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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 65 pages of information about The Slim Princess.

She leaned over the railing and watched the gang-plank until the very moment of sailing, hoping that he might appear.  But he did not come, and she went to her state-room and tried to forget him, and to think of something other than the reception awaiting her back in the dismal region known as Morovenia.

XIII

THE HOME-COMING

The Governor-General waited in the main reception-room for the truant expedition.  He was hoping against hope.  Orders had been given that Popova, Kalora and the whole disobedient crew should be brought before him as soon as they arrived.  His wrath had not cooled, but somehow his confidence in himself seemed slowly to evaporate, as it came time for him to administer the scolding—­the scolding which he had rehearsed over and over in his mind.

He heard the rolling wheels grit on the drive outside, and then there was murmuring conversation in the hallway, and then Kalora entered.  His most dreadful suspicions were ten times confirmed.  She wore no veil and no flowing gown.  She was tightly incased in a gray cloth suit, and there was no mistaking the presence of a corset underneath.  On her head was a kind of Alpine hat with a defiant feather standing upright at one side.  Before her father had time to study the details of this barbaric costume, he sat staring at her as she was silhouetted for an instant between him and the open window.

Merciful Mahomet!  She was as lean and supple as an Austrian race-horse!

He could say nothing.  She ran over and gave him a smack on the forehead and then said cheerily: 

“Well, popsy, here I am!  What do you think of me?”

While Count Selim Malagaski was holding to his chair and trying to sort out from the limited vocabulary of Morovenia the words that could express his boiling emotions, he saw Popova standing shamefaced in the doorway.  Was it really Popova?  The tutor wore a traveling-suit with large British checks, a blue four-in-hand, and, instead of a fez, a rakish cap with a peak in front.  As he edged into the room the young women attendants filed timidly behind him.  Horror upon horrors!  They were in shirt-waists, with skirts that came tightly about the hips, and every one of them wore a chip hat, and not one of them was veiled!

The Governor-General tried to steady himself in order to meet this unprecedented crisis.

“So this is how you have managed my affairs?” he said in angry tones to the trembling Popova.

[Illustration:  Popsy.]

“What is the meaning of this shocking exhibition?”

“Don’t blame him, father,” spoke up Kalora.  “I am responsible for whatever has happened.  We have seen something of the world.  We have learned that Morovenia is about two hundred years behind the times.  They knew that you would not approve, but I have compelled them to have the courage of their convictions.  You can see for yourself that we no longer belong here.  There is but one thing for you to do, and that is to send us away again.”

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