broad, flapping sun hat, striding down the hillside at a
long, swinging gait. The refugee from Valhalla approached,
panting. Her heavy, Teutonic features were scarlet from the rigor
of her exercise, and her hair, under her flapping sun hat, was
tightly befrizzled about her brow. She fixed her sharp little eves
upon Imogen and extended both her hands.
"So this is the little friend?" she cried, in a rolling baritone.
Imogen was quite as tall as her hostess; but everything, she
reflected, is comparative. After the introduction Flavia
"I wish I could ask you to drive up with us, Frau Lichtenfeld."
"Ah, no!" cried the giantess, drooping her head in humorous
caricature of a time-honored pose of the heroines of sentimental
romances. "It has never been my fate to be fitted into corners.
I have never known the sweet privileges of the tiny."
Laughing, Flavia started the ponies, and the colossal woman,
standing in the middle of the dusty road, took off her wide hat
and waved them a farewell which, in scope of gesture, recalled
the salute of a plumed cavalier.
When they arrived at the house, Imogen looked about her with
keen curiosity, for this was veritably the work of Flavia's
hands, the materialization of hopes long deferred. They passed
directly into a large, square hall with a gallery on three sides,
studio fashion. This opened at one end into a Dutch breakfast
room, beyond which was the large dining room. At the other end
of the hall was the music room. There was a smoking room, which
one entered through the library behind the staircase. On the
second floor there was the same general arrangement: a square
hall, and, opening from it, the guest chambers, or, as Miss
Broadwood termed them, the "cages."
When Imogen went to her room, the guests had begun to return
from their various afternoon excursions. Boys were gliding
through the halls with ice water, covered trays, and flowers,
colliding with maids and valets who carried shoes and other
articles of wearing apparel. Yet, all this was done in response
to inaudible bells, on felt soles, and in hushed voices, so that
there was very little confusion about it.
Flavia had at last built her house and hewn out her seven
pillars; there could be no doubt, now, that the asylum for
talent, the sanatorium of the arts, so long projected, was an
accomplished fact. Her ambition had long ago outgrown the
dimensions of her house on Prairie Avenue; besides, she had
bitterly complained that in Chicago traditions were against her.
Her project had been delayed by Arthur's doggedly standing out
for the Michigan woods, but Flavia knew well enough that certain
of the rarae aves--"the best"--could not be lured so far
away from the seaport, so she declared herself for the historic
Hudson and knew no retreat. The establishing of a New York office
had at length overthrown Arthur's last valid objection to quitting
the lake country for three months of the year; and Arthur could
be wearied into anything, as those who knew him knew.
Flavia's house was the mirror of her exultation; it was
a temple to the gods of Victory, a sort of triumphal arch. In
her earlier days she had swallowed experiences that would have
unmanned one of less torrential enthusiasm or blind pertinacity.
But, of late years, her determination had told; she saw less and
less of those mysterious persons with mysterious obstacles in
their path and mysterious grievances against the world, who had
once frequented her house on Prairie Avenue. In the stead of
this multitude of the unarrived, she had now the few, the select,
"the best." Of all that band of indigent retainers who had once
fed at her board like the suitors in the halls of Penelope, only
Alcee Buisson still retained his right of entree. He alone had
remembered that ambition hath a knapsack at his back, wherein he
puts alms to oblivion, and he alone had been considerate enough
to do what Flavia had expected of him, and give his name a
current value in the world. Then, as Miss Broadwood put it, "he
was her first real one,"--and Flavia, like Mohammed, could
remember her first believer.
"The House of Song," as Miss Broadwood had called it, was
the outcome of Flavia's more exalted strategies. A woman who
made less a point of sympathizing with their delicate organisms,
might have sought to plunge these phosphorescent pieces into the
tepid bath of domestic life; but Flavia's discernment was deeper.
This must be a refuge where the shrinking soul, the sensitive
brain, should be unconstrained; where the caprice of fancy should
outweigh the civil code, if necessary. She considered that this
much Arthur owed her; for she, in her turn, had made concessions.
Flavia had, indeed, quite an equipment of epigrams to the effect
that our century creates the iron genii which evolve its fairy
tales: but the fact that her husband's name was annually painted
upon some ten thousand threshing machines in reality contributed
very little to her happiness.
Arthur Hamilton was born and had spent his boyhood in the
West Indies, and physically he had never lost the brand of the
tropics. His father, after inventing the machine which bore his
name, had returned to the States to patent and manufacture it.
After leaving college, Arthur had spent five years ranching in
the West and traveling abroad. Upon his father's death
he had returned to Chicago and, to the astonishment of all his
friends, had taken up the business--without any demonstration of
enthusiasm, but with quiet perseverance, marked ability, and
amazing industry. Why or how a self-sufficient, rather ascetic
man of thirty, indifferent in manner, wholly negative in all
other personal relations, should have doggedly wooed and finally
married Flavia Malcolm was a problem that had vexed older heads
While Imogen was dressing she heard a knock at her door, and
a young woman entered whom she at once recognized as Jemima
Broadwood--"Jimmy" Broadwood she was called by people in her own
profession. While there was something unmistakably professional
in her frank savoir-faire, "Jimmy's" was one of those faces
to which the rouge never seems to stick. Her eyes were keen and
gray as a windy April sky, and so far from having been seared by
calcium lights, you might have fancied they had never looked on
anything less bucolic than growing fields and country fairs. She
wore her thick, brown hair short and parted at the side; and,
rather than hinting at freakishness, this seemed admirably in
keeping with her fresh, boyish countenance. She extended to
Imogen a large, well-shaped hand which it was a pleasure to
"Ah! You are Miss Willard, and I see I need not introduce
myself. Flavia said you were kind enough to express a wish to
meet me, and I preferred to meet you alone. Do you mind if I
"Why, certainly not," said Imogen, somewhat disconcerted and
looking hurriedly about for matches.
"There, be calm, I'm always prepared," said Miss Broadwood,
checking Imogen's flurry with a soothing gesture, and producing
an oddly fashioned silver match-case from some mysterious recess
in her dinner gown. She sat down in a deep chair, crossed her
patent-leather Oxfords, and lit her cigarette. "This matchbox,"
she went on meditatively, "once belonged to a Prussian officer.
He shot himself in his bathtub, and I bought it at the sale of
Imogen had not yet found any suitable reply to make to this
rather irrelevant confidence, when Miss Broadwood turned to her
cordially: "I'm awfully glad you've come, Miss Willard, though I've
not quite decided why you did it. I wanted very much to meet you.
Flavia gave me your thesis to read."
"Why, how funny!" ejaculated Imogen.
"On the contrary," remarked Miss Broadwood. "I thought it
decidedly lacked humor."
"I meant," stammered Imogen, beginning to feel very much
like Alice in Wonderland, "I meant that I thought it rather
strange Mrs. Hamilton should fancy you would be interested."
Miss Broadwood laughed heartily. "Now, don't let my
rudeness frighten you. Really, I found it very interesting, and
no end impressive. You see, most people in my profession are
good for absolutely nothing else, and, therefore, they have a
deep and abiding conviction that in some other line they might
have shone. Strange to say, scholarship is the object of our
envious and particular admiration. Anything in type impresses us
greatly; that's why so many of us marry authors or newspapermen
and lead miserable lives." Miss Broadwood saw that she had rather
disconcerted Imogen, and blithely tacked in another direction.
"You see," she went on, tossing aside her half-consumed
cigarette, "some years ago Flavia would not have deemed me worthy
to open the pages of your thesis--nor to be one of her house
party of the chosen, for that matter. I've Pinero to thank for
both pleasures. It all depends on the class of business I'm
playing whether I'm in favor or not. Flavia is my second cousin,
you know, so I can say whatever disagreeable things I choose with
perfect good grace. I'm quite desperate for someone to laugh
with, so I'm going to fasten myself upon you--for, of course, one
can't expect any of these gypsy-dago people to see anything
funny. I don't intend you shall lose the humor of the situation.
What do you think of Flavia's infirmary for the arts, anyway?"
"Well, it's rather too soon for me to have any opinion at
all," said Imogen, as she again turned to her dressing. "So far,
you are the only one of the artists I've met."
"One of them?" echoed Miss Broadwood. "One of the artists?
My offense may be rank, my dear, but I really don't deserve
that. Come, now, whatever badges of my tribe I may bear upon me,
just let me divest you of any notion that I take myself seriously."
Imogen turned from the mirror in blank astonishment and sat
down on the arm of a chair, facing her visitor. "I can't fathom
you at all, Miss Broadwood," she said frankly. "Why shouldn't
you take yourself seriously? What's the use of beating about the
bush? Surely you know that you are one of the few players on this
side of the water who have at all the spirit of natural or
"Thank you, my dear. Now we are quite even about the thesis,
aren't we? Oh, did you mean it? Well, you are a clever
girl. But you see it doesn't do to permit oneself to look at it
in that light. If we do, we always go to pieces and waste our
substance astarring as the unhappy daughter of the Capulets. But
there, I hear Flavia coming to take you down; and just remember
I'm not one of them--the artists, I mean."
Flavia conducted Imogen and Miss Broadwood downstairs. As
they reached the lower hall they heard voices from the music
room, and dim figures were lurking in the shadows under the
gallery, but their hostess led straight to the smoking room. The
June evening was chilly, and a fire had been lighted in the
fireplace. Through the deepening dusk, the firelight flickered
upon the pipes and curious weapons on the wall and threw an
orange glow over the Turkish hangings. One side of the smoking
room was entirely of glass, separating it from the conservatory,
which was flooded with white light from the electric bulbs.
There was about the darkened room some suggestion of certain
chambers in the Arabian Nights, opening on a court of palms.
Perhaps it was partially this memory-evoking suggestion that
caused Imogen to start so violently when she saw dimly, in a blur
of shadow, the figure of a man, who sat smoking in a low, deep
chair before the fire. He was long, and thin, and brown. His
long, nerveless hands drooped from the arms of his chair. A
brown mustache shaded his mouth, and his eyes were sleepy and
apathetic. When Imogen entered he rose indolently and gave her
his hand, his manner barely courteous.
"I am glad you arrived promptly, Miss Willard," he said with
an indifferent drawl. "Flavia was afraid you might be late. You
had a pleasant ride up, I hope?"
"Oh, very, thank you, Mr. Hamilton," she replied, feeling
that he did not particularly care whether she replied at all.
Flavia explained that she had not yet had time to dress for
dinner, as she had been attending to Mr. Will Maidenwood, who had
become faint after hurting his finger in an obdurate window, and
immediately excused herself As she left, Hamilton turned to Miss
Broadwood with a rather spiritless smile.
"Well, Jimmy," he remarked, "I brought up a piano box full
of fireworks for the boys. How do you suppose we'll manage to
keep them until the Fourth?"
"We can't, unless we steel ourselves to deny there are any on the
premises," said Miss Broadwood, seating herself on a low stool by
Hamilton's chair and leaning back against the mantel. "Have you
seen Helen, and has she told you the tragedy of the tooth?"
"She met me at the station, with her tooth wrapped up in
tissue paper. I had tea with her an hour ago. Better sit down,
Miss Willard;" he rose and pushed a chair toward Imogen, who was
standing peering into the conservatory. "We are scheduled to
dine at seven, but they seldom get around before eight."
By this time Imogen had made out that here the plural
pronoun, third person, always referred to the artists. As
Hamilton's manner did not spur one to cordial intercourse, and as
his attention seemed directed to Miss Broadwood, insofar as it
could be said to be directed to anyone, she sat down facing the
conservatory and watched him, unable to decide in how far he was
identical with the man who had first met Flavia Malcolm in her
mother's house, twelve years ago. Did he at all remember having
known her as a little girl, and why did his indifference hurt her
so, after all these years? Had some remnant of her childish
affection for him gone on living, somewhere down in the sealed
caves of her consciousness, and had she really expected to find
it possible to be fond of him again? Suddenly she saw a light in
the man's sleepy eyes, an unmistakable expression of
interest and pleasure that fairly startled her. She turned
quickly in the direction of his glance, and saw Flavia, just
entering, dressed for dinner and lit by the effulgence of her
most radiant manner. Most people considered Flavia handsome,
and there was no gainsaying that she carried her five-and-thirty
years splendidly. Her figure had never grown matronly, and her
face was of the sort that does not show wear. Its blond tints
were as fresh and enduring as enamel--and quite as hard. Its
usual expression was one of tense, often strained, animation,
which compressed her lips nervously. A perfect scream of
animation, Miss Broadwood had called it, created and maintained
by sheer, indomitable force of will. Flavia's appearance on any
scene whatever made a ripple, caused a certain agitation and
recognition, and, among impressionable people, a certain
uneasiness, For all her sparkling assurance of manner, Flavia
was certainly always ill at ease and, even more certainly,
anxious. She seemed not convinced of the established order of
material things, seemed always trying to conceal her feeling that
walls might crumble, chasms open, or the fabric of her life fly
to the winds in irretrievable entanglement. At least this was
the impression Imogen got from that note in Flavia which was so
Hamilton's keen, quick, satisfied glance at his wife had
recalled to Imogen all her inventory of speculations about them.
She looked at him with compassionate surprise. As a child she
had never permitted herself to believe that Hamilton cared at all
for the woman who had taken him away from her; and since she had
begun to think about them again, it had never occurred to her
that anyone could become attached to Flavia in that deeply
personal and exclusive sense. It seemed quite as irrational as
trying to possess oneself of Broadway at noon.
When they went out to dinner Imogen realized the completeness of
Flavia's triumph. They were people of one name, mostly, like
kings; people whose names stirred the imagination like a romance or
a melody. With the notable exception of M. Roux, Imogen had seen
most of them before, either in concert halls or lecture rooms; but
they looked noticeably older and dimmer than she remembered them.
Opposite her sat Schemetzkin, the Russian pianist, a short,
corpulent man, with an apoplectic face and purplish skin, his
thick, iron-gray hair tossed back from his forehead. Next to the
German giantess sat the Italian tenor --the tiniest of men--pale,
with soft, light hair, much in disorder, very red lips, and
fingers yellowed by cigarettes. Frau Lichtenfeld shone in a gown
of emerald green, fitting so closely as to enhance her natural
floridness. However, to do the good lady justice, let her attire
be never so modest, it gave an effect of barbaric splendor. At
her left sat Herr Schotte, the Assyriologist, whose features were
effectually concealed by the convergence of his hair and beard,
and whose glasses were continually falling into his plate. This
gentleman had removed more tons of earth in the course of his
explorations than had any of his confreres, and his vigorous
attack upon his food seemed to suggest the strenuous nature of
his accustomed toil. His eyes were small and deeply set, and his
forehead bulged fiercely above his eves in a bony ridge. His
heavy brows completed the leonine suggestion of his face. Even
to Imogen, who knew something of his work and greatly respected
it, he was entirely too reminiscent of the Stone Age to be
altogether an agreeable dinner companion. He seemed, indeed, to
have absorbed something of the savagery of those early types of
life which he continually studied.
Frank Wellington, the young Kansas man who had been two
years out of Harvard and had published three historical novels,
sat next to Mr. Will Maidenwood, who was still pale from his
recent sufferings and carried his hand bandaged. They took
little part in the general conversation, but, like the lion and
the unicorn, were always at it, discussing, every time they met,
whether there were or were not passages in Mr. Wellington's works
which should be eliminated, out of consideration for the Young
Person. Wellington had fallen into the hands of a great American
syndicate which most effectually befriended struggling authors
whose struggles were in the right direction, and which had
guaranteed to make him famous before he was thirty. Feeling the
security of his position he stoutly defended those passages which
jarred upon the sensitive nerves of the young editor of
Woman. Maidenwood, in the smoothest of voices, urged the
necessity of the author's recognizing certain restrictions at the
outset, and Miss Broadwood, who joined the argument quite without
invitation or encouragement, seconded him with pointed and
malicious remarks which caused the young editor manifest
discomfort. Restzhoff, the chemist, demanded the attention of the
entire company for his exposition of his devices for manufacturing
ice cream from vegetable oils and for administering drugs in
Flavia, always noticeably restless at dinner, was somewhat
apathetic toward the advocate of peptonized chocolate and was
plainly concerned about the sudden departure of M. Roux, who had
announced that it would be necessary for him to leave tomorrow.
M. Emile Roux, who sat at Flavia's right, was a man in middle
life and quite bald, clearly without personal vanity, though his
publishers preferred to circulate only those of his portraits
taken in his ambrosial youth. Imogen was considerably shocked at
his unlikeness to the slender, black-stocked Rolla he had looked
at twenty. He had declined into the florid, settled heaviness of
indifference and approaching age. There was, however, a certain
look of durability and solidity about him; the look of a man who
has earned the right to be fat and bald, and even silent at
dinner if he chooses.
Throughout the discussion between Wellington and Will
Maidenwood, though they invited his participation, he remained
silent, betraying no sign either of interest or contempt. Since
his arrival he had directed most of his conversation to Hamilton,
who had never read one of his twelve great novels. This
perplexed and troubled Flavia. On the night of his arrival Jules
Martel had enthusiastically declared, "There are schools and
schools, manners and manners; but Roux is Roux, and Paris sets
its watches by his clock." Flavia bad already repeated this
remark to Imogen. It haunted her, and each time she quoted it
she was impressed anew.
Flavia shifted the conversation uneasily, evidently exasperated
and excited by her repeated failures to draw the novelist out.
"Monsieur Roux," she began abruptly, with her most animated smile,
"I remember so well a statement I read some years ago in your 'Mes
Etudes des Femmes' to the effect that you had never met a really
intellectual woman. May I ask, without being impertinent, whether
that assertion still represents your experience?"
"I meant, madam," said the novelist conservatively, "intellectual
in a sense very special, as we say of men in whom the purely
intellectual functions seem almost independent."
"And you still think a woman so constituted a mythical
personage?" persisted Flavia, nodding her head encouragingly.
"Une Meduse, madam, who, if she were discovered, would
transmute us all into stone," said the novelist, bowing gravely.
"If she existed at all," he added deliberately, "it was my
business to find her, and she has cost me many a vain pilgrimage.
Like Rudel of Tripoli, I have crossed seas and penetrated deserts
to seek her out. I have, indeed, encountered women of learning
whose industry I have been compelled to respect; many who have
possessed beauty and charm and perplexing cleverness; a few with
remarkable information and a sort of fatal facility."
"And Mrs. Browning, George Eliot, and your own Mme. Dudevant?"
queried Flavia with that fervid enthusiasm with which she could, on
occasion, utter things simply incomprehensible for their
banality--at her feats of this sort Miss Broadwood was wont to sit
breathless with admiration.
"Madam, while the intellect was undeniably present in the
performances of those women, it was only the stick of the rocket.
Although this woman has eluded me I have studied her conditions
and perturbances as astronomers conjecture the orbits of planets
they have never seen. if she exists, she is probably neither an
artist nor a woman with a mission, but an obscure personage, with
imperative intellectual needs, who absorbs rather than produces."
Flavia, still nodding nervously, fixed a strained glance of
interrogation upon M. Roux. "Then you think she would be a woman
whose first necessity would be to know, whose instincts would be
satisfied only with the best, who could draw from others;
The novelist lifted his dull eyes to his interlocutress with
an untranslatable smile and a slight inclination of his
shoulders. "Exactly so; you are really remarkable, madam," he
added, in a tone of cold astonishment.
After dinner the guests took their coffee in the music room,
where Schemetzkin sat down at the piano to drum ragtime, and give
his celebrated imitation of the boardingschool girl's execution
of Chopin. He flatly refused to play anything more serious, and
would practice only in the morning, when he had the music room to
himself. Hamilton and M. Roux repaired to the smoking room to
discuss the necessity of extending the tax on manufactured
articles in France--one of those conversations which particularly
After Schemetzkin had grimaced and tortured the keyboard
with malicious vulgarities for half an hour, Signor Donati, to
put an end to his torture, consented to sing, and Flavia and
Imogen went to fetch Arthur to play his accompaniments. Hamilton
rose with an annoyed look and placed his cigarette on the mantel.
"Why yes, Flavia, I'll accompany him, provided he sings something
with a melody, Italian arias or ballads, and provided the recital
is not interminable."
"You will join us, M. Roux?"
"Thank you, but I have some letters to write," replied the
As Flavia had remarked to Imogen, "Arthur really played
accompaniments remarkably well." To hear him recalled vividly the
days of her childhood, when he always used to spend his business
vacations at her mother's home in Maine. He had possessed for
her that almost hypnotic influence which young men sometimes
exert upon little girls. It was a sort of phantom love affair,
subjective and fanciful, a precocity of instinct, like that
tender and maternal concern which some little girls feel for
their dolls. Yet this childish infatuation is capable of all the
depressions and exaltations of love itself, it has its bitter
jealousies, cruel disappointments, its exacting caprices.
Summer after summer she had awaited his coming and wept at his
departure, indifferent to the gayer young men who had called her
their sweetheart and laughed at everything she said. Although
Hamilton never said so, she had been always quite sure that he was
fond of her. When he pulled her up the river to hunt for fairy
knolls shut about by low, hanging willows, he was often silent for
an hour at a time, yet she never felt he was bored or was
neglecting her. He would lie in the sand smoking, his eyes
half-closed, watching her play, and she was always conscious that
she was entertaining him. Sometimes he would take a copy of "Alice
in Wonderland" in his pocket, and no one could read it as he could,
laughing at her with his dark eyes, when anything amused him. No
one else could laugh so, with just their eyes, and without moving
a muscle of their face. Though he usually smiled at passages that
seemed not at all funny to the child, she always laughed gleefully,
because he was so seldom moved to mirth that any such demonstration
delighted her and she took the credit of it entirely to herself Her
own inclination had been for serious stories, with sad endings,
like the Little Mermaid, which he had once told her in an unguarded
moment when she had a cold, and was put to bed early on her
birthday night and cried because she could not have her party. But
he highly disapproved of this preference, and had called it a
morbid taste, and always shook his finger at her when she asked for
the story. When she had been particularly good, or particularly
neglected by other people, then he would sometimes melt and tell
her the story, and never laugh at her if she enjoyed the "sad
ending" even to tears. When Flavia had taken him away and he came
no more, she wept inconsolably for the space of two weeks, and
refused to learn her lessons. Then she found the story of the
Little Mermaid herself, and forgot him.
Imogen had discovered at dinner that he could still smile at
one secretly, out of his eyes, and that he had the old manner of
outwardly seeming bored, but letting you know that he was not.
She was intensely curious about his exact state of feeling toward
his wife, and more curious still to catch a sense of his final
adjustment to the conditions of life in general. This, she could
not help feeling, she might get again--if she could have him alone
for an hour, in some place where there was a little river and a
sandy cove bordered by drooping willows, and a blue sky seen
through white sycamore boughs.
That evening, before retiring, Flavia entered her husband's
room, where be sat in his smoking jacket, in one of his favorite
"I suppose it's a grave responsibility to bring an ardent,
serious young thing like Imogen here among all these fascinating
personages," she remarked reflectively. "But, after all, one can
never tell. These grave, silent girls have their own charm, even
for facile people."
"Oh, so that is your plan?" queried her husband dryly. "I
was wondering why you got her up here. She doesn't seem to mix
well with the faciles. At least, so it struck me."
Flavia paid no heed to this jeering remark, but repeated, "No,
after all, it may not be a bad thing."
"Then do consign her to that shaken reed, the tenor," said
her husband yawning. "I remember she used to have a taste for
"And then," remarked Flavia coquettishly, "after all, I owe her
mother a return in kind. She was not afraid to trifle with
But Hamilton was asleep in his chair.
Next morning Imogen found only Miss Broadwood in the breakfast
"Good morning, my dear girl, whatever are you doing up so
early? They never breakfast before eleven. Most of them take
their coffee in their room. Take this place by me."
Miss Broadwood looked particularly fresh and encouraging in
her blue serge walking skirt, her open jacket displaying an
expanse of stiff, white shirt bosom, dotted with some almost
imperceptible figure, and a dark blue-and-white necktie, neatly
knotted under her wide, rolling collar. She wore a white rosebud
in the lapel of her coat, and decidedly she seemed more than ever
like a nice, clean boy on his holiday. Imogen was just hoping
that they would breakfast alone when Miss Broadwood exclaimed,
"Ah, there comes Arthur with the children. That's the reward of
early rising in this house; you never get to see the youngsters
at any other time."
Hamilton entered, followed by two dark, handsome little
boys. The girl, who was very tiny, blonde like her mother, and
exceedingly frail, he carried in his arms. The boys came up and
said good morning with an ease and cheerfulness uncommon, even in
well-bred children, but the little girl hid her face on her
"She's a shy little lady," he explained as he put her gently
down in her chair. "I'm afraid she's like her father; she can't
seem to get used to meeting people. And you, Miss Willard, did
you dream of the White Rabbit or the Little Mermaid?"
"Oh, I dreamed of them all! All the personages of that
buried civilization," cried Imogen, delighted that his estranged
manner of the night before had entirely vanished and feeling
that, somehow, the old confidential relations had been restored
during the night.
"Come, William," said Miss Broadwood, turning to the younger
of the two boys, "and what did you dream about?"
"We dreamed," said William gravely--he was the more assertive of
the two and always spoke for both--"we dreamed that there were
fireworks hidden in the basement of the carriage house; lots and
lots of fireworks."
His elder brother looked up at him with apprehensive
astonishment, while Miss Broadwood hastily put her napkin to her
lips and Hamilton dropped his eyes. "If little boys dream
things, they are so apt not to come true," he reflected sadly.
This shook even the redoubtable William, and he glanced nervously
at his brother. "But do things vanish just because they have
been dreamed?" he objected.
"Generally that is the very best reason for their vanishing,"
said Arthur gravely.
"But, Father, people can't help what they dream,"
remonstrated Edward gently.
"Oh, come! You're making these children talk like a
Maeterlinck dialogue," laughed Miss Broadwood.
Flavia presently entered, a book in her hand, and bade them all
good morning. "Come, little people, which story shall it be this
morning?" she asked winningly. Greatly excited, the children
followed her into the garden. "She does then, sometimes," murmured
Imogen as they left the breakfast room.
"Oh, yes, to be sure," said Miss Broadwood cheerfully. "She
reads a story to them every morning in the most picturesque part
of the garden. The mother of the Gracchi, you know. She does so
long, she says, for the time when they will be intellectual
companions for her. What do you say to a walk over the hills?"
As they left the house they met Frau Lichtenfeld and the
bushy Herr Schotte--the professor cut an astonishing figure in
golf stockings--returning from a walk and engaged in an animated
conversation on the tendencies of German fiction.
"Aren't they the most attractive little children," exclaimed
Imogen as they wound down the road toward the river.
"Yes, and you must not fail to tell Flavia that you think
so. She will look at you in a sort of startled way and say,
'Yes, aren't they?' and maybe she will go off and hunt them up
and have tea with them, to fully appreciate them. She is awfully
afraid of missing anything good, is Flavia. The way those
youngsters manage to conceal their guilty presence in the House
of Song is a wonder."
"But don't any of the artist-folk fancy children?" asked Imogen.
"Yes, they just fancy them and no more. The chemist remarked the
other day that children are like certain salts which need not be
actualized because the formulae are quite sufficient for practical
purposes. I don't see how even Flavia can endure to have that man
"I have always been rather curious to know what Arthur
thinks of it all," remarked Imogen cautiously.
"Thinks of it!" ejaculated Miss Broadwood. "Why, my dear,
what would any man think of having his house turned into an
hotel, habited by freaks who discharge his servants, borrow his
money, and insult his neighbors? This place is shunned like a
Well, then, why does he--why does he--" persisted Imogen.
"Bah!" interrupted Miss Broadwood impatiently, "why did he
in the first place? That's the question."
"Marry her, you mean?" said Imogen coloring.
"Exactly so," said Miss Broadwood sharply, as she snapped
the lid of her matchbox.
"I suppose that is a question rather beyond us, and
certainly one which we cannot discuss," said Imogen. "But his
toleration on this one point puzzles me, quite apart from other
"Toleration? Why this point, as you call it, simply is
Flavia. Who could conceive of her without it? I don't know where
it's all going to end, I'm sure, and I'm equally sure that, if it
were not for Arthur, I shouldn't care," declared Miss Broadwood,
drawing her shoulders together.
"But will it end at all, now?"
"Such an absurd state of things can't go on indefinitely. A
man isn't going to see his wife make a guy of herself forever, is
he? Chaos has already begun in the servants' quarters. There are
six different languages spoken there now. You see, it's all on
an entirely false basis. Flavia hasn't the slightest notion of
what these people are really like, their good and their bad alike
escape her. They, on the other hand, can't imagine what she is
driving at. Now, Arthur is worse off than either faction; he is
not in the fairy story in that he sees these people exactly as
they are, but he is utterly unable to see Flavia as they see
her. There you have the situation. Why can't he see her as we do?
My dear, that has kept me awake o' nights. This man who has
thought so much and lived so much, who is naturally a critic,
really takes Flavia at very nearly her own estimate. But now I am
entering upon a wilderness. From a brief acquaintance with her
you can know nothing of the icy fastnesses of Flavia's self-
esteem. It's like St. Peter's; you can't realize its magnitude
at once. You have to grow into a sense of it by living under its
shadow. It has perplexed even Emile Roux, that merciless
dissector of egoism. She has puzzled him the more because be saw
at a glance what some of them do not perceive at once, and what
will be mercifully concealed from Arthur until the trump sounds;
namely, that all Flavia's artists have done or ever will do means
exactly as much to her as a symphony means to an oyster; that
there is no bridge by which the significance of any work of art
could be conveyed to her."
"Then, in the name of goodness, why does she bother?" gasped
Imogen. "She is pretty, wealthy, well-established; why should
"That's what M. Roux has kept asking himself. I can't pretend to
analyze it. She reads papers on the Literary Landmarks of Paris,
the Loves of the Poets, and that sort of thing, to clubs out in
Chicago. To Flavia it is more necessary to be called clever than
to breathe. I would give a good deal to know that glum Frenchman's
diagnosis. He has been watching her out of those fishy eyes of his
as a biologist watches a hemisphereless frog."
For several days after M. Roux's departure Flavia gave an
embarrassing share of her attention to Imogen. Embarrassing,
because Imogen had the feeling of being energetically and
futilely explored, she knew not for what. She felt herself under
the globe of an air pump, expected to yield up something. When
she confined the conversation to matters of general interest
Flavia conveyed to her with some pique that her one endeavor in
life had been to fit herself to converse with her friends upon
those things which vitally interested them. "One has no right to
accept their best from people unless one gives, isn't it so? I
want to be able to give--!" she declared vaguely. Yet whenever
Imogen strove to pay her tithes and plunged bravely into her
plans for study next winter, Flavia grew absent-minded and
interrupted her by amazing generalizations or by such
embarrassing questions as, "And these grim studies really have
charm for you; you are quite buried in them; they make other
things seem light and ephemeral?"
"I rather feel as though I had got in here under false
pretenses," Imogen confided to Miss Broadwood. "I'm sure I don't
know what it is that she wants of me."
"Ah," chuckled Jemima, "you are not equal to these heart to
heart talks with Flavia. You utterly fail to communicate to her
the atmosphere of that untroubled joy in which you dwell. You
must remember that she gets no feeling out of things
herself, and she demands that you impart yours to her by some
process of psychic transmission. I once met a blind girl, blind
from birth, who could discuss the peculiarities of the Barbizon
school with just Flavia's glibness and enthusiasm. Ordinarily
Flavia knows how to get what she wants from people, and her
memory is wonderful. One evening I heard her giving Frau
Lichtenfeld some random impressions about Hedda Gabler which she
extracted from me five years ago; giving them with an impassioned
conviction of which I was never guilty. But I have known other
people who could appropriate your stories and opinions; Flavia
is infinitely more subtle than that; she can soak up the very
thrash and drift of your daydreams, and take the very thrills
off your back, as it were."
After some days of unsuccessful effort, Flavia withdrew
herself, and Imogen found Hamilton ready to catch her when she
was tossed afield. He seemed only to have been awaiting this
crisis, and at once their old intimacy reestablished itself as a
thing inevitable and beautifully prepared for. She convinced
herself that she had not been mistaken in him, despite all the
doubts that had come up in later years, and this renewal of faith
set more than one question thumping in her brain. "How did he,
how can he?" she kept repeating with a tinge of her childish
resentment, "what right had he to waste anything so fine?"
When Imogen and Arthur were returning from a walk before
luncheon one morning about a week after M. Roux's departure, they
noticed an absorbed group before one of the hall windows. Herr
Schotte and Restzhoff sat on the window seat with a newspaper
between them, while Wellington, Schemetzkin, and Will Maidenwood
looked over their shoulders. They seemed intensely interested,
Herr Schotte occasionally pounding his knees with his fists in
ebullitions of barbaric glee. When imogen entered the hall,
however, the men were all sauntering toward the breakfast room
and the paper was lying innocently on the divan. During luncheon
the personnel of that window group were unwontedly animated and
agreeable all save Schemetzkin, whose stare was blanker than
ever, as though Roux's mantle of insulting indifference
had fallen upon him, in addition to his own oblivious self-
absorption. Will Maidenwood seemed embarrassed and annoyed; the
chemist employed himself with making polite speeches to Hamilton.
Flavia did not come down to lunch--and there was a malicious
gleam under Herr Schotte's eyebrows. Frank Wellington announced
nervously that an imperative letter from his protecting syndicate
summoned him to the city.
After luncheon the men went to the golf links, and Imogen,
at the first opportunity, possessed herself of the newspaper
which had been left on the divan. One of the first things that
caught her eye was an article headed "Roux on Tuft Hunters; The
Advanced American Woman as He Sees Her; Aggressive, Superficial,
and Insincere." The entire interview was nothing more nor less
than a satiric characterization of Flavia, aquiver with
irritation and vitriolic malice. No one could mistake it; it was
done with all his deftness of portraiture. Imogen had not finished
the article when she heard a footstep, and clutching the paper she
started precipitately toward the stairway as Arthur entered. He
put out his hand, looking critically at her distressed face.
"Wait a moment, Miss Willard," he said peremptorily, "I want
to see whether we can find what it was that so interested our
friends this morning. Give me the paper, please."
Imogen grew quite white as he opened the journal. She
reached forward and crumpled it with her hands. "Please don't,
please don't," she pleaded; "it's something I don't want you to
see. Oh, why will you? it's just something low and despicable
that you can't notice."
Arthur had gently loosed her hands, and he pointed her to a chair.
He lit a cigar and read the article through without comment. When
he had finished it he walked to the fireplace, struck a match, and
tossed the flaming journal between the brass andirons.
"You are right," he remarked as he came back, dusting his
hands with his handkerchief. "It's quite impossible to comment.
There are extremes of blackguardism for which we have no name.
The only thing necessary is to see that Flavia gets no
wind of this. This seems to be my cue to act; poor girl."
Imogen looked at him tearfully; she could only murmur, "Oh,
why did you read it!"
Hamilton laughed spiritlessly. "Come, don't you worry about
it. You always took other people's troubles too seriously. When
you were little and all the world was gay and everybody happy,
you must needs get the Little Mermaid's troubles to grieve over.
Come with me into the music room. You remember the musical
setting I once made you for the Lay of the Jabberwock? I was
trying it over the other night, long after you were in bed, and I
decided it was quite as fine as the Erl-King music. How I wish I
could give you some of the cake that Alice ate and make you a
little girl again. Then, when you had got through the glass door
into the little garden, you could call to me, perhaps, and tell
me all the fine things that were going on there. What a pity it
is that you ever grew up!" he added, laughing; and Imogen, too,
was thinking just that.
At dinner that evening, Flavia, with fatal persistence,
insisted upon turning the conversation to M. Roux. She had been
reading one of his novels and had remembered anew that Paris set
its watches by his clock. Imogen surmised that she was tortured
by a feeling that she had not sufficiently appreciated him while
she had had him. When she first mentioned his name she was
answered only by the pall of silence that fell over the company.
Then everyone began to talk at once, as though to correct a false
position. They spoke of him with a fervid, defiant admiration,
with the sort of hot praise that covers a double purpose. Imogen
fancied she could see that they felt a kind of relief at what the
man had done, even those who despised him for doing it; that they
felt a spiteful hate against Flavia, as though she had tricked
them, and a certain contempt for themselves that they had been
beguiled. She was reminded of the fury of the crowd in the fairy
tale, when once the child had called out that the king was in his
night clothes. Surely these people knew no more about Flavia
than they had known before, but the mere fact that the
thing had been said altered the situation. Flavia, meanwhile,
sat chattering amiably, pathetically unconscious of her nakedness.
Hamilton lounged, fingering the stem of his wineglass,
gazing down the table at one face after another and studying the
various degrees of self-consciousness they exhibited. Imogen's
eyes followed his, fearfully. When a lull came in the spasmodic
flow of conversation, Arthur, leaning back in his chair, remarked
deliberately, "As for M. Roux, his very profession places him
in that class of men whom society has never been able to accept
unconditionally because it has never been able to assume that
they have any ordered notion of taste. He and his ilk remain,
with the mountebanks and snake charmers, people indispensable to
our civilization, but wholly unreclaimed by it; people whom we
receive, but whose invitations we do not accept."
Fortunately for Flavia, this mine was not exploded until
just before the coffee was brought. Her laughter was pitiful to
hear; it echoed through the silent room as in a vault, while she
made some tremulously light remark about her husband's drollery,
grim as a jest from the dying. No one responded and she sat
nodding her head like a mechanical toy and smiling her white, set
smile through her teeth, until Alcee Buisson and Frau Lichtenfeld
came to her support.
After dinner the guests retired immediately to their rooms,
and Imogen went upstairs on tiptoe, feeling the echo of breakage
and the dust of crumbling in the air. She wondered whether
Flavia's habitual note of uneasiness were not, in a manner,
prophetic, and a sort of unconscious premonition, after all. She
sat down to write a letter, but she found herself so nervous, her
head so hot and her hands so cold, that she soon abandoned the
effort. just as she was about to seek Miss Broadwood, Flavia
entered and embraced her hysterically.
"My dearest girl," she began, "was there ever such an
unfortunate and incomprehensible speech made before? Of course
it is scarcely necessary to explain to you poor Arthur's lack of
tact, and that he meant nothing. But they! Can they be
expected to understand? He will feel wretchedly about it when
he realizes what he has done, but in the meantime? And M. Roux,
of all men! When we were so fortunate as to get him, and he made
himself so unreservedly agreeable, and I fancied that, in his way,
Arthur quite admired him. My dear, you have no idea what that
speech has done. Schemetzkin and Herr Schotte have already sent
me word that they must leave us tomorrow. Such a thing from a
host!" Flavia paused, choked by tears of vexation and despair.
Imogen was thoroughly disconcerted; this was the first time
she had ever seen Flavia betray any personal emotion which was
indubitably genuine. She replied with what consolation she
could. "Need they take it personally at all? It was a mere
observation upon a class of people--"
"Which he knows nothing whatever about, and with whom he has
no sympathy," interrupted Flavia. "Ah, my dear, you could not be
expected to understand. You can't realize, knowing Arthur
as you do, his entire lack of any aesthetic sense whatever. He is
absolutely nil, stone deaf and stark blind, on that side.
He doesn't mean to be brutal, it is just the brutality of utter
ignorance. They always feel it--they are so sensitive to
unsympathetic influences, you know; they know it the moment they
come into the house. I have spent my life apologizing for him
and struggling to conceal it; but in spite of me, he wounds them;
his very attitude, even in silence, offends them. Heavens! Do I
not know? Is it not perpetually and forever wounding me? But
there has never been anything so dreadful as this--never! If I
could conceive of any possible motive, even!"
"But, surely, Mrs. Hamilton, it was, after all, a mere
expression of opinion, such as we are any of us likely to venture
upon any subject whatever. It was neither more personal nor more
extravagant than many of M. Roux's remarks."
"But, Imogen, certainly M. Roux has the right. It is a part
of his art, and that is altogether another matter. Oh, this is
not the only instance!" continued Flavia passionately, "I've
always had that narrow, bigoted prejudice to contend with. It
has always held me back. But this--!"
"I think you mistake his attitude," replied Imogen, feeling
a flush that made her ears tingle. "That is, I fancy he is more
appreciative than he seems. A man can't be very demonstrative
about those things--not if he is a real man. I should not think
you would care much about saving the feelings of people who are
too narrow to admit of any other point of view than their own."
She stopped, finding herself in the impossible position of
attempting to explain Hamilton to his wife; a task which, if once
begun, would necessitate an entire course of enlightenment which
she doubted Flavia's ability to receive, and which she could
offer only with very poor grace.
"That's just where it stings most"--here Flavia began pacing
the floor--"it is just because they have all shown such tolerance
and have treated Arthur with such unfailing consideration that I
can find no reasonable pretext for his rancor. How can he fail
to see the value of such friendships on the children's account,
if for nothing else! What an advantage for them to grow up among
such associations! Even though he cares nothing about these
things himself he might realize that. Is there nothing I could
say by way of explanation? To them, I mean? If someone were to
explain to them how unfortunately limited he is in these
"I'm afraid I cannot advise you," said Imogen decidedly,
"but that, at least, seems to me impossible."
Flavia took her hand and glanced at her affectionately,
nodding nervously. "Of course, dear girl, I can't ask you to be
quite frank with me. Poor child, you are trembling and your
hands are icy. Poor Arthur! But you must not judge him by this
altogether; think how much he misses in life. What a cruel shock
you've had. I'll send you some sherry, Good night, my dear."
When Flavia shut the door Imogen burst into a fit of nervous
Next morning she awoke after a troubled and restless night. At
eight o'clock Miss Broadwood entered in a red and white striped
"Up, up, and see the great doom's image!" she cried, her
eyes sparkling with excitement. "The hall is full of
trunks, they are packing. What bolt has fallen? It's you, ma
cherie, you've brought Ulysses home again and the slaughter has
begun!" she blew a cloud of smoke triumphantly from her lips and
threw herself into a chair beside the bed.
Imogen, rising on her elbow, plunged excitedly into the
story of the Roux interview, which Miss Broadwood heard with the
keenest interest, frequently interrupting her with exclamations
of delight. When Imogen reached the dramatic scene which
terminated in the destruction of the newspaper, Miss Broadwood
rose and took a turn about the room, violently switching the
tasselled cords of her bathrobe.
"Stop a moment," she cried, "you mean to tell me that he had
such a heaven-sent means to bring her to her senses and didn't
use it--that he held such a weapon and threw it away?"
"Use it?" cried Imogen unsteadily. "Of course he didn't! He
bared his back to the tormentor, signed himself over to
punishment in that speech he made at dinner, which everyone
understands but Flavia. She was here for an hour last night and
disregarded every limit of taste in her maledictions."
"My dear!" cried Miss Broadwood, catching her hand in
inordinate delight at the situation, "do you see what he has
done? There'll be no end to it. Why he has sacrificed himself to
spare the very vanity that devours him, put rancors in the
vessels of his peace, and his eternal jewel given to the common
enemy of man, to make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings! He is
"Isn't he always that?" cried Imogen hotly. "He's like a
pillar of sanity and law in this house of shams and swollen
vanities, where people stalk about with a sort of madhouse
dignity, each one fancying himself a king or a pope. If you
could have heard that woman talk of him! Why, she thinks him
stupid, bigoted, blinded by middleclass prejudices. She talked
about his having no aesthetic sense and insisted that her artists
had always shown him tolerance. I don't know why it should get
on my nerves so, I'm sure, but her stupidity and assurance are
enough to drive one to the brink of collapse."
"Yes, as opposed to his singular fineness, they are
calculated to do just that," said Miss Broadwood gravely, wisely
ignoring Imogen's tears. "But what has been is nothing to what
will be. Just wait until Flavia's black swans have flown! You
ought not to try to stick it out; that would only make it harder
for everyone. Suppose you let me telephone your mother to wire
you to come home by the evening train?"
"Anything, rather than have her come at me like that again. It
puts me in a perfectly impossible position, and he is so
"Of course it does," said Miss Broadwood sympathetically,
"and there is no good to be got from facing it. I will stay
because such things interest me, and Frau Lichtenfeld will stay
because she has no money to get away, and Buisson will stay
because he feels somewhat responsible. These complications are
interesting enough to cold-blooded folk like myself who have an
eye for the dramatic element, but they are distracting and
demoralizing to young people with any serious purpose in life."
Miss Broadwood's counsel was all the more generous seeing
that, for her, the most interesting element of this denouement
would be eliminated by Imogen's departure. "If she goes now,
she'll get over it," soliloquized Miss Broadwood. "If she stays,
she'll be wrung for him and the hurt may go deep enough to last.
I haven't the heart to see her spoiling things for herself." She
telephoned Mrs. Willard and helped Imogen to pack. She even took
it upon herself to break the news of Imogen's going to Arthur,
who remarked, as he rolled a cigarette in his nerveless fingers:
"Right enough, too. What should she do here with old cynics
like you and me, Jimmy? Seeing that she is brim full of dates and
formulae and other positivisms, and is so girt about with
illusions that she still casts a shadow in the sun. You've been
very tender of her, haven't you? I've watched you. And to think
it may all be gone when we see her next. 'The common fate of all
things rare,' you know. What a good fellow you are, anyway,
Jimmy," he added, putting his hands affectionately on her
Arthur went with them to the station. Flavia was so
prostrated by the concerted action of her guests that she was
able to see Imogen only for a moment in her darkened sleeping
chamber, where she kissed her hysterically, without lifting her
head, bandaged in aromatic vinegar. On the way to the station
both Arthur and Imogen threw the burden of keeping up appearances
entirely upon Miss Broadwood, who blithely rose to the occasion.
When Hamilton carried Imogen's bag into the car, Miss Broadwood
detained her for a moment, whispering as she gave her a large,
warm handclasp, "I'll come to see you when I get back to town;
and, in the meantime, if you meet any of our artists, tell them
you have left Caius Marius among the ruins of Carthage."