Page:Hopkinson Smith--armchair at the inn.djvu/99

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as we knew, had been captured by the Dyaks when she was a child of eight, had been found some three years before by a scouting party and returned to the English agent at the principal seaport, the name of which I forget. Since that time she had been living with a relative, who had sent her to school. She had now completed her education, the letter went on to say, and was on her way back to England to join him, he being an invalided officer on half-pay. Before reaching him he wanted her to see something of the world, particularly of French life, and knew of no one with whom he would be more willing to trust her than ourselves. She was just grown—in her eighteenth year—and, although she had passed seven years of her life among a wild tribe, was still an English girl of prepossessing appearance.

“Well, she came—a beautifully formed, graceful creature, with flashing black eyes, a clear skin, and with a certain barbaric litheness when she moved that always reminded me of a panther, it was so measured, and had such meaning in it. She brought some expensive clothes, but no décolleté dresses of any kind, which surprised me, and when I offered to lend her my own—we were of about the same size—