"Yes, Miss; I'm coming to that," she said. She paused again, with her eyes on Lily, and then continued, in a tone of diffuse narrative: "When we was at the Benedick I had charge of some of the gentlemen's rooms; leastways, I swep' 'em out on Saturdays. Some of the gentlemen got the greatest sight of letters: I never saw the like of it.
She said: "O smooth-skinned warrior, O Lily and Rose of battle; here on my side yesterday was the token of the hart's tyne that gored me when I was a young maiden five years ago: look now and pity the maiden that lay on the grass of the forest, and the woodman a-passing by deemed her dead five years ago."
Then Lily turned to Emily Dunstable, and, taking her hand, went up and sat beside her, while Mrs Thorne and the squire talked of the coming marriage. "How long have you been engaged?" said Lily. "Really engaged, about three weeks. I think it is not more than three weeks ago." "How very discreet Bernard has been. He never told us a word about it while it was going on."
"Sure," the engineer rasped, as if annoyed by their ignorance. "Ain't you never heard of her? Well, her right name, so they tell, is Lily Meredith. She owns the place called the High Light. Everybody knows her. She's square, even if she does run a dance hall and rents a gamblin' joint. She don't stand for nothin' crooked, Lily don't. She pays her way, and asks no favors.
Despite every desert drawback, however, Biddy and I agreed that the sunrise alone was worth the journey, and the pure air of dawn which, though cold, seemed perfumed by mysterious rose-fields. Just at sun-up the desert was lily pale then, as the horizon flamed, a dazzling flood of gold poured over the dunes.
A breeze had sprung up, swaying inward the muslin curtains, and bringing a fresh scent of mignonette and petunias from the flower-box on the balcony. Lily sank with a sigh into one of the shabby leather chairs. "How delicious to have a place like this all to one's self! What a miserable thing it is to be a woman." She leaned back in a luxury of discontent.
And on through the sunny gardens they went, into the Lily Hall, where, among the golden stamens of a graceful flower, sat the Queen; while on the broad, green leaves around it stood the brighteyed little maids of honor. Then, amid the deep silence, little Bud, leading the Fairies to the throne, said,
See that he has music lessons. Another pause... Many thoughts... Many straws and dead leaves... "Edith will never enter the house, if Lily is here with Jacky.... Oh I hate her." You will believe I love you, won't you, darling? I wish I hadn't married you; I didn't mean to do you any harm. I just loved you, and I thought I could make you happy. I know now that I didn't.
When Grandfather Frog had swallowed all the fat, foolish, green flies brought by the Merry Little Breezes, he settled himself comfortably on his big lily pad once more and began: "Once upon a time, very long ago, when the world was young, Mr.
Sire, your Majesty is surely joking. He pretended, however, to be serious, and after a few moments, noticing my decorations, he began to banter me about the Cross of St. Louis and the Cross of the Lily, which I still wore." I asked Rapp whether all was true that had been said about the enthusiasm which was manifested along the whole of Napoleon's route from the Gulf of Juan to Paris.