tones of one who is conferring an enormous favor upon an inferior, "Varsovina will herself receive you to-morrow, at four o'clock at her hotel in the Champs Elysées. Here is my card introducing you, which you will be good enough to present at the caisse. And on no account, my dear Borek, be late for the interview, as that, I assure you, would create at once an unfavorable impression."
Borek smiled, placing the card carefully in his pocket.
"I have never yet," said he thoughtfully, "been late for a business appointment. In the school and the theater where I was trained, unpunctuality is not permitted."
And he went, still thoughtful, out into the misty sunset of the autumn day, whistling stray scraps from Robert le Diable, as he walked, while on every side of him swirled the bright opera-bouffe figures of the age—ogling, crinolined ladies, incredibly coquettish, and of course a host of Ruritanian-looking officers, picturesque still, but somehow a little tarnished, as though the gold braid of their uniforms was not wearing very well, and Borek thought idly, strolling along this crowded noisy boulevard, that of late the people of Paris, men and women both, had somehow the air of returning, at dawn, from some fancy dress ball at which they had enjoyed themselves immensely, but which had at the same time been a little exhausting. ... He grinned, and began to whistle an air of Offenbach.