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The idea that Gouache might be killed without having learned the truth began to take possession of him and caused him an annoyance he could not explain. It was not that he felt any very profound remorse for having wronged the man. His nature was not so sensitive as that.

Bacchus! What should he pay me for? Strange question in truth. Do I keep a shop? I keep lodgings. But perhaps you like the place? It is a fine situation just in the Corso and only one flight of stairs, a beautiful position for the Carnival. Of course, if you are inclined to pay more than Signor Gouache, I do not say but what "

Being at his wits' end he had sent for his wife, and while waiting for her he did not quite know what to do. "My dear child, what is Monsieur Gouache? A very estimable young man, without doubt, but not such a one as we could choose for your husband." "I have chosen him," answered Faustina. "That is enough." "How you talk, my dear! How rashly you talk!

But his face is unnaturally pale, his body is over-corpulent, and he has trouble with his heart. The Del Ferice couple are childless, to their own great satisfaction. Anastase Gouache, the great painter, is also in Rome. Sixteen years ago he married the love of his life, Faustina Montevarchi, in spite of the strong opposition of her family. But times had changed.

It is safe to say that not one young girl in a million would have behaved as she had done on the night of the insurrection in Rome; not one in a hundred thousand would, in her position, have fallen in love with Gouache. The position of the professional artist and of the professional man of letters in modern European society is ill defined.

In doing all this he had no intention of injuring either Gouache or Faustina.

"May I offer you a cigarette and a little brandy?" The stranger looked up in some astonishment as he heard Gouache's voice, and took the proffered flask in silence, as well as a couple of cigarettes from the case. "Thank you," he said after a pause. "I will not curse you quite as heartily as I meant to do. You are very civil." "Do not mention it," replied Gouache.

Montevarchi hastily looked over the small document, and his face flushed slowly till it was almost purple, while the paper quivered in his hold. It was clear that everything had succeeded as he had hoped, and that his most sanguine expectations were fully realised. His thoughts suddenly recurred to Gouache, and he laughed again at the young man's assurance.

"Will you not give us some of your own, Madame?" inquired the painter, stepping back from his canvas to get a better view of his work. "Oh, mine are very simple," answered Donna Tullia. "Victor Emmanuel, Garibaldi, and a free press." "A combination of monarchy, republicanism, and popular education not very interesting," remarked Gouache, still eyeing his picture.

Gouache followed the great man into this study. He was surprised by the simplicity of the apartment; but he felt in sympathy with it, and with the Cardinal himself; and with the intuitive knowledge of a true artist, he foresaw that he was to paint a successful portrait. The Cardinal busied himself with some papers while the painter silently made his preparations.

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