Where the porch abruptly widened to a kind of upper terrace, like a hanging garden set with flowering trees, three high archways opened to an apartment whose bright lights streamed across the grass-plots. St. George felt something tug at his heart, something that urged him forward and caught him up in an ecstasy of triumph and hope fulfilled. He looked back at Amory, and Amory was leaning on the parapet, apparently sunk in reflections which concerned nobody. So St. George stepped softly on until he reached the first archway, and there he stopped, and the moment was to him almost past belief. Within the open doorway, so near that if she had lifted her eyes they must have met his own, was the woman whom he had come across the sea to seek.
St. George hardly knew that he spoke, for it was as if all the world were singing her name.
“Olivia!” he said.
THE ISLE OF HEARTS
The room in which St. George was looking was long and lofty and hung with pale tapestries. White pillars supporting the domed white ceiling were wound with garlands. The smoke from a little brazen tripod ascended pleasantly, and about the windows stirred in the faint wind draperies of exceeding thinness, woven in looms stilled centuries ago.
Olivia was crossing before the windows. She wore a white gown strewn with roses, and she seemed as much at home on this alien mountain-top as she had been in her aunt’s drawing-room at the Boris. But her face was sad, and there was not a touch of the piquancy which it had worn the night before in the throne-room, nor of its delicious daring as she had sped past him in the big Yaque touring car. Save for her, the room was deserted; it was as if the prince had come to the castle and found the Sleeping Princess the only one awake.
If in that supreme moment St. George had leaped forward and taken her in his arms no one—no one, that is, in the fairy-tale of what was happening—would greatly have censured him. But he stood without for a moment, hardly daring to believe his happiness, hardly knowing that her name was on his lips.
He had spoken, however, and she turned quickly, her look uncertainly seeking the doorway, and she saw him. For a moment she stood still, her eyes upon his face; then with a little incredulous cry that thrilled him with a sudden joyous hope that was like belief, she came swiftly toward him.
St. George loved to remember that she did that. There was no waiting for assurance and no fear; only the impulse, gloriously obeyed, to go toward him.
He stepped in the room, and took her hands in his and looked into her eyes as if he would never turn away his own. In her face was a dawning of glad certainty and welcome which he could not doubt.
“You,” she cried softly, “you. How is it possible? But how is it possible?”
Her voice trembled a little with something so sweet that it raced through his veins with magic.