MoboReader> Literature > The Port of Adventure

   Chapter 4 A GIRL IN MOURNING

The Port of Adventure By A. M. Williamson Characters: 31866

Updated: 2017-11-30 00:03


Angela May sat in her chair on the promenade-deck of the Adriatic and felt peacefully conscious that she was resting body and brain.

The ship was not crowded, for it was spring, and the great tide of travel had turned in the opposite direction-toward Europe. On either side of her chair were several which were unoccupied, and a soothing silence hovered round her, through which she could listen to the whisper of the sea as the ship glided on to the land of hope.

Loneliness gave a real joy to Angela; for, young as she was, she had lived through an ordeal, and had taken a step which meant high nervous tension leading up to a supreme decision. She was glad all was over, and well over; desperately glad that her courage had not failed.

"Oh, how thankful I am!" she said again and again, under her breath. Still, she vaguely envied some of the family parties on the ship, who appeared happy and united. Not that she wanted them to talk to her. Witty, lively people could be very nice when you were in the mood for them, but agonizing when you were not; and since it wasn't permissible to cover human beings up like canaries when you had tired of them, or send them away like children when they had prattled enough, Angela cuddled down among her cushions and rugs, glad to be let alone for the first time in her life. But there was a young mother with a small imp of a curly-haired girl, who fascinated her, and made her think. Once, when the imp fell on the deck, to be caught up and kissed until a wail ended in a laugh, Angela said to herself, "If my mother had been like that, everything would have been different for me."

Saunterers for exercise or flirtation often turned for a glance at Angela. What they saw was a slim girl, with pearly fair skin, big gray eyes, quantities of wavy hair of so pale a yellow-brown that it was like gold under the mourning hat she wore. Her low black collar made the slender throat that rose out of it white as a lily. The oval of her face was perfect, and when she read or closed her eyes, as she sometimes did, the long lashes, many shades darker than her hair, and the delicate arch of the brown eyebrows, gave her the soft, sweet look of a child asleep.

Always the glances were more admiring than curious; but they were curious, too, for every one was wondering who she was. In spite of her youth, there was something of pride and distinction about her which made it seem that she could not be an ordinary sort of person you had never heard of; a mere Miss Smith or Mrs. Brown. Yet all the "swells" on board had been duly accounted for and recognized. She was not one of them.

"What a pretty girl!" people said. "And she seems to be travelling alone, unless her friends are too sick to come out of their cabins. Apparently she hasn't even brought a maid-yet what lovely clothes she has, though so simple, and all black. Perhaps she's in mourning for her father or her mother, or some near relation. She's too young to be a widow!"

Angela did not much mind these glances, or this gentle curiosity, for no normal woman objects to being thought pretty. But it was delightful to feel sure that no one knew who she was. If she were on the passenger-list as the Princess di Sereno she would be more stared at and bothered than that poor, fat Duchess of Dorsetshire, who was too near-sighted to recognize her at a distance, thank goodness. Each glance thrown her way would have been an annoyance, for there would have been nothing flattering in any spice of interest her title gave. Some silly creatures might have stared at her because she was a princess; but-far worse-others would have looked because they knew all about her.

These would have buzzed: "Why, that's the Princess di Sereno, don't you know, the only child of the California millionaire who died about ten years ago, so suddenly while his wife and little daughter were in Europe! The girl married that Roman prince, Paolo di Sereno, who used to make such a sensation going about in an aeroplane, and gambling high at Monte Carlo-awfully handsome man, a lot older than she. He must have been nearly forty, and she seventeen, when she married him. Her mother made the match, of course: girl just out of school-the wedding wasn't six weeks after she was presented in England. The prince met her there, has English relations, like most of the Roman nobility. But the interesting part of the story is this: they never lived together as husband and wife. The bride either found out some secret the prince had kept from her (which is what people believe), or else there was a mysterious row the first hour after the wedding. Anyhow, something happened; he went off the same day and left her with her mother. Afterward, he came back; but it was an open secret that the two were no more than strangers, or, you might say, polite acquaintances, though they lived at opposite ends of his palace in Rome, which her money restored, and his country place near Frascati. There was never the least scandal, only wild curiosity. Now she has cut the whole thing. Apparently couldn't stand the empty sort of life, or else he did something worse than usual, at which she drew the line."

Angela did not much care whether people in Rome knew the truth or not. That no longer greatly mattered to her, because she meant never, never to go back to Rome, or to see Paolo di Sereno, or any of his friends-who had never really been her friends. But she did not want people on the ship to know, because she was tired of being talked about, and her hope was to begin a new and different life. For herself, she had nothing to conceal; but, she had never felt any pride or pleasure in being a princess, and after the flatteries and disillusions, the miseries and foolish extravagances of the last hateful, brilliant six years, everything connected with them, and the historic title her dead father's money had bought, was being eagerly obliterated by Franklin Merriam's daughter. She knew little about her forebears on her father's side, except that they were English, whereas Paolo had centuries behind him crammed full of glorious ancestors whose deeds were celebrated on tapestries of great beauty and value. Her one tolerable memory of Paolo was that he had never touched her hand since their marriage; but the memory of her father was sacred. She adored him, and was never weary of recalling things he had said to her, pleasures he had planned for her as a child, and, above all, his stories of California, whither she was now bound.

Angela had taken the name of "Mrs. May"; May, because May was her birth-month, and also her middle name given by her father, whereas Angela had been her mother's choice. Therefore she was just superstitious enough to feel that "May" might bring happiness, since her father's memory was the single unshadowed spot in her life of twenty-three years. A brilliant life it would have seemed to most women, one to be envied; but Angela could not see why.

The lashes which shaded her slate-gray eyes had that upward curl which shows an undying sense of humour, and she had been a merry little girl, with flashes of wit which had enchanted Franklin Merriam before she was snatched away to Europe at eleven, never to see him again. Even at school where she had been "dumped" (as Mrs. Merriam's intimate enemies put it), Angela had kept the girls laughing. Now, though she had imagined her gay spirit dead with childhood, she began to be visited by its ghost. She amused herself on shipboard with a thousand things, and a thousand thoughts which made her feel the best of "chums" with her new friend and companion, Angela May. "I've come back from twenty-three to seventeen," she thought, and pretended that there had never been an Angela di Sereno, that scornful young person who had forbidden the prince to come near her on learning that there was another whom he should have married instead of Millionaire Merriam's daughter.

When she was a little girl in Boston (where Mrs. Merriam had insisted upon living), Angela used to sit on her father's knee; and as he curled her yellow hair over his fingers he wove romances of the Golden West, reluctantly deserted for his wife's sake; and though many illusions had broken like bright bubbles, this ideal still glittered before Angela's eyes. She had been promised by her father that she should visit California with him, when "Mother brought her back from Europe"; but he had died, and mother had not brought her back; so now she was going to make the pilgrimage alone. Not only did she intend to see the places her father had described, but when she had seen all and could choose, she meant to buy land and make a home for herself, her first real home.

Wherever she decided to live, the house must be like the one where her father had been born-long and low built of adobe; there must be a patio, with a fountain in the middle; and the rooms must be kept cool by the roof of a veranda, shading the windows like a great overhanging eyelid. Lovely flowers she would have, of course, but the garden must be as unlike an Italian garden as possible. Italy was beautiful, but she did not wish to be reminded of that country, or any other in Europe where she had wandered in search of forgetfulness.

She had little fear that ghosts of the past would come to haunt her in her new home, for though the Prince di Sereno had once cared for her in his way, she had struck at his pride and made him hate her in the end. At last he had been glad to let her go out of his life, for she had made arrangements by which he kept more than half her money. There was no danger that he would try to snatch her back again; and as for European friends and acquaintances, it was unlikely that such worldly persons would care to come to the place she meant to select. It would be far from the paths of tourists.

The eight-day voyage passed pleasantly for Angela. She had spoken to no one except stewards and stewardesses for, taking her meals on deck, she had not come into contact with other passengers. The mourning she wore for her mother, who had died four months before in London, seemed to set her apart from others, though had it not been for the cause of her mourning, probably she would not now be on her way to America. It was a few weeks after Mrs. Merriam's death, when she had recovered from the shock which was hardly sorrow, that Angela said to herself: "Now she is beyond being grieved by anything I do, and I can go away-for good." For the girl had been under the frail cold woman's sway, as the strong man, Franklin Merriam, had been in his time; and Mrs. Merriam had derived such pleasure from having a daughter who was a Princess di Sereno that Angela could hardly have found courage to deprive her of it.

At home, both in the country and at her palace in Rome, the Princess had been waited on by two French maids, one of whom dressed her, while the other kept her belongings in order. When she travelled, as she often did, one or both went with her; to Egypt; to Algeria; to Russia; to Paris; or to England. But "Mrs. May" had no maid; and, landing in New York, it seemed that she was the only person who did not meet with a welcome from friends on the dock.

Suddenly, she ceased to enjoy her isolation. For the first time since leaving Rome "on a long visit to relatives in America" (according to newspaper paragraphs), the Princess di Sereno did not hug her loneliness and her secret. She hardly knew what to do as she stood under the big letter "M" waiting to have her luggage examined. Her fellow "M's" as well as all the other letters appeared to be having desperate trouble with the custom-house men, who clawed out the contents of their trunks and then calmly left the cowed owners to stuff everything back as best they could.

Angela's heart beat fast when her turn came, and she wished for long-nosed, hard-voiced Josephine as a bulwark; but the ordeal was not as bad as she expected. She looked at her inquisitor with the air of a hunted child who had got lost and hardly hoped ever to be found; so the protective instincts were aroused, and the wind was tempered to the shorn lamb. In half an hour after the ship had docked, Mrs. May was inquiring of a large, obliging Irishman (who had a vast store of knowledge concerning all useful subjects) how on earth she was to secure a cab.

Her hotel was decided upon, and rooms engaged. An old friend of Mrs. Merriam, a cosmopolitan American woman, had once praised the Hotel Valmont, Angela had remembered; and driving from Twenty-third Street up into the Forties, New York was almost as strange to her as if she had never seen it before. Indeed, she had seen little of it, for the Merriams had lived in Boston, and Angela was only eleven when she bade her father and America good-bye. How vividly that day came back to her now! She could see her father, and feel his kisses as he said, "Never mind, little girl. When mother brings you back then we'll have the time of our lives-just you and I-in California together."

But that day did not bear thinking of. And, by and by, rattling through the bright, busy streets, in the vivifying sunshine, she began to feel happy again, as well as very young and eager.

"This is the gate of my future, and I'm driving into it," she thought.

The Hotel Valmont, which Mrs. Corning had said was small, loomed imposing to Angela's eyes, as her taxicab stopped before the ever-revolving glass wheel of the Fifth Avenue door. The building towered to a height of sixteen or seventeen storeys at least, and appeared only a lesser mountain among mountains.

A polite man in livery bowed her through the swift whirl of the glass wheel, and she found herself in a large hall with floor and walls of marble. Formally cut laurel-trees grew in huge pots, and the gilded ceiling was higher than those of the Palazzo di Sereno.

There were many desks, and she explained to one of a dozen clerks that she was Mrs. A.V. May, who had cabled for a bedroom and sitting-room.

She was expected, and her suite was ready. Would she kindly register? And the young man, admiring the face framed in gold hair and black straw, pushed forward a ponderous volume that lay open on the counter. As Angela pulled off her glove and took the pen, she laid down a gold chain-bag which she always carried hanging on her arm. Angela was used to it, and she had no idea that it might be considered ostentatious in travelling. It was convenient as well as pretty, which was all she thought of; nor did she notice that several persons grouped near the desks looked at her, and at the bag, which was edged with diamonds and sapphires.

A diamond or two, and a sapphire or two, sparkled and gleamed on her fingers as she wrote; but except for her rings and a small, plain brooch, she had no jewellery which was meant to show. Under the black chiffon of her blouse, however, there was a glimmer of pearls which she wore night and day for safety.

"Mrs. A. V. May," she wrote, then paused before giving herself a habitation. Everybody else on the page was placed as well as named. London was as good a background as any for an unknown Mrs. May, so she provided herself with it, and then, moving her arm abruptly, her gold bag fell on the floor. Naturally, a man who had been leaning on the counter, looking at Angela, sprang to pick it up. But another man was before him. Pulling off a wide-brimmed gray hat which had been pushed to the back of his head, he held out the gold bag a little awkwardly.

"I guess you dropped this, lady," he said.

Angela was on the point of laughing. She was used to dropping her bag a dozen times a day, and having some one pick it up for her, but it had been funny to see it snapped away by this tall, oddly clad fellow, from under the dapper gentleman's rather sharp nose. Of course, she did not laugh, but smiled gratefully inst

ead, and she could not help staring a little at the retriever of her lost property. So, also, did the other and smaller man stare. This person was well dressed, and had a slight, pointed moustache, like a German officer's.

"Yes. It's mine. Thank you very much," said Angela. And she thought: "What an extraordinary-looking man. But how handsome! He might be dressed for a play-only, somehow, he doesn't look like an actor. Whatever he is, he's the real thing."

The wide gray sombrero remained in the young man's hand. He was so tall that he made most of those standing near look insignificant. Yet they, on the other hand, made him conspicuous.

It was a long way up to his face, but when Angela's eyes had climbed to that height, she saw that it was attractive, and the eyes splendid, even compelling, so that it was difficult to remove hers at once and discreetly from their influence.

The type of man was new to her, and the look which he gave her was new, somehow. His was a wild, uncivilized kind of handsomeness, she thought, like that of a noble, untamed creature of the forest, changed by enchantment into a man and thrust into modern clothes. Yet the look he gave her was not uncivilized, only surprised, rather boyish, and as if the brilliant eyes had suddenly lit upon something good which they had been seeking. Very odd, and a little exciting, Angela found the look.

If the young man's clothes were modern, they were far from being fashionable; not at all the sort of clothes to suit the background of a marble hall in a New York hotel. His shirt was of some soft white material which did not seem to be starched, and a low collar was turned down over a black, loosely tied cravat like a sailor's. Instead of a waistcoat he wore a leather belt, of the sort in which one would quite expect to see a knife or revolver sticking out. His blue serge suit was of a country cut, the trousers rather short and tight for the long, straight legs; and the shoes were wide in the toe, thick in the sole.

All these details Angela noted in one quick glance; and admiring the tall brown eccentricity as she might have admired a fine bronze statue out of place, in the wrong surroundings, she wondered from what sort of niche the statue had transplanted itself. In her mind there was no room whatever for the little man with the pointed moustache, so she forgot his existence.

"Mighty pleased to-do any service for you, lady," stammered the bronze statue, and though his voice was pleasant, it had not the cultured accent to which Angela was accustomed. Besides, it was quaint to be addressed as "lady." London cabbies and beggars called one "lidy"; but they were a law unto themselves. Still it sounded rather nice as he said it: "pleased to do any service for you, lady."

She nodded politely as she moved away, following the bellboy who had the key of her rooms, and as she reached the lift, something made her glance back. The sombrero was on the dark head again, and the head was bent over the hotel register, where Mrs. May had written her name. The man was either looking at that or writing his own. Angela inclined to the latter supposition. Probably this wild creature of forests had just arrived in New York from somewhere very far away, perhaps from her father's Golden West, the country of the sun. As the lift flashed her with horrifying swiftness up to the twelfth floor, she still seemed to hear the echo of the pleasant voice, saying "Pleased to do any service for you, lady." A few minutes later, however, she forgot the incident of the dropped bag in admiring her pretty suite of white and green rooms, the bath, and the cedar-lined wardrobes in the wall, which she remembered as typically American. She felt like a child examining a new playhouse. Suddenly she was sure that she would get on well with Americans, that she would like them, and they her, though until to-day she had been afraid that her country-people, in their own land, would seem to her like strangers. Although she had not made up her mind how long she would stay in New York before going West, she unpacked a great many things without stopping to think that perhaps she was giving herself useless trouble. Then, when she had scattered quantities of dresses, petticoats, hats, and cloaks in both rooms, she paused bewildered. Everything she had taken out on shipboard looked wrinkled and rather haggard. She wished, after all, that she had brought Josephine, though she had not been fond of her, or of the others. She did not know what to do with the things, and never could she get them all back again when it should be time to leave the hotel! It was as Josephine had prophesied. How the Frenchwoman would enjoy saying, "It is as I warned Madame la Princesse!"

"Perhaps a servant of the hotel would help me," she thought; and a call through the telephone brought to the door a tall, dark, Irish girl, who would have been pretty if her eyes and cheeks had not been stained with crying. At first glance Angela was interested, for she was beginning to be happy, and could not bear to think that any one who came near her was miserable. At all times, too, she had quick sympathies, and could read the secrets of sad or happy eyes in a flash, as she passed them in the street, though less sensitive persons saw nothing noteworthy; and often she longed to hurry back to some stranger, as if a voice had cried after her which she could not let cry in vain. Now, as she talked to the maid about the unpacking, unspoken sympathy went out from her in a magnetic current which the Irish girl felt. Her tear-blurred blue eyes fixed themselves on the young lady in black, and she had a strong, exciting impression that some blessing hovered near her, which she could take hold of if only she had courage.

"Indeed, miss, I'll love to help you," she said. "'Twill be a rale pleasure-and not many comes my way, these days."

"I'm sorry for that," Angela told her. "Perhaps you're homesick. I think you must have come not long ago from a green island which every one loves."

"You're right, miss." The Irish eyes brimmed over. "And I'm homesick enough to die, but not so much fur Oireland, as fur a place I niver set eyes on."

Angela was interested. "You're homesick for a place you never set eyes on? Then some one you love must be there."

This time the tears could not be kept back. The young woman had begun her work of gathering up Angela's belongings, and lest the tears should fall on a lace nightgown she was folding, she laid it on a chair, to search wildly for her handkerchief. "Do excuse me, if ye can, miss," she choked. "I've no right to make a fool o' meself in front of you, but you're that kind, I got filled up like. It's the State of Oregon I'm thinkin' of, for the man I crossed the say to marry is there, and now I don't know when we shall ever see one another."

"Oregon's a long way off," said Angela. "I know that, though I've lived in Europe most of my life. Only the other day I looked at it on the map."

"Have ye got that map by you, miss?"

"Yes. We'll find it presently, in this mass of books in my cabin trunk. But I was going to say, though Oregon's ever so far West, the man you came from Ireland to marry will surely send for you. Then how happy you'll be, by and by."

"A long by and by, I'm afraid, miss."

"Oh, why? Isn't there money enough?" Angela began to plan how she might make the course of true love run smooth; though in these days she was not as rich as she had been.

"There was, to begin with," the girl answered. "You see, miss, he sent for me to meet him in New York, and 'twas he paid me way over. He'd bought land in Oregon, and irritated it, as they calls it-and was doin' wonderful. The idea was he should meet me at the ship, and we'd get married and go West, man and wife. But his partner cheated him out of his eyes, and the trick only come out when I was on the water. So instead o' findin' me Tim I found a letter. The poor boy's had to start all over again; and I tuk service, waitin' till he can scrape up the money to fetch me out."

"I may be going quite near Oregon myself before long," said Angela impulsively. "Do you think you could learn to be my maid, and would you like to go with me?"

"Like it!" the girl echoed, turning white and then red. "'Twould be heaven. I'm not too happy here. The housekeeper's got a 'clow' on me. And indade, I've done a bit of maidin' to a lady in the ould country. I'd work early and late to please ye, miss!"

"I feel sure you would," Angela said. "But you know, if you're going to be my maid, you must give up calling me 'miss,' for I am-Mrs. May."

"I beg your pardon, I'm sure, ma'am. But 'twas because ye look so young, it never entered me head ye could be married, and perhaps even a widow."

Angela did not speak, and at once the girl made sure that she had hit upon the truth with her last words. The lovely lady was in black for her husband, to whom she must have been married when almost a child. "My name's Kate McGinnis, ma'am," she went quickly on, "and though I've got no recommendations in writin', because I thought to take a husband and not service, I can get a good word from the priest, and--"

"Your face tells me enough," Angela broke in. "I know you're a good girl, and that you'll be a comfort to me on the journey. But if you go, you mustn't expect to get out to Oregon immediately. I mean to travel to California, and I should like you to stay with me until I settle somewhere. Then I'll send you to the place where your fiancé lives."

"That's what I'd like best of anything," exclaimed Kate. "Tim ain't ready yet, but he will be soon-now the worry about payin' the big price of me railway ticket will be off our minds. Oh, but doesn't it seem too good to be true?"

"Why not say too good not to be true?" asked Angela, whose optimism to-day was ready to triumph over past stumbling-blocks. "It's settled, then-if the hotel will let you off."

"I've giv' in me notice, miss-madam, I mean," replied the girl hastily. "There's some things I don't think Tim would like about me bein' in a hotel, and I was lookin' out for a private place. Me time's up here day after to-morrow. But, oh, ma'am, there's a thing I haven't told ye-indade, 'twas because I forgot, not that I meant to desave. Maybe, when ye know what it is ye'll change yer mind about havin' me-and I couldn't blame ye."

Angela's clear eyes looked full into the clear eyes of the Irish girl. "I don't believe you can have anything to tell me which will make me want not to have you. Is it serious?"

"Yes, ma'am, very serious." Kate paused, swallowing heavily. "It's-it's a cat."

"A cat!" Angela burst out laughing. "How can a cat come between us?"

"A black cat, ma'am named Timmy after me own Tim, who give him to me, a kitten, three years ago, before he left the ould country. I promised be this and be that I'd niver part with the crature till Tim and me was made wan, and I niver have. Neither will I, if I have to starve. But I pay fur his kape in the hotel, out o' me wages, as if he was a Christian, and so he is, pretty near. There's nothin' he doesn't know; but I don't suppose ye'd allow him to travel in the trains-and I couldn't lave him."

To have a travelling cat, and a maid named McGinnis! The idea was preposterous, but Angela was in a mood to do preposterous things, and enjoy doing them. "I like you for your loyalty," she said, "and I shall like Timmy, too. Cats are misunderstood people. They can be splendid friends. And black cats are supposed to bring luck."

"I should love to have Timmy bring you some, ma'am," said Kate. "Not that ye need it, of course."

"But I do," Angela answered. "As for you, I shall call you by your first name. Kate, as if you were a French maid. I like it better than McGinnis."

"Thank you, so do I, ma'am. But it's me Tim has the fine name, which he'll give me when the right time comes. It's Moriarty, and to my mind there's none with more music in it. Oh, if ye only knew how happy ye've made me! I was afraid me name would be as black in yer eyes as the cat, so that's why I broke it to ye gently, and now I'm rewarded for everything."

Angela laughed again. "I fancied I was all alone in the world," she said to herself, "and here I am collecting a family."

She had luncheon brought to her own sitting-room, when Kate had put away everything and gone. Quantities of flowers she ordered, too-American Beauty roses, which looked extraordinarily intelligent and companionable, she thought. Then, most of the afternoon she spent in poring over maps, planning what she called her "pilgrimage"; and a little before six she was ready to go down and buy her ticket West, at the travel bureau which, she heard, existed in the hotel. Afterward she meant to take a stroll, and see Fifth Avenue by sunset.

Not once since entering her rooms had she consciously remembered the "bronze statue." In the marble hall, however, she recalled him, and thought most likely he was out amusing himself and seeing New York. But no; there he was, sitting rather dejectedly in a large rocking-chair; and as her eyes found him, his found her. Instantly his whole aspect changed. The statue came to life. His listless expression brightened to the puzzling intentness with which he had looked at her in the morning. As she passed near him, on her way to the travel bureau, he got up and stood like a soldier at attention. Seeing this Angela went by quickly without seeming to glance at him, for she was afraid that he meant to speak, and she hoped that he would not, for she did not want to snub him. She need not have feared, however. He made no sign, but looked at her as if she were a passing queen, for whom it was a man's duty and pleasure to get to his feet.

Angela would have bowed in recognition of the morning's courtesy, but dared not, lest after all he should be encouraged to speak; for his type was so new to her that she did not understand it in the least. It was, however, rather an agreeable mystery, and she saw him feature by feature, without appearing to lift her eyes. It was too bad that he had been foolish enough to discard his becoming costume of the morning for a conventional suit of clothes, which, it was painfully certain, he must have bought ready-made. The things did not fit too well, though they had probably cost a good deal, and they were astonishingly like advertisements of men's clothes which Angela had seen in American magazines on shipboard. They did their best to give him his money's worth, by spoiling his splendid looks and turning him into something different from what nature had intended. His broad shoulders were increased in size by the padded cutaway coat, until they seemed out of proportion. His collar was an inch too high, and he was evidently wretched in it. Also he had the look in his eyes of a man whose boots are so tight that he wishes to die. His fancy waistcoat and maroon necktie must have been forced upon him by a ruthless salesman who would stop at no crime in the way of trade, and the consciousness of these atrocities and the largeness of his scarf-pin had reduced the poor fellow to the depths of gloom. In one hand he held a pair of yellowish kid gloves which hung limp and feeble, like the dead bodies of small animals, and on the floor near his feet, as if drawing attention to the brilliance of his patent-leather shoes, was the latest extravagance in silk hats.

"My spoilt statue!" Angela thought. "I believe he is as sorry for himself as I am for him. Who knows, though? Perhaps I'm mistaken, and he's as proud as Punch. In that case, I give him up!"

But she would not have believed any one who had told her that she, and she alone, was the cause of the tragic change. He had wished to appear well in her eyes, and had gone about it in the way that seemed best.

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