Author: Elinor Glyn
Release Date: May 26, 2004 [EBook #12450]
Character set encoding: ASCII
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Produced by Suzanne Shell, Shawn Cruze and the Online
[Illustration: “Not by a glance or a turn of the head did he let his bride see how wildly her superlative attraction had kindled the fire in his blood.”]
BY ELINOR GLYN
Author of “His Hour,” “Three Weeks,” etc.
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
“Not by a glance or a turn of his head did he let his bride see how wildly her superlative attraction had kindled the fire in his blood”
“The whole expression of her face changed as he came and leaned upon the piano”
“With his English self-control and horror of a scene, he followed his wife to the door”
“‘Zara!’ he said distractedly ...’Can I not help you?’”
People often wondered what nation the great financier, Francis Markrute, originally sprang from. He was now a naturalized Englishman and he looked English enough. He was slight and fair, and had an immaculately groomed appearance generally—which even the best of valets cannot always produce. He wore his clothes with that quiet, unconscious air which is particularly English. He had no perceptible accent—only a deliberate way of speaking. But Markrute!—such a name might have come from anywhere. No one knew anything about him, except that he was fabulously rich and had descended upon London some ten years previously from Paris, or Berlin, or Vienna, and had immediately become a power in the city, and within a year or so, had grown to be omnipotent in certain circles.
He had a wonderfully appointed house in Park Lane, one of those smaller ones just at the turn out of Grosvenor Street, and there he entertained in a reserved fashion.
It had been remarked by people who had time to think—rare cases in these days—that he had never made a disadvantageous friend, from his very first arrival. If he had to use undesirables for business purposes he used them only for that, in a crisp, hard way, and never went to their houses. Every acquaintance even was selected with care for a definite end. One of his favorite phrases was that “it is only the fool who coins for himself limitations.”
At this time, as he sat smoking a fine cigar in his library which looked out on the park, he was perhaps forty-six years old or thereabouts, and but for his eyes—wise as serpents’—he might have been ten years younger.