“No!” exclaimed her father, banging his fist on the table, and then coming to his feet. “You shall remain here—all of you—and be punished! You have ruined your own prospects; you have condemned your poor sister to a life of single misery, and you have made your father the laughing-stock of all Morovenia! If I can not reform you and make you a dutiful child, at least I can make an example of you!”
“Stop!” she said very sharply. “Let us not have an unfortunate scene in the presence of the servants. If you have anything to say to me, send them away, and remember also, father, I have certain rights which even you must respect. Also, I have a great surprise for you. I am beautiful. Hundreds of young men have told me so. Under no circumstances would I permit myself to become large and gross and bulky. You are disheartened because no young man in Morovenia wishes to marry me. Bless you, there isn’t a young man in this country worth marrying!”
“Young woman, you have taxed my patience far beyond the limit,” said her father, speaking low in an effort to control his wrath. “Hereafter you shall never go beyond the walls of this palace! You shall be a waiting-maid for your sister! The servants shall be instructed to treat you as a menial—one of their own class! These shameless women are dismissed from my service! As for you”—turning upon the old tutor—“you shall be put away under lock and key until I can devise some punishment severe enough to fit your case!”
That night Kalora slept on a hard and narrow cot in a bare apartment adjoining her sister’s gorgeous boudoir—quite a change from the suite overlooking the avenue.
The shirt-waist brigade had been sent into banishment, and poor Popova was sitting on a wooden stool in a dungeon, thinking of the dinners he had eaten at Old Point Comfort and wondering if he had not overplayed himself in the effort to be avenged upon the Governor-General.
A month later Popova was still in prison, and had demonstrated that even after one has lunched for several months at the Shoreham, the New Willard and the Raleigh, he may subsist on such simple fare as bread and water.
Kalora had been humiliated to the uttermost, but her spirit was unbroken and defiant.
She was nominally a servant, but Jeneka and the others dared not attempt any overbearing attitude toward her, for they feared her sharp and ready wit.
The fires of inward wrath seemed to have reduced her weight a few pounds, so that if ever a man faced a situation of unbroken gloom, that man was the poor Governor-General.
Count Malagaski sat in the large, over-decorated audience room, alone with his sorrowful meditations. An attendant brought him a note.
“The man is at the gate,” said the attendant. “He started to come in. We tried to keep him out. He pushed three of the soldiers out of the way, but we finally held him back, so he sends this note.”