“We both come,” he said, “of a historic race. If ancestry is worth anything it should at least teach us to go about without pinning our hearts upon our sleeves.”
“But you,” she murmured, “you have no heart.”
He looked down upon her then with still cold face and steady eyes.
“Indeed,” he said, “you are mistaken.”
She moved uneasily in her chair. She was very pale, except for a faint spot of pink colour in her cheeks.
“It is very hard to find, then,” she said, speaking quickly, her bosom rising and falling, her eyes always seeking to hold his. “To-night you see what I have done—I have, sent away my friends —and my carriage. They may know me here—you see what I have risked. And I don’t care. You thought to-night that I was your enemy—and I am not. I am not your enemy at all.”
Her hand fell as though by accident upon his, and remained there. Mr. Sabin was very nearly embarrassed. He knew quite well that if she were not his enemy at that moment she would be very shortly.
“Lucille,” she continued, “will blame me too. I cannot help it. I want to tell you that for the present your separation from her is a certain thing. She acquiesces. You heard her. She is quite happy. She is at the ball to-night, and she has friends there who will make it pleasant for her. Won’t you understand?”
“No,” Mr. Sabin answered.
She beat the ground with her foot.
“You must understand,” she murmured. “You are not like these fools of Englishmen who go to sleep when they are married, and wake in the divorce court. For the present at least you have lost Lucille. You heard her choose. She’s at the ball to-night—and I have come here to be with you. Won’t you, please,” she added, with a little nervous laugh, “show some gratitude?”
The interruption which Mr. Sabin had prayed for came at last. The musicians had left, and many of the lights had been turned down. An official came across to them.
“I beg your pardon, sir,” he said, addressing Mr. Sabin, “but we are closing now, unless you are a guest in the hotel.”
“I am staying here,” Mr. Sabin answered, rising, “but the lady—”
Lady Carey interrupted him.
“I am staying here also,” she said to the man.
He bowed at once and withdrew. She rose slowly to her feet and laid her fingers upon his arm. He looked steadily away from her.
“Fortunately,” he said, “I have not yet dismissed my own carriage. Permit me.”
* * * * *