How Miss Maria at the Rectory and Charlotte Dexter in her lonely cottage would have envied her had they known, but though there were gossips in plenty in the village, nothing that occurred in the rose-scented drawing-room ever went out into that tattling little Ipswichian world. "Are your young gentlemen with you yet, Mrs. Cox? And one of 'em not over strong?
On a tiger-skin from the ice-clad regions of the sunless north recline the heroes of Ouida, rose-scented cigars in their mouths; themselves gloriously indolent and disdainful, but perhaps huddled a little too closely together on account of the limited accommodation. Strathmore is here. But I never felt sure of Strathmore. Was there not less in him than met the eye?
The mountains were cloven, and gave forth from their scarred sides wealth of ore and splendour of marble; all things this people that King Valdemar ruled over could do; they levelled mountains, that over the smooth roads the wains might go, laden with silk and spices from the sea: they drained lakes, that the land might yield more and more, as year by year the serfs, driven like cattle, but worse fed, worse housed, died slowly, scarce knowing that they had souls; they builded them huge ships, and said that they were masters of the sea too; only, I trow the sea was an unruly subject, and often sent them back their ships cut into more pieces than the pines of them were, when the adze first fell upon them; they raised towers, and bridges, and marble palaces with endless corridors rose-scented, and cooled with welling fountains.
The sound brought her back to the ugly realities of the present: the rose-scented garden at Richmond, the lazily flowing river, the tender memories which for that brief moment had confronted her from out a happy past, suddenly vanished from her ken.
King he wishing me to say that you to receive two pounds, at each week."... Soames, glassy-eyed, stood watching her. A horror, the horror of insanity, had descended upon him a clammy, rose-scented mantle. The room, the incredible, book-lined room, was a red blur, surrounding the black, taunting eyes of the Eurasian.
La Juanita in her rose-scented room tied the pink ribbons on her dainty frock, and fastened cloth of gold roses at her lithe waist. It was said that just before the crack of the pistol La Juanita's tiny hand lay in Mercer's, and that he bent his head, and whispered softly, so that the surrounding crowd could not hear, "Juanita mine, if I win, you will?" "Oui, mon Mercere, eef you win."
They found the objects of their social consideration seated outside the kitchen in the little paved yard that had rapidly grown dear. When the brothers appeared upstairs in the drawing-room into which rose-scented and chintz-hung apartment the reverend Mr. and Miss had been shown in appreciation of their station, Mr. Joseph had tuned his laughing eye to a decorum as new as it was unnatural.
Directly it was over the bridge players disappeared; Mr Elton was called away an Indian gentleman to see him on urgent business; and they two, left alone again, wandered out into the verandah. By now, her beauty and his possessive instinct had more or less righted things; and her nearness, in the rose-scented dark, rekindled his fervour of last night.
He went back to his study to write her some short directions covering the hours of his possible absence. The room, as he entered it, struck him as musty and airless, in spite of the open lattice. Instinctively, before writing, he went to throw another window wide. In rushed a fresh rose-scented air, and he leant forward an instant, letting its cool current flow through him.
He took her into his arms, crushing her to him so tightly that she almost cried out with the delicious pain of it. In the rose-scented shadow, his mouth found hers. Time and space were no more. At the portal of the lips, soul met soul. The shaded veranda, and even the house itself faded away. Only this new-born ecstasy lived, like a flaming star suddenly come to earth.