MR. CALVERT MEETS AN OLD ENEMY
This kind, and even brilliant, offer of Mr. Morris’s Calvert declined, reiterating smilingly to that gentleman that he felt himself a little better of that fever of love and disappointment which he had endured in silence for so long, and that he had no intention of suffering a relapse. Indeed, he might have got over it in time, and been as contented as many another man, but that he was suddenly recalled to all that he had tried so sedulously for two years to forget. This was brought about by a meeting with Monsieur le Baron de St. Aulaire a couple of weeks after Mr. Morris’s departure for Paris. Although it was known that the French nobleman was in London, Mr. Calvert did not see him until one evening at the house of Monsieur de la Luzerne. A large company had gathered at the Ambassador’s, where Monsieur de St. Aulaire presented himself toward the end of the evening. ’Twas so evident that he had been drinking deeply that Calvert would have avoided him, but that the tipsy nobleman, catching sight of him, made his way directly to him.
“At last, Monsieur,” he said, bowing low and laying his hand unsteadily on the small sword he wore at his side.
“Well,” replied Mr. Calvert, coldly, by no means pleased at the attention bestowed upon him so unexpectedly. Monsieur de St. Aulaire sober he found objectionable; Monsieur de St. Aulaire drunk was insufferable.
“‘Well’ is a cold welcome, Mr. Calvert,” he said, the insolent smile deepening on his lips.
“I am not here to welcome you, Monsieur,” returned Calvert, indifferently.
Monsieur de St. Aulaire waved his hand lightly as if flinging off the insult, but the flush on his dissipated face deepened. Calvert, seeing that he could not be got rid of immediately, drew him into a little anteroom where they were almost alone.
“And yet I wished profoundly that we might meet, Monsieur—more so, apparently, I regret to say, than you have. I have seen friends of ours in Paris since you have had that pleasure, Monsieur,” says St. Aulaire, throwing himself across a chair and resting his folded arms on the back.