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The Reason Why by Elinor Glyn

Part 3 out of 6

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pathetic eyes, and they would swim with love and happiness, while he
murmured, "Adored Cherisette!"

The next day--Saturday--she never left him. They played games together,
and puzzles. The nurse was kind, but of a thickness of understanding,
like all the rest, he said, and, with his sister there, he could
dispense with her services for the moment. He wished, when it grew dusk
and they were to have their tea, to play his violin to only her, in the
firelight; and there he drew forth divine sounds for more than an hour,
tearing at Zara's heart-strings with the exquisite notes until her eyes
grew wet. And at last he began something that she did not know, and the
weird, little figure moved as in a dance in the firelight, while he
played this new air as one inspired, and then stopped suddenly with a
crash of joyous chords.

"It is _Maman_ who has taught me that!" he whispered. "When I was ill
she came often and sang it to me, and when they would give me back my
violin I found it at once, and now I am so happy. It talks of the
butterflies in the woods, which are where she lives, and there is a
little white one which flies up beside her with her radiant blue wings.
And she has promised me that the music will take me to her, quite soon.
Oh, Cherisette!"

"No, no," said Zara faintly. "I cannot spare you, darling. I shall have
a beautiful garden of my own next summer, and you must come and stay
with me, Mirko mio, and chase real butterflies with a golden net."

And this thought enchanted the child. He must hear all about his
sister's garden. By chance there was an old number of _Country Life_
lying on the table, and, the nurse bringing in the tea at the moment,
they turned on the electric light and looked at the pictures; and by the
strangest coincidence, when they came to the weekly series of those
beautiful houses she read at the beginning of the article, "Wrayth--the
property of Lord Tancred of Wrayth."

"See, Mirko," she said in a half voice; "our garden will look exactly
like this."

And the child examined every picture with intense interest. One of a
statue of Pan and his pipe, making the center of a star in the Italian
parterre, pleased him most.

"For see, Cherisette, he, too, is not shaped as other people are," he
whispered with delight. "Look! And he plays music, also! When you walk
there, and I am with _Maman_, you must remember that this is me!"

It was with deep grief and foreboding that Zara left him, on Monday
morning, in spite of the doctor's assurance that he was indeed on the
turn to get quite well--well of this sharp attack--whether he would ever
grow to be a man was always a doubt but there was no present
anxiety--she could be happy on that score. And with this she was obliged
to rest content.

But all the way back in the train she saw the picture of the Italian
parterre at Wrayth with the statue of Pan, in the center of the star,
playing his pipes.


The second wedding day of Zara Shulski dawned with a glorious sun. One
of those autumn mornings that seem like a return to the spring--so fresh
and pure the air. She had not seen her bridegroom since she got back
from Bournemouth, nor any of the family; she had said to her uncle that
she could not bear it.

"I am at the end of my forces, Uncle Francis. You are so clever--you can
invent some good excuse. If I must see Lord Tancred I cannot answer for
what I may do."

And the financier had realized that this was the truth. The strings of
her soul were strained to breaking point, and he let her pass the whole
day of Tuesday in peace.

She signed numbers of legal documents concerning her marriage
settlements, without the slightest interest; and then her uncle handed
her one which he said she was to read with care. It set forth in the
wearisome language of the law the provision for Mirko's life, "in
consideration of a certain agreement" come to between her uncle and
herself. But should the boy Mirko return at any time to the man Sykypri,
his father, or should she, Zara, from the moneys settled upon herself
give sums to this man Sykypri the transaction between herself and her
uncle regarding the boy's fortune would be null and void. This was the
document's sense.

Zara read it over but the legal terms were difficult for her. "If it
means exactly what we agreed upon, Uncle Francis, I will sign it," she
said, "that is--that Mirko shall be cared for and have plenty of money
for life."

And Francis Markrute replied,

"That is what is meant."

And then she had gone to her room, and spent the night before her
wedding alone. She had steadily read one of her favorite books: she
could not permit herself for a moment to think.

There was a man going to be hanged on the morrow, she had seen in the
papers; and she wondered if, this last night in his cell, the condemned
wretch was numb, or was he feeling at bay, like herself?

Then, at last she opened the window and glanced out on the moon. It was
there above her, over the Park, so she turned out the lights, and,
putting her furs around her, she sat for a while and gazed above the
treetops, while she repeated her prayers.

And Mimo saw her, as he stood in the shadow on the pavement at the other
side of Park Lane. He had come there in his sentimental way, to give her
his blessing, and had been standing looking up for some time. It seemed
to him a good omen for dear Cherisette's happiness, that she should have
opened the window and looked out on the night.

It was quite early--only about half-past ten--and Tristram, after a
banquet with his bachelor friends on the Monday night, had devoted this,
his last evening, to his mother, and had dined quietly with her alone.

He felt extremely moved, and excited, too, when he left. She had talked
to him so tenderly--the proud mother who so seldom unbent. How marriage
was a beautiful but serious thing, and he must love and try to
understand his wife--and then she spoke of her own great love for him,
and her pride in their noble name and descent.

"And I will pray to God that you have strong, beautiful children,
Tristram, so that there may in years to come be no lack of the Tancreds
of Wrayth."

When he got outside in the street the moonlight flooded the road, so he
sent his motor away and decided to walk. He wanted breathing space, he
wanted to think, and he turned down into Curzon Street and from, thence
across Great Stanhope Street and into the Park.

And to-morrow night, at this time, the beautiful Zara would be his! and
they would be dining alone together at Dover, and surely she would not
be so icily cold; surely--surely he could get her to melt.

And then further visions came to him, and he walked very fast; and
presently he found himself opposite his lady's house.

An impulse just to see her window overcame him, and he crossed the road
and went out of the gate. And there on the pavement he saw Mimo, also
with face turned, gazing up.

And in a flash he thought he recognized that this was the man he had
seen that day in Whitehall, when he was in his motor car, going very

A mad rage of jealousy and suspicion rushed through him. Every devil
whispered, "Here is a plot. You know nothing of the woman whom to-morrow
you are blindly going to make your wife. Who is this man? What is his
connection with her? A lover's--of course. No one but a lover would gaze
up at a window on a moonlight night."

And it was at this moment that Zara opened the window and, for a second,
both men saw her slender, rounded figure standing out sharply against
the ground of the room. Then she turned, and put out the light.

A murderous passion of rage filled Lord Tancred's heart.

He looked at Mimo and saw that the man's lips were muttering a prayer,
and that he had drawn a little silver crucifix from his coat pocket,
and, also, that he was unconscious of any surroundings, for his face was
rapt; and he stepped close to him and heard him murmur, in his
well-pronounced English,

"Mary, Mother of God, pray for her, and bring her happiness!"

And his common sense reassured him somewhat. If the man were a lover, he
could not pray so, on this, the night before her wedding to another. It
was not in human, male nature, he felt, to do such an unselfish thing as

Then Mimo raised his soft felt hat in his rather dramatic way to the
window, and walked up the street.

And Tristram, a prey to all sorts of conflicting emotions, went back
into the Park.

* * * * *

It seemed to Francis Markrute that more than half the nobility of
England had assembled in St. George's, Hanover Square, next day, as,
with the beautiful bride on his arm, he walked up the church.

She wore a gown of dead white velvet, and her face looked the same
shade, under the shadow of a wonderful picture creation, of black velvet
and feathers, in the way of a hat.

The only jewels she had on were the magnificent pearls which were her
uncle's gift. There was no color about her except in her red burnished
hair and her red, curved mouth.

And the whole company thrilled as she came up the aisle. She looked like
the Princess in a fairy tale--but just come to life.

The organ stopped playing, and now, as in a dream she knew that she was
kneeling beside Tristram and that the Bishop had joined their hands.

She repeated the vows mechanically, in a low, quiet voice. All the sense
of it that came to her brain was Tristram's firm utterance, "I, Tristram
Lorrimer Guiscard, take thee, Zara Elinka, to be my wedded wife."

And so, at last, the ceremony was over, and Lord and Lady Tancred walked
into the vestry to sign their names. And as Zara slipped her hand from
the arm of her newly-made husband he bent down his tall head and kissed
her lips; and, fortunately, the train of coming relations and friends
were behind them, as yet, and the Bishops were looking elsewhere, or
they would have been startled to observe the bride shiver, and to have
seen the expression of passionate resentment which crept into her face.
But the bridegroom saw it, and it stabbed his heart.

Then it seemed that a number of people kissed her: his mother and
sisters, and Lady Ethelrida, and, lastly, the Duke.

"I am claiming my privilege as an old man," this latter said gayly, "and
I welcome you to all our hearts, my beautiful niece."

And Zara had answered, but had hardly been able to give even a
mechanical smile.

And when they got into the smart, new motor, after passing through the
admiring crowds, she had shrunk into her corner, and half closed her
eyes. And Tristram, intensely moved and strained with the excitement of
it all, had not known what to think.

But pride made his bride play her part when they reached her uncle's

She stood with her bridegroom, and bowed graciously to the countless,
congratulatory friends of his, who passed and shook hands. And, when
soon after they had entered Lady Tancred arrived with Cyril and the
girls, she had even smiled sweetly for one moment, when that gallant
youth had stood on tiptoe and given her a hearty kiss! He was very small
for his age, and full of superb self-possession.

"I think you are a stunner, Zara," he said. "Two of our fellows, cousins
of mine, who were in church with me, congratulated me awfully. And now I
hope you're soon going to cut the cake?"

And Tristram wondered why her mutinous mouth had quivered and her eyes
become full of mist. She was thinking of her own little brother, far
away, who did not even know that there would be any cake.

And so, eventually, they had passed through the shower of rice and
slippers and were at last alone in the motorcar again; and once more
she shrank into her corner and did not speak, and he waited patiently
until they should be in the train.

But once there, in the reserved saloon, when the obsequious guard had
finally shut the door from waving friends and last hand shakes, and they
slowly steamed out of the station, he came over and sat down beside her
and tenderly took her little gray-gloved hand.

But she drew it away from him, and moved further off, before he could
even speak.

"Zara!" he said pleadingly.

Then she looked intensely fierce.

"Can you not let me be quiet for a moment?" she hissed. "I am tired

And he saw that she was trembling, and, though he was very much in love
and maddeningly exasperated with everything, he let her rest, and even
settled her cushion for her, silently, and took a paper and sat in an
armchair near, and pretended to read.

And Zara stared out of the window, her heart beating in her throat. For
she knew this was only a delay because, as her uncle had once said, the
English nobility as a race were great gentlemen--and this one in
particular--and because of that he would not be likely to make a scene
in the train; but they would arrive at the hotel presently, and there
was dinner to be got through, alone with him, and then--the afterwards.
And as she thought of this her very lips grew white.

The hideous, hideous hatefulness of men! Visions of moments of her first
wedding journey with Ladislaus came back to her. He had not shown her
any consideration for five minutes in his life.

Everything in her nature was up in arms. She could not be just; with her
belief in his baseness it seemed to her that here was this man--her
husband--whom she had seen but four times in her life, and he was not
content with the honest bargain which he perfectly understood; not
content with her fortune and her willingness to adorn his house, but he
must perforce allow his revolting senses to be aroused, he must desire
to caress her, just because she was a woman--and fair--and the law would
give him the right because she was his wife.

But she would not submit to it! She would find some way out.

As yet she had not even noticed Tristram's charm, that something which
drew all other women to him but had not yet appealed to her. She saw on
the rare occasions in which she had looked at him that he was very
handsome--but so had been Ladislaus, and so was Mimo; and all men were
selfish or brutes.

She was half English herself, of course, and that part of her--the calm,
common sense of the nation, would assert itself presently; but for the
time, everything was too strained through her resentment at fate.

And Tristram watched her from behind his _Evening Standard_, and was
unpleasantly thrilled with the passionate hate and resentment and all
the varying; storms of feeling which convulsed her beautiful face.

He was extremely sensitive, in spite of his daring _insouciance_ and his
pride. It would be perfectly impossible to even address her again while
she was in this state.

And so this splendid young bride and bridegroom, not understanding each
other in the least, sat silent and constrained, when they should have
been in each other's arms; and presently, still in the same moods, they
came to Dover, and so to the Lord Warden Hotel.

Here the valet and maid had already arrived, and the sitting-room was
full of flowers, and everything was ready for dinner and the night.

"I suppose we dine at eight?" said Zara haughtily, and, hardly waiting
for an answer, she went into the room beyond and shut the door.

Here she rang for her maid and asked her to remove her hat.

"A hateful, heavy thing," she said, "and there is a whole hour
fortunately, before dinner, Henriette, and I want a lovely bath; and
then you can brush my hair, and it will be a rest."

The French maid, full of sympathy and excitement, wondered, while she
turned on the taps, how _Miladi_ should look so disdainful and calm.

"_Mon Dieu!_ if _Milor_ was my Raoul! I would be far otherwise," she
thought to herself, as she poured in the scent.

At a quarter to the hour of dinner she was still silently brushing her
mistress's long, splendid, red hair, while Zara stared into the glass in
front of her, with sightless eyes and face set. She was back in
Bournemouth, and listening to "_Maman's_ air." It haunted her and rang
in her head; and yet, underneath, a wild excitement coursed in her

A knock then came to the door, and when Henrietta answered it Tristram
passed her by and stepped into his lady's room.

Zara turned round like a startled fawn, and then her expression changed
to one of anger and hauteur.

He was already dressed for dinner, and held a great bunch of gardenias
in his hand. He stopped abruptly when he caught sight of the exquisite
picture she made, and he drew in his breath. He had not known hair could
be so long; he had not realized she was so beautiful. And she was his

"Darling!" he gasped, oblivious of even the maid, who had the discretion
to retire quickly to the bathroom beyond. "Darling, how beautiful you
are! You drive me perfectly mad."

Zara held on to the dressing-table and almost crouched, like a panther
ready to spring.

"How dare you come into my room like this! Go!" she said.

It was as if she had struck him. He drew back, and flung the flowers
down into the grate.

"I only came to tell you dinner was nearly ready," he said haughtily,
"and to bring you those. But I will await you in the sitting-room, when
you are dressed."

And he turned round and left through the door by which he had come.

And Zara called her maid rather sharply, and had her hair plaited and
done, and got quickly into her dress. And when she was ready she went
slowly into the sitting-room.

She found Tristram leaning upon the mantelpiece, glaring moodily into
the flames. He had stood thus for ten minutes, coming to a decision in
his mind.

He had been very angry just now, and he thought was justified; but he
knew he was passionately in love, as he had never dreamed nor imagined
he could be in the whole of his life.

Should he tell her at once about it? and implore her not to be so cold
and hard? But no, that would be degrading. After all, he had already
shown her a proof of the most reckless devotion, in asking to marry her,
after having seen her only once! And she, what had her reasons been?
They were forcible enough or she would not have consented to her uncle's
wishes before they had even ever met; and he recalled, when he had asked
her only on Thursday last if she would wish to be released, that she had
said firmly that she wished the marriage to take place. Surely she must
know that no man with any spirit would put up with such treatment as
this--to be spoken to as though he had been an impudent stranger
bursting into her room!

Then his tempestuous thoughts went back to Mimo, that foreign man whom
he had seen under her window. What if, after all, he was her lover and
that accounted for the reason she resented his--Tristram's--desire to

And all the proud, obstinate fighting blood of the Guiscards got up in
him. He would not be made a cat's-paw. If she exasperated him further he
would forget about being a gentleman, and act as a savage man, and seize
her in his arms and punish her for her haughtiness!

So it was his blue eyes which were blazing with resentment this time,
and not her pools of ink.

Thus they sat down to dinner in silence--much to the waiters' surprise
and disgust.

Zara felt almost glad her husband looked angry. He would then of his own
accord leave her in peace.

As the soup and fish came and went they exchanged no word, and then that
breeding that they both had made them realize the situation was
impossible, and they said some ordinary things while the waiters were in
the room.

The table was a small round one with the two places set at right angles,
and very close.

It was the first occasion upon which Zara had ever been so near
Tristram, and every time she looked up she was obliged to see his face.
She could not help owning to herself, that he was extraordinarily
distinguished looking, and that there were strong, noble lines in his
whole shape.

At the end of their repast, for different reasons, neither of the two
felt calm. Tristram's anger had died down, likewise his suspicions;
after a moment's thought the sane point of view always presented itself
to his brain. No, whatever her reasons were for her disdain of him,
having another lover was not the cause. And then he grew intoxicated
again with her beauty and grace.

She was a terrible temptation to him; she would have been so to any
normal man--and they were dining together--and she was his very own!

The waiters, with their cough of warning at the door, brought coffee and
liqueurs, and then bodily removed the dinner table, and shut the doors.

And now Zara knew she was practically alone with her lord for the night.

He walked about the room--he did not drink any coffee, nor even a
Chartreuse--and she stood perfectly still. Then he came back to her, and
suddenly clasped her in his arms, and passionately kissed her mouth.

"Zara!" he murmured hoarsely. "Good God! do you think I am a stone! I
tell you I love you--madly. Are you not going to be kind to me and
really be my wife?"

Then he saw a look in her eyes that turned him to ice.

"Animal!" she hissed, and hit him across the face.

And as he let her fall from him she drew back panting, and deadly white;
while he, mad with rage at the blow, stood with flaming blue eyes, and
teeth clenched.

"Animal!" again she hissed, and then her words poured forth in a torrent
of hate. "Is it not enough that you were willing to sell yourself for my
uncle's money--that you were willing to take as a bargain--a woman whom
you had never even seen, without letting your revolting passions exhibit
themselves like this? And you dare to tell me you love me! What do such
as you know of love? Love is a true and a pure and a beautiful thing,
not to be sullied like this. It must come from devotion and knowledge.
What sort of a vile passion is it which makes a man feel as you do for
me? Only that I am a woman. Love! It is no love--it is a question of
sense. Any other would do, provided she were as fair. Remember, my lord!
I am not your mistress, and I will not stand any of this! Leave me. I
hate you, animal that you are!"

He stiffened and grew rigid with every word that she said, and when she
had finished he was as deadly pale as she herself.

"Say not one syllable more to me, Zara!" he commanded. "You will have no
cause to reprove me for loving you again. And remember this: things
shall be as you wish between us. We will each live our lives and play
the game. But before I ask you to be my wife again you can go down upon
your knees. Do you hear me? Good night."

And without a word further he strode from the room.


The moon was shining brightly and a fresh breeze had risen when Tristram
left the hotel and walked rapidly towards the pier. He was mad with rage
and indignation from his bride's cruel taunts. The knowledge of their
injustice did not comfort him, and, though he knew he was innocent of
any desire to have made a bargain, and had taken her simply for her
beautiful self, still, the accusation hurt and angered his pride. How
dared she! How dared her uncle have allowed her to think such things! A
Tancred to stoop so low! He clenched his hands and his whole frame

And then as he gazed down into the moonlit waves her last words came
back with a fresh lashing sting. "Leave me, I hate you, animal that you
are!" An animal, forsooth! And this is how she had looked at his love!

And then a cold feeling came over him--he was so very just--and he
questioned himself. Was it true? Had it, indeed, been only that? Had he,
indeed, been unbalanced and intoxicated merely from the desire of her
exquisite body? Had there been nothing beyond? Were men really
brutes?--And here he walked up and down very fast. What did it all mean?
What did life mean? What was the truth of this thing, called love?

And so he strode for hours, reasoning things out. But he knew that for
his nature there could be no love without desire--and no desire without
love. And then his conversation with Francis Markrute came back to him,
the day they had lunched in the city, when the financier had given his
views about women.

Yes, they were right, those views. A woman, to be dangerous, must appeal
to both the body and brain of a man. If his feeling for Zara were only
for the body then it was true that it was only lust.

But it was _not_ true; and he thought of all his dreams of her at
Wrayth, of the pictures he had drawn of their future life together, of
the tenderness with which he had longed for this night.

And then his anger died down and was replaced by a passionate grief.

His dream lay in ruins, and there was nothing to look forward to but a
blank, soulless life. It did not seem to him then, in the cold
moonlight, that things could ever come right. He could not for his
pride's sake condescend to any further explanation with her. He would
not stoop to defend himself; she must think what she chose, until she
should of herself find out the truth.

And then his level mind turned and tried to see her point of view. He
must not be unjust. And he realized that if she thought such base things
of him she had been more or less right. But, even so, there was some
mystery beyond all this--some cruel and oppressing dark shadow in her

And his thoughts went back to the night they had first met, and he
remembered then that her eyes had been full of hate--resentment and
hate--as though he, personally, had caused her some injury.

Francis Markrute was so very clever: what plan had he had in his head?
By what scorpion whip had he perhaps forced her to consent to his wishes
and become his--Tristram's--wife? And once more the disturbing
remembrance of Mimo returned, so that, when at last dawn came and he
went back to the hotel, tired out in body and soul, it would not let him
rest in his bed. His bed--in the next room his wife!

But one clear decision he had come to. He would treat her with cold
courtesy, and they would play the game. To part now, in a dramatic
manner, the next day after the wedding, was not in his sense of the
fitness of things, was not what was suitable or seemly for the Tancred

And when he had left her Zara had stood quite still. Some not understood
astonishment caused all her passion to die down. For all the pitifully
cruel experiences of her life she was still very young--young and
ignorant of any but the vilest of men. Hitherto she had felt when they
were kind that it was for some gain, and if a woman relented a second
she would be sure to be trapped. For her self-respect and her soul's
sake she must go armed at all points. And after her hurling at him all
her scorn, instead of her husband turning round and perhaps beating her
(as, certainly, Ladislaus would have done), he had answered with dignity
and gone out of the room.

And she remembered her father's cold mien. Perhaps there was something
else in the English--some other finer quality which she did not yet

The poor, beautiful creature was like some ill-treated animal ready to
bite to defend itself at the sight of a man.

It spoke highly for the strength and nobility of her character that,
whereas another and weaker woman would have become degraded by the
sorrows of such a life, she had remained pure as the snow, and as cold.
Her strong will and her pride had kept completely in check every
voluptuous instinct which must certainly have always lain dormant in
her. Every emotion towards man was frozen to ice.

There are some complete natures which only respond to the highest touch;
when the body and soul are evenly balanced they know all that is divine
of human love. It is those warped in either of the component parts who
bring sorrow--and lust.

The perfect woman gives willingly of herself, body and soul, to the _one
man_ she loves.

But of all these things Zara was ignorant. She only knew she was
exhausted, and she crept wearily to bed.

Thus neither bride nor bridegroom, on this their wedding night, knew
peace or rest.

They met next day for a late breakfast. They were to go to Paris by the
one o'clock boat. They were both very quiet and pale. Zara had gone into
the sitting-room first, and was standing looking out on the sea when her
husband came into the room, and she did not turn round, until he said
"Good morning," coldly, and she realized it was he.

Some strange quiver passed over her at the sound of his voice.

"Breakfast should be ready," he went on calmly. "I ordered it for eleven
o'clock. I told your maid to tell you so. I hope that gave you time to

"Yes, thank you," was all she said; and he rang the bell and opened the
papers, which the waiters had piled on the table, knowing the delight of
young bridal pairs to see news of themselves!

And as Zara glanced at her lord's handsome face she saw a cynical,
disdainful smile creep over it, at something he read.

And she guessed it was the account of their wedding; and she, too, took
up another paper and looked at the headings.

Yes, there was a flaming description of it all. And as she finished the
long paragraphs she raised her head suddenly and their eyes met. And
Tristram allowed himself to laugh--bitterly, it was true, but still to

The lingering fear of the ways of men was still in Zara's heart and not
altogether gone; she was not yet quite free from the suspicion that he
still might trap her if she unbent. So she frowned slightly and then
looked down at the paper again; and the waiters brought in breakfast at
that moment and nothing was said.

They did not seem to have much appetite, nor to care what they ate, but,
the coffee being in front of her, politeness made Zara ask what sort her
husband took, and when he answered--none at all--he wanted tea--she was
relieved, and let him pour it out at the side-table himself.

"The wind has got up fiercely, and it will be quite rough," he said
presently. "Do you mind the sea?"

And she answered, "No, not a bit."

Then they both continued reading the papers until all pretense of
breakfast was over; and he rose, and, asking if she would be ready at
about half-past twelve, to go on board, so as to avoid the crowd from
the London train, he went quietly out of the room, and from the windows
she afterwards saw him taking a walk on the pier.

And for some unexplained psychological reason, although she had now
apparently obtained exactly the terms she had decided were the only
possible ones on which to live with him, she experienced no sense of
satisfaction or peace!

No pair could have looked more adorably attractive and interesting than
Lord and Lady Tancred did as they went to their private cabin on the
boat an admiring group of Dover young ladies thought, watching from the
raised part above where the steamer starts. Every one concerned knew
that this thrilling bride and bridegroom would be crossing, and the
usual number of the daily spectators was greatly increased.

"What wonderful chinchilla!" "What lovely hair!" and "Oh! isn't he just
too splendid!" they said. And the maid and the valet, carrying the jewel
case, dressing bags, cushion and sable rug, followed, to the young
ladies' extra delight.

The _apanages_ of a great position, when augmented by the romance of a
wedding journey, are dear to the female heart.

They had the large cabin on the upper deck of the _Queen_, and it was
noticed that until the London train could be expected to arrive the
bridal pair went outside and sat where they could not be observed, with
a view towards Dover Castle. But it could not be seen that they never
spoke a word and that each read a book.

When it seemed advisable to avoid the crowd Tristram glanced up and

"I suppose we shall have to stay in that beastly cabin now, or some cad
will snapshot us. Will you come along?"

And so they went.

"It is going to be really quite rough," he continued, when the door was
shut. "Would you like to lie down--or what?"

"I am never the least ill, but I will try and sleep," Zara answered
resignedly, as she undid her chinchilla coat.

So he settled the pillows, and she lay down, and he covered her up; and
as he did so, in spite of his anger with her and all his hurt pride he
had the most maddeningly strong desire to kiss her and let her rest in
his arms. So he turned away brusquely and sat down at the farther end,
where he opened the window to let in some air, and pulled the curtain
over it, and then tried to go on with his book. But every pulse in his
body was throbbing, and at last he could not control the overmastering
desire to look at her.

She raised herself a little, and began taking the finely-worked,
small-stoned, sapphire pins out of her hat. They had been Cyril's gift.

"Can I help you?" he said.

"It is such soft fur I thought I need not take it off to lie down," she
answered coldly, "but there is something hurting in the back."

He took the thing with its lace veil from her, and the ruffled waves of
her glorious hair as she lay there nearly drove him mad with the longing
to caress.

How, in God's name, would they ever be able to live? He must go outside
and fight with himself.

And she wondered why his face grew so stern. And when she was settled
comfortably again and the boat had started he left her alone.

It was, fortunately, so rough that there were very few people about, and
he went far forward and leant on the rail, and let the salt air blow
into his face.

What if, in the end, this wild passion for her should conquer him and he
should give in, and have to confess that her cruel words did not hinder
him from loving her? It would be too ignominious. He must pull himself
together and firmly suppress every emotion. He determined to see her as
little as possible when they got to Paris, and when the ghastly
honeymoon week, that he had been contemplating with so much excitement
and joy should be over, then they would go back to England, and he would
take up politics in earnest, and try and absorb himself in that.

And Zara, lying in the cabin, was unconscious of any direct current of
thought; she was quite unconscious that already this beautiful young
husband of hers had made some impression upon her, and that, underneath,
for all her absorption in her little brother and her own affairs, she
was growing conscious of his presence and that his comings and goings
were things to remark about.

And, strengthened in his resolve to be true to the Tancred pride,
Tristram came back to her as they got into Calais harbor.


The servants at the Ritz, in Paris, so exquisitely drilled, made no
apparent difference, when the bride and bridegroom arrived there about
half-past seven o'clock, than if they had been an elderly brother and
sister; and they were taken to the beautiful Empire suite on the Vendome
side of the first floor. Everything was perfection in the way of
arrangement, and the flowers were so particularly beautiful that Zara's
love for them caused her to cry out,

"Oh! the dear roses! I must just bury my face in them, first."

They had got through the railway journey very well; real, overcoming
fatigue had caused them both to sleep, and in the automobile, coming to
the hotel, they had exchanged a few stiff words.

"To-morrow night we can dine out at a restaurant," Tristram had said,
"but to-night perhaps you are tired and would rather go to bed?"

"Thank you," said Zara. "Yes, I would." For she thought she wanted to
write her letters to Mirko and tell him of her new name and place. So
she put on a tea-gown, and at about half-past eight joined Tristram in
the sitting-room. If they had not both been so strained their sense of
humor would not have permitted them to refrain from a laugh. For here
they sat in state, and, when the waiters were in the room, exchanged a
few remarks. But Zara did notice that her husband never once looked at
her with any directness, and he seemed coldly indifferent to anything
she said.

"We shall have to stay here for the whole, boring week," he announced
when at last coffee was on the table and they were alone. "There are
certain obligations one's position obliges one to conform to. You
understand, I expect. I will try to make the time as easy to bear for
you as I can. Will you tell me what theaters you have not already seen?
We can go somewhere every night, and in the daytime you have perhaps
shopping to do; and--I know Paris quite well. I can amuse myself."

Zara did not feel enthusiastically grateful, but she said, "Thank you,"
in a quiet voice, and Tristram, rang the bell and asked for the list of
the places of amusement, and in the most stiff, self-contained manner he
chose, with her, a different one for every night.

Then he lit a cigar deliberately, and walked towards the door.

"Good-night, Milady," he said nonchalantly, and then went out.

And Zara sat still by the table and unconsciously pulled the petals off
an unoffending rose; and when she realized what she had done she was

It was not until about five o'clock the next day that he came into the
sitting-room again.

_Milor_ had gone to the races, and had left a note for _Miladi_ in the
morning, the maid had said.

And Zara, as she lay back on her pillows, had opened it with a strange

"You won't be troubled with me to-day," she read. "I am going out with
some old friends to Maisons Liafitte. I have said you want to rest from
the journey, as one has to say something. I have arranged for us to
dine at the Cafe de Paris at 7:30, and go to the Gymnase. Tell Higgins,
my valet, if you change the plan." And the note was not even signed!

Well, it appeared she had nothing further to fear from him; she could
breathe much relieved. And now for her day of quiet rest.

But when she had had her lonely lunch and her letters to her uncle and
Mirko were written, she found herself drumming aimlessly on the window
panes, and wondering if she would go out.

She had no friends in Paris whom she wanted to see. Her life there with
her family had been entirely devoted to them alone. But it was a fine
day and there is always something to do in Paris--though what then,
particularly, she had not decided; perhaps she would go to the Louvre.

And then she sank down into the big sofa, opposite the blazing wood
fire, and gradually fell fast asleep. She slept, with unbroken deepness,
until late in the afternoon, and was, in fact, still asleep there when
Tristram came in.

He did not see her at first; the lights were not on and it was almost
dark in the streets. The fire, too, had burnt low. He came forward, and
then went back again and switched on the lamps; and, with the blaze,
Zara sat up and rubbed her eyes. One great plait of her hair had become
loosened and fell at the side of her head, and she looked like a rosy,
sleepy child.

"I did not see you!" Tristram gasped, and, realizing her adorable
attractions, he turned to the fire and vigorously began making it up.

Then, as he felt he could not trust himself for another second, he rang
the bell and ordered some tea to be brought, while he went to his room
to leave his overcoat. And when he thought the excuse of the repast
would be there, he went back.

Zara felt nothing in particular. Even yet she was rather on the
defensive, looking out for every possible attack.

So they both sat down quietly, and for a few moments neither spoke.

She had put up her hair during his absence, and now looked wide-awake
and quite neat.

"I had a most unlucky day," he said--for something to say. "I could not
back a single winner. On the whole I think I am bored with racing."

"It has always seemed boring to me," she said. "If it were to try the
mettle of a horse one had bred I could understand that; or to ride it
oneself and get the better of an adversary: but just with sharp
practices--and for money! It seems so common a thing, I never could take
an interest in that."

"Does anything interest you?" he hazarded, and then he felt sorry he had
shown enough interest to ask.

"Yes," she said slowly, "but perhaps not many games. My life has always
been too ordered by the games of others, to take to them myself." And
then she stopped abruptly. She could not suppose her life interested him

But, on the contrary, he was intensely interested, if she had known.

He felt inclined to tell her so, and that the whole of the present
situation was ridiculous, and that he wanted to know her innermost
thoughts. He was beginning to examine her all critically, and to take in
every point. Beyond his passionate admiration for her beauty there was
something more to analyze.

What was the subtle something of mystery and charm? Why could she not
unbend and tell him the meaning in those fathomless, dark eyes?--What
could they look like, if filled with love and tenderness? Ah!

And if he had done as he felt inclined at the moment the ice might have
been broken, and at the end of the week they would probably have been in
each other's arms. But fate ordered otherwise, and an incident that
night, at dinner, caused a fresh storm.

Zara was looking so absolutely beautiful in her lovely new clothes that
it was not in the nature of gallant foreigners to allow her to dine
unmolested by their stares, and although the tete-a-tete dinner was
quite early at the Cafe de Paris, there happened to be a large party of
men next to them and Zara found herself seated in close proximity to a
nondescript Count, whom she recognized as one of her late husband's
friends. Every one who knows the Cafe de Paris can realize how this
happened. The long velvet seats without divisions and the small tables
in front make, when the place is full, the whole side look as if it were
one big group. Lord Tancred was quite accustomed to it; he knew Paris
well as he had told her, so he ought to have been prepared for what
could happen, but he was not.

Perhaps he was not on the alert, because he had never before been there
with a woman he loved.

Zara's neighbor was a great, big, fierce-looking creature from some wild
quarter of the South, and was perhaps also just a little drunk. She knew
a good deal of their language, but, taking for granted that this
Englishman and his lovely lady would be quite ignorant of what they
said, the party of men were most unreserved in their remarks.

Her neighbor looked at her devouringly, once or twice, when he saw
Tristram could not observe him, and then began to murmur immensely
_entreprenant_ love sentences in his own tongue, as he played with his
bread. She knew he had recognized her. And Tristram wondered why his
lady's little nostrils should begin to quiver and her eyes to flash.

She was remembering like scenes in the days of Ladislaus, and how he
used to grow wild with jealousy, in the beginning when he took her out,
and once had dragged her back upstairs by her hair, and flung her into
bed. It was always her fault when men looked at her, he assured her. And
the horror of the recollection of it all was still vivid enough.

Then Tristram gradually became greatly worried; without being aware that
the man was the cause, he yet felt something was going on. He grew
jealous and uneasy, and would have liked to have taken her home.

And because of the things she was angrily listening to, and because of
her fear of a row, she sat there looking defiant and resentful, and
spoke never a word.

And Tristram could not understand it, and he eventually became annoyed.
What had he said or done to her again? It was more than he meant to
stand, for no reason--to put up with such airs!

For Zara sat frowning, her mouth mutinous and her eyes black as night.

If she had told Tristram what her neighbor was saying there would at
once have been a row. She knew this, and so remained in constrained
silence, unconscious that her husband was thinking her rude to him, and
that he was angry with her. She was so strung up with fury at the
foreigner, that she answered Tristram's few remarks at random, and then
abruptly rose while he was paying the bill, as if to go out. And as she
did so the Count slipped a folded paper into the sleeve of her coat.

Tristram thought he saw something peculiar but was still in doubt, and,
with his English self-control and horror of a scene, he followed his
wife to the door, as she was walking rapidly ahead, and there helped her
into the waiting automobile.

But as she put up her arm, in stepping in, the folded paper fell to the
brightly lighted pavement and he picked it up.

He must have some explanation. He was choking with rage. There was some
mystery, he was being tricked.

"Why did you not tell me you knew that fellow who sat next to you?" he
said in a low, constrained voice.

"Because it would have been a lie," she said haughtily. "I have never
seen him but once before in my life."

"Then what business have you to allow him to write notes to you?"
Tristram demanded, too overcome with jealousy to control the anger in
his tone.

She shrank back in her corner. Here it was beginning again! After all,
in spite of his apparent agreement to live on the most frigid terms with
her he was now acting like Ladislaus: men were all the same!

"I am not aware the creature wrote me any note," she said. "What do you

"How can you pretend like this," Tristram exclaimed furiously, "when it
fell out of your sleeve? Here it is."

"Take me back to the hotel," she said with a tone of ice. "I refuse to
go to the theater to be insulted. How dare you doubt my word? If there
is a note you had better read it and see what it says."

[Illustration: "With his English self-control and horror of a scene, he
followed his wife to the door."]

So Lord Tancred picked up the speaking-tube and told the chauffeur to go
back to the Ritz.

They both sat silent, palpitating with rage, and when they got there he
followed her into the lift and up to the sitting-room.

He came in and shut the door and strode over beside her, and then he
almost hissed,

"You are asking too much of me. I demand an explanation. Tell me
yourself about it. Here is your note."

Zara took it, with infinite disdain, and, touching it as though it were
some noisome reptile, she opened it and read aloud,

_"Beautiful Comtesse, when can I see you again?"_

"The vile wretch!" she said contemptuously. "That is how men insult
women!" And she looked up passionately at Tristram. "You are all the

"I have not insulted you," he flashed. "It is perfectly natural that I
should be angry at such a scene, and if this brute is to be found again
to-night he shall know that I will not permit him to write insolent
notes to my wife."

She flung the hateful piece of paper into the fire and turned towards
her room.

"I beg you to do nothing further about the matter," she said. "This
loathsome man was half drunk. It is quite unnecessary to follow it up;
it will only make a scandal, and do no good. But you can understand
another thing. I will not have my word doubted, nor be treated as an
offending domestic--as you have treated me to-night." And without
further words she went into her room.

Tristram, left alone, paced up and down; he was wild with rage, furious
with her, with himself, and with the man. With her because he had told
her once, before the wedding, that when they came to cross swords there
would be no doubt as to who would be master! and in the three encounters
which already their wills had had she had each time come off the
conqueror! He was furious with himself, that he had not leaned forward
at dinner to see the man hand the note, and he was frenziedly furious
with the stranger, that he had dared to turn his insolent eyes upon his

He would go back to the Cafe de Paris, and, if the man was there, call
him to account, and if not, perhaps he could obtain his name. So out he

But the waiters vowed they knew nothing of the gentleman; the whole
party had been perfect strangers, and they had no idea as to where they
had gone on. So this enraged young Englishman spent the third night of
his honeymoon in a hunt round the haunts of Paris, but with no success;
and at about six o'clock in the morning came back baffled but still
raging, and thoroughly wearied out.

And all this while his bride could not sleep, and in spite of her anger
was a prey to haunting fears. What if the two had met and there had been
bloodshed! A completely possible case! And several times in the night
she got out of her bed and went and listened at the communicating doors;
but there was no sound of Tristram, and about five o'clock, worn out
with the anxiety and injustice of everything, she fell into a restless
doze, only to wake again at seven, with a lead weight at her heart. She
could not bear it any longer! She must know for certain if he had come
in! She slipped on her dressing-gown, and noiselessly stole to the door,
and with the greatest caution unlocked it, and, turning the handle,
peeped in.

Yes, there he was, sound asleep! His window was wide open, with the
curtains pushed back, so the daylight streamed in on his face. He had
been too tired to care.

Zara turned round quickly to reenter her room, but in her terror of
being discovered she caught the trimming of her dressing-gown on the
handle of the door and without her being aware of it a small bunch of
worked ribbon roses fell off.

Then she got back into bed, relieved in mind as to him but absolutely
quaking at what she had done and at the impossibly embarrassing position
she would have placed herself in, if he had awakened and known that she
had come!

And the first thing Tristram saw, when some hours later he was aroused
by the pouring in of the sun, was the little torn bunch of silk roses
lying close to her door.


He sprang from bed and picked them up. What could they possibly mean?
They were her roses, certainly--he remembered she wore the dressing-gown
that first evening at Dover, when he had gone to her to give her the
gardenias. And they certainly had not been there when at six o'clock he
had come in. He would in that case have seen them against the pale

For one exquisite moment he thought they were a message and then he
noticed the ribbon had been wrenched off and was torn.

No, they were no conscious message, but they did mean that she had been
in his room while he slept.

Why had she done this thing? He knew she hated him--it was no
acting--and she had left him the night' before even unusually incensed.
What possible reason could she have, then, for coming into his room? He
felt wild with excitement. He would see if, as usual, the door between
them was locked. He tried it gently. Yes, it was.

And Zara heard him from her side, and stiffened in her bed with all the
expression of a fierce wolfhound putting its hackles up.

Yes, the danger of the ways of men was not over! If she had not
unconsciously remembered to lock the door when she had returned from her
terrifying adventure he would have come in!

So these two thrilled with different emotions and trembled, and there
was the locked harrier between them. And then Tristram rang for his
valet and ordered his bath. He would dress quickly, and ask casually if
she would breakfast in the sitting-room. It was so late, almost eleven,
and they could have it at twelve upstairs--not in the restaurant as he
had yesterday intended. He must find out about the roses; he could not
endure to pass the whole day in wonder and doubt.

And Zara, too, started dressing. It was better under the circumstances
to be armed at all points, and she felt safer and calmer with Henriette
in the room.

So a few minutes before twelve they met in the sitting-room.

Her whole expression was on the defensive: he saw that at once.

The waiters would be coming in with the breakfast soon. Would there be
time to talk to her, or had he better postpone it until they were
certain to be alone? He decided upon this latter course, and just said a
cold "Good morning," and turned to the _New York Herald_ and looked at
the news.

Zara felt more reassured.

So they presently sat down to their breakfast, each ready to play the

They spoke of the theaters--the one they had arranged to go to this
Saturday night was causing all Paris to laugh.

"It will be a jolly good thing to laugh," Tristram said--and Zara

He made no allusion to the events of the night before, and she hardly
spoke at all. And at last the repast was over, and the waiters had left
the room.

Tristram got up, after his coffee and liqueur, but he lit no cigar; he
went to one of the great windows which look out on the Colonne Vendome,
and then he came back. Zara was sitting upon the heliotrope Empire sofa
and had picked up the paper again.

He stood before her, with an expression upon his face which ought to
have melted any woman.

"Zara," he said softly, "I want you to tell me, why did you come into my

Her great eyes filled with startled horror and surprise, and her white
cheeks grew bright pink with an exquisite flush.

"I?"--and she clenched her hands. How did he know? Had he seen her,
then? But he evidently did know, and there was no use to lie. "I was

Tristram took a step nearer and sat down by her side. He saw the
confession was being dragged from her, and he gloried in it and would
not help her out.

She moved further from him, then, with grudging reluctance, she

"There can be such unpleasant quarrels with those horrible men. It--was
so very late--I--I--wished to be sure that you had come safely in."

Then she looked down, and the rose died out of her face, leaving it very

And if Tristram's pride in the decision he had come to, on the fatal
wedding night, that she must make the first advances before he would
again unbend, had not held him, he would certainly have risked
everything and clasped her in his arms. As it was, he resisted the
intense temptation to do so, and made himself calm, while he answered,

"It mattered to you, then, in some way, that I should not come to harm?"

He was still sitting on the sofa near her, and that magnetic essence
which is in propinquity appealed to her; ignorant of all such emotions
as she was she only knew something had suddenly made her feel nervous,
and that her heart was thumping in her side.

"Yes, of course it mattered," she faltered, and then went on coldly, as
he gave a glad start; "scandals are so unpleasant--scenes and all those
things are so revolting. I had to endure many of them in my former

Oh! so that was it! Just for fear of a scandal and because she had known
disagreeable things! Not a jot of feeling for himself! And Tristram got
up quickly and walked to the fireplace. He was cut to the heart.

The case was utterly hopeless, he felt. He was frozen and stung each
time he even allowed himself to be human and hope for anything. But he
was a strong man, and this should be the end of it. He would not be
tortured again.

He took the little bunch of flowers out of his pocket and handed it to
her quietly, while his face was full of pain.

"Here is the proof you left me of your kind interest," he told her.
"Perhaps your maid will miss it and wish to sew it on." And then without
another word he went out of the room.

Zara, left alone, sat staring into the fire. What did all this mean? She
felt very unhappy, but not angry or alarmed. She did not want to hurt
him. Had she been very unkind? After all, he had behaved, in comparison
to Ladislaus, with wonderful self-control--and--yes, supposing he were
not quite a sensual brute she had been very hard. She knew what pride
meant; she had abundance herself, and she realized for the first time
how she must have been stinging his.

But there were facts which could not be got over. He had married her for
her uncle's money and then shown at once that her person tempted him,
when it could not be anything else.

She got up and walked about the room. There was a scent of him
somewhere--the scent of a fine cigar. She felt uneasy of she knew not
what. Did she wish him to come back? Was she excited? Should she go out?
And then, for no reason on earth, she suddenly burst into tears.

* * * * *

They met for dinner, and she herself had never looked or been more icy
cold than Tristram was. They went down into the restaurant and there, of
course, he encountered some friends dining, too, in a merry party; and
he nodded gayly to them and told her casually who they were, and then
went on with his dinner. His manner had lost its constraint, it was just
casually indifferent. And soon they started for the theater, and it was
he who drew as far away as he could, when they got into the automobile.

They had a box--and the piece had begun. It was one of those impossibly
amusing Paris farces, on the borderland of all convention but so
intensely comic that none could help their mirth, and Tristram shook
with laughter and forgot for the time that he was a most miserable young
man. And even Zara laughed. But it did not melt things between them.
Tristram's feelings had been too wounded for any ordinary circumstances
to cause him to relent.

"Do you care for some supper?" he said coldly when they came out. But
she answered. "No," so he took her back, and as far as the lift where he
left her, politely saying "Good night," and she saw him disappear
towards the door, and knew he had again gone out.

And going on to the sitting-room alone, she found the English mail had
come in, and there were the letters on the table, at least a dozen for
Tristram, as she sorted them out--a number in women's handwriting--and
but two for herself. One was from her uncle, full of agreeable
congratulations subtly expressed; and the other, forwarded from Park
Lane, from Mirko, as yet ignorant of her change of state, a small,
funny, pathetic letter that touched her heart. He was better, and again
able to go out, and in a fortnight Agatha, the little daughter of the
Morleys, would be returning, and he could play with her. That might be a
joy--girls were not so tiresome and did not make so much noise as boys.

Zara turned to the piano, which she had not yet opened, and sat down and
comforted herself with the airs she loved; and the maid who listened,
while she waited for her mistress to be undressed, turned up her eyes in

_"Quel drole de couple!"_ she said.

And Tristram reencountered his friends and went off with them to sup.

Her ladyship was tired, he told them, and had gone to bed. And two of
the Englishwomen who knew him quite well teased him and said how
beautiful his bride was and how strange-looking, and what an iceberg he
must be to be able to come out to supper and leave her alone! And they
wondered why he then smiled cynically.

"For," said one to the other on their way home, "the new Lady Tancred is
perfectly beautiful! Fancy, Gertrude, Tristram leaving her for a minute!
And did you ever see such a face? It looks anything but cold."

Zara was wide-awake when, about two, he came in. She heard him in the
sitting-room and suddenly became conscious that her thoughts had been
with him ever since she went to bed, and not with Mirko and his letter.

She supposed he was now reading his pile of correspondence--he had such
numbers of fond friends! And then she heard him shut the door, and go
round into his room; but the carpets were very thick and she heard no

If she could have seen what happened beyond that closed door, would it
have opened her eyes, or made her happy? Who can tell?

For Higgins, with methodical tidiness, had emptied the pockets of the
coat his master had worn in the day, and there on top of a letter or two
and a card-case was one tiny pink rose, a wee bud that had become
detached from the torn bunch.

And when Tristram saw it his heart gave a great bound. So it had stayed
behind, when he had returned the others, and was there now to hurt him
with remembrance of what might have been! He was unable to control the
violent emotion which shook him. He went to the window and opened it
wide: the moon was rather over, but still blazed in the sky. Then he
bent down and passionately kissed the little bud, while a scorching mist
gathered in his eyes.


So at last the Wednesday morning came--and they could go back to
England. From that Saturday night until they left Paris Tristram's
manner of icy, polite indifference to his bride never changed. She had
no more quaking shocks nor any fear of too much ardor! He avoided every
possible moment of her society he could, and when forced to be with her
seemed aloof and bored.

And the freezing manner of Zara was caused no longer by haughty
self-defense but because she was unconsciously numb at heart.

Unknown, undreamed-of emotion came over her, whenever she chanced to
find him close, and during his long absences her thoughts followed
him--sometimes with wonderment.

Just as they were going down to start for the train on the Wednesday
morning a telegram was put into her hand. It was addressed "La Baronne
de Tancred," and she guessed at once this would be Mimo's idea of her
name. Tristram, who was already down the steps by the concierge's desk,
turned and saw her open it, with a look of intense strain. He saw that
as she read her eyes widened and stared out in front of them for a
moment, and that her face grew pale.

For Mimo had wired, "Mirko not quite so well." She crumpled the blue
paper in her hand, and followed her husband through the bowing personnel
of the hotel into the automobile. She controlled herself and was even
able to give one of her rare smiles in farewell, but when they started
she leaned back, and again her face went white. Tristram was moved. Whom
was her telegram from? She did not tell him and he would not ask, but
the feeling that there were in her life, things and interests of which
he knew nothing did not please him. And this particular thing--what was
it? Was it from a man? It had caused her some deep emotion--he could
plainly see that. He longed to ask her but was far too proud, and their
terms had grown so distant he hardly liked to express even solicitude,
which, however, he did.

"I hope you have not had any bad news?"

Then she turned her eyes upon him, and he saw that she had hardly heard
him; they looked blank.

"What?" she asked vaguely; and then, recollecting herself confusedly,
she went on, "No--not exactly--but something about which I must think."

So he was shut out of her confidence. He felt that, and carefully
avoided taking any further notice of her.

When they got to the station he suddenly perceived she was not following
him as he made way for her in the crowd, but had gone over to the
telegraph office by herself.

He waited and fumed. It was evidently something about which she wished
no one to see what she wrote, for she could perfectly well have given
the telegram to Higgins to take, who would be waiting by the saloon

She returned in a few moments, and she saw that Tristram's face was very
stern. It did not strike her that he was jealous about the mystery of
the telegram; she thought he was annoyed at her for not coming on in
case they should be late, so she said hurriedly, "There is plenty of

"Naturally," he answered stiffly as they walked along, "but it is quite
unnecessary for Lady Tancred to struggle through this rabble and take
telegrams herself. Higgins could have done it when we were settled in
the train."

And with unexpected meekness all she said was, "I am very sorry."

So the incident ended there--but not the uneasy impression it left.

Tristram did not even make a pretense of reading the papers when the
train moved on; he sat there staring in front of him, with his handsome
face shadowed by a moody frown. And any close observer who knew him
would have seen that there was a change in his whole expression, since
the same time the last week.

The impossible disappointment of everything! What kind of a nature could
his wife have, to be so absolutely mute and unresponsive as she had
been? He felt glad he had not given her the chance to snub him again.
These last days he had been able to keep to his determination, and at
all events did not feel himself humiliated. How long would it be before
he should cease to care for her? He hoped to God--soon, because the
strain of crushing his passionate desires was one which no man could
stand long.

The little, mutinous face, with its alluring, velvet, white skin, her
slightly full lips, all curved and red, and tempting, and anything but
cold in shape, and the extraordinary magnetic attraction of her whole
personality, made her a most dangerous thing; and then his thoughts
turned to the vision of her hair undone that he had had on that first
evening at Dover. He had said once to Francis Markrute, he remembered,
that these great passions were "storybook stuff." Good God! Well, in
those days he had not known.

He thought, as he returned from his honeymoon this day, that he could
not be more frightfully unhappy, but he was really only beginning the
anguish of the churning of his soul--if he had known.

And Zara sat in her armchair, and pretended to read; but when he glanced
at her he saw that it was a farce and that her expressive eyes were
again quite blank.

And finally, after the uncomfortable hours, they arrived at Calais and
went to the boat.

Here Zara seemed to grow anxious again and on the alert, and, stepping
forward, asked Higgins to inquire if there was a telegram for her,
addressed to the ship. But there was not, and she subsided once more
quietly and sat in their cabin.

Tristram did not even attempt to play the part of the returning
bridegroom beyond the ordinary seeing to her comfort about which he had
never failed; he left her immediately and remained for all the voyage on

And when they reached Dover Zara's expectancy showed again, but it was
not until they were just leaving the station that a telegram was thrust
through the window and he took it from the boy, while he could not help
noticing the foreign form of address. And a certainty grew in his brain
that it was "that same cursed man!"

He watched her face as she read it, and noticed the look of relief as,
quite unconscious of his presence, his bride absently spread the paper
out. And although deliberately to try and see what was written was not
what he would ever have done, his eyes caught the signature, "Mimo,"
before he was aware of it.

Mimo--that was the brute's name!

And what could he say or do? They were not really husband and wife, and
as long as she did nothing to disgrace the Tancred honor he had no valid
reason for questions or complaints.

But he burnt with suspicion, and jealousy, and pain.

Then he thought over what Francis Markrute had said the first evening,
when he had agreed to the marriage. He remembered how he had not felt it
would be chivalrous or honorable to ask any questions, once he had
blindly gone the whole length and settled she should be his; but how
Francis had gratuitously informed him that she had been an immaculate
wife until a year ago, and married to an unspeakable brute.

He knew the financier very well, and knew that he was, with all his
subtle cleverness, a man of spotless honor. Evidently, then, if there
was anything underneath he was unaware of it. But was there anything?
Even though he was angry and suspicious he realized that the bearing of
his wife was not guilty or degraded. She was a magnificently proud and
noble-looking creature, but perhaps even the noblest women could stoop
to trick from--love! And this thought caused him to jump up
suddenly--much to Zara's astonishment. And she saw the veins show on the
left side of his temple as in a knot, a peculiarity, like the horseshoe
of the Redgauntlets, which ran in the Tancred race.

Then he felt how foolish he was, causing himself suffering over an
imaginary thing; and here this piece of white marble sat opposite him in
cold silence, while his being was wrung! He suddenly understood
something which he had never done before, when he read of such things
in the papers--how, passionately loving, a man could yet kill the thing
he loved.

And Zara, comforted by the telegram, "Much better again to-day," had
leisure to return to the subject which had lately begun unconsciously to
absorb her--the subject of her lord!

She wondered what made him look so stern. His nobly-cut face was as
though it were carved in stone. Just from an abstract, artistic point of
view, she told herself, she honestly admired him and his type. It was
finer than any other race could produce and she was glad she was half
English, too. The lines were so slender and yet so strong; and every
bone balanced--and the look of superb health and athletic strength.

Such must have been the young Greeks who ran in the Gymnasium at Athens,
she thought.

And then, suddenly, an intense quiver of unknown emotion rushed over
her. And if at that moment he had clasped her and kissed her, instead of
sitting there glaring into space, the rest of this story need never have
been written!

But the moment passed, and she crushed whatever it was she felt of the
dawning of love, and he dominated the uneasy suspicions of her fidelity;
and they got out of the train at Charing Cross--after their remarkable
wedding journey.


Francis Markrute's moral antennae upon which he prided himself informed
him that all was not as it should be between this young bride and
bridegroom. Zara seemed to have acquired in this short week even an
extra air of regal dignity, aided by her perfect clothes; and Tristram
looked stern, and less joyous and more haughty than he had done. And
they were both so deadly cold, and certainly constrained! It was not one
of the financier's habits ever to doubt himself or his deductions. They
were based upon far too sound reasoning. No, if something had gone wrong
or had not yet evolutionized it was only for the moment and need cause
no philosophical _deus ex machina_ any uneasiness.

For it was morally and physically impossible that such a perfectly
developed pair of the genus human being could live together in the bonds
of marriage, and not learn to love.

Meanwhile, it was his business as the friend and uncle of the two to be
genial and make things go on greased wheels.

So he exerted himself to talk at dinner--their dinner _a trois_--. He
told them all the news that had happened during the week--Was it only a
week--Zara and Tristram both thought!

How there were rumors that in the coming spring there might be a general
election, and that the Radicals were making fresh plots to ruin the
country; but there was to be no autumn session, and, as usual, the
party to which they all had the honor to belong was half asleep.

And then the two men grew deep in a political discussion, so as soon as
Zara had eaten her peach she said she would leave them to their talk,
and say "Good night," as she was tired out.

"Yes, my niece," said her uncle who had risen. And he did what he had
not done since she was a child, he stooped and kissed her white
forehead. "Yes, indeed, you must go and rest. We both want you to do us
justice to-morrow, don't we, Tristram? We must have our special lady
looking her best."

And she smiled a faint smile as she passed from the room.

"By George! my dear boy," the financier went on, "I don't believe I ever
realized what a gorgeously beautiful creature my niece is. She is like
some wonderful exotic blossom--a mass of snow and flame!"

And Tristram said with unconscious cynicism,

"Certainly snow--but where is the flame?"

Francis Markrute looked at him out of the corners of his clever eyes.
She had been icy to him in Paris, then! But his was not the temperament
to interfere. It was only a question of time. After all, a week was not
long to grow accustomed to a perfect stranger.

Then they went back to the library, and smoked for an hour or so and
continued their political chat; and at last Markrute said to his new
nephew-in-law blandly,

"In a year or so, when you and Zara have a son, I will give you, my dear
boy, some papers to read which will interest you as showing the mother's
side of his lineage. It will be a fit balance, as far as actual blood
goes, to your own."

In a year or so, when Zara should have a son!

Of all the aspects of the case, which her pride and disdain had robbed
him of, this, Tristram felt, was perhaps--though it had not before
presented itself to him--the most cruel. He would have no son!

He got up suddenly and threw his unfinished cigar into the grate--that
old habit of his when he was moved--and he said in a voice that the
financier knew was strained,

"That is awfully good of you. I shall have to have it inserted in the
family tree--some day. But now I think I shall turn in. I want to have
my eye rested, and be as fit as a fiddle for the shoot. I have had a
tiring week."

And Francis Markrute came out with him into the passage and up to the
first floor, and when they got so far they heard the notes of the
_Chanson Triste_ being played again from Zara's sitting-room. She had
not gone to bed, then, it seemed!

"Good God!" said Tristram. "I don't know why, but I wish to heaven she
would not play that tune."

And the two men looked at one another with some uneasy wonder in their

"Go on and take her to bed," the financier suggested. "Perhaps she does
not like being left so long alone."

Tristram went upstairs with a bitter laugh to himself.

He did not go near the sitting-room; he went straight into the room
which had been allotted to himself: and a savage sense of humiliation
and impotent rage convulsed him.

The next day, the express which would stop for them at Tylling Green,
the little station for Montfitchet, started at two o'clock, and the
financier had given orders to have an early lunch at twelve before they
left. He, himself, went off to the City for half an hour to read his
letters, at ten o'clock, and was surprised when he asked Turner if Lord
and Lady Tancred had break-fasted to hear that her ladyship had gone out
at half-past nine o'clock and that his lordship had given orders to his
valet not to disturb him, in his lordship's room--and here Turner
coughed--until half-past ten.

"See that they have everything they want," his master said, and then
went out. But when he was in his electric brougham, gliding eastwards,
he frowned to himself.

"The proud, little minx! So she has insisted upon keeping to the
business bargain up till now, has she!" he thought. "If it goes on we
shall have to make her jealous. That would be an infallible remedy for
her caprice."

But Zara was not concerned with such things at all for the moment. She
was waiting anxiously for Mimo at their trysting-place, the mausoleum of
Halicarnassus in the British Museum, and he was late. He would have the
last news of Mirko. No reply had awaited her to her telegram to Mrs.
Morley from Paris, and it had been too late to wire again last night.
And Mrs. Morley must have got the telegram, because Mimo had got his.

Some day, she hoped--when she could grow perhaps more friendly with her
husband--she would get her uncle to let her tell him about Mirko. It
would make everything so much more simple as regards seeing him, and
why, since the paper was all signed and nothing could be altered, should
there be any mystery now? Only, her uncle had said the day before the

"I beg of you not to mention the family disgrace of your mother to your
husband nor speak to him of the man Sykypri for a good long time--if you
ever need."

And she had acquiesced.

"For," Francis Markrute had reasoned to himself, "if the boy dies, as
Morley thinks there is every likelihood that he will, why should
Tristram ever know?"

The disgrace of his adored sister always made him wince.

Mimo came at last, looking anxious and haggard, and not his debonair
self. Yes, he had had a telegram that morning. He had sent one, as he
was obliged to do, in her name, and hence the confusion in the answer.
Mrs. Morley had replied to the Neville Street address, and Zara wondered
if she knew London very well and would see how impossible such a
locality would be for the Lady Tancred!

But Mirko was better--decidedly better--the attack had again been very
short. So she felt reassured for the moment, and was preparing to go
when she remembered that one of the things she had come for was to give
Mimo some money in notes which she had prepared for him; but, knowing
the poor gentleman's character, she was going to do it delicately by
buying the "Apache!" For she was quite aware that just money, for him to
live, now that it was not a question of the welfare of Mirko, he would
never accept from her. In such unpractical, sentimental ways does
breeding show itself in some weak natures!

Mimo was almost suspicious of the transaction, and she was obliged to
soothe and flatter him by saying that he must surely always have
understood how intensely she had admired that work; and now she was rich
it would be an everlasting pleasure to her to own it for her very own.
So poor Mimo _was_ comforted, and they parted after a while, all
arrangements having been made that the telegrams--should any more
come--were to go first, addressed to her at Neville Street, so that the
poor father should see them and then send them on.

And as it was now past eleven o'clock Zara returned quickly back to Park
Lane and was coming in at the door just as her husband was descending
the stairs.

"You are up very early, Milady," he said casually, and because of the
servants in the hall she felt it would look better to follow him into
the library.

Tristram was surprised at this and he longed to ask her where she had
been, but she did not tell him; she just said,

"What time do we arrive at your uncle's? Is it five or six?"

"It only takes three hours. We shall be in about five. And, Zara, I want
you to wear the sable coat. I think it suits you better than the
chinchilla you had when we left."

A little pink came into her cheeks. This was the first time he had ever
spoken of her clothes; and to hide the sudden strange emotion she felt,
she said coldly.

"Yes, I intended to. I shall always hate that chinchilla coat."

And he turned away to the window, stung again by her words which she had
said unconsciously. The chinchilla had been her conventional "going
away" bridal finery. That was, of course, why she hated the remembrance
of it.

As soon as she had said the words she felt sorry. What on earth made her
so often wound him? She did not know it was part of the same instinct of
self-defense which had had to make up her whole attitude towards life.
Only this time it was unconsciously to hide and so defend the new
emotion which was creeping into her heart.

He stayed with his back turned, looking out of the window; so, after
waiting a moment, she went from the room.

At the station they found Jimmy Danvers, and a Mr. and Mrs. Harcourt
with the latter's sister, Miss Opie, and several men. The rest of the
party, including Emily and Mary, Jimmy told them, had gone down by the
eleven o'clock train.

Both Mrs. Harcourt and her sister and, indeed, the whole company were
Tristram's old and intimate friends and they were so delighted to see
him, and chaffed and were gay, and Zara watched, and saw that her uncle
entered into the spirit of the fun in the saloon, and only she was a
stranger and out in the cold.

As for Tristram, he seemed to become a different person to the stern,
constrained creature of the past week, and he sat in a corner with Mrs.
Harcourt, and bent over her and chaffed and whispered in her ear, and
she--Zara--was left primly in one of the armchairs, a little aloof. But
such a provoking looking type of beauty as hers did not long leave the
men of the party cold to her charms; and soon Jimmy Danvers joined her
and a Colonel Lowerby, commonly known as "the Crow," and she held a
little court. But to relax and be genial and unregal was so difficult
for her, with the whole contrary training of all her miserable life.

Hitherto men and, indeed, often women were things to be kept at a
distance, as in one way or another they were sure to bite!

And after a while the party adjusted itself, some for bridge and some
for sleep; and Jimmy Danvers and Colonel Lowerby went into the small
compartment to smoke.

"Well, Crow," said Jimmy, "what do you think of Tristram's new lady?
Isn't she a wonder? But, Jehoshaphat! doesn't she freeze you to death!"

"Very curious type," growled the Crow. "Bit of Vesuvius underneath, I

"Yes, that is what a fellow'd think to look at her," Jimmy said, puffing
at his cigarette. "But she keeps the crust on the top all the time; the
bloomin' volcano don't get a chance!"

"She doesn't look stupid," continued the Crow. "She looks stormy--expect
it's pretty well worth while, though, when she melts."

"Poor old Tristram don't look as if he had had a taste of paradise with
his houri, for his week, does he? Before we'd heartened him up on the
platform a bit--give you my word--he looked as mum as an owl," Jimmy
said. "And she looked like an iceberg, as she's done all the time. I've
never seen her once warm up."

"He's awfully in love with her," grunted the Crow.

"I believe that is about the measure, though I can't see how you've
guessed it. You had not got back for the wedding, Crow, and it don't
show now."

The Crow laughed--one of his chuckling, cynical laughs which to his dear
friend Lady Anningford meant so much that was in his mind.

"Oh, doesn't it!" he said.

"Well, tell me, what do you really think of her?" Jimmy went on. "You
see, I was best man at the wedding, and I feel kind of responsible if
she is going to make the poor, old boy awfully unhappy."

"She's unhappy herself," said the Crow. "It's because she is unhappy
she's so cold. She reminds me of a rough terrier I bought once, when I
was a lad, from a particularly brutal bargeman. It snarled at every one
who came near it, before they could show if they were going to kick or
not, just from force of habit."

"Well?" questioned Jimmy, who, as before has been stated, was rather

"Well, after I had had it for a year it was the most faithful and the
gentlest dog I ever owned. That sort of creature wants oceans of
kindness. Expect Tristram's pulled the curb--doesn't understand as yet."

"Why, how could a person who must always have had heaps of
cash--Markrute's niece, you know--and a fine position be like your dog,
Crow? You _are_ drawing it!"

"Well, you need not mind what I say, Jimmy," Colonel Lowerby went on.
"Judge for yourself. You asked my opinion, and as I am an old friend of
the family I've given it, and time will show."

"Lady Highford's going to be at Montfitchet," Jimmy announced after a
pause. "She won't make things easy for any one, will she!"

"How did that happen?" asked the Crow in an astonished voice.

"Ethelrida had asked her in the season, when every one supposed the
affair was still on, and I expect she would not let them put her off--"
And then both men looked up at the door, for Tristram peeped in.

"We shall be arriving in five minutes, you fellows," he said.

And soon they drew up at the little Tylling Green station, and the
saloon was switched off, while the express flew on to King's Lynn.

There were motor cars and an omnibus to meet them, and Lady Ethelrida's
own comfortable coupe for the bridal pair. They might just want to say a
few words together alone before arriving, she had kindly thought. And
so, though neither of the two were very eager for this tete-a-tete, they
got in and started off. The little coupe had very powerful engines and
flew along, so they were well ahead of the rest of the party and would
get to the house first, which was what the hostess had calculated upon.
Then Tristram could have the pleasure of presenting his bride to the
assembled company at tea, without the interruptions of the greetings of
the other folk.

Zara felt excited. She was beginning to realize that these English
people were all of her dead father's class, not creatures whom one must
beware of until one knew whether or not they were gamblers or rogues.
And it made her breathe more freely, and the black panther's look died
out of her eyes. She did not feel nervous, as she well might have
done--only excited and highly worked up. Tristram, for his part, wished
to heaven Ethelrida had not arranged to send the coupe for them. It was
such a terrible temptation for him to resist for five miles, sitting so
near her all alone in the dusk of the afternoon! He clenched his hands
under the rug, and drew as far away from her as he could; and she
glanced at him and wondered, almost timidly, why he looked so stern.

"I hope you will tell me, if there is anything special you wish me to
do, please?" she said. "Because, you see, I have never been in the
English country before, and my uncle has given me to understand the
customs are different to those abroad."

He felt he could not look at her; the unusual gentleness in her voice
was so alluring, and he had not forgotten the hurt of the chinchilla
coat. If he relented in his attitude at all she would certainly snub him
again; so he continued staring in front of him, and answered ordinarily,

"I expect you will do everything perfectly right, and every one will
only want to be kind to you, and make you have a good time; and my uncle
will certainly make love to you but you must not mind that."

And Zara allowed herself to smile as she answered,

"No, I shall not in the least object to that!"

He knew she was smiling--out of the corner of his eye--and the
temptation to clasp her to him was so overpowering that he said rather
hoarsely, "Do you mind if I put the window down?"

He must have some air; he was choking. She wondered more and more what
was the matter with him, and they both fell into a constrained silence
which lasted until they turned into the park gates; and Zara peered out
into the ghostly trees, with their autumn leaves nearly off, and tried
to guess from the lodge what the house would be like.

It was very enormous and stately, she found when they reached it, and,
she walking with her empress air and Tristram following her, they at
last came to the picture gallery where the rest of the party, who had
arrived earlier, were all assembled in the center, by one of the big
fireplaces, with their host and hostess having tea.

The Duke and Lady Ethelrida came forward, down the very long, narrow
room (they had quite sixty feet to walk before they met them), and
then, when they did, they both kissed Zara--their beautiful new
relation!--and Lady Ethelrida taking her arm drew her towards the party,
while she whispered,

"You dear, lovely thing! Ever so many welcomes to the family and

And Zara suddenly felt a lump in her throat. How she had misjudged them
all in her hurt ignorance! And determining to repair her injustice she
advanced with a smile and was presented to the group.


There was a good deal of running into each other's rooms before dressing
for dinner among the ladies at Montfitchet, that night. They had, they
felt, to exchange views about the new bride! And the opinions were
favorable, on the whole; unanimous, as to her beauty and magnetic
attraction; divided, as to her character; but fiercely and venomously
antagonistic in one mean, little heart.

Emily and Mary and Lady Betty Burns clustered together in the latter's
room. "We think she is perfectly lovely, Betty," Emily said, "but we
don't know her as yet. She is rather stiff, and frightens us just a
little. Perhaps she is shy. What do you think?"

"She looks just like the heroines in some of the books that Mamma does
not let me read and I am obliged to take up to bed with me. Don't you
know, Mary--especially the one I lent you--deeply, mysteriously tragic.
You remember the one who killed her husband and then went off with the
Italian Count; and then with some one else. It was frightfully

"Good gracious! Betty," exclaimed Emily. "How dreadful! You don't think
our sister-in-law looks like that?"

"I really don't know," said Lady Betty, who was nineteen and wrote lurid
melodramas--to the waste of much paper and the despair of her mother. "I
don't know. I made one of my heroines in my last play have just those
passionate eyes--and she stabbed the villain in the second act!"

"Yes, but," said Mary, who felt she must defend Tristram's wife, "Zara
isn't in a play and there is no villain, and--why, Betty, no one has
tragedies in real life!"

Lady Betty tossed her flaxen head, while she announced a prophecy, with
an air of deep wisdom which positively frightened the other two girls.

"You mark my words, both of you, Emily and Mary--they will have some
tragedy before the year is out! And I shall put it all in my next play."

And with this fearful threat ringing in their ears Tristram's two
sisters walked in a scared fashion to their room.

"Betty is wonderful, isn't she, darling?" Mary said. "But, Em, you don't
think there is any truth in it, do you? Mother would be so horribly
shocked if there was anything like one of Betty's plays in the family,
wouldn't she? And Tristram would never allow it either!"

"Of course not, you goosie," answered Emily. "But Betty is right in one
way--Zara has got a mysterious face, and--and, Mary--Tristram seemed
somehow changed, I thought; rather sarcastic once or twice."

And then their maid came in and put a stop to their confidences.

* * * * *

"She is the most wonderful person I have ever met, Ethelrida," Lady
Anningford was just then saying, as she and the hostess stopped at her
door and let Lady Thornby and the young Countess of Melton go on.--"She
is wickedly beautiful and attractive, and there is something odd about
her, too, and it touches me; and I don't believe she is really wicked a
bit. Her eyes are like storm clouds. I have heard her first husband was
a brute. I can't think who told me but it came from some one at one of
the Embassies."

"We don't know much about her, any of us," Lady Ethelrida said, "but
Aunt Jane asked us all in the beginning to trust Tristram's judgment: he
is awfully proud, you know. And besides, her uncle, Mr. Markrute, is so
nice. But, Anne--" and Lady Ethelrida paused.

"Well, what, dear? Tristram is awfully in love with her, isn't he?" Lady
Anningford asked.

"Yes," said Lady Ethelrida, "but, Anne, do you really think Tristram
looks happy? I thought when he was not speaking his face seemed rather

"The Crow came down in the train with them," Lady Anningford announced.
"I'll hear the whole exact impression of them after dinner and tell you.
The Crow is always right."

"She is so very attractive, I am sure, to every man who sees her, Anne.
I hope Lord Elterton won't begin and make Tristram jealous. I wish I had
not asked him. And then there is Laura--It was awful taste, I think, her
insisting upon coming, don't you?--Anne, if she seems as if she were
going to be horrid you will help me to protect Zara, won't you?--And now
we really must dress."

* * * * *

In another room Mrs. Harcourt was chatting with her sister and Lady

"She is perfectly lovely, Laura," Miss Opie said. "Her hair must reach
down to the ground and looks as if it would not come off, and her skin
isn't even powdered--I examined it, on purpose, in a side light. And
those eyes! Je-hoshaphat! as Jimmy Danvers says."

"Poor, darling Tristram!" Laura sighed sentimentally while she inwardly
registered her intense dislike of "the Opie girl." "He looks melancholy
enough--for a bridegroom; don't you think so, Kate?" and she lowered her
eyes, with a glance of would-be meaning, as though she could say more,
if she wished. "But no wonder, poor dear boy! He loathed the marriage;
it was so fearfully sudden. I suppose the Markrute man had got him in
his power."

"You don't say so!" Mrs. Harcourt gasped. She was a much simpler person
than her sister. "Jimmy assured me that Lord Tancred was violently in
love with her, and that was it."

"Jimmy always was a fool," Lady Highford said, and as they went on to
their rooms Lily Opie whispered,

"Kate, Laura Highford is an odious cat, and I don't believe a word about
Mr. Markrute and the getting Lord Tancred into his power. That is only
to make a salve for herself. The Duke would never have Mr. Markrute here
if there was anything fishy about him. Why, ducky, you know it is the
only house left in England, almost, where they have only US!"

* * * * *

Tristram was ready for dinner in good time but he hesitated about
knocking at his wife's door. If she did not let him know she was ready
he would send Higgins to ask for her maid.

His eyes were shining with the pride he felt in her. She had indeed come
up to the scratch. He had not believed it possible that she could have
been so gracious, and he had not even guessed that she would condescend
to speak so much. And all his old friends had been so awfully nice
about her and honestly admiring; except Arthur Elterton--_he_ had
admired rather too much!

And then this exaltation somewhat died down. It was after all but a very
poor, outside show, when, in reality, he could not even knock at her

He wished now he had never let his pride hurl forth that ultimatum on
the wedding night, because he would have to stick to it! He could not
make the slightest advance, and it did not look as if she meant to do
so. Tristram in an ordinary case when his deep feelings were not
concerned would have known how to display a thousand little tricks for
the allurement of a woman, would have known exactly how to cajole her,
to give her a flower, and hesitate when he spoke her name--and a number
of useful things--but he was too terribly in earnest to be anything but
a real, natural man; that is, hurt from her coldness and diffident of
himself, and iron-bound with pride.

And Zara at the other side of the door felt almost happy. It was the
first evening in her life she had ever dressed without some heavy burden

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