Ziska eBook

Marie Corelli
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 227 pages of information about Ziska.
so languorously beautiful as the swaying grace of their well-matched figures gliding to the music in as perfectly harmonious a measure as a bird’s two wings beat to the pulsations of the air.  People noticed that as the Princess danced a tiny tinkling sound accompanied her every step; and the more curious observers, peeping downwards as she flew by, saw that she had kept to the details of ancient Egyptian costume so exactly that she even wore sandals, and that her feet, perfectly shaped and lovely as perfectly shaped and lovely hands, were bare save for the sandal-ribbons which crossed them, and which were fastened with jewels.  Round the slim ankles were light bands of gold, also glittering with gems, and furthermore adorned by little golden bells which produced the pretty tinkling music that attracted attention.

“What a delightful creature she is!” said Lady Fulkeward, settling her “Duchess of Gainsborough” hat on her powdered wig more becomingly and smiling up in the face of Ross Courtney, who happened to be standing close by.  “So sweetly unconventional!  Everybody here thinks her improper; she may be, but I like her.  I’m not a bit of a prude.”

Courtney smiled irreverently at this.  Prudery and “old” Lady Fulkeward were indeed wide apart.  Aloud he said: 

“I think whenever a woman is exceptionally beautiful she generally gets reported as ‘improper’ by her own sex; especially if she has a fascinating manner and dresses well.”

“So true,” and Lady Fulkeward simpered.  “Exactly what I find wherever I go!  Poor dear Ziska!  She has to pay the penalty for captivating all you men in the way she does.  I’m sure you have lost your heart to her quite as much as anybody else, haven’t you?”

Courtney reddened.

“I don’t think so,” he answered; “I admire her very much, but I haven’t lost my heart ...”

“Naughty boy!  Don’t prevaricate!” and Lady Fulkeward smiled in the bewitching pearly manner her admirably-made artificial teeth allowed her to do.  “Every man in the hotel is in love with the Princess, and I’m sure I don’t blame them.  If I belonged to your sex I should be in love with her too.  As it is, I am in love with the new arrival, that glorious creature, Gervase.  He is superb!  He looks like an untamed savage.  I adore handsome barbarians!”

“He’s scarcely a barbarian, I think,” said Courtney, with some amusement; “he is the great French artist, the ‘lion’ of Paris just now,—­only secondary to Sarah Bernhardt.”

“Artists are always barbarians,” declared Lady Fulkeward enthusiastically.  “They paint naughty people without any clothes on; they never have any idea of time; they never keep their appointments; and they are always falling in love with the wrong person and getting into trouble, which is so nice of them!  That’s why I worship them all.  They are so refreshingly unlike our set!”

Courtney raised his eyebrows inquiringly.

Project Gutenberg
Ziska from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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