Antoinette Nermal was famed throughout the city for her beauty, intelligence and virtue. Her color was what is termed a light brown skin. We assure you that it was charming enough. She was of medium height, and for grace and symmetry her form was fit for a sculptor’s model. Her pretty face bore the stamp of intellectuality, but the intellectuality of a beautiful woman, who was still every inch a woman despite her intellectuality. Her thin well-formed lips seemed arranged by nature in such a manner as to be incomplete without a kiss, and that lovely face seemed to reinforce the invitation. Her eyes were black, and when you gazed in them the tenderness therein seemed to be about to draw you out of yourself. They concealed and yet revealed a heart capable of passionate love.
Those who could read her and wished her well were much concerned that she should love wisely; for it could be seen that she was to love with her whole heart, and to wreck her love was to wreck her life. She had passed through all her life thus far without seriously noticing any young man, thus giving some the impression that she was incapable of love, being so intellectual. Others who read her better knew that she despised the butterfly, flitting from flower to flower, and was preserving her heart to give it whole into the keeping of some worthy man.
She neither sang nor played, but her soul was intensely musical and she had the most refined and cultivated taste in the musical circles in which she moved. She was amiable in disposition, but her amiability was not of the kind to lead her in quest of you; but if you came across her, she would treat you so pleasantly that you would desire to pass that way again.
Belton and the principal are now on the way to her room. As they entered the door her back was to them, as she was gazing out of the window. Belton’s eyes surveyed her graceful form and he was so impressed with its loveliness that he was sorry when she began to turn around. But when she was turned full around Belton forgot all about her form, and his eyes did not know which to contemplate longest, that rich complexion, those charming eyes, or those seductive lips. On the other hand, Miss Nermal was struck with Belton’s personal appearance and as she contemplated the noble, dignified yet genial appearance which he presented, her lips came slightly apart, rendering her all the more beautiful.
The principal said: “Miss Nermal, allow me to present to you our newly arrived associate in the work, Mr. Belton Piedmont.”
Miss Nermal smiled to Belton and said: “Mr. Piedmont, we are glad to have a man of your acknowledged talents in our midst and we anticipate much of you.”
Belton felt much flattered, surprised, overjoyed. He wished that he could find the person who had been so very kind as to give that marvelously beautiful girl such a good opinion of himself. But when he opened his mouth to reply he was afraid of saying something that would shatter this good opinion; so he bowed politely and merely said, “Thank you.”