pity the four plain Misses Davis from the bottom of her heart.
"Here are your flowers! I arranged them myself, remembering that you didn't like what Hannah calls a 'sot-bookay,'" said Laurie, handing her a delicate nosegay, in a holder that she had long coveted as she daily passed it in Cardiglia's window.
"How kind you are!" she exclaimed, gratefully; "if I'd known you were coming I'd have had something ready for you to-day,—though not as pretty as this, I'm afraid."
"Thank you; it isn't what it should be, but you have improved it," he added, as she snapped the silver bracelet on her wrist.
"I thought you liked that sort of thing!"
"Not from you; it doesn't sound natural, and I like your old bluntness better."
"I'm glad of it!" he answered, with a look of relief; then buttoned her gloves for her, and asked if his tie was straight, just as he used to do when they went to parties together, at home.
The company assembled in the long salle a manger, that evening, was such as one sees nowhere but on the continent. The hospitable Americans had invited every acquaintance they had in Nice, and, having no prejudice against titles, secured a few to add lustre to their Christmas ball.
A Russian prince condescended to sit in a corner for an hour, and talk with a massive lady, dressed like Hamlet's mother, in black velvet, with a pearl bridle under her chin. A Polish count, aged eighteen, devoted himself to the ladies, who pronounced him "a