I took up my place at the fountain and drew breath. I stood there a long while and gazed up at the window of No. 2, but she did not come. Well, I would wait; I was in no hurry. She might be delayed, and I waited on. It couldn't well be that I had dreamt the whole thing! Had my first meeting with her only existed in imagination the night I lay in delirium? I began in perplexity to think over it, and wasn't at all sure.
"Hem!" came from behind me. I heard this, and I also heard light steps near me, but I did not turn round, I only stared up at the wide staircase before me.
"Good-evening," came then. I forget to smile; I don't even take off my hat at first, I am so taken aback to see her come this way.
"Have you been waiting long?" she asks. She is breathing a little quickly after her walk.
"No, not at all; I only came a little while ago," I reply. "And besides, would it matter if I had waited long? I expected, by-the-way, that you would come from another direction."
"I accompanied mamma to some people. Mamma is spending the evening with them."
"Oh, indeed," I say.