The Beautiful Lady eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 61 pages of information about The Beautiful Lady.

The greatest of my own had not saved me from the decoration of the past week, yet he was as much mine as he was Antonio Caravacioli’s; and Antonio, though impoverished, had his motor-car and dined well, since I happened to see, in my perusal of the journal, that he had been to dinner the evening before at the English Embassy with a great company.  “Bravo, Antonio!  Find a rich foreign wife if you can, since you cannot do well for yourself at home!” And I could say so honestly, without spite, for all his hatred of me,—­because, until I had paid my addition, I was still the possessor of fifty francs!

Fifty francs will continue life in the body of a judicial person a long time in Paris, and combining that knowledge and the good goulasch, I sought diligently for “Mamies” and “Sadies” with a revived spirit.  I found neither of those adorable names—­in fact, only two such diminutives, which are more charming than our Italian ones:  A Miss Jeanie Archibald Zip and a Miss Fannie Sooter.  None of the names was harmonious with the grey pongee —­ in truth, most of them were no prettier (however less processional) than royal names.  I could not please myself that I had come closer to the rare lady; I must be contented that the same sky covered us both, that the noise of the same city rang in her ears as mine.

Yet that was a satisfaction, and to know that it was true gave me mysterious breathlessness and made me hear fragments of old songs during my walk that night.  I walked very far, under the trees of the Bois, where I stopped for a few moments to smoke a cigarette at one of the tables outside, at Armenonville.

None of the laughing women there could be the lady I sought; and as my refusing to command anything caused the waiter uneasiness, in spite of my prosperous appearance, I remained but a few moments, then trudged on, all the long way to the Cafe’ de Madrid, where also she was not.

How did I assure myself of this since I had not seen her face?  I cannot tell you.  Perhaps I should not have known her; but that night I was sure that I should.

Yes, as sure of that as I was sure that she was beautiful!

Chapter Three

Early the whole of the next day, endeavoring to look preoccupied, I haunted the lobbies and vicinity of the most expensive hotels, unable to do any other thing, but ashamed of myself that I had not returned to my former task of seeking employment, although still reassured by possession of two louis and some silver, I dined well at a one-franc coachman’s restaurant, where my elegance created not the slightest surprise, and I felt that I might live in this way indefinitely.

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The Beautiful Lady from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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