“Oh, I was thinking of a play.” Stretching more comfortably. Suddenly her cigarette waved; behind the flowers, her eyes dilated. Prince Boris Strogareff was coming down the steps; he passed the American couple they had been talking about and looked at them. A light of involuntary admiration shone from his gaze, but there was no recognition in it—only the instinctive tribute that a man of the world and a gallant Russian is ever prone to pay at the sight of an unusually charming member of the other sex. Then, once more impassive—a striking handsome figure—he moved leisurely down and out of the gardens. The couple, engrossed at the time in a conversation of some intimate nature or in each other, had not even seen or noticed the august nobleman.
Sonia Turgeinov drew harder on the cigarette; a laugh welled from her throat. “Oh, I wouldn’t have missed it for worlds!” she said.
Young Roscius with the Tartar eyes stared at her. She threw away the smoking cylinder.
“Has not the curtain descended?” enigmatically.
“I don’t see any curtain,” said the Frenchman.
“No? But it’s there.” At the gate, however, once more she paused—to listen, to laugh.
“Was jetzt?” asked the mystified Berliner.
She only shrugged.
The orchestra, having played a few conventional selections after Dixie, had now plunged into Marching through Georgia.
As Sonia Turgeinov disappeared through the gate, the golden head surmounted by the “wonderful chapeau”, bent toward the clean-cut, strong-looking face of the young man on the other side of the small table.
“It’s awfully extravagant of you, Harry,—twenty roubles, a tip for those musicians. But it makes it seem like home, doesn’t it?”
“Yes, darling,” he answered.