“I’m getting to hate that man,” said Miss Pelham loyally. “And the others! They give me a pain! Don’t mind them, Tommy, dear.”
Lady Deppingham and Browne came upon the Princess quite unexpectedly. She was in the upper gallery, leaning against the stone rail and gazing steadily through the field glasses in the direction of the bungalow. They held back and watched her, unseen. The soft light of early evening fell upon her figure as she stood erect, lithe and sinuous in the open space between the ivy-clad posts; her face and hands were soft tinted by the glow from the reflecting east, her hair was like a bronze relief against the dark green of the mountain. She was dressed in white—a modish gown of rich Irish lace. One instantly likened this rare young creature to a rare old painting.
Genevra smiled securely in her supposed aloofness from the world. Then, suddenly moved by a strange impulse, she gently waved her handkerchief, as if in greeting to some one far off in the gloaming. The action was a mischievous one, no doubt, and it had its consequences—rather sudden and startling, if the observers were to judge by her subsequent movements. She lowered the glass instantly; there was a quick catch in her breath—as if a laugh had been checked; confusion swept over her, and she drew back into the shadows as a guilty child might have done. They distinctly heard her murmur as she crossed the flags and disappeared through the French window, without seeing them:
“Oh, dear, what a crazy thing to do!”
Genevra, peering through the glasses, had discovered the figure of Chase on the bungalow porch. She was amused to find that he, from his distant post, was also regarding the chateau through a pair of glasses. A spirit of adventure, risk, mischief, as uncontrolled as breath itself, impelled her to flaunt her handkerchief. That treacherous spirit deserted her most shamelessly when her startled eyes saw that he was waving a response. She laid awake for a long time that night wondering what he would think of her for that wretched bit of frivolity. Then at last a new thought came to her relief, but it did not give her the peace of mind that she desired.
He may have mistaken her for Lady Deppingham.
TWO CALLS FROM THE ENEMY
Deppingham was up and about quite early the next morning—that is, quite early for him. He had his rolls and coffee and strolled out in the shady park for a smoke. The Princess, whose sense of humiliation had not been lessened by the fitful sleep of the night before, was walking in the shade of the trees on the lower terrace, beyond the fountains and the artificial lake. A great straw hat, borrowed from Lady Agnes, shaded her face from the glare of the mid-morning sun. Farther up the slope, one of the maids was playing with the dogs. She waved her hand gaily and paused to wait for him.