IN A WINTER CITY. 207
who finds himself burdened with aching brains
in this best of aU possible worlds.
"Perhaps, after all, you were right," said the
Due de St. Louis, driving back into the town
with DeUa Eocca that night. "Perhaps you were
right. MUadi is most lovely, most exquisite,
most perfect. But she has caprices—there is no
denying that she has caprices and extravagancies
which would ruin any one short of the despotic
sovereign of a very wealthy nation."
The Due was a very wise man, and knew that
the escaUer derobe is the only way that leads in
conversation to any direct information. Their
demeanour had puzzled him, and he spoke ac¬
cordingly with shrewd design.
Della Eocca heard him with a Uttle annoy¬
" She has not more caprices than other wo¬
men that I know of," he answered. " Her faults
are the faults rather of her monde than of her¬
" But she has adopted them with much affec¬
" They are habits—hardly more.'*