"And you have actually no nervous desire to escape, no castings around in your mind for an excuse to turn around and drive home?"
"I can easily believe that," he said.
"Poor fellow! poor fellow! he has not forgotten it," groaned Mr. Kemble. "Well, I might as well out with it. Suppose Captain Nichol was not killed after all?"
He did not see Helen again till the following morning, for her wound had been opened afresh, and she spent the remainder of the day and evening in the solitude of her room. Martine was troubled at this, and thought she felt as he did.
One summer evening, when in New York, I went up to Thomas's Garden, near Central Park, to hear the delicious music he was educating us to appreciate. At a certain point in the programme I noticed that the next piece would be Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, and I glanced around with a sort of congratulatory impulse, as much as to say, "Now we shall have a treat." My attention was immediately arrested and fixed by a young girl who, with the gentleman escorting her, was sitting near by. My first impression of her face was one of marvellous beauty, followed by a sense of dissatisfaction. Such was my distance that I could not annoy her by furtive observation; and I soon discovered that she would regard a stare as a tribute. Why was it that her face was so beautiful, yet so displeasing? Each feature analyzed seemed perfection, yet the general effect was a mocking, ill-kept promise. The truth was soon apparent. The expression was not evil, but frivolous, silly, unredeemed by any genuine womanly grace. She giggled and flirted through the sublime symphony, till in exasperation I went out into the promenade under the open sky. In less than an hour I had my story "A Face Illumined." I imagined an artist seeing what I had seen and feeling a stronger vexation in the wounding of his beauty loving nature; that he learned during the evening that the girl was a relative of a close friend, and that a sojourn at a summer hotel on the Hudson was in prospect. On his return home he conceives the idea of painting the girl's features and giving them a harmonious expression. Then the fancy takes him that the girl is a modern Undine and has not yet received her woman's soul. The story relates his effort to beautify, illumine the face itself by evoking a mind. I never learned who was the actual girl with the features of an angel and the face of a fool.