Page:Idalia, by 'Ouida'.djvu/58

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should have looked closely at the lines in the rich reckless beauty, and caught a certain look in the lustrous half-veiled eyes, would have allotted him, justly, fifteen full years more.

Erceldoune gave him one glance, and though there was little doubt about his type and his order, he had known men of both by the hundreds.

"Paris is rather empty, monsieur? Sapristi! The asphalte in August would be too much for a salamander," pursued the stranger, over his bouillabaisse. He spoke excellent French, with a mellifluous southern accent, not of France.

Erceldoune assented. Like all travellers or men used to the world, he liked a stranger full as well as a friend for a companion—perhaps rather the better; but he was naturally silent, and seldom spoke much, save when strongly moved or much prepossessed by those whom he conversed with: then he would be eloquent enough, but that was rare.

"Thousands come to Paris this time of the year, but only to pass through it, as I daresay you are doing yourself, monsieur?" went on the Greek, if such he were, as Erceldoune judged him by the eyes and the features, worthy of Phidias' chisel, rarely seen without some Hellenic blood.

"For the season the city is tolerably full; travel-