It was Christmas Eve. All things were arranged for departure on the 28th, which would give time for their arrival at San Remo on New Year's Day. They were to travel by easy stages, by Amiens, Basle, and Lucerne. A[Pg 208] good deal of luggage had been sent off in advance, and trunks and portmanteaux were packed ready for the start; so that the travellers could take their ease during the few days of Christmas church-going and festivity. Isola's spirits had improved wonderfully since the journey had been decided upon. 9-2-78 Go with Mr. Ingleby, said Minnie, authoritatively. "I put Miss Maxfield under your charge, Ingleby, and shall hold you responsible for her being properly attended to in the tea-room." He caught her to his breast as he spoke, and kissed the pale sweet face, with a kind of defiant rapture, as if he challenged Fate to do him any harm. The pain of separation from that fair young wife had been so keen an agony that there was a touch of savage exultancy in the joy of re-union鈥攕ome such fierce gladness as a knight-crusader might have felt in days of old, coming back to his beloved after years of war and travel. Montoya's wife, Sally, is his steady helpmate. Since their marriage in 1940, she has been his manager, interpreter and best friend. He still speaks little English, so interviews with him are often ponderous three way affairs. When I arrived at the Montoyas' residence late one morning, he was very polite, but eager to get the interview over with. "Vamos," he said. His demeanor changed when he discovered that I was able to understand his crisp, precise Spanish when spoken slowly. We quickly dispensed with the interpreter. Very well in their way, but not half cheery enough for a lonely little woman beside the Fowey river. You ought to have had Allegra. It would have been better for you and better for her. She is tired of the Art school; and the other pupils are tired of her. They are very fond of her; but she has done all the work twice over, and there is nothing more for her to do, unless we meant her to enter the Royal[Pg 85] Academy and go in seriously for art, Mrs. Meynell tells me. According to that lady's account my sister must be an Admirable Crichton in petticoats. 日本一本道手机在线dvd There is no suggestion of granite about her now, however, as she lies, propped up by crimson cushions, on a sofa in her father's drawing-room. The room is bright and warm, despite the white kraken of mist that is coiled around the outer walls of the house. Wax-lights shine in tall, old-fashioned silver candlesticks on the mantelpiece, and on the centre table, and on a pianoforte, beside which stands a canterbury full of music-books. A great fire blazes in the grate, and makes its immediate neighbourhood too hot for the comfort of most people. But Minnie is apt to be chilly, and loves the heat. Some delicate ferns and hothouse plants adorn a stand between the windows. They are rather a rare luxury in Whitford; but Minnie loves flowers, and always has some choice ones about her. A still rarer luxury hangs on the wall opposite to her sofa, in the shape of a very fine copy鈥攐n a reduced scale鈥攐f Raphael's Madonna di San Sisto. Minnie had fallen in love with a print from that famous picture long ago, and the copy was procured for her at considerable pains and expense. The furniture of the room is of crimson and dark oak. Minnie delights in rich colours and picturesque combinations. In a word, there is not an inch of the apartment, from floor to ceiling, in the arrangement of which Minnie's tastes have not been consulted, and in which traces of Minnie's influence are not plainly to be seen by those who know that household. CHAPTER VII. Let him have it, she said. "I care nothing for money. As long as you, my dear friend, are content to give me a home I am happier here than I could be with him." Meanwhile, Maxfield took some pains to have Rhoda treated with more consideration than had hitherto been bestowed on her. He astonished Betty Grimshaw by sharply reproving her for sending Rhoda into the shop on some errand. "Rice!" he exclaimed testily, in answer to his sister-in-law's explanation. "If you want rice, you must fetch it for yourself. The shop is no place for Rhoda, and I will not have her come there." Then he began to display a quite unprecedented liberality in providing Rhoda's clothes. The girl, whose ideas about her own dress were of the humblest, and who had thought a dove-coloured merino gown as good a garment as she was ever likely to possess, was told to buy herself a silk gown. "A good 'un. Nothing flimsy and poor," said old Max. "A good, solid silk gown, that will wear and last. And鈥攜ou had better ask Mrs. Errington to go with you to buy it. She will understand what is fitting better than your aunt Betty. I wish you to have proper and becoming raiment, Rhoda. You are not a child now. And you go amongst gentlefolks at Dr. Bodkin's house. And I would not have you seem out of place there, by reason of unsuitable attire." Poor dear mother, says Algernon, smiling, "she can't forget that she is an Ancram; and sometimes comes out with one of her grande dame speeches, as if she were addressing my grandfather's Warwickshire tenantry forty years ago!" At which simple, candid words Minnie shoots out a queer, keen glance at the young fellow from under her eyelids.