Bee’s travelling-skirt was tailor-made, tight at the belt, and of ample fulness around the bottom. She had on a shirt-waist, a linen collar, the Charvet tie, a black hat with a few gay coloured flowers on it, and a lace petticoat from the Rue de la Paix. At the first strains of the skirt dance from the delighted band Bee seized her skirts firmly and began the dance which is so familiar to us, but which those Tyrolese peasants had never seen before. Jimmie says he would rather see Bee do the skirt dance than any professional he ever saw on any stage. He says that her kicks are such poems that he forgives her everything when he thinks of them, but when she danced that night, Jimmie was so tickled by the excitement and polite interest she created in her primitive audience, that he stretched himself out on the bench in such shrieks of laughter that even Bee grinned at him, while I simply passed away. She sat down, flushed, breathless, but triumphant.
Instantly she was surrounded by every young fellow in the room, imploring her to dance with him, and at once Bee became the belle of the ball. And, if you will believe it, when Mrs. Jimmie and I went outside to get a breath of air, Bee, the ladylike; Bee, the conservative; haughty, intolerant Bee, was dancing with the cowherd!
We had our breakfast the next morning on the same piazza where we had dined and where the early morning sun gave an entirely new aspect to the eternal blueness of the Achensee. Oh, you who have seen only Italian lakes, think not that you know blue when you see it, until you have seen the Achensee!
“If you would only get back into yourself,” said Jimmie, addressing my absent spirit, “you might help me decide where we shall go next.”
“I can’t leave here,” I replied. “I cannot tear myself away from this spot.”
“It is beautiful,” murmured Bee, dreamily, but she murmured dreamily not so much because of the beauty of the scene as because eating in the open air that early in the morning always makes her sleepy.
“’Tis not that,” I responded. “’Tis because, while some few modest triumphs have come my way, I think I never achieved one which gave me such acute physical satisfaction as I underwent last night at my sister Bee’s success as a premiere danseuse. Shall I ever forget it? Shall danger, or sickness, or poverty, or disaster ever blot from my mind that scene? Jimmie, never again can she scorn us for our sawdust-ring proclivities, for do you know, I shouldn’t be surprised to see her end her days on the trapeze!”
But if I fondly hoped to make Bee waver in her thorough approval of her own acts, this cheerful exchange of badinage, where the exchange was all on my part, undeceived me, for Bee simply looked at me without replying, so Jimmie uncoiled himself and handed the map to Bee.