rosewood furniture and hothouse flowers, she lived comfortably and happily enough to justify her decision.
Nordstrom was rich, but he was also thoughtful and generous. He kept to his promise of never interfering with her work. He drank too much, and sometimes, when he was under the influence of brandy, he became rough and bad-tempered, but he was invariably contrite after these bouts, and his penitence took the form of an expensive present. He considered that a gift of jewelry atoned for any sin, and this maxim possibly accounted for his popularity with women. He seemed to understand Lina perfectly. She was a child, a baby, to be petted, but she was also a great artist, to be respected, and she was also a woman from whom to seek consolation and affection. He was so much more attractive than either of the two men who had loved her before that she became very fond of him; very dependent upon him, and very resentful when he was unable, for some social reason or other, to take her out to supper.
When her season ended she had three weeks' holiday before beginning an engagement at the Opera. Nordstrom obtained leave, and took her to Biarritz. She was happier, there, than she had ever been before. Perhaps, too, she came near to falling in love with him.
She had never, that she could remember, had so long a holiday in all her life, and this period, spent so pleasantly, so lazily, and yet so amorously, in the toy villa that he had taken for her, was a time of enchantment that slid past with a swiftness that was almost bewildering.
And Nordstrom was gentier, more thoughtful, than she had ever known him. He did not drink during their sojourn in Biarritz, he took her driving every day, and there in the cool of the pine woods, among the reddish sterns and somber bloom of these trees, they picnicked