I can see that shabby little purse yet with its one poor greasy bill;—a sum to her but to me the price of a luncheon or a gift of flowers. How I longed, as I looked at it to tear every jewel from my poor, bedecked body and fling them one and all into her lap. I had worn them in profusion, though carefully hidden under my coat, in the hope that she would accept one of them at least, But she refused all, even such as had been gifts of friends and schoolmates, only humouring me this far, that she let me hang them for a few minutes about her neck and in her hair and then pull them all off again. But this one vision of her in the splendour she was born to comforted me. Henceforth in wearing them it would be of her and not of myself I should think.
Well, I had to leave her and go home to my French and Italian lessons, my music-masters and all the luxuries of our father’s house. Should I ever see her again? I did not know; she had not promised. I could not go often into the quarter where she lived, without rousing suspicion; and she had bidden me not to come again for a month. So I waited, half fearing she would flit again before the month was up. But she did not. She was still there when—