The Eagle's Shadow eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 144 pages of information about The Eagle's Shadow.

It was pink—­the pink of her cheeks to a shade.  And scattered about it were birds, and butterflies, and snaky, emaciated dragons, with backs like saw-teeth, and prodigious fangs, and claws, and very curly tails, such as they breed in Nankeen plates and used to breed on packages of fire-crackers—­all done in gold, the gold of her hair.  Moreover, one might catch a glimpse of her neck—­which was a manifest favour of the gods—­and about it mysterious, lacy white things intermingling with divers tiny blue ribbons.  I saw her in it once—­by accident.

And now I fancy, as she stood rigid with indignation, her cheeks flushed, it must have been a heady spectacle to note how their shell-pink repeated the pink of her fantastic garment like a chromatic echo; and how her sunny hair, a thought loosened, a shade dishevelled, clung heavily about her face, a golden snare for eye and heart; and how her own eyes, enormous, cerulean—­twin sapphires such as in the old days might have ransomed a brace of emperors—­grew wistful like a child’s who has been punished and does not know exactly why; and how her petulant mouth quivered and the long black lashes, golden at the roots, quivered, too—­ah, yes, it must have been a heady spectacle.

Now,” she announced, “I see plainly what he intends doing.  He is going to destroy that will, and burden me once more with a large and influential fortune.  I don’t want it, and I won’t take it, and he might just as well understand that in the very beginning.  I don’t care if Uncle Fred did leave it to me—­I didn’t ask him to, did I?  Besides, he was a very foolish old man—­if he had left the money to Billy everything would have been all right.  That’s always the way—­my dolls are invariably stuffed with sawdust, and I never have a dear gazelle to glad me with his dappled hide, but when he comes to know me well he falls upon the buttered side—­or something to that effect.  I hate poetry, anyhow—­it’s so mushy!”

And this from the Miss Hugonin who a week ago was interested in the French decadents and partial to folk-songs from the Romaic!  I think we may fairly deduce that the reign of Felix Kennaston is over.  The king is dead; and Margaret’s thoughts and affections and her very dreams have fallen loyally to crying, Long live the king—­his Majesty Billy the First.

“Oh!” said Margaret, with an indignant gasp, what time her eyebrows gesticulated, “I think Billy Woods is a meddlesome piece!—­that’s what I think!  Does he suppose that after waiting all this time for the only man in the world who can keep me interested for four hours on a stretch and send my pulse up to a hundred and make me feel those thrilly thrills I’ve always longed for—­does he suppose that now I’m going to pay any attention to his silly notions about wills and things?  He’s abominably selfish!  I shan’t!”

Margaret moved across the room, shimmering, rustling, glittering like a fairy in a pantomime.  Then, to consider matters at greater ease, she curled up on a divan in much the attitude of a tiny Cleopatra riding at anchor on a carpeted Cydnus.

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The Eagle's Shadow from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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