Seated upon a roomy lounge in
the foyer of the Savoy were three
women who attracted more than
an average amount of attention
from the passers-by. In the middle
was the Duchess of Devenham,
erect, stately, and with a figure
which was still irreproachable
notwithstanding her white hair.
on one side sat her daughter,
Lady Grace Redford, tall, fair,
and comely; on the other, Miss
Penelope Morse. The two girls
were amusing themselves, watching
the people; their chaperon had
her eye upon the clock.
"To dine at half-past seven," the
Duchess remarked, as she looked
around the ENTRESOL of the great
restaurant through her lorgnettes, "is
certainly a little trying for
one's temper and for one's digestion,
but so long as those men accepted,
I certainly think they ought
to have been here. They know
that the play begins at a quarter
"It isn't like Dicky Vanderpole
in the least," Penelope said. "Since
he began to tread the devious
paths of diplomacy, he has brought
exactness in the small things
of life down to a fine art."
"He isn't half so much fun
as he used to be," Lady Grace
"Fun!" Penelope exclaimed. "Sometimes
I think that I never knew a more
"I have never known the Prince
unpunctual," the Duchess murmured. "I
consider him absolutely the best-mannered
young man I know."
Lady Grace smiled, and glanced
"I don't think you'll get Penelope
to agree with you, mother," she
"Why not, my dear?" the Duchess
asked. "I heard that you were
quite rude to him the other evening.
We others all find him so charming."
Penelope's lip curled slightly.
"He has so many admirers," she
remarked, "that I dare say he
will not notice my absence from
the ranks. Perhaps I am a little
prejudiced. At home, you know,
we have rather strong opinions
about this fusion of races."
The Duchess raised her eyebrows.
"But a Prince of Japan, my
dear Penelope!" she said. "A
cousin of the Emperor, and a
member of an aristocracy which
was old before we were thought
of! Surely you cannot class Prince
Maiyo amongst those to whom any
of your country people could
Penelope shrugged her shoulders
"Perhaps," she said, "my
feeling is the result of hearing
all praise him so much and so
often. Besides, apart from that,
you must remember that I am a
patriotic daughter of the Stars
and Stripes, and there isn't
much friendship lost between
Washington and Tokio just now."
The Duchess turned away to
greet a man who had paused before
their couch on his way into the
"My dear General," she said, "it
seems to me that one meets every
one here! Why was not restaurant
dining the vogue when I was a
General Sherrif smiled. He
was tall and thin, with grizzled
hair and worn features. Notwithstanding
his civilian's clothes, there
was no possibility of mistaking
him anywhere, or under any circumstances,
for anything but a soldier.
"It is a delightful custom," he
admitted. "It keeps one always
on the QUI VIVE; one never knows
whom one may see. Incidentally,
I find it interferes very much
with my digestion."
"Digestion!" the Duchess murmured. "But
then, you soldiers lead such
"Not always from choice," the
General reminded her. "The Russo-Japanese
war finished me off. They kept
us far enough away from the fighting,
when they could, but, by Jove,
they did make us move!"
"We are waiting now for Prince
Maiyo," the Duchess remarked. "You
"Know him!" the General answered. "Duchess,
if ever I have to write my memoirs,
and particularly my reminiscences
of this war, I fancy you would
find the name of your friend
appear there pretty frequently.
There wasn't a more brilliant
feat of arms in the whole campaign
than his flanking movement at
Mukden. I met most of the Japanese
leaders, and I have always said
that I consider him the most
wonderful of them all."
The Duchess turned to Penelope.
"Do you hear that?" she
"The Fates are against me," she
declared. "If I may not like,
I shall at least be driven to
"To talk of bravery when one
speaks of that war," the General
remarked, "seems invidious, for
it is my belief that throughout
the whole of the Japanese army
such a thing as fear did not
exist. They simply did not know
what the word meant. But I shall
never forget that the only piece
of hand-to-hand fighting I saw
during the whole time was a cavalry
charge led by Prince Maiyo against
an immensely superior force of
Russians. Duchess," the General
declared, "those Japanese on
their queer little horses went
through the enemy like wind through
a cornfield. That young man must
have borne a charmed life. I
saw him riding and cheering his
men on when he must have had
at least half a dozen wounds
in his body. You will pardon
me, Duchess? I see that my party
The General hurried away. The
Duchess shut up her lorgnettes
with a snap, and held out her
hand to a newcomer who had come
from behind the palms.
"My dear Prince," she exclaimed, "this
is charming of you! Some one
told me that you were not well,--our
wretched climate, of course--and
I was so afraid, every moment,
that we should receive your excuses."
The newcomer, who was bowing
over her hand, was of medium
height or a trifle less, dark,
and dressed with the quiet exactness
of an English gentleman. Only
a slight narrowness of the eyes
and a greater alertness of movement
seemed to distinguish him in
any way, as regards nationality,
from the men by whom he was surrounded.
His voice, when he spoke, contained
no trace of accent. It was soft
and singularly pleasant. It had,
too, one somewhat rare quality--a
delightful ring of truth. Perhaps
that was one of the reasons why
Prince Maiyo was just then, amongst
certain circles, one of the most
popular persons in Society.
"My dear Duchess," he said, "My
indisposition was nothing. And
as for your climate, I am beginning
to delight in it,--one never
knows what to expect, or when
one may catch a glimpse of the
sun. It is only the grayness
which is always the same."
"And even that," the Duchess
remarked, smiling, "has been
yellow for the last few days.
Prince, you know my daughter
Grace, and I am sure that you
have met Miss Penelope Morse?
We are waiting for two other
men, Sir Charles Somerfield and
The Prince bowed, and began
to talk to his hostess' daughter,--a
tall, fair girl, as yet only
in her second season.
"Here comes Sir Charles, at
any rate!" the Duchess exclaimed. "Really,
I think we shall have to go in.
We can leave a message for Dicky;
they all know him at this place.
I am afraid he is one of those
shocking young men who entertain
the theatrical profession here
A footman at that moment brought
a note to the Duchess, which
she tore open.
"This is from Dicky!" she exclaimed,
glancing it through quickly,--"Savoy
notepaper, too, so I suppose
he has been here. He says that
he may be a few minutes late
and that we are not to wait.
He will pick us up either here
or at the theatre. Prince, shall
we let these young people follow
us? I haven't heard your excuses
yet. Do you know that you were
a quarter of an hour late?"
He bent towards her with troubled
"Dear Duchess," he said, "believe
me, I am conscious of my fault.
An unexpected matter, which required
my personal attention, presented
itself at the last moment. I
think I can assure you that nothing
of its sort was ever accomplished
so quickly. It would only weary
you if I tried to explain."
"Please don't," the Duchess
begged, "so long as you are here
at last. And after all, you see,
you are not the worst sinner.
Mr. Vanderpole has not yet arrived."
The Prince walked on, for a
few steps, in silence.
"Mr. Vanderpole is a great
friend of yours, Duchess?" he
The Duchess shook her head.
"I do not know him very well," she
said. "I asked him for Penelope."
The Prince looked puzzled.
"But I thought," he said, "that
Miss Morse and Sir Charles--"
The Duchess interrupted him
with a smile.
"Sir Charles is very much in
earnest," she whispered, "but
very very slow. Dicky is just
the sort of man to spur him on.
He admires Penelope, and does
not mind showing it. She is such
a dear girl that I should love
to have her comfortably settled
"She is very intelligent," the
Prince said. "She is a young
lady, indeed, for whom I have
a great admiration. I am only
sorry," he concluded, "that I
do not seem able to interest
"You must not believe that," the
Duchess said. "Penelope is a
little brusque sometimes, but
it is only her manner."
They made their way through
the foyer to the round table
which had been reserved for them
in the centre of the restaurant.
"I suppose I ought to apologize
for giving you dinner at such
an hour," the Duchess remarked, "but
it is our theatrical managers
who are to blame. Why they cannot
understand that the best play
in the world is not worth more
than two hours of our undivided
attention, and begin everything
at nine or a quarter-past, I
The Prince smiled.
"Dear Duchess," he said, "I
think that you are a nation of
sybarites. Everything in the
world must run for you so smoothly
or you are not content. For my
part, I like to dine at this
"But then, you take no luncheon,
Prince," Lady Grace reminded
"I never lunch out," the Prince
answered, "but I have always
what is sufficient for me."
"Tell me," the Duchess asked, "is
it true that you are thinking
of settling down amongst us?
Your picture is in the new illustrated
paper this week, you know, with
a little sketch of your career.
We are given to understand that
you may possibly make your home
in this country."
The Prince smiled, and in his
smile there seemed to be a certain
mysticism. One could not tell,
indeed, whether it came from
some pleasant thought flitting
through his brain, or whether
it was that the idea itself was
so strange to him.
"I have no plans, Duchess," he
said. "Your country is very delightful,
and the hospitality of the friends
I have made over here is too
wonderful a thing to be described;
but one never knows."
Lady Grace bent towards Sir
Charles, who was sitting by her
"I can never understand the
Prince," she murmured. "Always
he seems as though he took life
so earnestly. He has a look upon
his face which I never see in
the faces of any of you other
"He is a bit on the serious
side," Sir Charles admitted.
"It isn't only that," she continued. "He
reminds me of that man whom we
all used to go and hear preach
at the Oratory. He was the same
in the pulpit and when one saw
him in the street. His eyes seemed
to see through one; he seemed
to be living in a world of his
"He was a religious Johnny,
of course," Sir Charles remarked. "They
do walk about with their heads
in the air."
Lady Grace smiled.
"Perhaps it is religion with
the Prince," she said,--"religion
of a sort."
"I tell you what I do think," Sir
Charles murmured. "I think his
pretence at having a good time
over here is all a bluff. He
doesn't really cotton to us,
you know. Don't see how he could.
He's never touched a polo stick
in his life, knows nothing about
cricket, is indifferent to games,
and doesn't even understand the
meaning of the word Sportsman.'
There's no place in this country
for a man like that."
Lady Grace nodded.
"I think," she said, "that
his visit to Europe and his stay
amongst us is, after all, in
the nature of a pilgrimage. I
suppose he wants to carry back
some of our civilization to his
Penelope, who overheard, laughed
softly and leaned across the
"I fancy," she murmured, "that
the person you are speaking of
would not look at it in quite
the same light."
"Has any one seen the evening
paper?" the Duchess asked. "It
is there any more news about
that extraordinary murder?"
"Nothing fresh in the early
editions," Sir Charles answered.
"I think," the Duchess declared, "that
it is perfectly scandalous. Our
police system must be in a disgraceful
state. Tell me, Prince,--could
anything like that happen in
"Without doubt," the Prince
answered, "life moves very much
in the East as with you here.
Only with us," he added a little
thoughtfully, "there is a difference,
a difference of which one is
reminded at a time like this,
when one reads your newspapers
and hears the conversation of
"Tell us what you mean?" Penelope
He looked at her as one might
have looked at a child,--kindly,
even tolerantly. He was scarcely
so tall as she was, and Penelope's
attitude towards him was marked
all the time with a certain frigidity.
Yet he spoke to her with the
quiet, courteous confidence of
the philosopher who unbends to
talk to a child.
"In this country," he said, "you
place so high a value upon the
gift of life. Nothing moves you
so greatly as the killing of
one man by another, or the death
of a person whom you know."
"There is no tragedy in the
world so great!" Penelope declared.
The Prince shrugged his shoulders
"My dear Miss Morse," he said, "it
is so that you think about life
and death here. Yet you call
yourselves a Christian country--you
have a very beautiful faith.
With us, perhaps, there is a
little more philosophy and something
a little less definite in the
trend of our religion. Yet we
do not dress Death in black clothes
or fly from his outstretched
hand. We fear him no more that
we do the night. It is a thing
that comes--a thing that must
He spoke so softly, and yet
with so much conviction, that
it seemed hard to answer him.
Penelope, however, was conscious
of an almost feverish desire
either to contradict him or to
prolong the conversation by some
means or other.
"Your point of view," she said, "is
well enough, Prince, for those
who fall in battle, fighting
for their country or for a great
cause. Don't you think, though,
that the horror of death is a
more real thing in a case like
this, where a man is killed in
cold blood for the sake of robbery,
or perhaps revenge?"
"One cannot tell," the Prince
answered thoughtfully. "The battlefields
of life are there for every one
to cross. This mysterious gentleman
who seems to have met with his
death so unexpectedly--he, too,
may have been the victim of a
cause, knowing his dangers, facing
them as a man should face them."
The Duchess sighed.
"I am quite sure, Prince," she
said, "that you are a romanticist.
But, apart from the sentimental
side of it, do things like this
happen in your country?"
"Why not?" the Prince answered. "It
is as I have been saying: for
a worthy cause, or a cause which
he believed to be worthy, there
is no man of my country worthy
of the name who would not accept
death with the same resignation
that he lays his head upon the
pillow and waits for sleep."
Sir Charles raised his glass
and bowed across the table.
"To our great allies!" he
The Prince drank his glass
of water thoughtfully. He drank
wine only on very rare occasions,
and then under compulsion. He
turned to the Duchess.
"A few days ago," he said, "I
heard myself described as being
much too serious a person. Tonight
I am afraid that I am living
up to my reputation. Our conversation
seems to have drifted into somewhat
gloomy channels. We must ask
Miss Morse, I think, to help
us to forget. They say," he continued, "that
it is the young ladies of your
country who hold open the gates
of Paradise for their menkind."
He was looking into her eyes.
His tone was half bantering,
half serious. From across the
table Penelope knew that Somerfield
was watching her closely. Somehow
or other, she was irritated and
nervous, and she answered vaguely.
Sir Charles intervened with a
story about some of their acquaintances,
and the conversation drifted
into more ordinary channels.
"Some day, I suppose," the
Duchess remarked, as the service
of dinner drew toward a close, "you
will have restaurants like this
The Prince assented.
"Yes," he said without enthusiasm, "they
will come. Our heritage from
the West is a sure thing. Not
in my days, perhaps, or in the
days of those that follow me,
but they will come."
"I think that it is absolutely
wicked of Dicky," the Duchess
declared, as they rose from the
table. "I shall never rely upon
"After all, perhaps, it isn't
his fault," Penelope said, breathing
a little sigh of relief as she
rose to her feet. "Mr. Harvey
is not always considerate, and
I know that several of the staff
are away on leave."
"That's right, my dear," the
Duchess said, smiling, "stick
up for your countrymen. I suppose
he'll find us sometime during
the evening. We can all go to
the theatre together; the omnibus
The little party passed through
the foyer and into the hall of
the hotel, where they waited
while the Duchess' carriage was
called. Mr. Coulson was there
in an easy chair, smoking a cigar,
and watching the people coming
and going. He studied the passers-by
with ah air of impersonal but
pleased interest. Penelope and
Lady Grace were certainly admirable
foils. The latter was fair, with
beautiful complexion--a trifle
sunburnt, blue eyes, good-humored
mouth, and features excellent
in their way, but a little lacking
in expression. Her figure was
good; her movements slow but
not ungraceful; her dress of
white ivory satin a little extravagant
for the occasion. She looked
exactly what she was,--a well-bred,
well-disposed, healthy young
Englishwoman, of aristocratic
parentage. Penelope, on the other
hand, more simply dressed, save
for the string of pearls which
hung from her neck, had the look
of a creature from another world.
She had plenty of animation;
a certain nervous energy seemed
to keep her all the time restless.
She talked ceaselessly, sometimes
to the Prince, more often to
Sir Charles. Her gray-green eyes
were bright, her cheeks delicately
flushed. She spoke and looked
and moved as one on fire with
the joy of life. The Prince,
noticing that Lady Grace had
been left to herself for the
last few moments, moved a little
towards her and commenced a courteous
conversation. Sir Charles took
the opportunity to bend over
"Penelope," he said,"you
are queer tonight. Tell me
is? You don't really dislike
the Prince, do you?"
"Why, of course not," she answered,
looking back into the restaurant
and listening, as though interested
in the music. "He is odd, though,
isn't he? He is so serious and,
in a way, so convincing. He is
like a being transplanted into
an absolutely alien soil. One
would like to laugh at him, and
"He is rather an anomaly," Sir
Charles said, humming lightly
to himself. "I suppose, compared
with us matter-of-fact people,
he must seem to your sex quite
a romantic figure."
"He makes no particular appeal
to me at all," Penelope declared.
Somerfield was suddenly thoughtful.
"Sometimes, Penelope," he said, "I
don't quite understand you, especially
when we speak about the Prince.
I have come to the conclusion
that you either like him very
much, or you dislike him very
much, or you have some thoughts
about him which you tell to no
She lifted her skirts. The
carriage had been called.
"I like your last suggestion," she
declared. "You may believe that
that is true."
On their way out, the Prince
was accosted by some friends
and remained talking for several
moments. When he entered the
omnibus, there seemed to Penelope,
who found herself constantly
watching him closely, a certain
added gravity in his demeanor.
The drive to the theatre was
a short one, and conversation
consisted only of a few disjointed
remarks. In the lobby the Prince
laid his hand upon Somerfield's
"Sir Charles," he said, "if
I were you, I would keep that
evening paper in your pocket.
Don't let the ladies see it."
Somerfield looked at him in
"What do you mean?" he
"To me personally it is of
no consequence," the Prince answered, "but
your womenfolk feel these things
so keenly, and Mr. Vanderpole
is of the same nationality, is
he not, as Miss Morse? If you
take my advice, you will be sure
that they do not see the paper
until after they get home this
"Has anything happened to Dicky?" Somerfield
The Prince's face was impassive;
he seemed not to have heard.
Penelope had turned to wait for
"The Duchess thinks that we
had better all go into the box," she
said. "We have two stalls as
well, but as Dicky is not here
there is really room for five.
Will you get some programmes,
Somerfield stopped for a minute,
under pretence of seeking some
change, and tore open his paper.
The Prince led Penelope down
the carpeted way.
"I heard what you and Sir Charles
were saying," she declared quietly. "Please
tell me what it is that has happened
The Prince's face was grave.
"I am sorry," he replied. "I
did not know that our voices
would travel so far."
"It was not yours," she said. "It
was Sir Charles'. Tell me quickly
what it is that has happened?"
"Mr. Vanderpole," the Prince
answered, "has met with an accident,--a
somewhat serious one, I fear.
Perhaps," he added, "it would
be as well, after all, to break
this to the Duchess. I was forgetting
the prejudices of your country.
She will doubtless wish that
our party should be broken up."
Penelope was suddenly very
white. He whispered in her ear.
"Be brave," he said. "It
is your part."
She stood still for a moment,
and then moved on. His words
had had a curious effect upon
her. The buzzing in her ears
had ceased; there was something
to be done--she must do it! She
passed into the box, the door
of which the attendant was holding
"Duchess," she said, "I
am so sorry, but I am afraid
something has happened to Dicky.
If you do not mind, I am going
to ask Sir Charles to take me
"But my dear child!" the
"Miss Morse is quite right," the
Prince said quietly. "I think
it would be better for her to
leave at once. If you will allow
me, I will explain to you later."
She left the box without another
word, and took Somerfield's arm.
"We two are to go," she murmured. "The
Prince will explain to the Duchess."
The Prince closed the box door
behind them. He placed a chair
for the Duchess so that she was
not in view of the house.
"A very sad thing has happened," he
said quietly. "Mr. Vanderpole
met with an accident in a taxicab
this evening. From the latest
reports, it seems that he is