I awakened from a dreamy languor; a subtle essence of perfume floated through my senses. A gentle touch of some kindly hand was bathing my temples. Fearful lest this sweet illusion vanish with the others, I kept my eyes firmly closed, and soon abandoned myself wholly to the subduing influences of natural slumber.
"Has he stirred, Florine?"
"No, Monsieur, but his head is cooler now—he sleeps, hush! Perhaps another day he will be better. How he raved through the night. Poor, young gentleman, he quite exhausted himself."
"Ah, well, Florine, he is young, and with such nurses as thou and Nannette he will of a surety recover."
I turned my head and smiled a feeble recognition of Jerome and Florine. The other woman I had never seen; she was much older than Florine and had a kind, motherly face.
"What day is it?"
"The morning of Sunday."
It was Wednesday night when Jerome and I went to the ball.
I looked about me. The lodgings were those I had taken at the Austrian Arms, yet much changed in little things. The vase of flowers there in the window, the neat-swept hearth, the cheerful fire, and that indefinable something which gives a touch of womanliness to a room. Florine, perhaps.