The Place of Honeymoons (Chapter 10, page 1 of 9)


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Chapter 10

From where he sat Courtlandt could see down the main thoroughfare of the
pretty village. There were other streets, to be sure, but courtesy and
good nature alone permitted this misapplication of title: they were merely
a series of torturous enervating stairways of stone, up and down which
noisy wooden sandals clattered all the day long. Over the entrances to the
shops the proprietors were dropping the white and brown awnings for the
day. Very few people shopped after luncheon. There were pleasanter
pastimes, even for the women, contradictory as this may seem. By eleven
o'clock Courtlandt had finished the reading of his mail, and was now ready
to hunt for the little lady of the Taverne Royale. It was necessary to
find her. The whereabouts of Flora Desimone was of vital importance. If
she had not yet arrived, the presence of her friend presaged her ultimate
arrival. The duke was a negligible quantity. It would have surprised
Courtlandt could he have foreseen the drawing together of the ends of the
circle and the relative concernment of the duke in knotting those ends.
The labors of Hercules had never entailed the subjugation of two
temperamental women.

He rose and proceeded on his quest. Before the photographer's shop he saw
a dachel wrathfully challenging a cat on the balcony of the adjoining
building. The cat knew, and so did the puppy, that it was all buncombe on
the puppy's part: the usual European war-scare, in which one of the
belligerent parties refused to come down because it wouldn't have been
worth while, there being the usual Powers ready to intervene. Courtlandt
did not bother about the cat; the puppy claimed his attention. He was very
fond of dogs. So he reached down suddenly and put an end to the sharp
challenge. The dachel struggled valiantly, for this breed of dog does not
make friends easily.

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