The looks of
all the women converged radiantly upon his painted face, surrounding it with a halo of ecstasies.
' ' Ah ! I should so like to have my portrait painted by Frederic-Ossian Pinggleton," cried Mme. de Rambure; " I would give anything to enjoy such happiness."
" Alas! Madame," answered Kimberly, " since the sorrowful and sublime event which I have related, Frederic-Ossian Pinggleton has been unwilling to paint human faces, however charming they may be; he paints only souls."
" And he is right! I should so like to be painted as a soul ! ' '
" Of what sex? " asked Maurice Fernancourt, in a slightly sarcastic tone, visibly jealous of Kimberly's success.
The latter said, simply:
" Souls have no sex, my dear Maurice. They have "...
"Hair on their paws," said Victor Charrigaud, in a very low voice, so as to be heard only by the psychological novelist, to whom he was just then offering a cigar.
And, dragging him into the smoking-room, he whispered :
"Ah! old man! I wish I could shout the most filthy things, at the top of my voice, in the faces of all these people. I have enough of their souls, of their green and perverse loves] o