Open main menu

Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/190

This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
168
THE BLACK WOLF'S BREED

ing, and composedly took her place among the ladies who made room for her near Madame. Nothing in her manner bore evidence of her recent conflict. It was really marvellous how the life these women led schooled them to a stoicism any Choctaw brave daring the stake might envy. She nodded to me gaily, and I stopped to touch her hand.

"Where is M. de Greville? Is he not to be with us this afternoon?"

I looked her in the face, wondering, for could she not answer her own question far better than I? She read my meaning, but her glance never wavered.

"Ah! There he is, among the gentlemen. I feared he found Sceaux too dull after Paris, and he had promised us a bit of his work. You know he composes famous verses to some fair and distant inamorata."

"Indeed, Madame, I suspected not his talents," I replied. Our conversation lagged, for the programme had already commenced, and we gave our attention to the reading of some curious letters, said to have been written by two Persians of distinction then travelling in Europe, which were being published anonymously in Paris. At first, I could not bring myself to listen to such twaddle, dubiously moral, which, under the guise of light, small talk, struck at the foundations of government, religious beliefs, and all which I had before held sacred. Listening only to contradict, I grew interested in spite of myself, and only at some allusion more than usually out of place, as it seemed to me, among so