It was a spacious room, with pale, high-hung draperies, a scent of flowers, such things as an etching of Greuze, an ivory and ebon crucifix over the bed. Captain Filbert remembered the crucifix afterward with a feeling almost intense, also some silver-backed brushes on the toilet table.
As each successive treasure was produced, Ellen Harriott's eyes grew rounder with astonishment; and when, out of a travelling bag, there appeared a complete dressing-table outfit of silverware silver-backed hair-brushes, silver manicure set, silver handglass, and so forth she drew a long breath of wonder and admiration.
A cheery little breeze stirred the branches of horse-chestnuts and rhododendrons, tossed the silver-backed foliage of the ilex, and set the cedar boughs swaying with slow, dignified indolence.
Then darting into the chamber, she bore away from a stage where lay the articles of the toilette, a little silver-backed and handled Venetian mirror, with beautiful tracery in silvered glass diminishing the very small oval left for personal reflection and inspection.
"The silver-backed brushes on the table are those of my late mistress," she said from the door "my master's last present to her. In the drawer beneath the looking-glass I think you will find your own brushes." She found them there, and, lying beneath them, face upwards, a photograph of the dead wife.
She came down to dinner in a low-necked frock, wearing the necklace and bangle; and, child that she is, in her hand she carried the silver-backed mirror. I believe she has taken it to bed with her, as a seven-year-old does its toy. She certainly kept it by her all the evening and admired herself therein unashamedly like the traditional Lady from the Sea.
It seemed like a little silver-backed piece of thin glass with a flaring funnel-like thing back of it, which he held most particularly. Though he heard the parting taunt outside he paid no attention. "You go to the deuce, whoever you are," I cried, beating on the door, to which only a coarse laugh echoed back down the passageway. "Be quiet, Walter," ordered Kennedy.
She had on a bright green dressing-gown, with a Chinese embroidery running over it of golden dragons and serpents. In her hand she carried a cheap silver-backed brush, and her long dark hair was undone. She looked strikingly handsome, but the thick black strands hanging down on either side of the white face recalled to Mary a picture in the library at Lady MacMillan's.
There was a silver-backed brush, that he brushed his hair and beard with, walking up and down in his underclothes and humming to himself. And then there was another shirt, with red stripes round the collar, just to wear in bed. Peer nodded to himself, taking it all in.
Her eyes wandered to the dressing-table. Instead of holding its usual array of silver-backed brushes and polished shaving tackle, winking in the sunshine, it was empty. She stared at it blankly. Then her glance travelled slowly round the room. It had a strangely untenanted look.