When Kalora was gravely informed by her father that she and the tutor and a half-dozen female attendants were to be bundled up and sent away to America, and that she was to do penance, take a dieting treatment, and come back in due time to try and atone for her unfortunate past, did she weep and beg to be allowed to remain at her own dear home? No; she listened in apparently meek and rather mournful submission, and, after her father went away, she turned handsprings across the room.
Her utmost dream of happiness had been realized. She was to go to the land of the red-headed stranger where she would be admired and courted, and where, in time, she might aspire to the ultimate honor of having her picture in a ten-cent magazine.
ON THE WING
The train rolled away from the low and dingy station and was in the open country of Morovenia. Kalora and her elderly guardian and the young women who were to be her companions during the period of exile had been tucked away into adjoining compartments. Each young woman was muffled and veiled according to the most discreet and orthodox rules.
Popova’s bright red fez contrasted strangely with his silvering hair, but no more strangely than did this wondrous experience of starting for a new world contrast with the quiet years that he had spent among his books.
The train sped into the farm-lands. On either side was a wide stretch of harvest fields, heaving into gentle billows, with here and there a shabby cluster of buildings. If Kalora had only known, Morovenia was very much like the far-away America, except that Morovenia had not learned to decorate the hillsides with billboards.
At last she was to have a taste of freedom! No father to scold and plead; no much-superior sister to torment her with reproaches; no peering through grated windows at one little rectangle of outside sunshine. To be sure, Popova had received explicit and positive instructions concerning her government. But Popova—pshaw!
She unwound her veil and removed her head-gear and sat bareheaded by the car-window, greedily welcoming each new picture that swung into view.
“You must keep your face covered while we are in public or semi-public places,” said Popova gently, repeating his instructions to the very letter.
“I shall not.”
Thus ended any exercise of Popova’s authority during the whole journey.
Before the train had come to Budapest all the young women, urged on to insubordination, had removed their veils, and Kalora had boldly invaded another compartment to engage in rapt and feverish dialogue with a little but vivacious Frenchwoman.
Two hours out from Vienna, the tutor found her involved in a business conference with a guard of the train. She had learned that the tickets permitted a stopover in Vienna. She wished to see Vienna. She had decided to spend one whole day in Vienna.