with Ellen’s affair forbade her self-abandon
to those high historical interests to which she urged
his devotion. She might have gone with him and
Boyne, but then she must have left the larger half
of her divided mind with Ellen, not to speak of Lottie,
who refused to be a party to any such excursion.
Mrs. Kenton felt the disappointment and grieved at
it, but not without hope of repairing it later, and
she did not cease from entreating the judge to do
what he could at once towards fulfilling the desires
she postponed. Once she prevailed with him, and
really got him and Boyne off for a day, but they came
back early, with signs of having bored each other
intolerably, and after that it was Boyne, as much as
his father, who relucted from joint expeditions.
Boyne did not so much object to going alone, and his
father said it was best to let him, though his mother
had her fears for her youngest. He spent a good
deal of his time on the trams between Scheveningen
and The Hague, and he was understood to have explored
the capital pretty thoroughly. In fact, he did
go about with a valet de place, whom he got at a cheap
rate, and with whom he conversed upon the state of
the country and its political affairs. The valet
said that the only enemy that Holland could fear was
Germany, but an invasion from that quarter could be
easily repulsed by cutting the dikes and drowning
the invaders. The sea, he taught Boyne, was the
great defence of Holland, and it was a waste of money
to keep such an army as the Dutch had; but neither
the sea nor the sword could drive out the Germans
if once they insidiously married a Prussian prince
to the Dutch Queen.
There seemed to be no getting away from the Queen,
for Boyne. The valet not only talked about her,
as the pleasantest subject which he could find, but
he insisted upon showing Boyne all her palaces.
He took him into the Parliament house, and showed
him where she sat while the queen-mother read the
address from the throne. He introduced him at
a bazar where the shop-girl who spoke English better
than Boyne, or at least without the central Ohio accent,
wanted to sell him a miniature of the Queen on porcelain.
She said the Queen was such a nice girl, and she was
herself such a nice girl that Boyne blushed a little
in looking at her. He bought the miniature, and
then he did not know what to do with it; if any of
the family, if Lottie, found out that he had it, or
that Trannel, he should have no peace any more.
He put it in his pocket, provisionally, and when he
came giddily out of the shop he felt himself taken
by the elbow and placed against the wall by the valet,
who said the queens were coming. They drove down
slowly through the crowded, narrow street, bowing
right and left to the people flattened against the
shops, and again Boyne saw her so near that he could
have reached out his hand and almost touched hers.