Villa Rubein, and other stories eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 374 pages of information about Villa Rubein, and other stories.

When he reached the street, however, the girls had disappeared.  He hailed a carriage.  “Drive!” he called to the man, with a flourish of his stick, and as soon as the wheels had begun to clatter on the stones he leaned back, looking sharply to right and left.  He soon had to give up thought of finding them, but made the coachman turn round and round again.  All day he drove about, far into the country, and kept urging the driver to use greater speed.  He was in a strange state of hurry and elation.  Finally, he dined at a little country inn; and this gave the measure of his disturbance—­the dinner was atrocious.

Returning late in the evening he found a note written by Traquair.  “Are you in your senses, man?” it asked; “we have no more time to waste idling about here.  If you want to rejoin us, come on to Danielli’s Hotel, Venice.”  Swithin chuckled when he read it, and feeling frightfully tired, went to bed and slept like a log.


Three weeks later he was still in Salzburg, no longer at the Goldene Alp, but in rooms over a shop near the Boleskeys’.  He had spent a small fortune in the purchase of flowers.  Margit would croon over them, but Rozsi, with a sober “Many tanks!” as if they were her right, would look long at herself in the glass, and pin one into her hair.  Swithin ceased to wonder; he ceased to wonder at anything they did.  One evening he found Boleskey deep in conversation with a pale, dishevelled-looking person.

“Our friend Mr. Forsyte—­Count D....,” said Boleskey.

Swithin experienced a faint, unavoidable emotion; but looking at the Count’s trousers, he thought:  ‘Doesn’t look much like one!’ And with an ironic bow to the silent girls, he turned, and took his hat.  But when he had reached the bottom of the dark stairs he heard footsteps.  Rozsi came running down, looked out at the door, and put her hands up to her breast as if disappointed; suddenly with a quick glance round she saw him.  Swithin caught her arm.  She slipped away, and her face seemed to bubble with defiance or laughter; she ran up three steps, stopped, looked at him across her shoulder, and fled on up the stairs.  Swithin went out bewildered and annoyed.

‘What was she going to say to me?’ he kept thinking.  During these three weeks he had asked himself all sorts of questions:  whether he were being made a fool of; whether she were in love with him; what he was doing there, and sometimes at night, with all his candles burning as if he wanted light, the breeze blowing on him through the window, his cigar, half-smoked, in his hand, he sat, an hour or more, staring at the wall.  ‘Enough of this!’ he thought every morning.  Twice he packed fully—­once he ordered his travelling carriage, but countermanded it the following day.  What definitely he hoped, intended, resolved, he could not have said.  He was always thinking of Rozsi,

Project Gutenberg
Villa Rubein, and other stories from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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