The girl raised her head slightly and stared past him at the burning white walls and the burning blue sky that lay outside the circle of shadow in which they sat. "This evening " she repeated to herself. "We reach there in two days," Kalonay continued; "and then we then we go on until we enter the capital."
How did he get in?" Kalonay turned on Barrat, sitting at his right. "Did you see him?" he asked. Barrat nodded gloomily. "The devil!" exclaimed the Prince, as though Barrat had confirmed his guess. "I beg your pardon," he said, nodding his head toward the women. He pushed back his chair and stood irresolutely with his napkin in his hand. "Tell him we are not in, Niccolas," he commanded.
He is a correspondent," Kalonay answered, without turning his head. His eyes were still fixed on the terrace as though he had seen a ghost. The King slapped his hand on the arm of the chair. "You promised me," he said, "that we should be free from that sort of thing. That is why I agreed to come here instead of going to Algiers. Go out, Barrat, and send him away."
If your conclusions were anywhere near the truth, you would be acting very well. But they are not. The King is not handling my money, nor the Prince Kalonay. It is in the keeping of Father Paul, the Father Superior of the Dominican monks, who is the only one of these people I know or who knows me. He is not a swindler, too, is he, or a retired croupier?
His estates, in consequence of this step, had been taken up by the Republic, and Kalonay had accepted the loss philosophically as the price one pays for loving a king. He found exile easy to bear in Paris, and especially so as he had never relinquished the idea that some day the King would return to his own again.
There was a shout of exultation from the nobles, and an uttered prayer from the priest, and in a moment the young men had crowded in around them, struggling to be the first to kiss the child's hands, and to ask pardon of the man who held him in his arms. "Gentlemen," Kalonay cried, his voice laughing through his tears, "we shall still sail for the island of Messina.
"I forgot," he said, "your Majesty does not care for the rude pleasures of my half of the island." Kalonay threw away his cigarette, clasping his hands before him with a sudden change of manner.
Fiction is never so entertaining to me as the truth and real people. But tell us now of your mission and of all you did; and whether successful or not, be assured you are most welcome." The Countess Zara smiled at him doubtfully and crossed her hands in her lap, glancing anxiously over her shoulder. "I must be very brief, for Kalonay and Father Paul are close behind me," she said.
For some little time the King followed the two young people with his eyes, and then joined them, making signs to Kalonay that he wished him to leave them together; but Kalonay remained blind to his signals, and Barrat, seeing that it was not a tete-a-tete, joined them also.
The history of Messina showed that different members of the Kalonay family had fought and died for different kings of Artois, and had enjoyed their favor and shared their reverses with equal dignity, and that they had stood like a rampart when the kingdom was invaded by the levelling doctrines of Republicanism and equality.