IN A WINTER CITY. 205
Eocca was not placed within her sight; and
after the dinner the young English Prince
would talk to no one but herself, delightedly
recaUing to her how often she had bowled
his wickets down when they had been young
chUdren playing on the lawns at Osboi-ne.
She felt disloyally thankless for his preference.
He monopoUsed her. And as the rooms
fiUed with the crowd of the reception she
merely saw the delicate dark head of Delia
Eocca afar off, bent down in eager and possibly
tender conversation v/ith his beautiful country¬
woman, the Duchess Medici-Malatesta. She
felt angered and impatient.
If she had sat alone and neglected, as less
lovely women often do, instead of being
monopolised by a prince, with twenty other
men sighing to take his place when etiquette
should permit them, she could scarcely have
been more iU-content.
Never in aU her Ufe had it befaUen her to think
angrily of another woman's beauty; and now sue
caught herself frritatedly conning, across the width
of the room, the classic profile ax^d the immense