accustomed to sleep and cook his meals; he thought of eating supper with her, of making love to her, and was much moved. He caught her hand.
And he began to talk to her of countries across the sea: of Italy, with groves of olive-trees and sun-baked white cottages; of Russia, with its silver snow and tinkling sledge-bells; of France and Germany, of the dazzling frozen mountains of Switzerland, the Ice-Queen's country.
"And Spain! I will take you to the bull-fights there, Lina, and then there is Venice, where I worked in the puppet-theaters when I was very young, and the fair at Nijni Novgorod, with gipsies and their dancing bears, and
the chestnut forests outside Paris You will come, won't
you, and dance better than you have ever danced in all this fog and soot?"
"Oh, be quiet!" she interrupted. "Listen . . . some one's coming."
He was silent, and they both waited, holding their breath, for the shuffling footsteps to pass by. But the footsteps ceased for a moment, and there came a rattling at the key-hole, as though some one pawed there, eager to pry, and then the door was flung open and Mrs. Purdie lurched forward on the threshold.
Her bodice was torn from her vast bosom and her frilled cap was still in sad disarray; her face was mottled and dripped with sweat; she breathed stertorously, through her nose, as though she were asleep. But she was not asleep; her little red angry eyes glittered with blind rage and her mouth moved, gabbling strange and dreadful words.
"You two . . . a case-house, a brothel . . . that's what you take this house for, isn't it? Well, you're mistaken. . . . Yes, mistaken, you damn dirty rat—you hear what I say, and Polly, too, little harlot. . . . I've found