ootsteps and the door was flung open wide and a big man with rumpled hair, a well-smeared painting-smock and wearing a huge pair of tortoise-shell goggles peered out into the dark hall-way, blurting out impatiently,
"I'm very busy. I don't need any models. Come another day--"
He was actually on the point of banging the door in their faces when the Countess interposed.
At the sound of her voice Markham paused, the huge palette and brushes suspended in the air.
"Oh," he murmured in some confusion. "It's you, Madame--"
"It is. Very cross and dusty after the climb up your filthy stairs--I suppose I ought to be used to this kind of welcome but I'm not, somehow. Besides, I'm bringing a visitor, and had hoped to find you in a pleasanter mood."
He showed his white teeth as he laughed.
"Oh, Lord! Pleasant!" And then as an afterthought, very frankly, "I don't suppose I am very pleasant!" He stood aside bowing as Hermia emerged from the