‘La Lazzeruola,’ she said.
The Signor Antonio flashed a bit of sarcastic mimicry, as if acquiescing in the justice of the opprobrious term from the high point of view: but mademoiselle might pass, she was good enough for the public.
Beppo heard and saw no more. A tug from behind recalled him to his situation. He put out his arms and gathered Aennchen all dark in them: and first kissing her so heartily as to set her trembling on the verge of a betrayal, before she could collect her wits he struck the fan down the pretty hollow of her back, between her shoulder-blades, and bounded away. It was not his intention to rush into the embrace of Jacob Baumwalder Feckelwitz, but that perambulating chasseur received him in a semi-darkness where all were shadows, and exclaimed, ‘Aennchen!’ Beppo gave an endearing tenderness to the few words of German known to him: ‘Gottschaf-donner-dummer!’ and slipped from the hold of the astonished Jacob, sheer under his arm-pit. He was soon in the street, excited he knew not by what, or for what object. He shuffled the names he remembered to have just heard—’Rocco Ricci, and ‘la Lazzeruola.’ Why did the name of la Lazzeruola come in advance of la Vittoria? And what was the thing meant by ‘this night,’ which all three had uttered as in an agreement?—ay! and the Tyrol! The Tyrol—this night-Rocco Ricci la Lazzeruola!
Beppo’s legs were carrying him toward the house of the Maestro Rocco Ricci ere he had arrived at any mental decision upon these imminent mysteries.
AT THE MAESTRO’S DOOR
The house of the Maestro Rocco Ricci turned off the Borgo della Stella. Carlo Ammiani conducted Vittoria to the maestro’s door. They conversed very little on the way.
‘You are a good swordsman?’ she asked him abruptly.
‘I have as much skill as belongs to a perfect intimacy with the weapon,’ he answered.
‘Your father was a soldier, Signor Carlo.’
’He was a General officer in what he believed to be the army of Italy. We used to fence together every day for two hours.’
‘I love the fathers who do that,’ said Vittoria.