he was diseased in mind as he was diseased in body. He was wicked and malevolent. He, a creature conceived amid all the gaiety of those laughïng picnics beneath the chestnut blossom of Neuilly, he who had been born of parents so youthful, light-hearted and selfish, that they had only played at love, mating more carelessly than the birds above their heads, he who should therefore by all rights have been a shallow creature of mirth and sunlight, seemed to have been bewitched at birth, doomed to walk alone for the rest of his life down dark and sunless paths, sullen, grotesque, unloved.
She thought, not for the first time:
"If he had been Guy's son, whatever he had been, I would have adored him. He couldn't have done wrong. And I would never have been afraid of him."
But Paul had been born too soon, or too late, and that was his misfortune. Had he been Rosing's son she could have respected him. Had he been Guy's son, she would have worshiped him. But he was Nordstrom's son, and that meant nothing at all to her, for she had long ago forgotten Nordstrom.
And it was impossible to like Paul for himself.
Musing thus upon the character of her son, she returned to the house at twilight, leaving her garden still murmurous with the chirping of many grasshoppers. And it was not until the following day that she discovered, by chance, a savage caricature of herself lying upon a pile of Paul's drawings. She looked at it.
She was depicted as the Snow Bird, fighting, with all the strength of battered molting wings, the relentless figure of Time. Her own face, its every imperfection cruelly exaggerated, expressed only the most diabolical resentment; Time, smiling at her impotent despair, bar ring the way with his scythe, bore a strange resemblance to Kessel; behind this figure, applauding, not the dancer, but him