And Francis Ravenel, sitting back of the others in the box, recalled that look and drew behind the curtains. In memory, soft arms were round his throat as a voice, the same, yet not the same, sang:
“No signor, not a lady
Nor yet a beauty,
And do not need an arm
To guide me on my way.”
A golden voice, with tones so breathed they had the liquidness of the bluebird’s call, as Paris held its breath before the beauty and wonder of it; a voice which Frank remembered amid the pine and honeysuckle underneath the night blue of the Carolinas, saying:
“God keep you always just as you are, beloved.”
* * * * *
From the first scene to the clear end, when, in the divine trio, Campanali, Rigard, and Katrine caught fire from each other and went mad together, in that great, strong music where right triumphs, as the song climbs higher and higher in its great insistence, it was such triumph as no first performance had been in the memory of our generation, a success that admitted no cavilling or question, a success indisputable and unparalleled, and before the performance was ended the papers were chronicling, for the ends of the earth, that a world star had arisen in the firmament of song.
McDermott’s face was an open book for all who cared to read. The one woman on earth for him was triumphing, and his thoughts were all for her, and Master Josef saw and noted even in his excitement and trembling.
Frank, too, gloried in Katrine’s success, but underneath the pleasure there was a senseless jealousy, a resentment of the position in which it placed her to him. And the conduct of Dermott McDermott during the evening was another bitter morsel for his palate; for the Irishman carried an air of ownership of everything, even of Josef; gave an appraising and managerial attention to the audience; and bowed to Katrine, when she smiled at him over a huge bunch of green orchids with an Irish flag in the ribbons, with such an air of proprietorship that it made the time scarcely endurable to Frank. But he played the game by a masterly method, and drew nearer to Anne, looking into her eyes with the devotion which he knew so well how to assume, despising himself as he did so. But after the last brava had been given and he had put his mother into the brougham, saying, abruptly, that he preferred to walk, his heart and head came to an unexpected encounter. He stood alone, unnoting the passers-by, oblivious of the superfluous praise of Katrine’s voice which he heard in the broken talk, looking into the distant sky at the two great towers of Notre Dame.