Naturally she has to defend her, since she is her niece. I am sure she did not want her for the winter but her parents would not keep her. It is no wonder they would be willing to give her a big dot!" There was general excitement. "What do you know?" the company cried in chorus. "Tell us about it!" But the Potensi at once became very discreet.

Without warning she parted the portières, took one step across the threshold, and halted, stunned the Contessa Potensi was kneeling beside Giovanni's couch, and the sound of Giovanni's voice came distinctly, saying, "For her? But no! But because she is of the household of the Sansevero."

"But how do you account for her jewels? I am interested to hear. There were none in the Potensi family, nor in her own!" "She says quite frankly that they were given her by an old Russian who is her god-father."

But not all of the women were like the Contessa Potensi, and by the time Nina had been a month in Rome, she had, with the responsiveness of youth, formed several friendships that were rapidly drifting into intimacies, though she chose as her associates, for the most part, young married women rather than girls.

Nina's heart fluttered strangely, her will was swayed by the moment's thrill, as she heard him continuing: "It can surely not surprise you to hear in spoken words what has long been in my heart to " But his sentence was broken off abruptly, for a sudden thinning of the crush revealed the Contessa Potensi close beside them.

In the box opposite. She has on a dress of purple velvet. Sitting very straight, and quantities of diamonds." Nina put up her opera glass and encountered an insolent stare, as though the Contessa Potensi were purposely disdainful of the American girl. "She is the same one with whom Don Giovanni danced opposite in the quadrille! Heavens! but she is a disagreeable person!"

On the other hand, he could not imagine Favorita's being jealous of the American girl. He had often congratulated himself that she was not jealous of her only real rival, the Contessa Potensi, his devotion to whom, however, he had managed to keep so quiet that very few persons in Rome had a suspicion of it.

There was apparently much lack of system: the huntsmen chatted aimlessly with persons in the carriages; while the hounds scurried around according to their own inclinations, paying little attention to the snap of the whip. The Contessa Potensi, who had appeared in a pink hunting coat, was the cynosure of all eyes. The innovation created quite a stir and no little admiration.

She was perfectly happy, and her smile showed it. The whole evening had been delightful. The disagreeable impressions made by the Contessa Potensi and Favorita were forgotten as she danced with Giovanni, who performed a feat of rare ability in finding a passage through the crush.

The marchesa turned her little hands over, palms up. "She has something incredible, but I cannot say how much. Maria Potensi asked the American ambassador if the celebrated James Randolph was as rich as reputed, and he said " The duchess became almost apoplectic in her eagerness. "He said " The marchesa looked for all the world like a young girl telling a fairy tale.