Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/230

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IDALIA

The tremor was still in his voice, but there were in it, too, the thrill of a triumphant gratitude, the feckless resolve of a tropic passion: she knew that the die was cast, that to send him from her now would serve but little to make her memory forgotten by him. She knew well enough that forgetfulness was a treasure for evermore beyond the reach of those who once had loved her.

"Be it so! We will have no more words on the matter," she said, carelessly, as she passed onward with a low, light laugh; her temperament was variable, and she did not care that he should see that new unwonted weakness which had made her eyes grow dim at the chivalry and pathos of his brief words. "The fantasies of Uhland have made us speak as poetically as themselves. My counsels were counsels of wisdom, but since Wolfdieterich will rest under the linden, he must accept the hazard! How calm the Bosphorus is, the waves are hardly curled. There is my boat at the foot of the stairs; it is not too warm yet for half an hour on the sea if you would like to take the oars."

A moment ago and she had forbade him any knowledge of her, and had sought to dismiss him from