Page:Howard Pyle's Book of Pirates (1921).djvu/304

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Howard Pyle’s Book of Pirates

figure displaying the most exquisite contour of mould and of proportion. She was clad entirely in white, and was enveloped from head to foot in the folds of a veil of delicate silver gauze, which, though hiding her countenance from recognition, nevertheless permitted sufficient of her beauties to be discerned to suggest the extreme elegance and loveliness of her lineaments. Advancing toward our hero, and extending to him a tapering hand as white as alabaster, the fingers encircled with a multitude of jewelled rings, she addressed him thus:

“Sir,” she said, speaking in accents of the most silvery and musical cadence, “you are no doubt vastly surprised to find yourself thus unexpectedly, and almost as by violence, introduced into the house of one who is such an entire stranger to you as myself. But though I am unknown to you, I must inform you that I am better acquainted with my visitor, for my agents have been observing you ever since you landed this afternoon at the dock, and they have followed you ever since, until a little while ago, when you stopped immediately opposite my garden gate. These agents have observed you with a closeness of scrutiny of which you are doubtless entirely unaware. They have even informed me that, owing doubtless to your extreme interest in your new surroundings, you have not as yet supped. Knowing this, and that you must now be enjoying a very hearty appetite, I have to ask you if you will do me the extreme favor of sitting at table with me at a repast which you will doubtless be surprised to learn has been hastily prepared entirely in your honor.”

So saying, and giving Jonathan no time for reply, she offered him her hand, and with the most polite insistence conducted him into an exquisitely appointed dining room adjoining.

Here stood a table covered with a snow-white cloth, and embellished with silver and crystal ornaments of every description. Having seated herself and having indicated to Jonathan to take the chair opposite to her, the two were presently served with a