and opening a door immediately facing the stair the stranger
"I had thought the ladies of France were dark, sir.
"Cruel! It is that she will not understan'! Have I speak of the ladies of France? No, no, no! It is of the faires' country; yes, 'tis a province of heaven, mademoiselle. Do I not renounce my allegiance to France? Oh, yes! I am subjec' - no, content to be slave - in the lan' of the blue sky, the gold, and the snow.
"A very pretty figure," answered Lady Mary, her eyes downcast. "But does it not hint a notable experience in the making of such speeches?"
"Tormentress! No. It prove only the inspiration it is to know you."
"We English ladies hear plenty of the like sir; and we even grow brilliant enough to detect the assurance that lies beneath the courtesies of our own gallants."
"Merci! I should believe so!" ejaculated M. de Chateaurien: but he smothered the words upon his lips.
Her eyes were not lifted. She went on: "We come, in time, to believe that true feeling comes faltering forth, not glibly; that smoothness betokens the adept in the art, sir, rather than your true - your true - " She was herself faltering; more, blushing deeply, and halting to a full stop in terror of a word. There was a silence.
"Your - true - lover," he said huskily. When he had said that word both trembled. She turned half away into the darkness of the coach.