Flavia and Her Artists by Willa Cather
As the train neared Tarrytown, Imogen Willard began to wonder why she had
consented to be one of Flavia's house party at all. She had not felt
enthusiastic about it since leaving the city, and was experiencing a
prolonged ebb of purpose, a current of chilling indecision, under which
she vainly sought for the motive which had induced her to accept Flavia's
Perhaps it was a vague curiosity to see Flavia's husband, who had been the
magician of her childhood and the hero of innumerable Arabian fairy tales.
Perhaps it was a desire to see M. Roux, whom Flavia had announced as the
especial attraction of the occasion. Perhaps it was a wish to study that
remarkable woman in her own setting.
Imogen admitted a mild curiosity concerning Flavia. She was in the habit
of taking people rather seriously, but somehow found it impossible to take
Flavia so, because of the very vehemence and insistence with which Flavia
demanded it. Submerged in her studies, Imogen had, of late years, seen
very little of Flavia; but Flavia, in her hurried visits to New York,
between her excursions from studio to studio—her luncheons with this
lady who had to play at a matinee, and her dinners with that singer who
had an evening concert—had seen enough of her friend's handsome
daughter to conceive for her an inclination of such violence and assurance
as only Flavia could afford. The fact that Imogen had shown rather marked
capacity in certain esoteric lines of scholarship, and had decided to
specialize in a well-sounding branch of philology at the Ecole des
Chartes, had fairly placed her in that category of "interesting people"
whom Flavia considered her natural affinities, and lawful prey.
When Imogen stepped upon the station platform she was immediately
appropriated by her hostess, whose commanding figure and assurance of
attire she had recognized from a distance. She was hurried into a high
tilbury and Flavia, taking the driver's cushion beside her, gathered up
the reins with an experienced hand.
"My dear girl," she remarked, as she turned the horses up the street, "I
was afraid the train might be late. M. Roux insisted upon coming up by
boat and did not arrive until after seven."
"To think of M. Roux's being in this part of the world at all, and subject
to the vicissitudes of river boats! Why in the world did he come over?"
queried Imogen with lively interest. "He is the sort of man who must
dissolve and become a shadow outside of Paris."
"Oh, we have a houseful of the most interesting people," said Flavia,
professionally. "We have actually managed to get Ivan Schemetzkin. He was
ill in California at the close of his concert tour, you know, and he is
recuperating with us, after his wearing journey from the coast. Then there
is Jules Martel, the painter; Signor Donati, the tenor; Professor Schotte,
who has dug up Assyria, you know; Restzhoff, the Russian chemist; Alcee
Buisson, the philologist; Frank Wellington, the novelist; and Will
Maidenwood, the editor of Woman. Then there is my second cousin,
Jemima Broadwood, who made such a hit in Pinero's comedy last winter, and
Frau Lichtenfeld. Have you read her?"
Imogen confessed her utter ignorance of Frau Lichtenfeld, and Flavia went
"Well, she is a most remarkable person; one of those advanced German
women, a militant iconoclast, and this drive will not be long enough to
permit of my telling you her history. Such a story! Her novels were the
talk of all Germany when I was there last, and several of them have been
suppressed—an honor in Germany, I understand. 'At Whose Door' has
been translated. I am so unfortunate as not to read German."
"I'm all excitement at the prospect of meeting Miss Broadwood," said
Imogen. "I've seen her in nearly everything she does. Her stage
personality is delightful. She always reminds me of a nice, clean,
pink-and-white boy who has just had his cold bath, and come down all aglow
for a run before breakfast."
"Yes, but isn't it unfortunate that she will limit herself to those minor
comedy parts that are so little appreciated in this country? One ought to
be satisfied with nothing less than the best, ought one?" The peculiar,
breathy tone in which Flavia always uttered that word "best," the most
worn in her vocabulary, always jarred on Imogen and always made her
"I don't at all agree with you," she said reservedly. "I thought everyone
admitted that the most remarkable thing about Miss Broadwood is her
admirable sense of fitness, which is rare enough in her profession."
Flavia could not endure being contradicted; she always seemed to regard it
in the light of a defeat, and usually colored unbecomingly. Now she
changed the subject.
"Look, my dear," she cried, "there is Frau Lichtenfeld now, coming to meet
us. Doesn't she look as if she had just escaped out of Valhalla? She is
actually over six feet."
Imogen saw a woman of immense stature, in a very short skirt and a broad,
flapping sun hat, striding down the hillside at a long, swinging gait. The
refugee from Valhalla approached, panting. Her heavy, Teutonic features
were scarlet from the rigor of her exercise, and her hair, under her
flapping sun hat, was tightly befrizzled about her brow. She fixed her
sharp little eyes upon Imogen and extended both her hands.
"So this is the little friend?" she cried, in a rolling baritone.
Imogen was quite as tall as her hostess; but everything, she reflected, is
comparative. After the introduction Flavia apologized.
"I wish I could ask you to drive up with us, Frau Lichtenfeld."
"Ah, no!" cried the giantess, drooping her head in humorous caricature of
a time-honored pose of the heroines of sentimental romances. "It has never
been my fate to be fitted into corners. I have never known the sweet
privileges of the tiny."
Laughing, Flavia started the ponies, and the colossal woman, standing in
the middle of the dusty road, took off her wide hat and waved them a
farewell which, in scope of gesture, recalled the salute of a plumed
When they arrived at the house, Imogen looked about her with keen
curiosity, for this was veritably the work of Flavia's hands, the
materialization of hopes long deferred. They passed directly into a large,
square hall with a gallery on three sides, studio fashion. This opened at
one end into a Dutch breakfast room, beyond which was the large dining
room. At the other end of the hall was the music room. There was a smoking
room, which one entered through the library behind the staircase. On the
second floor there was the same general arrangement: a square hall, and,
opening from it, the guest chambers, or, as Miss Broadwood termed them,
When Imogen went to her room, the guests had begun to return from their
various afternoon excursions. Boys were gliding through the halls with ice
water, covered trays, and flowers, colliding with maids and valets who
carried shoes and other articles of wearing apparel. Yet, all this was
done in response to inaudible bells, on felt soles, and in hushed voices,
so that there was very little confusion about it.
Flavia had at last built her house and hewn out her seven pillars; there
could be no doubt, now, that the asylum for talent, the sanatorium of the
arts, so long projected, was an accomplished fact. Her ambition had long
ago outgrown the dimensions of her house on Prairie Avenue; besides, she
had bitterly complained that in Chicago traditions were against her. Her
project had been delayed by Arthur's doggedly standing out for the
Michigan woods, but Flavia knew well enough that certain of the rarae
aves—"the best"—could not be lured so far away from the
seaport, so she declared herself for the historic Hudson and knew no
retreat. The establishing of a New York office had at length overthrown
Arthur's last valid objection to quitting the lake country for three
months of the year; and Arthur could be wearied into anything, as those
who knew him knew.
Flavia's house was the mirror of her exultation; it was a temple to the
gods of Victory, a sort of triumphal arch. In her earlier days she had
swallowed experiences that would have unmanned one of less torrential
enthusiasm or blind pertinacity. But, of late years, her determination had
told; she saw less and less of those mysterious persons with mysterious
obstacles in their path and mysterious grievances against the world, who
had once frequented her house on Prairie Avenue. In the stead of this
multitude of the unarrived, she had now the few, the select, "the best."
Of all that band of indigent retainers who had once fed at her board like
the suitors in the halls of Penelope, only Alcee Buisson still retained
his right of entree. He alone had remembered that ambition hath a knapsack
at his back, wherein he puts alms to oblivion, and he alone had been
considerate enough to do what Flavia had expected of him, and give his
name a current value in the world. Then, as Miss Broadwood put it, "he was
her first real one,"—and Flavia, like Mohammed, could remember her
"The House of Song," as Miss Broadwood had called it, was the outcome of
Flavia's more exalted strategies. A woman who made less a point of
sympathizing with their delicate organisms, might have sought to plunge
these phosphorescent pieces into the tepid bath of domestic life; but
Flavia's discernment was deeper. This must be a refuge where the shrinking
soul, the sensitive brain, should be unconstrained; where the caprice of
fancy should outweigh the civil code, if necessary. She considered that
this much Arthur owed her; for she, in her turn, had made concessions.
Flavia had, indeed, quite an equipment of epigrams to the effect that our
century creates the iron genii which evolve its fairy tales: but the fact
that her husband's name was annually painted upon some ten thousand
threshing machines in reality contributed very little to her happiness.
Arthur Hamilton was born and had spent his boyhood in the West Indies, and
physically he had never lost the brand of the tropics. His father, after
inventing the machine which bore his name, had returned to the States to
patent and manufacture it. After leaving college, Arthur had spent five
years ranching in the West and traveling abroad. Upon his father's death
he had returned to Chicago and, to the astonishment of all his friends,
had taken up the business—without any demonstration of enthusiasm,
but with quiet perseverance, marked ability, and amazing industry. Why or
how a self-sufficient, rather ascetic man of thirty, indifferent in
manner, wholly negative in all other personal relations, should have
doggedly wooed and finally married Flavia Malcolm was a problem that had
vexed older heads than Imogen's.
While Imogen was dressing she heard a knock at her door, and a young woman
entered whom she at once recognized as Jemima Broadwood—"Jimmy"
Broadwood she was called by people in her own profession. While there was
something unmistakably professional in her frank savoir-faire,
"Jimmy's" was one of those faces to which the rouge never seems to stick.
Her eyes were keen and gray as a windy April sky, and so far from having
been seared by calcium lights, you might have fancied they had never
looked on anything less bucolic than growing fields and country fairs. She
wore her thick, brown hair short and parted at the side; and, rather than
hinting at freakishness, this seemed admirably in keeping with her fresh,
boyish countenance. She extended to Imogen a large, well-shaped hand which
it was a pleasure to clasp.
"Ah! You are Miss Willard, and I see I need not introduce myself. Flavia
said you were kind enough to express a wish to meet me, and I preferred to
meet you alone. Do you mind if I smoke?"
"Why, certainly not," said Imogen, somewhat disconcerted and looking
hurriedly about for matches.
"There, be calm, I'm always prepared," said Miss Broadwood, checking
Imogen's flurry with a soothing gesture, and producing an oddly fashioned
silver match-case from some mysterious recess in her dinner gown. She sat
down in a deep chair, crossed her patent-leather Oxfords, and lit her
cigarette. "This matchbox," she went on meditatively, "once belonged to a
Prussian officer. He shot himself in his bathtub, and I bought it at the
sale of his effects."
Imogen had not yet found any suitable reply to make to this rather
irrelevant confidence, when Miss Broadwood turned to her cordially: "I'm
awfully glad you've come, Miss Willard, though I've not quite decided why
you did it. I wanted very much to meet you. Flavia gave me your thesis to
"Why, how funny!" ejaculated Imogen.
"On the contrary," remarked Miss Broadwood. "I thought it decidedly lacked
"I meant," stammered Imogen, beginning to feel very much like Alice in
Wonderland, "I meant that I thought it rather strange Mrs. Hamilton should
fancy you would be interested."
Miss Broadwood laughed heartily. "Now, don't let my rudeness frighten you.
Really, I found it very interesting, and no end impressive. You see, most
people in my profession are good for absolutely nothing else, and,
therefore, they have a deep and abiding conviction that in some other line
they might have shone. Strange to say, scholarship is the object of our
envious and particular admiration. Anything in type impresses us greatly;
that's why so many of us marry authors or newspapermen and lead miserable
lives." Miss Broadwood saw that she had rather disconcerted Imogen, and
blithely tacked in another direction. "You see," she went on, tossing
aside her half-consumed cigarette, "some years ago Flavia would not have
deemed me worthy to open the pages of your thesis—nor to be one of
her house party of the chosen, for that matter. I've Pinero to thank for
both pleasures. It all depends on the class of business I'm playing
whether I'm in favor or not. Flavia is my second cousin, you know, so I
can say whatever disagreeable things I choose with perfect good grace. I'm
quite desperate for someone to laugh with, so I'm going to fasten myself
upon you—for, of course, one can't expect any of these gypsy-dago
people to see anything funny. I don't intend you shall lose the humor of
the situation. What do you think of Flavia's infirmary for the arts,
"Well, it's rather too soon for me to have any opinion at all," said
Imogen, as she again turned to her dressing. "So far, you are the only one
of the artists I've met."
"One of them?" echoed Miss Broadwood. "One of the artists? My
offense may be rank, my dear, but I really don't deserve that. Come, now,
whatever badges of my tribe I may bear upon me, just let me divest you of
any notion that I take myself seriously."
Imogen turned from the mirror in blank astonishment and sat down on the
arm of a chair, facing her visitor. "I can't fathom you at all, Miss
Broadwood," she said frankly. "Why shouldn't you take yourself seriously?
What's the use of beating about the bush? Surely you know that you are one
of the few players on this side of the water who have at all the spirit of
natural or ingenuous comedy?"
"Thank you, my dear. Now we are quite even about the thesis, aren't we?
Oh, did you mean it? Well, you are a clever girl. But you see it
doesn't do to permit oneself to look at it in that light. If we do, we
always go to pieces and waste our substance astarring as the unhappy
daughter of the Capulets. But there, I hear Flavia coming to take you
down; and just remember I'm not one of them—the artists, I mean."
Flavia conducted Imogen and Miss Broadwood downstairs. As they reached the
lower hall they heard voices from the music room, and dim figures were
lurking in the shadows under the gallery, but their hostess led straight
to the smoking room. The June evening was chilly, and a fire had been
lighted in the fireplace. Through the deepening dusk, the firelight
flickered upon the pipes and curious weapons on the wall and threw an
orange glow over the Turkish hangings. One side of the smoking room was
entirely of glass, separating it from the conservatory, which was flooded
with white light from the electric bulbs. There was about the darkened
room some suggestion of certain chambers in the Arabian Nights, opening on
a court of palms. Perhaps it was partially this memory-evoking suggestion
that caused Imogen to start so violently when she saw dimly, in a blur of
shadow, the figure of a man, who sat smoking in a low, deep chair before
the fire. He was long, and thin, and brown. His long, nerveless hands
drooped from the arms of his chair. A brown mustache shaded his mouth, and
his eyes were sleepy and apathetic. When Imogen entered he rose indolently
and gave her his hand, his manner barely courteous.
"I am glad you arrived promptly, Miss Willard," he said with an
indifferent drawl. "Flavia was afraid you might be late. You had a
pleasant ride up, I hope?"
"Oh, very, thank you, Mr. Hamilton," she replied, feeling that he did not
particularly care whether she replied at all.
Flavia explained that she had not yet had time to dress for dinner, as she
had been attending to Mr. Will Maidenwood, who had become faint after
hurting his finger in an obdurate window, and immediately excused herself
As she left, Hamilton turned to Miss Broadwood with a rather spiritless
"Well, Jimmy," he remarked, "I brought up a piano box full of fireworks
for the boys. How do you suppose we'll manage to keep them until the
"We can't, unless we steel ourselves to deny there are any on the
premises," said Miss Broadwood, seating herself on a low stool by
Hamilton's chair and leaning back against the mantel. "Have you seen
Helen, and has she told you the tragedy of the tooth?"
"She met me at the station, with her tooth wrapped up in tissue paper. I
had tea with her an hour ago. Better sit down, Miss Willard;" he rose and
pushed a chair toward Imogen, who was standing peering into the
conservatory. "We are scheduled to dine at seven, but they seldom get
around before eight."
By this time Imogen had made out that here the plural pronoun, third
person, always referred to the artists. As Hamilton's manner did not spur
one to cordial intercourse, and as his attention seemed directed to Miss
Broadwood, insofar as it could be said to be directed to anyone, she sat
down facing the conservatory and watched him, unable to decide in how far
he was identical with the man who had first met Flavia Malcolm in her
mother's house, twelve years ago. Did he at all remember having known her
as a little girl, and why did his indifference hurt her so, after all
these years? Had some remnant of her childish affection for him gone on
living, somewhere down in the sealed caves of her consciousness, and had
she really expected to find it possible to be fond of him again? Suddenly
she saw a light in the man's sleepy eyes, an unmistakable expression of
interest and pleasure that fairly startled her. She turned quickly in the
direction of his glance, and saw Flavia, just entering, dressed for dinner
and lit by the effulgence of her most radiant manner. Most people
considered Flavia handsome, and there was no gainsaying that she carried
her five-and-thirty years splendidly. Her figure had never grown matronly,
and her face was of the sort that does not show wear. Its blond tints were
as fresh and enduring as enamel—and quite as hard. Its usual
expression was one of tense, often strained, animation, which compressed
her lips nervously. A perfect scream of animation, Miss Broadwood had
called it, created and maintained by sheer, indomitable force of will.
Flavia's appearance on any scene whatever made a ripple, caused a certain
agitation and recognition, and, among impressionable people, a certain
uneasiness, For all her sparkling assurance of manner, Flavia was
certainly always ill at ease and, even more certainly, anxious. She seemed
not convinced of the established order of material things, seemed always
trying to conceal her feeling that walls might crumble, chasms open, or
the fabric of her life fly to the winds in irretrievable entanglement. At
least this was the impression Imogen got from that note in Flavia which
was so manifestly false.
Hamilton's keen, quick, satisfied glance at his wife had recalled to
Imogen all her inventory of speculations about them. She looked at him
with compassionate surprise. As a child she had never permitted herself to
believe that Hamilton cared at all for the woman who had taken him away
from her; and since she had begun to think about them again, it had never
occurred to her that anyone could become attached to Flavia in that deeply
personal and exclusive sense. It seemed quite as irrational as trying to
possess oneself of Broadway at noon.
When they went out to dinner Imogen realized the completeness of Flavia's
triumph. They were people of one name, mostly, like kings; people whose
names stirred the imagination like a romance or a melody. With the notable
exception of M. Roux, Imogen had seen most of them before, either in
concert halls or lecture rooms; but they looked noticeably older and
dimmer than she remembered them.
Opposite her sat Schemetzkin, the Russian pianist, a short, corpulent man,
with an apoplectic face and purplish skin, his thick, iron-gray hair
tossed back from his forehead. Next to the German giantess sat the Italian
tenor—the tiniest of men—pale, with soft, light hair, much in
disorder, very red lips, and fingers yellowed by cigarettes. Frau
Lichtenfeld shone in a gown of emerald green, fitting so closely as to
enhance her natural floridness. However, to do the good lady justice, let
her attire be never so modest, it gave an effect of barbaric splendor. At
her left sat Herr Schotte, the Assyriologist, whose features were
effectually concealed by the convergence of his hair and beard, and whose
glasses were continually falling into his plate. This gentleman had
removed more tons of earth in the course of his explorations than had any
of his confreres, and his vigorous attack upon his food seemed to suggest
the strenuous nature of his accustomed toil. His eyes were small and
deeply set, and his forehead bulged fiercely above his eyes in a bony
ridge. His heavy brows completed the leonine suggestion of his face. Even
to Imogen, who knew something of his work and greatly respected it, he was
entirely too reminiscent of the Stone Age to be altogether an agreeable
dinner companion. He seemed, indeed, to have absorbed something of the
savagery of those early types of life which he continually studied.
Frank Wellington, the young Kansas man who had been two years out of
Harvard and had published three historical novels, sat next to Mr. Will
Maidenwood, who was still pale from his recent sufferings and carried his
hand bandaged. They took little part in the general conversation, but,
like the lion and the unicorn, were always at it, discussing, every time
they met, whether there were or were not passages in Mr. Wellington's
works which should be eliminated, out of consideration for the Young
Person. Wellington had fallen into the hands of a great American syndicate
which most effectually befriended struggling authors whose struggles were
in the right direction, and which had guaranteed to make him famous before
he was thirty. Feeling the security of his position he stoutly defended
those passages which jarred upon the sensitive nerves of the young editor
of Woman. Maidenwood, in the smoothest of voices, urged the
necessity of the author's recognizing certain restrictions at the outset,
and Miss Broadwood, who joined the argument quite without invitation or
encouragement, seconded him with pointed and malicious remarks which
caused the young editor manifest discomfort. Restzhoff, the chemist,
demanded the attention of the entire company for his exposition of his
devices for manufacturing ice cream from vegetable oils and for
administering drugs in bonbons.
Flavia, always noticeably restless at dinner, was somewhat apathetic
toward the advocate of peptonized chocolate and was plainly concerned
about the sudden departure of M. Roux, who had announced that it would be
necessary for him to leave tomorrow. M. Emile Roux, who sat at Flavia's
right, was a man in middle life and quite bald, clearly without personal
vanity, though his publishers preferred to circulate only those of his
portraits taken in his ambrosial youth. Imogen was considerably shocked at
his unlikeness to the slender, black-stocked Rolla he had looked at
twenty. He had declined into the florid, settled heaviness of indifference
and approaching age. There was, however, a certain look of durability and
solidity about him; the look of a man who has earned the right to be fat
and bald, and even silent at dinner if he chooses.
Throughout the discussion between Wellington and Will Maidenwood, though
they invited his participation, he remained silent, betraying no sign
either of interest or contempt. Since his arrival he had directed most of
his conversation to Hamilton, who had never read one of his twelve great
novels. This perplexed and troubled Flavia. On the night of his arrival
Jules Martel had enthusiastically declared, "There are schools and
schools, manners and manners; but Roux is Roux, and Paris sets its watches
by his clock." Flavia had already repeated this remark to Imogen. It
haunted her, and each time she quoted it she was impressed anew.
Flavia shifted the conversation uneasily, evidently exasperated and
excited by her repeated failures to draw the novelist out. "Monsieur
Roux," she began abruptly, with her most animated smile, "I remember so
well a statement I read some years ago in your 'Mes Etudes des Femmes' to
the effect that you had never met a really intellectual woman. May I ask,
without being impertinent, whether that assertion still represents your
"I meant, madam," said the novelist conservatively, "intellectual in a
sense very special, as we say of men in whom the purely intellectual
functions seem almost independent."
"And you still think a woman so constituted a mythical personage?"
persisted Flavia, nodding her head encouragingly.
"Une Meduse, madam, who, if she were discovered, would transmute us
all into stone," said the novelist, bowing gravely. "If she existed at
all," he added deliberately, "it was my business to find her, and she has
cost me many a vain pilgrimage. Like Rudel of Tripoli, I have crossed seas
and penetrated deserts to seek her out. I have, indeed, encountered women
of learning whose industry I have been compelled to respect; many who have
possessed beauty and charm and perplexing cleverness; a few with
remarkable information and a sort of fatal facility."
"And Mrs. Browning, George Eliot, and your own Mme. Dudevant?" queried
Flavia with that fervid enthusiasm with which she could, on occasion,
utter things simply incomprehensible for their banality—at her feats
of this sort Miss Broadwood was wont to sit breathless with admiration.
"Madam, while the intellect was undeniably present in the performances of
those women, it was only the stick of the rocket. Although this woman has
eluded me I have studied her conditions and perturbances as astronomers
conjecture the orbits of planets they have never seen. if she exists, she
is probably neither an artist nor a woman with a mission, but an obscure
personage, with imperative intellectual needs, who absorbs rather than
Flavia, still nodding nervously, fixed a strained glance of interrogation
upon M. Roux. "Then you think she would be a woman whose first necessity
would be to know, whose instincts would be satisfied only with the best,
who could draw from others; appreciative, merely?"
The novelist lifted his dull eyes to his interlocutress with an
untranslatable smile and a slight inclination of his shoulders. "Exactly
so; you are really remarkable, madam," he added, in a tone of cold
After dinner the guests took their coffee in the music room, where
Schemetzkin sat down at the piano to drum ragtime, and give his celebrated
imitation of the boardingschool girl's execution of Chopin. He flatly
refused to play anything more serious, and would practice only in the
morning, when he had the music room to himself. Hamilton and M. Roux
repaired to the smoking room to discuss the necessity of extending the tax
on manufactured articles in France—one of those conversations which
particularly exasperated Flavia.
After Schemetzkin had grimaced and tortured the keyboard with malicious
vulgarities for half an hour, Signor Donati, to put an end to his torture,
consented to sing, and Flavia and Imogen went to fetch Arthur to play his
accompaniments. Hamilton rose with an annoyed look and placed his
cigarette on the mantel. "Why yes, Flavia, I'll accompany him, provided he
sings something with a melody, Italian arias or ballads, and provided the
recital is not interminable."
"You will join us, M. Roux?"
"Thank you, but I have some letters to write," replied the novelist,
As Flavia had remarked to Imogen, "Arthur really played accompaniments
remarkably well." To hear him recalled vividly the days of her childhood,
when he always used to spend his business vacations at her mother's home
in Maine. He had possessed for her that almost hypnotic influence which
young men sometimes exert upon little girls. It was a sort of phantom love
affair, subjective and fanciful, a precocity of instinct, like that tender
and maternal concern which some little girls feel for their dolls. Yet
this childish infatuation is capable of all the depressions and
exaltations of love itself, it has its bitter jealousies, cruel
disappointments, its exacting caprices.
Summer after summer she had awaited his coming and wept at his departure,
indifferent to the gayer young men who had called her their sweetheart and
laughed at everything she said. Although Hamilton never said so, she had
been always quite sure that he was fond of her. When he pulled her up the
river to hunt for fairy knolls shut about by low, hanging willows, he was
often silent for an hour at a time, yet she never felt he was bored or was
neglecting her. He would lie in the sand smoking, his eyes half-closed,
watching her play, and she was always conscious that she was entertaining
him. Sometimes he would take a copy of "Alice in Wonderland" in his
pocket, and no one could read it as he could, laughing at her with his
dark eyes, when anything amused him. No one else could laugh so, with just
their eyes, and without moving a muscle of their face. Though he usually
smiled at passages that seemed not at all funny to the child, she always
laughed gleefully, because he was so seldom moved to mirth that any such
demonstration delighted her and she took the credit of it entirely to
herself Her own inclination had been for serious stories, with sad
endings, like the Little Mermaid, which he had once told her in an
unguarded moment when she had a cold, and was put to bed early on her
birthday night and cried because she could not have her party. But he
highly disapproved of this preference, and had called it a morbid taste,
and always shook his finger at her when she asked for the story. When she
had been particularly good, or particularly neglected by other people,
then he would sometimes melt and tell her the story, and never laugh at
her if she enjoyed the "sad ending" even to tears. When Flavia had taken
him away and he came no more, she wept inconsolably for the space of two
weeks, and refused to learn her lessons. Then she found the story of the
Little Mermaid herself, and forgot him.
Imogen had discovered at dinner that he could still smile at one secretly,
out of his eyes, and that he had the old manner of outwardly seeming
bored, but letting you know that he was not. She was intensely curious
about his exact state of feeling toward his wife, and more curious still
to catch a sense of his final adjustment to the conditions of life in
general. This, she could not help feeling, she might get again—if
she could have him alone for an hour, in some place where there was a
little river and a sandy cove bordered by drooping willows, and a blue sky
seen through white sycamore boughs.
That evening, before retiring, Flavia entered her husband's room, where he
sat in his smoking jacket, in one of his favorite low chairs.
"I suppose it's a grave responsibility to bring an ardent, serious young
thing like Imogen here among all these fascinating personages," she
remarked reflectively. "But, after all, one can never tell. These grave,
silent girls have their own charm, even for facile people."
"Oh, so that is your plan?" queried her husband dryly. "I was wondering
why you got her up here. She doesn't seem to mix well with the faciles. At
least, so it struck me."
Flavia paid no heed to this jeering remark, but repeated, "No, after all,
it may not be a bad thing."
"Then do consign her to that shaken reed, the tenor," said her husband
yawning. "I remember she used to have a taste for the pathetic."
"And then," remarked Flavia coquettishly, "after all, I owe her mother a
return in kind. She was not afraid to trifle with destiny."
But Hamilton was asleep in his chair.
Next morning Imogen found only Miss Broadwood in the breakfast room.
"Good morning, my dear girl, whatever are you doing up so early? They
never breakfast before eleven. Most of them take their coffee in their
room. Take this place by me."
Miss Broadwood looked particularly fresh and encouraging in her blue serge
walking skirt, her open jacket displaying an expanse of stiff, white shirt
bosom, dotted with some almost imperceptible figure, and a dark
blue-and-white necktie, neatly knotted under her wide, rolling collar. She
wore a white rosebud in the lapel of her coat, and decidedly she seemed
more than ever like a nice, clean boy on his holiday. Imogen was just
hoping that they would breakfast alone when Miss Broadwood exclaimed, "Ah,
there comes Arthur with the children. That's the reward of early rising in
this house; you never get to see the youngsters at any other time."
Hamilton entered, followed by two dark, handsome little boys. The girl,
who was very tiny, blonde like her mother, and exceedingly frail, he
carried in his arms. The boys came up and said good morning with an ease
and cheerfulness uncommon, even in well-bred children, but the little girl
hid her face on her father's shoulder.
"She's a shy little lady," he explained as he put her gently down in her
chair. "I'm afraid she's like her father; she can't seem to get used to
meeting people. And you, Miss Willard, did you dream of the White Rabbit
or the Little Mermaid?"
"Oh, I dreamed of them all! All the personages of that buried
civilization," cried Imogen, delighted that his estranged manner of the
night before had entirely vanished and feeling that, somehow, the old
confidential relations had been restored during the night.
"Come, William," said Miss Broadwood, turning to the younger of the two
boys, "and what did you dream about?"
"We dreamed," said William gravely—he was the more assertive of the
two and always spoke for both—"we dreamed that there were fireworks
hidden in the basement of the carriage house; lots and lots of fireworks."
His elder brother looked up at him with apprehensive astonishment, while
Miss Broadwood hastily put her napkin to her lips and Hamilton dropped his
eyes. "If little boys dream things, they are so apt not to come true," he
reflected sadly. This shook even the redoubtable William, and he glanced
nervously at his brother. "But do things vanish just because they have
been dreamed?" he objected.
"Generally that is the very best reason for their vanishing," said Arthur
"But, Father, people can't help what they dream," remonstrated Edward
"Oh, come! You're making these children talk like a Maeterlinck dialogue,"
laughed Miss Broadwood.
Flavia presently entered, a book in her hand, and bade them all good
morning. "Come, little people, which story shall it be this morning?" she
asked winningly. Greatly excited, the children followed her into the
garden. "She does then, sometimes," murmured Imogen as they left the
"Oh, yes, to be sure," said Miss Broadwood cheerfully. "She reads a story
to them every morning in the most picturesque part of the garden. The
mother of the Gracchi, you know. She does so long, she says, for the time
when they will be intellectual companions for her. What do you say to a
walk over the hills?"
As they left the house they met Frau Lichtenfeld and the bushy Herr
Schotte—the professor cut an astonishing figure in golf stockings—returning
from a walk and engaged in an animated conversation on the tendencies of
"Aren't they the most attractive little children," exclaimed Imogen as
they wound down the road toward the river.
"Yes, and you must not fail to tell Flavia that you think so. She will
look at you in a sort of startled way and say, 'Yes, aren't they?' and
maybe she will go off and hunt them up and have tea with them, to fully
appreciate them. She is awfully afraid of missing anything good, is
Flavia. The way those youngsters manage to conceal their guilty presence
in the House of Song is a wonder."
"But don't any of the artist-folk fancy children?" asked Imogen.
"Yes, they just fancy them and no more. The chemist remarked the other day
that children are like certain salts which need not be actualized because
the formulae are quite sufficient for practical purposes. I don't see how
even Flavia can endure to have that man about."
"I have always been rather curious to know what Arthur thinks of it all,"
remarked Imogen cautiously.
"Thinks of it!" ejaculated Miss Broadwood. "Why, my dear, what would any
man think of having his house turned into an hotel, habited by freaks who
discharge his servants, borrow his money, and insult his neighbors? This
place is shunned like a lazaretto!"
"Well, then, why does he—why does he—" persisted Imogen.
"Bah!" interrupted Miss Broadwood impatiently, "why did he in the first
place? That's the question."
"Marry her, you mean?" said Imogen coloring.
"Exactly so," said Miss Broadwood sharply, as she snapped the lid of her
"I suppose that is a question rather beyond us, and certainly one which we
cannot discuss," said Imogen. "But his toleration on this one point
puzzles me, quite apart from other complications."
"Toleration? Why this point, as you call it, simply is Flavia. Who could
conceive of her without it? I don't know where it's all going to end, I'm
sure, and I'm equally sure that, if it were not for Arthur, I shouldn't
care," declared Miss Broadwood, drawing her shoulders together.
"But will it end at all, now?"
"Such an absurd state of things can't go on indefinitely. A man isn't
going to see his wife make a guy of herself forever, is he? Chaos has
already begun in the servants' quarters. There are six different languages
spoken there now. You see, it's all on an entirely false basis. Flavia
hasn't the slightest notion of what these people are really like, their
good and their bad alike escape her. They, on the other hand, can't
imagine what she is driving at. Now, Arthur is worse off than either
faction; he is not in the fairy story in that he sees these people exactly
as they are, but he is utterly unable to see Flavia as they see
her. There you have the situation. Why can't he see her as we do? My dear,
that has kept me awake o' nights. This man who has thought so much and
lived so much, who is naturally a critic, really takes Flavia at very
nearly her own estimate. But now I am entering upon a wilderness. From a
brief acquaintance with her you can know nothing of the icy fastnesses of
Flavia's self-esteem. It's like St. Peter's; you can't realize its
magnitude at once. You have to grow into a sense of it by living under its
shadow. It has perplexed even Emile Roux, that merciless dissector of
egoism. She has puzzled him the more because he saw at a glance what some
of them do not perceive at once, and what will be mercifully concealed
from Arthur until the trump sounds; namely, that all Flavia's artists have
done or ever will do means exactly as much to her as a symphony means to
an oyster; that there is no bridge by which the significance of any work
of art could be conveyed to her."
"Then, in the name of goodness, why does she bother?" gasped Imogen. "She
is pretty, wealthy, well-established; why should she bother?"
"That's what M. Roux has kept asking himself. I can't pretend to analyze
it. She reads papers on the Literary Landmarks of Paris, the Loves of the
Poets, and that sort of thing, to clubs out in Chicago. To Flavia it is
more necessary to be called clever than to breathe. I would give a good
deal to know that glum Frenchman's diagnosis. He has been watching her out
of those fishy eyes of his as a biologist watches a hemisphereless frog."
For several days after M. Roux's departure Flavia gave an embarrassing
share of her attention to Imogen. Embarrassing, because Imogen had the
feeling of being energetically and futilely explored, she knew not for
what. She felt herself under the globe of an air pump, expected to yield
up something. When she confined the conversation to matters of general
interest Flavia conveyed to her with some pique that her one endeavor in
life had been to fit herself to converse with her friends upon those
things which vitally interested them. "One has no right to accept their
best from people unless one gives, isn't it so? I want to be able to give—!"
she declared vaguely. Yet whenever Imogen strove to pay her tithes and
plunged bravely into her plans for study next winter, Flavia grew
absent-minded and interrupted her by amazing generalizations or by such
embarrassing questions as, "And these grim studies really have charm for
you; you are quite buried in them; they make other things seem light and
"I rather feel as though I had got in here under false pretenses," Imogen
confided to Miss Broadwood. "I'm sure I don't know what it is that she
wants of me."
"Ah," chuckled Jemima, "you are not equal to these heart to heart talks
with Flavia. You utterly fail to communicate to her the atmosphere of that
untroubled joy in which you dwell. You must remember that she gets no
feeling out of things herself, and she demands that you impart yours to
her by some process of psychic transmission. I once met a blind girl,
blind from birth, who could discuss the peculiarities of the Barbizon
school with just Flavia's glibness and enthusiasm. Ordinarily Flavia knows
how to get what she wants from people, and her memory is wonderful. One
evening I heard her giving Frau Lichtenfeld some random impressions about
Hedda Gabler which she extracted from me five years ago; giving them with
an impassioned conviction of which I was never guilty. But I have known
other people who could appropriate your stories and opinions; Flavia is
infinitely more subtle than that; she can soak up the very thrash and
drift of your daydreams, and take the very thrills off your back, as it
After some days of unsuccessful effort, Flavia withdrew herself, and
Imogen found Hamilton ready to catch her when she was tossed afield. He
seemed only to have been awaiting this crisis, and at once their old
intimacy reestablished itself as a thing inevitable and beautifully
prepared for. She convinced herself that she had not been mistaken in him,
despite all the doubts that had come up in later years, and this renewal
of faith set more than one question thumping in her brain. "How did he,
how can he?" she kept repeating with a tinge of her childish resentment,
"what right had he to waste anything so fine?"
When Imogen and Arthur were returning from a walk before luncheon one
morning about a week after M. Roux's departure, they noticed an absorbed
group before one of the hall windows. Herr Schotte and Restzhoff sat on
the window seat with a newspaper between them, while Wellington,
Schemetzkin, and Will Maidenwood looked over their shoulders. They seemed
intensely interested, Herr Schotte occasionally pounding his knees with
his fists in ebullitions of barbaric glee. When imogen entered the hall,
however, the men were all sauntering toward the breakfast room and the
paper was lying innocently on the divan. During luncheon the personnel of
that window group were unwontedly animated and agreeable all save
Schemetzkin, whose stare was blanker than ever, as though Roux's mantle of
insulting indifference had fallen upon him, in addition to his own
oblivious self-absorption. Will Maidenwood seemed embarrassed and annoyed;
the chemist employed himself with making polite speeches to Hamilton.
Flavia did not come down to lunch—and there was a malicious gleam
under Herr Schotte's eyebrows. Frank Wellington announced nervously that
an imperative letter from his protecting syndicate summoned him to the
After luncheon the men went to the golf links, and Imogen, at the first
opportunity, possessed herself of the newspaper which had been left on the
divan. One of the first things that caught her eye was an article headed
"Roux on Tuft Hunters; The Advanced American Woman as He Sees Her;
Aggressive, Superficial, and Insincere." The entire interview was nothing
more nor less than a satiric characterization of Flavia, aquiver with
irritation and vitriolic malice. No one could mistake it; it was done with
all his deftness of portraiture. Imogen had not finished the article when
she heard a footstep, and clutching the paper she started precipitately
toward the stairway as Arthur entered. He put out his hand, looking
critically at her distressed face.
"Wait a moment, Miss Willard," he said peremptorily, "I want to see
whether we can find what it was that so interested our friends this
morning. Give me the paper, please."
Imogen grew quite white as he opened the journal. She reached forward and
crumpled it with her hands. "Please don't, please don't," she pleaded;
"it's something I don't want you to see. Oh, why will you? it's just
something low and despicable that you can't notice."
Arthur had gently loosed her hands, and he pointed her to a chair. He lit
a cigar and read the article through without comment. When he had finished
it he walked to the fireplace, struck a match, and tossed the flaming
journal between the brass andirons.
"You are right," he remarked as he came back, dusting his hands with his
handkerchief. "It's quite impossible to comment. There are extremes of
blackguardism for which we have no name. The only thing necessary is to
see that Flavia gets no wind of this. This seems to be my cue to act; poor
Imogen looked at him tearfully; she could only murmur, "Oh, why did you
Hamilton laughed spiritlessly. "Come, don't you worry about it. You always
took other people's troubles too seriously. When you were little and all
the world was gay and everybody happy, you must needs get the Little
Mermaid's troubles to grieve over. Come with me into the music room. You
remember the musical setting I once made you for the Lay of the
Jabberwock? I was trying it over the other night, long after you were in
bed, and I decided it was quite as fine as the Erl-King music. How I wish
I could give you some of the cake that Alice ate and make you a little
girl again. Then, when you had got through the glass door into the little
garden, you could call to me, perhaps, and tell me all the fine things
that were going on there. What a pity it is that you ever grew up!" he
added, laughing; and Imogen, too, was thinking just that.
At dinner that evening, Flavia, with fatal persistence, insisted upon
turning the conversation to M. Roux. She had been reading one of his
novels and had remembered anew that Paris set its watches by his clock.
Imogen surmised that she was tortured by a feeling that she had not
sufficiently appreciated him while she had had him. When she first
mentioned his name she was answered only by the pall of silence that fell
over the company. Then everyone began to talk at once, as though to
correct a false position. They spoke of him with a fervid, defiant
admiration, with the sort of hot praise that covers a double purpose.
Imogen fancied she could see that they felt a kind of relief at what the
man had done, even those who despised him for doing it; that they felt a
spiteful hate against Flavia, as though she had tricked them, and a
certain contempt for themselves that they had been beguiled. She was
reminded of the fury of the crowd in the fairy tale, when once the child
had called out that the king was in his night clothes. Surely these people
knew no more about Flavia than they had known before, but the mere fact
that the thing had been said altered the situation. Flavia, meanwhile, sat
chattering amiably, pathetically unconscious of her nakedness.
Hamilton lounged, fingering the stem of his wineglass, gazing down the
table at one face after another and studying the various degrees of
self-consciousness they exhibited. Imogen's eyes followed his, fearfully.
When a lull came in the spasmodic flow of conversation, Arthur, leaning
back in his chair, remarked deliberately, "As for M. Roux, his very
profession places him in that class of men whom society has never been
able to accept unconditionally because it has never been able to assume
that they have any ordered notion of taste. He and his ilk remain, with
the mountebanks and snake charmers, people indispensable to our
civilization, but wholly unreclaimed by it; people whom we receive, but
whose invitations we do not accept."
Fortunately for Flavia, this mine was not exploded until just before the
coffee was brought. Her laughter was pitiful to hear; it echoed through
the silent room as in a vault, while she made some tremulously light
remark about her husband's drollery, grim as a jest from the dying. No one
responded and she sat nodding her head like a mechanical toy and smiling
her white, set smile through her teeth, until Alcee Buisson and Frau
Lichtenfeld came to her support.
After dinner the guests retired immediately to their rooms, and Imogen
went upstairs on tiptoe, feeling the echo of breakage and the dust of
crumbling in the air. She wondered whether Flavia's habitual note of
uneasiness were not, in a manner, prophetic, and a sort of unconscious
premonition, after all. She sat down to write a letter, but she found
herself so nervous, her head so hot and her hands so cold, that she soon
abandoned the effort, just as she was about to seek Miss Broadwood, Flavia
entered and embraced her hysterically.
"My dearest girl," she began, "was there ever such an unfortunate and
incomprehensible speech made before? Of course it is scarcely necessary to
explain to you poor Arthur's lack of tact, and that he meant nothing. But
they! Can they be expected to understand? He will feel wretchedly about it
when he realizes what he has done, but in the meantime? And M. Roux, of
all men! When we were so fortunate as to get him, and he made himself so
unreservedly agreeable, and I fancied that, in his way, Arthur quite
admired him. My dear, you have no idea what that speech has done.
Schemetzkin and Herr Schotte have already sent me word that they must
leave us tomorrow. Such a thing from a host!" Flavia paused, choked by
tears of vexation and despair.
Imogen was thoroughly disconcerted; this was the first time she had ever
seen Flavia betray any personal emotion which was indubitably genuine. She
replied with what consolation she could. "Need they take it personally at
all? It was a mere observation upon a class of people—"
"Which he knows nothing whatever about, and with whom he has no sympathy,"
interrupted Flavia. "Ah, my dear, you could not be expected to
understand. You can't realize, knowing Arthur as you do, his entire lack
of any aesthetic sense whatever. He is absolutely nil, stone deaf
and stark blind, on that side. He doesn't mean to be brutal, it is just
the brutality of utter ignorance. They always feel it—they are so
sensitive to unsympathetic influences, you know; they know it the moment
they come into the house. I have spent my life apologizing for him and
struggling to conceal it; but in spite of me, he wounds them; his very
attitude, even in silence, offends them. Heavens! Do I not know? Is it not
perpetually and forever wounding me? But there has never been anything so
dreadful as this—never! If I could conceive of any possible motive,
"But, surely, Mrs. Hamilton, it was, after all, a mere expression of
opinion, such as we are any of us likely to venture upon any subject
whatever. It was neither more personal nor more extravagant than many of
M. Roux's remarks."
"But, Imogen, certainly M. Roux has the right. It is a part of his art,
and that is altogether another matter. Oh, this is not the only instance!"
continued Flavia passionately, "I've always had that narrow, bigoted
prejudice to contend with. It has always held me back. But this—!"
"I think you mistake his attitude," replied Imogen, feeling a flush that
made her ears tingle. "That is, I fancy he is more appreciative than he
seems. A man can't be very demonstrative about those things—not if
he is a real man. I should not think you would care much about saving the
feelings of people who are too narrow to admit of any other point of view
than their own." She stopped, finding herself in the impossible position
of attempting to explain Hamilton to his wife; a task which, if once
begun, would necessitate an entire course of enlightenment which she
doubted Flavia's ability to receive, and which she could offer only with
very poor grace.
"That's just where it stings most"—here Flavia began pacing the
floor—"it is just because they have all shown such tolerance and
have treated Arthur with such unfailing consideration that I can find no
reasonable pretext for his rancor. How can he fail to see the value of
such friendships on the children's account, if for nothing else! What an
advantage for them to grow up among such associations! Even though he
cares nothing about these things himself he might realize that. Is there
nothing I could say by way of explanation? To them, I mean? If someone
were to explain to them how unfortunately limited he is in these things—"
"I'm afraid I cannot advise you," said Imogen decidedly, "but that, at
least, seems to me impossible."
Flavia took her hand and glanced at her affectionately, nodding nervously.
"Of course, dear girl, I can't ask you to be quite frank with me. Poor
child, you are trembling and your hands are icy. Poor Arthur! But you must
not judge him by this altogether; think how much he misses in life. What a
cruel shock you've had. I'll send you some sherry, Good night, my dear."
When Flavia shut the door Imogen burst into a fit of nervous weeping.
Next morning she awoke after a troubled and restless night. At eight
o'clock Miss Broadwood entered in a red and white striped bathrobe.
"Up, up, and see the great doom's image!" she cried, her eyes sparkling
with excitement. "The hall is full of trunks, they are packing. What bolt
has fallen? It's you, ma cherie, you've brought Ulysses home again
and the slaughter has begun!" she blew a cloud of smoke triumphantly from
her lips and threw herself into a chair beside the bed.
Imogen, rising on her elbow, plunged excitedly into the story of the Roux
interview, which Miss Broadwood heard with the keenest interest,
frequently interrupting her with exclamations of delight. When Imogen
reached the dramatic scene which terminated in the destruction of the
newspaper, Miss Broadwood rose and took a turn about the room, violently
switching the tasselled cords of her bathrobe.
"Stop a moment," she cried, "you mean to tell me that he had such a
heaven-sent means to bring her to her senses and didn't use it—that
he held such a weapon and threw it away?"
"Use it?" cried Imogen unsteadily. "Of course he didn't! He bared his back
to the tormentor, signed himself over to punishment in that speech he made
at dinner, which everyone understands but Flavia. She was here for an hour
last night and disregarded every limit of taste in her maledictions."
"My dear!" cried Miss Broadwood, catching her hand in inordinate delight
at the situation, "do you see what he has done? There'll be no end to it.
Why he has sacrificed himself to spare the very vanity that devours him,
put rancors in the vessels of his peace, and his eternal jewel given to
the common enemy of man, to make them kings, the seed of Banquo kings! He
"Isn't he always that?" cried Imogen hotly. "He's like a pillar of sanity
and law in this house of shams and swollen vanities, where people stalk
about with a sort of madhouse dignity, each one fancying himself a king or
a pope. If you could have heard that woman talk of him! Why, she thinks
him stupid, bigoted, blinded by middleclass prejudices. She talked about
his having no aesthetic sense and insisted that her artists had always
shown him tolerance. I don't know why it should get on my nerves so, I'm
sure, but her stupidity and assurance are enough to drive one to the brink
"Yes, as opposed to his singular fineness, they are calculated to do just
that," said Miss Broadwood gravely, wisely ignoring Imogen's tears. "But
what has been is nothing to what will be. Just wait until Flavia's black
swans have flown! You ought not to try to stick it out; that would only
make it harder for everyone. Suppose you let me telephone your mother to
wire you to come home by the evening train?"
"Anything, rather than have her come at me like that again. It puts me in
a perfectly impossible position, and he is so fine!"
"Of course it does," said Miss Broadwood sympathetically, "and there is no
good to be got from facing it. I will stay because such things interest
me, and Frau Lichtenfeld will stay because she has no money to get away,
and Buisson will stay because he feels somewhat responsible. These
complications are interesting enough to cold-blooded folk like myself who
have an eye for the dramatic element, but they are distracting and
demoralizing to young people with any serious purpose in life."
Miss Broadwood's counsel was all the more generous seeing that, for her,
the most interesting element of this denouement would be eliminated by
Imogen's departure. "If she goes now, she'll get over it," soliloquized
Miss Broadwood. "If she stays, she'll be wrung for him and the hurt may go
deep enough to last. I haven't the heart to see her spoiling things for
herself." She telephoned Mrs. Willard and helped Imogen to pack. She even
took it upon herself to break the news of Imogen's going to Arthur, who
remarked, as he rolled a cigarette in his nerveless fingers:
"Right enough, too. What should she do here with old cynics like you and
me, Jimmy? Seeing that she is brim full of dates and formulae and other
positivisms, and is so girt about with illusions that she still casts a
shadow in the sun. You've been very tender of her, haven't you? I've
watched you. And to think it may all be gone when we see her next. 'The
common fate of all things rare,' you know. What a good fellow you are,
anyway, Jimmy," he added, putting his hands affectionately on her
Arthur went with them to the station. Flavia was so prostrated by the
concerted action of her guests that she was able to see Imogen only for a
moment in her darkened sleeping chamber, where she kissed her
hysterically, without lifting her head, bandaged in aromatic vinegar. On
the way to the station both Arthur and Imogen threw the burden of keeping
up appearances entirely upon Miss Broadwood, who blithely rose to the
occasion. When Hamilton carried Imogen's bag into the car, Miss Broadwood
detained her for a moment, whispering as she gave her a large, warm
handclasp, "I'll come to see you when I get back to town; and, in the
meantime, if you meet any of our artists, tell them you have left Caius
Marius among the ruins of Carthage."