When it was Lord Mormont, I thought, ‘He is strong and
His friend looked round, and then sprang up with a joyous exclamation and grasp of the hand.
"My dear fellow--my dear Bernard! What on earth--when did you arrive?"
While Bernard answered and explained a little, he glanced from his friend's good, gratified face at the young girl with whom Wright had been talking, and then at the lady on the other side, who was giving him a bright little stare. He raised his hat to her and to the young girl, and he became conscious, as regards the latter, of a certain disappointment. She was very pretty; she was looking at him; but she was not the heroine of the little incident of the terrace at Siena.
"It 's just like Longueville, you know," Gordon Wright went on; "he always comes at you from behind; he 's so awfully fond of surprises." He was laughing; he was greatly pleased; he introduced Bernard to the two ladies. "You must know Mrs. Vivian; you must know Miss Blanche Evers."
Bernard took his place in the little circle; he wondered whether he ought to venture upon a special recognition of Mrs. Vivian. Then it seemed to him that he should leave the option of this step with the lady, especially as he had detected recognition in her eye. But Mrs. Vivian ventured upon nothing special; she contented herself with soft generalities--with remarking that she always liked to know when people would arrive; that, for herself, she never enjoyed surprises.
"And yet I imagine you have had your share," said Longueville, with a smile. He thought this might remind her of the moment when she came out of the little church at Siena and found her daughter posturing to an unknown painter.
But Mrs. Vivian, turning her benignant head about, gave but a superficial reply.
"Oh, I have had my share of everything, good and bad. I don't complain of anything." And she gave a little deprecating laugh.