It couldn't be that Suzanne was interested in some man. The only person she cared much about was Eugene Witla, and he was married and only friendly in a brotherly, guardian-like way. "Now, Suzanne," she said determinedly, "I'm not going to have you talk nonsense. This trip will be a delightful thing for you once you have started.
"With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation." During this most exquisite pronunciamento of Divine favor Eugene was sitting with his eyes closed, his thoughts wandering over all his recent ills. For the first time in years, he was trying to fix his mind upon an all-wise, omnipresent, omnipotent generosity.
"How much do you get?" he added, "if it's a fair question." "Less than I'm worth," said Eugene. "Only fifty dollars. But I took it as a sort of health cure. I had a nervous breakdown several years ago better now, as Mulvaney used to say and I don't want to stay at that. I'm an art director by temperament, or I think I am. Anyhow, here I am."
A physician whom he consulted recommended rest and an excellent tonic which he knew of. He asked whether he was subject to any wasting disease. Eugene told him no. He confessed to an over-indulgence in the sex-relationship, but the doctor did not believe that ordinarily this should bring about a nervous decline. Hard work must have something to do with it, over-anxiety.
"Oh, Patrick, my boy, beware of Cassius; you must not listen to his talk, for it is wicked. God tells us there is a hell, and we must believe all he teaches us by his church and his word, or we will be condemned to hell forever." "Oh, the Lord save us! I won't hear to Cassius no more." "That's a good boy, Patsy; mind to watch Eugene, and make him do as you do.
Sea-Powers will not help; Fleury and mere ruin will engulf! The rest his Imperial Majesty considers to be of sublimated blockhead type, it appears. Prince Eugene had died lately, and with Eugene all good fortune. And then, close following, the miseries of that Turk War, crashing down upon a man!
"How large are the originals of these?" he asked thoughtfully. "Nearly all of them thirty by forty." Eugene could not tell by his manner whether he were merely curious or interested. "All of them done in oil, I fancy." "Yes, all." "They are not bad, I must say," he observed cautiously. "A little persistently dramatic but "
He looked around to find that he was still keeping up with Eugene and felt the thrill of the bravery of fellowship at sight of the giant's flushed, confident face revelling in the spirit of a charge. And then, just then, Eugene convulsively threw up his arms, dropped his rifle, and whirled on his heel. As he went down his hand clutched at his left breast and came away red and dripping.
There were other mistakes which I will here pass over in silence, in order to give the ladies the pleasure of deducing them, "ex professo," to those who are unable to guess them. Eugene at last went to call upon the marquise; but, on attempting to pass into the house, the porter stopped him, saying that Madame la marquise was out.
"Then I must go on foot, and you and Philip can profit by your leisure to discuss the manner of your attack. But by all means let it be in the Pre aux Clercs, where all these carriages will be filled with occupants." So saying, Eugene alighted, and hurried to the hotel. Its large portals were flung wide open, and streams of elegantly-dressed courtiers and ladies were entering the palace.
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