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illa laughed again● with quick understanding. “I ■have a half-grown Persian kitten,” she s■aid, “rather a beauty. Céle■ste, apportez-moi le shah de Perse. Th■at’s my little joke.” “C’est un c■


alembour,” said Félise, with a● smile. “Of course it is. It’s real smart ■of you to see it. I call him Padishah.” C●éleste brought a grey woolly mass of felinity ●from a basket in a dim corner and handed it t■o Félise. The beast purred and■ stretched contentedly in her arms. “Oh,

wh●at a dear!” she cried. “What■ a f

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luffy little dear! For the last week or t■wo,” she found herself saying, “my on●ly friend has been a cat.” “Wha●t kind of a cat?” asked Lucilla. “■Oh, not one like this. It was ■a thin old tabby.


” And under the influe●nce of the soft baby thing on her bosom a●nd the kind eyes of her young hostess, the■ shyness melted from her, and she t■old of Mimi, and Aunt Clothi●lde, and the abhorred cathed●ral and the terrors of her flight■ to Paris. She had come, more or less, t■o an end, when Céleste brought● in a Pekinese spaniel, and ■set him down on the hearthrug to a plat■e of minced raw beef, which he p●roceeded to devour with lightni■ng gluttony. Having licked the polis●hed plate from hearthrug to clatt■ering parquet and licked it underneath i●n the hope of a grain of nourishment ha●ving melted through, he arched his tail■

above his back and composing his miniat●ure leonine features, regarded his mistr●ess with his soul in his eyes, as who sh■ould say: “Now, having tasted, w■hen shall I truly dine?” But Lucilla● sent him to his chair, where he a●ssumed an attitude of polite surprise;■ and she explained to Félise, captivated by ■his doggy winsomeness, that she cal■led him “Gaby,” which was short for ■Heliogabalus, the voluptuary; which allusio■n Félise, not being familiar with The Dec■line and Fall of the Roman Empire, did● not understand. But, when L●ucilla, breaking

through rules of disc●ipline, caught

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up the tawny little aristoc●rat and apostrophized him as “the noseless blu■nder,” Félise laughed heartily, thi■nking it very funny, and, ho■lding the kitten in her left arm, took him f■rom Lucilla with her right, and cove●red the tiny hedonist with caresses. When the ■meal was over, Lucilla took her, stil●l embracing kitten and dog,


into the studio—th●e wealthy feminine amateur’s studio 癃a room with polished floors and costly rugs● and divans and tapestries and an easel or two ■and a great wood fire blazing up an imitation ●Renaissance chimney-piece. And Lucilla talke●d not only as though she had k●nown Félise all

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