Kitty thought that he asked her to be quick, if she wished still to go round the palace. She tried to explain that he might lock up if he pleased; her way of retreat to the mezzanino, down the small staircase, was always open. Federigo looked puzzled, again said something in unintelligible Venetian, and led the way to the grand staircase followed by Lord Magellan. A heavy door clanged below.

It was to the outside, the vestibule, courtyard, and staircase, that care and study were given: the inside was intended only as a measure of the riches and importance of the owner, not as his habitation. The part really inhabited by him was the mezzanino, a low, intermediate story, where he and his family were kennelled out of the way.

Above these there was built a half story, called a mezzanino in French, entresol, containing the quarters of the unmarried sons of the house, of the household chaplain, and of two or three tutors employed in the education of the Montevarchi grandchildren.

A slow, disdainful smile played about her lips, some evil threatening thought expressed itself through every feature of her rounded, coarsened beauty. Kitty's sharp look met hers, and the curtain dropped. "Don't, please, let that woman take you anywhere to see anything!" said Kitty, with energy, to her companion, as they walked through the rooms of the mezzanino. Lord Magellan laughed.