In her mind’s eye she saw the great church thronged with the most brilliant, illustrious assemblage it had ever held (she was quite sure no previous gathering could have been more august), and a smile of pride came to her lips. The great chorus, the procession, the lights, the incomprehensible combination of colors, the chancel, the flowers, her wedding gown, and Ugo’s dark, glowing face rushed in and out of her vision as she leaned back in her chair and—almost forgot to breathe. The thought of Ugo grew and grew; she closed her eyes and saw him at her side as they walked proudly from the altar with the good bishop’s blessing and the song of the choir in their ears, the swelling of love in their souls. So vivid became the dream of his presence that she could almost feel his hand touching hers: she felt her eyes turn toward him, with all that great crowd watching, and her heart quivered with passion as his dark, happy eyes burnt through to her very soul. Somehow she heard distinctly the whisper, “My wife!”
Suddenly a strange chill came over this idle, happy dream, and she opened her eyes with a start, Ugo’s face fading away like a flash. The thought had rushed in like a stab from a dagger. Would Philip Quentin be there, and would he care? Would he care?
TWO IN A TRAP
“Th’ juke sent his card up, sir,” said Turk, his master was once more in his rooms at the Bellevue. Turk was looking eminently respectable in a new suit of blue serge.
“When?” asked Phil, glancing at Laselli’s card. He had forgotten the Italian, and the sight of his name recalled the plot unpleasantly.
“‘Bout eleven o’clock. I watched him leave th’ hotel an’ go down that street over there—th’ same one you took a little earlier.”
“Watching me, I suspect. Haven’t seen that detective fellow, have you, Turk? You ought to be able to scent a detective three miles away.”
“I can’t scent in this language, sir.”
Early in the evening, as Quentin was leaving the hotel for a short stroll, he met the duke. The Italian accosted him familiarly and asked if he were trying to find a cool spot.
“I thought a ride on the tramcars might cool me off a bit,’” said Phil.
“I know the city quite well, and I, too, am searching for relief from the heat. Do you object to company in your ride or stroll?”
“Happy to have you, I assure you. If you’ll be good enough to wait here for a moment, till I find my stick, I’ll be with you.” The duke bowed politely, and Phil hastened back to his rooms. He secured his stick, and did more. Like a wise young man, he bethought himself of a possible trap, and the quest of the stick gave him the opportunity to instruct Turk to follow him and the duke and to be where he was needed in case of an emergency.
The tall, fresh-faced American in his flannels, and the short, bearded Italian in his trim frock coat and silk hat strolled leisurely forth into the crowded Place du Palais.