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Part II Edith Wharton

Chapter XIX

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Table Of Contents: The Glimpses of the Moon

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She understood that he had decided to hasten his departure rather than linger on in uncertainty; she also remembered having heard the Ascots' youngest daughter, Lady Joan Senechal, spoken of as one of the prettiest girls of the season; and she recalled the almost exaggerated warmth of the Ambassador's greeting at the private view.

"Of course I'll come, Streff dear!" she cried, with an effort at gaiety that sounded successful to her own strained ears, and reflected itself in the sudden lighting up of his face.

She waved a good-bye from the step, saying to herself, as she looked after him: "He'll drive me home to-night, and I shall say 'yes'; and then he'll kiss me again. But the next time it won't be nearly as disagreeable."

She turned into the hotel, glanced automatically at the empty pigeon-hole for letters under her key-hook, and mounted the stairs following the same train of images. "Yes, I shall say 'yes' to-night," she repeated firmly, her hand on the door of her room. "That is, unless, they've brought up a letter ...." She never re-entered the hotel without imagining that the letter she had not found below had already been brought up.

Opening the door, she turned on the light and sprang to the table on which her correspondence sometimes awaited her.

There was no letter; but the morning papers, still unread, lay at hand, and glancing listlessly down the column which chronicles the doings of society, she read:

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"After an extended cruise in the AEgean and the Black Sea on their steam-yacht Ibis, Mr. and Mrs. Mortimer Hicks and their daughter are established at the Nouveau Luxe in Rome. They have lately had the honour of entertaining at dinner the Reigning Prince of Teutoburger-Waldhain and his mother the Princess Dowager, with their suite. Among those invited to meet their Serene Highnesses were the French and Spanish Ambassadors, the Duchesse de Vichy, Prince and Princess Bagnidilucca, Lady Penelope Pantiles--" Susy's eye flew impatiently on over the long list of titles--"and Mr. Nicholas Lansing of New York, who has been cruising with Mr. and Mrs. Hicks on the Ibis for the last few months."

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The Glimpses of the Moon
Edith Wharton

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