Author : Melville Davisson Post
Publisher : Library of Alexandria
Release : 2020-09-28
ISBN : 1465615113
Language : En, Es, Fr & De
Book Description :
When the train crept out of Euston into the wet night the Marchesa Soderrelli sat for a considerable time quite motionless in the corner of her compartment. The lights, straggling northward out of London, presently vanished. The hum and banging of passing engines ceased. The darkness, attended by a rain, descended. Beside the Marchesa, on the compartment seat, as the one piece of visible luggage, except the two rugs about her feet, was a square green leather bag, with a flat top, on which were three gold letters under a coronet. It was perhaps an hour before the Marchesa Soderrelli moved. Then it was to open this bag, get out a cigarette case, select a cigarette, light it, and resume her place in the corner of the compartment. She was evidently engaged with some matter to be deeply considered; her eyes widened and narrowed, and the muscles of her forehead gathered and relaxed. The woman was somewhere in that indefinite age past forty. Her figure, straight and supple, was beginning at certain points to take on that premonitory plumpness, realized usually in middle life; her hair, thick and heavy, was her one unchanged heritage of youth; her complexion, once tender and delicate, was depending now somewhat on the arts. The woman was coming lingeringly to autumn. Her face, in repose, showed the freshness of youth gone out; the mouth, straightened and somewhat hardened; the chin firmer; there was a vague irregular line, common to persons of determination, running from the inner angle of the eye downward and outward to the corner of the mouth; the eyes were drawn slightly at the outer corners, making there a drooping angle. Her dress was evidently continental, a coat and skirt of gray cloth; a hat of gray straw, from which fell a long gray veil; a string of pearls around her neck, and drop pearl earrings. As she smoked, the Marchesa continued with the matter that perplexed her. For a time she carried the cigarette mechanically to her lips, then the hand holding it dropped on the arm of the compartment seat beside her. There the cigarette burned, sending up a thin wisp of smoke. The train raced north, gliding in and out of wet blinking towns, where one caught for a moment a dimly flashing picture of a wet platform a few trucks, a smoldering lamp or two a weary cab horse plodding slowly up a phantom street, a wooden guard, motionless as though posed before a background of painted card board, or a little party of travelers, grouped wretchedly together at a corner of the train shed, like poor actors playing at conspirators in some first rehearsal.