“It is Maman who has taught me that!” he whispered. “When I was ill she came often and sang it to me, and when they would give me back my violin I found it at once, and now I am so happy. It talks of the butterflies in the woods, which are where she lives, and there is a little white one which flies up beside her with her radiant blue wings. And she has promised me that the music will take me to her, quite soon. Oh, Cherisette!”
“No, no,” said Zara faintly. “I cannot spare you, darling. I shall have a beautiful garden of my own next summer, and you must come and stay with me, Mirko mio, and chase real butterflies with a golden net.”
And this thought enchanted the child. He must hear all about his sister’s garden. By chance there was an old number of Country Life lying on the table, and, the nurse bringing in the tea at the moment, they turned on the electric light and looked at the pictures; and by the strangest coincidence, when they came to the weekly series of those beautiful houses she read at the beginning of the article, “Wrayth—the property of Lord Tancred of Wrayth.”
“See, Mirko,” she said in a half voice; “our garden will look exactly like this.”
And the child examined every picture with intense interest. One of a statue of Pan and his pipe, making the center of a star in the Italian parterre, pleased him most.
“For see, Cherisette, he, too, is not shaped as other people are,” he whispered with delight. “Look! And he plays music, also! When you walk there, and I am with Maman, you must remember that this is me!”
It was with deep grief and foreboding that Zara left him, on Monday morning, in spite of the doctor’s assurance that he was indeed on the turn to get quite well—well of this sharp attack—whether he would ever grow to be a man was always a doubt but there was no present anxiety—she could be happy on that score. And with this she was obliged to rest content.
But all the way back in the train she saw the picture of the Italian parterre at Wrayth with the statue of Pan, in the center of the star, playing his pipes.
The second wedding day of Zara Shulski dawned with a glorious sun. One of those autumn mornings that seem like a return to the spring—so fresh and pure the air. She had not seen her bridegroom since she got back from Bournemouth, nor any of the family; she had said to her uncle that she could not bear it.
“I am at the end of my forces, Uncle Francis. You are so clever—you can invent some good excuse. If I must see Lord Tancred I cannot answer for what I may do.”
And the financier had realized that this was the truth. The strings of her soul were strained to breaking point, and he let her pass the whole day of Tuesday in peace.