He was correct in his surmise, for he found himself peering at the obituary column of the Times, wherein was recorded at some length an account of the recent death, from pneumonia, of that famous English sportsman, the Marquis of Rochdale. The Marquis, Heinrich learned with interest, left no son, and was consequently succeeded by his nephew, Mr. Guy Chevis. Heinrich began to understand many things. He stole back to his chair, sat down once more and folded his hands over his stomach.
In about five minutes Lina came into the room. She wore a fashionable crinoline of cinnamon silk, and looked rather as though she had been crying.
"My dear Lina," he said, kissing her hand ceremoniously, "I can't express to you how glad I am to see you again after all these weeks. Really, you know, you've treated me very badly! I was certain, at one time, that the Ondine had vanished for ever from my world."
"Do sit down, Heinrich, won't you?"
He watched her covertly.
He had the idea, common to most sentimental and rather sensual men, that love sooner or later causes women to blossom into a veritable luxuriance of brilliant and unnatural beauty. Yet, if Lina glowed at all, it was surely with the waxen bloom of the white camellia, rather than with the deeper, more vivid, flush of the rose. She appeared to Heinrich more exotic than when he had last seen her, possibly because her eyes were heavily darkened, and her black hair strained away from the whiteness of her forehead to fall unconfined upon her neck and shoulders. She sat quite still and waited for him to speak.
"Well," he said, striving to appear at ease, "you have missed the ballet I spoke of, Lina, Le Papillon."
"Have I?" she said. She showed no interest.
"Yes. Do you know who is reported to have taken it up?"