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«.:i .i .: • I. El - ' ■ ■ lily :': ' i
| [ohn Trei
"» an y. -ti r r. ■• a p i ica a cup
-■ : he a k d ' h
"[i couldn't . r than tl
he n-marked gloomily.
She laughed "Will you apologize?" she asked,
pouring the tea and looking for a
dive me lemon. lie saui sauij.
"I'm past sweetening, sin ! must
praise your princelings."
She handed him the cup gravely.
"I'm sorry it's cold," she remarked
sweetly. "Perhaps I ought to light
"Don't speak of it," he replied.
stirring his tea vigorously. "1 was
saying — oh, well, what is his name?
"Prince Andrea (liovanni Maria
Luigi Buonomico." she said musi
"Oh, come, not really? All
that ' "
She opened her eyes in mild
surprise. "That i- only a part —
his whole title "
He held up both hands "Spare
me! " he (aimed, then set his tea
"Did you do you really intend
to marry him?'. 1 he asked gravely.
"Why, of course," she i plied.
gently surprised. " Why else should
1 tell you about it?"
He walked to the en.', of the terrace,
and stood looking out over the An
She watched him with an indescribable
expression in her gray eyes (liacomo's
scissors clipped, sharply insistent.
Presently John tame bark, white
faced, but tall, straight, stern.
"I ;t rii going luck to Florence," he
" Yes, after awhile," she replied
"No — now, at once!"
"Hut, John. 1 asked you to dine
with Prince Buonomico
••I — oh, hang .' ' Do you think
I'm a stone' You n a heartless flirt,
She regarded him with injured sur
•(", 1-b y." he said hoarsely. "I
said you'd marry a foreigner when you
and your aunt would come over here,
year after year, and lure vilh-.s and
castles by tlie peck measure. A leriea's
good enough for mo. I sail "next
"(iood-by. 1"m <-tf to Florence."
At the moment a messenger handed
a note to Giacomo. hen it reached
IJleanor she read it and looked up at
"The prince can't come to-night."
she said amiably. "He's detained in
"Detained in Florence?" repeated
John blankly. "Engaged to you and
detained! Well, Nora, you've i hanged "
"Will you stay?" she asked cor
John drew a long breath.
"I'm a fool," he remarked, as he
sat down on tin- sten "but I sr.i.-
j...,,- thai the outcast spirits wh«j \i r.■
Parailise would stay t«i dinner, if they were asked."
"■ I ha .en'l v doulii i»( it." ihe replied; "and here
is Aunt Delia si ill exjK't mii^' the Hicks-Da \ ises. "
! : tlit villa u.i- pii turesque l>y day, it was ex«|irisit<
mi'i<' the moon, when the palms on either side of
the st.ps casi pluino like shadows on tiiO './bite marhle
terra.. an«l the massesof oleanders appeared white in
the moonlight, while the velvety lawns were -lark.
and the twinkling lights on the lower terrace shim
mered i the water ol the fountain, and the whitj
sky arc he. 1 the darkening beauty "t the Italian land
sr:ipe as tie yellow Anm became a stream of silver.
It -i the \ i i .ii ..!' a dream, and Eleanor looked .it
it with loving eve. even John Trench fell thai its
beauty was almosi celestial, especially when t lk- moon
shone <'ii her lovely face and deepened the witchery «•!
her i ye.. And sin- was to marry a foreigner, a prince?
John groaned in his soul at the fate that made her a
great heiress and left him a j r beggar ol an attorney,
with no capital except his I. rams. He never had had the
SUNDAY MAGAZINE for OCTOBF R 2, 1904
face to ask her t-» marry him, and here this foreign fool —
"What an ideal night," she said pensively, "a night
f- if dream >."
"A night for lovers." he remarked ironically,
"the prince should be here."
"You divine my thoughts." she replied demurely.
Silence again She looked uj. at the moon with
dreamy eyes, and he stared angrily 'at the balustrade
i:i front of him.
"I shall tell you the truth. Eleanor!" he said wrath
ful ly. "This
marriage is the
height of folly.
Your home. your
money, your in
terests, are 1:
the Unite d
come of « 1
■I thought it
sh e suggested
ica n ; half
a mile fro m
Cork." he sai«l
you are going to
marry an Ital
ian, a Latin, a
defunct — "
You don't know
the s c me n .
you're used t<»
the petting and
spoiling o v <.• r
seas — "
"Who from 1 "
in gentle sur
He waved his
hands - I speak
in general terms.
v. ive s, v he n
you «.' o m p a r e
with that 6 f
You know noth
ing about this —
" Prince what
diil you say?"
if you prefer it."
he said indig
nantly, "I. as
your old friend
and legal adviser, feel called upon to express mv
"1 gathered it from your opening remarks." she said
composedly, b.u VO ii don't know Prince Buonomico."
"I don't want to 1 "
"' should think you would know my reasons "
" W I i y * " •
"Noi.i." he turned on her sternly, "do you love him'
Certainly you are above earing for his title."
"■ l ''■■•' ''• you. your remarks have been anything but
"•'"'" I am glad you credit me will disinterest
"Then." his voice was suddenly husky, "then you
love him. Nora?" ' '
No 111 '•••• : " They heard the murmur of the \rno
the sott ripple of the breeze in the trees.
self ■' ° ' >OUr pardon. 1 he sai<l »>••»»>»>•. "1 forgot my
"It was rather a leading question, wasn't it?" she
"I suppose he's enormously rich.' he remarked
alter a pause. *
'• On the contrary." she replied, with a mv ; : .! taugfc;
"he's enormously .poor. He has his ti;!t_-. "
•"And he asks you, an heiress, to marry him?"
gasped John, thinking of many things.
"Why not? Do you suppose I asked ".. . ■ Whaf
do I care for his poverty?"
'"I should think he would care." i:i:i- mtly, "i
poor man should have some feeling about askii g :t ricl #
woman to marry him. It I hadn't — "
"What did you say?"
"I don't believe in it!" he declared stoutly.
"How absurdf" she cried, with feeling. 'Must a
man, simply because he loves an heiress, leave her?
lioo.l gracious, think of her position! She ears't ask
him, and she may prefer the poor man to the ich one."
He groaned. "And you are going to marry a beg—
a penniless prince because he had the courage t<> ask
y< »v ? ' '
""I wouldn't ask him. you know," she re::.: led ■■.-,
He rose and walked to and fro on the terrace. In
the moonlight his face was white as the oleander*
Then he came and stood l>eside her, stir:-. 1 to the
"He asked you — hang him!'" he exclaimed passion
ately, "and I never have asked you — from pride, be
cause I wouldn't ask an heiress to marry t '■ ■c-.jgarly
attorney — and 1 have loved you! Oh. I know, Nora,
you don't want to hear me! But I mtist say i; — I've
loved you day and night, hour by hour, for years! •
Every breath you draw is dear to me — I know every
turn of that lovely head — every glance of those beauti
ful eyes — oh. yes. I always shall love you. always! ,
I'm not going to make a seene — don't be so frightened—
Ah. how ] love you!" he threw out his hands with a
gesture of despair. "And this poor Italian asked you!'*
He leaned on the balustrade, staring out .tt the
night with unseeing eyes. His head swam, the pain at
his heart caught his breath.
"Oh — John — why — why didn't you speak before?*" ■--
He turned and looked at her like one roused from an
She was crying softly. He knelt beside her chair and
gently drew her hands from her face.
"Nora, my darling, my love, my life!" he whispered.
"Would you have listened? t*o you care?"
He caught his breath, crushing her hands against his
breast. "Xora, do you love me?" It was aim »st a
<t\ t>i agony. -
She raised her head and looked into his eye-.
"My darling, my darling!" he mum.'ire.i r ; :-.:r-
The terrace was deserted, iiiacomo and his -sors
had vanished. John lifted her face between 1:: hands
and their lips met.
"Oh. John, what shall I say to the prince?" she
whisj-vred. in an awe-stricken voice.
"Hang the prince!" he cried. "Who cares f him?"
"You don't know — I've done a dreadful ti _'; it
isn't honorablt — I've been deceitful — and -" —
John sighed: in his heart he felt guilty t 1 the
" It's my fault, my darling." he said, "I h.L 1 i right |
to make love to an engaged girl. You're .in jel — "
" Dear heart' "
"John. I'm a wicked woman." she faltert over
ing her face with her hands. "I've deceived j —I've *
told you falsehoods -I" \i "
" Nora! "he cried, in a tone oi anxiety. "'. — \vu
d. >n't mean that you care 6 >r him after all ? — : r me,
but for the prince — "
She couere! in her chair and sobbe I.
"My— oh. Nora 1 " **
"Then — there wasn't any prince!" she :r.
"I I made it v;> — there wasn't any prtn.
"Win. was that note from then 1 " sternly
'Mrs. Hicks-Davis, to tell me she'd - , the
jtsta. I knew it be tore I sent for you— l
you by yourself — " •
" You put the whole thing up? I*i:t me tl: v
agony?" he gasped. "Why under the moon
—why 5 "
" You— you— l knew you cared for me!" she c«l.
"Oh. John. I'm so ashamed ?-^and ycu would: ask
me l>eeattse I had so much money — and — and 1 tado
it op to try you — " **
" You loved me — you loved me enough for th.it ha
He had her in his arms now. "You blessed darling!"
"Oh, John —it it Aunt Delia should lot* out- ' c
can --1-1-, you know' "
"I don't care!" rapturously. "You loved mec.u a l^
for that — you darling, you'"
"I didn't want to be an old maid, John, and— you
"Oh." he cried, .ii:.! altogether forgot Aunt . > a.
E^JPf^T "I Didn't
W.»nl lo Be
-•- Old Muid. John"