The joy of her triumph went to her head; she wished to retrieve herself from any shadow of defeat.
She stood panting a moment, and then, if she had had the professional instinct, she would have given her admirers the surprise of something altogether different from what had pleased them before. That was what the actor would have done, but Clementina thought of how her dance had been brought to an untimely close by the rolling of the ship; she burned to do it all as she knew it, no matter how the sea behaved, and in another moment she struck into it again. This time the sea behaved perfectly, and the dance ended with just the swoop and swirl she had meant it to have at first. The spectators went generously wild over her; they cheered and clapped her, and crowded upon her to tell how lovely it was; but she escaped from them, and ran back to the place where she had left Mrs. Milray. She was not there, and Clementina’s cap full of alms lay abandoned on the chair. Lord Lioncourt said he would take charge of the money, if she would lend him her cap to carry it in to the purser, and she made her way into the saloon. In a distant corner she saw Mrs. Milray with Mr. Ewins.
She advanced in a vague dismay toward them, and as she came near Mrs. Milray said to Mr. Ewins, “I don’t like this place. Let’s go over yonder.” She rose and rushed him to the other end of the saloon.
Lord Lioncourt came in looking about. “Ah, have you found her?” he asked, gayly. “There were twenty pounds in your cap, and two hundred dollars.”
“Yes,” said Clementina, “she’s over the’a.” She pointed, and then shrank and slipped away.
At breakfast Mrs. Milray would not meet Clementina’s eye; she talked to the people across the table in a loud, lively voice, and then suddenly rose, and swept past her out of the saloon.
The girl did not see her again till Mrs. Milray came up on the promenade at the hour when people who have eaten too much breakfast begin to spoil their appetite for luncheon with the tea and bouillon of the deck-stewards. She looked fiercely about, and saw Clementina seated in her usual place, but with Lord Lioncourt in her own chair next her husband, and Ewins on foot before her. They were both talking to Clementina, whom Lord Lioncourt was accusing of being in low spirits unworthy of her last night’s triumphs. He jumped up, and offered his place, “I’ve got your chair, Mrs. Milray.”
“Oh, no,” she said, coldly, “I was just coming to look after Mr. Milray. But I see he’s in good hands.”
She turned away, as if to make the round of the deck, and Ewins hurried after her. He came back directly, and said that Mrs. Milray had gone into the library to write letters. He stayed, uneasily, trying to talk, but with the air of a man who has been snubbed, and has not got back his composure.
Lord Lioncourt talked on until he had used up the incidents of the night before, and the probabilities of their getting into Queenstown before morning; then he and Mr. Ewins went to the smoking-room together, and Clementina was left alone with Milray.