Hanging the tragically unsightly wreath on the door, through which the terrified mourner had vanished, Carroll returned to the Gran Hotel Kast, his perturbed and confused thoughts and emotions notably relieved by that one comforting moment of action.
THE FOLLY OF PERK
Of the comprehensive superiority of the American Legation over the Gran Hotel Kast there could be no shadow of a doubt. From the moment of their arrival at noon of the day after the British Minister’s warning, the refugees found themselves comfortable and content, Miss Brewster having quietly and tactfully taken over the management of internal affairs and reigning, at Sherwen’s request, as generalissima. No disturbance had marked the transfer to their new abode. In fact, so wholly lacking was any evidence of hostility to the foreigners on the part of the crowds on the streets that the Brewsters rather felt themselves to be extorting hospitality on false pretenses. Sherwen, however, exhibited signal relief upon seeing them safely housed.
“Please stay that way, too,” he requested.
“But it seems so unnecessary, and I want to market,” protested Miss Polly.
“By no means! The market is the last place where any of us should be seen. It is in that section that Urgante has been doing his work.”
“Who is he?”
“A wandering demagogue and cheap politician. Abuse of the ‘Yankis’ is his stock in trade. Somebody has been furnishing him money lately. That’s the sole fuel to his fires of oratory.”
“Bet the bills smelled of sauerkraut when they reached him,” grunted Cluff, striding over to the window of the drawing-room, where the informal conference was being held.
“They may have had a Hochwaldian origin,” admitted Sherwen. “But it would be difficult to prove.”
“At least the Hochwald Legation wouldn’t shed any tears over a demonstration against us,” said Carroll.
“Well within the limits of diplomatic truth,” smiled the American official.
“Pooh!” Mr. Brewster puffed the whole matter out of consideration. “I don’t believe a word of it. Some of my acquaintances at the club, men in high governmental positions, assure me that there is no anti-American feeling here.”