Popova, as usual, made a feeble show of maintaining his authority, but he was overruled.
Count Selim Malagaski, at home, consulting the prearranged schedule, said, “This morning they have arrived in Paris and Popova is arranging for the steamship tickets.”
At which very moment, Kalora was in an open carriage driving from one Vienna shop to another, trying to find ready-made garments similar to those worn by Mrs. Rawley Plumston. Popova was now a bundle-carrier.
The shopping in Vienna was merely a prelude to a riotous extravagance of time and money in Paris. Popova, writing under dictation, sent a message to Morovenia to the effect that they had been compelled to wait a week in order to get comfortable rooms on a steamer.
Kalora had the dressmakers working night and day.
She and her mother and her grandmother and her great-grandmother and the whole line of maternal ancestors had been under suppression and had attired themselves according to the directions of a religious Prophet, who had been ignorant concerning color effects. And yet, now that Kalora had escaped from the cage, the original instinct asserted itself. The love of finery can not be eliminated from any feminine species.
When she boarded the steamer she was outwardly a creature of the New World.
From the moment of embarking she seemed exhilarated by the salt air and the spirit of democracy.
She lingered in New York—more shopping.
By the time she arrived at Washington and went breezing in to call upon a certain dignified young Secretary, the transformation was complete. She might not have been put together strictly according to mode, but she was learning rapidly, and willing to learn more rapidly.
AN OUTING—A REUNION
The Secretary of the Legation at Washington was surprised to receive a letter from the Governor-General of Morovenia requesting him to find apartments for the Princess Kalora and a small retinue. The letter explained that the Governor-General’s daughter had been given a long sea-voyage and assigned to a period of residence within the quiet boundaries of Washington, in the hope that her health might be improved.
The Secretary looked up the list of hotels and boarding-houses. He did not deem it advisable to send a convalescent to one of the large and busy hotels; neither did he think it proper to reserve rooms for her at an ordinary boarding-house, where she would sit at the same table with department-employees and congressmen. So he compromised on a very exclusive hotel patronized by legislators who had money of their own, by many of the titled attaches of the embassies, and by families that came during the season with the hope of edging their way into official society. He explained to the manager of the hotel that the Princess Kalora was an invalid, would require secluded apartments, and probably would not care to meet any of the other persons living at the hotel.