"You like it?" asked Alexander. "She has the most perfect figure I have ever seen!"
"I like it", I replied; "I wonder whether the magic is in the model or in your brush?" "You'll soon see", he retorted, a little piqued, "she's due here already" and almost as he spoke she came in with quick, alert step. She was below medium height; but evidently already a woman. Without a word she went behind the screens to undress, when Alexander said: "Well?" I had to think a moment or two before answering.
"God and you have conspired together!" I exclaimed, and indeed his brush had surpassed itself. He had caught and rendered a childish innocence in expression that I had not remarked and he had blocked in the features with superb brio:
"It is your best work to date", I went on, "and almost anyone would have signed it."
At this moment the model emerged with a sheet about her and probably because of my praise Alexander introduced me to Mlle. Jeanne and said I was a distinguished American writer. She nodded to me saucily, flashing white teeth at me, mounted the estrade, threw off the sheet and took up her pose—all in a moment. I was carried off my feet; the more I looked, the more perfections I discovered. For the first time I saw a figure that I could find no fault with. Needless to say I told her so in my best French with a hundred similes. Alexander also I conciliated by begging him to do no more to the sketch but sell it to me and do another. Finally he took four hundred and fifty francs for it and in an hour had made another sketch.
My purchase had convinced Mlle. Jeanne that I was a young millionaire and when I asked her if I might accompany her to her home, she consented more than readily. As a matter of fact, I took her for a