“You won’t be so deuced sarcastic when you see her, even if she is to marry a prince. I tell you, Phil, she is something worth looking at forever,” said Lord Bob.
“I never saw such eyes, such a complexion, such hair, such a carriage,” cried Lady Frances.
“Has she any teeth?” asked Dickey, and was properly frowned upon by Lady Jane.
“You describe her as completely in that sentence, Lady Frances, as a novelist could in eight pages,” said Quentin.
“No novelist could describe her,” was the answer.
“It’s to be hoped no novelist may attempt it,” said Quentin. “She is beautiful beyond description, she will be a princess, and she knew me when I didn’t know enough to appreciate her. Her eyes were blue in the old days, and her hair was almost black. Colors still obtain? Then we have her description in advance. Now, let’s go on with the romance.”
A SUNDAY ENCOUNTER
It was a sunny Sunday morning and the church parade was popular. Lady Frances and Quentin were walking together when Prince Ugo joined them. He looked hardly over twenty-five, his wavy black hair giving him a picturesque look. He wore no beard, and his dark skin was as clear as a girl’s.
“By the way,” said Quentin, “Lady Saxondale tells me you are to marry a former acquaintance of mine.”
“Miss Garrison is an acquaintance?” cried the prince, lifting his dark eyes. An instant later his gaze roamed away into the horde of passing women, as if searching for the woman whose name brought light to his soul.
“Was an acquaintance, I think I said. I doubt if she remembers me now. She was a child when I knew her. Is she here this morning?” asked Phil, secretly amused by the anxious look in the Italian’s eyes.
“She will be with Lady Marnham, Ah, I see them now.” The young prince was looking eagerly ahead.
Quentin saw Miss Garrison and gasped with astonishment. Could that stunning young woman be the little Dorothy of New York days? He could scarcely believe his eyes and ears, notwithstanding the introductions which followed.
“And here is an old New York friend. Miss Garrison, Mr. Philip Quentin. You surely remember him, Miss Garrison,” said Lady Frances, with a peculiar gleam in her eye. For a second the young lady at Quentin’s side exhibited surprise; a faint flush swept into her cheek, and then, with a rare smile, she extended her hand to the American.
“Of course, I remember him. Phil and I were playmates in the old days. Dear me, it seems a century ago,” she said.
“I cannot tell you how well the century has treated you,” he said, gallantly. “It has not been so kind to me.”
“Years are never unkind to men,” she responded. She smiled upon the adoring prince and turned again to Quentin. “Tell me about New York, Phil. Tell me about yourself.”