Presently he slipped into Del Ferice's bedroom, and extracted from a dark corner a shabby black bag, which he took back with him into the kitchen. From the kitchen window ran the usual iron wire to the well in the small court, bearing an iron traveller with a rope for drawing water.
Del Ferice's dull blue eyes saw most things that happened within the range of their vision, and neither the gesture nor the look that accompanied it escaped him. Orsino's position was extremely awkward. He had put Del Ferice to some inconvenience on the understanding that they were to go away together and did not wish to offend him by not keeping his engagement.
With a sense of pride which was very far from being delicate and was by no means well founded, he watched her as she walked in to dinner before him, leaning on Del Ferice's arm. "Beautiful eh? I see you think so," whispered Donna Tullia in his ear. The countess treated him at once as an old acquaintance, which put him at his ease, while it annoyed his conscience.
Dry, too, and almost ready to live in, and all the joinery of pitch pine. There is a reason for their ill luck." "What do you think it is?" asked Contini, opening his eyes. "The land on which they are built was not in the hands of Del Ferice's bank, and the money that built them was not advanced by Del Ferice's bank, and Del Ferice's bank has no interest in selling the houses themselves.
His interview with Saracinesca ended very soon, and the Prince and the statesman entered the crowded drawing-room and mixed in the throng. It was long before they met again in private. The Cardinal on the following day gave orders that Del Ferice's letters were to be stopped by no means an uncommon proceeding in those times, nor so rare in our own day as is supposed.
It was most important that his mother should understand how he was placed, and how Del Ferice's continued advances of money were not to be regarded in the light of a personal favour, but as a speculation in which Ugo would probably get the best of the bargain.
The whole party followed old Saracinesca. Spicca had the foils in a green bag. The place suggested by the Prince seemed in every way adapted, and Del Ferice's seconds made no objection. There was absolutely no choice of position upon the ground, which was an open space about twenty yards square, hard and well rolled, preferable in every way to a grass lawn.
He could recall Del Ferice's mock heroics, Donna Tullia's ill-expressed invectives, and his own half-sarcastic sympathy in the liberal movement; but the young fellow in an old velveteen jacket who used to talk glibly about the guillotine, about stringing-up the clericals to street-lamps and turning the churches into popular theatres, was surely not the energetic, sunburnt Zouave who had been hunting down brigands in the Samnite hills last summer, who spent three-fourths of his time among soldiers like himself, and who had pledged his honour to follow the gallant Charette and defend the Pope as long as he could carry a musket.
"My principal's shoe-string is untied," answered Casalverde, calmly. It was true. "He might easily trip and fall," explained Del Ferice's friend, bending down and proceeding to tie the silk ribbon. The Prince shrugged his shoulders, and retired with Giovanni a few steps back. "Giovanni," he said, in a voice trembling with emotion, "if you are not more careful, he will do you a mischief.
When all was ready, old Saracinesca came close to Giovanni, while Del Ferice's second approached his principal in like manner. "Giovanni," said the old Prince, gravely, "as your second I am bound to recommend you to make any advance in your power towards a friendly understanding. Can you do so?" "No, father, I cannot," answered Giovanni, with a slight smile.