d. To one understanding it, the act was pathetically familiar. An instant later, however, the Princess cried out, "Caroline! It is you, then?" and so turned deathly white and reeled a little till old Másha came to her support.
"Sophie! You are not ill--to-night!" The new-comer, who had spoken in French, halted near the door, an expression of dismay on her face.
Madame Gregoriev, however, laughed faintly, and the color began to creep back into her cheeks. As old Másha left her to hobble briskly out of the room, she continued, "No, no! I am perfectly well. It was only that you--startled me a little. I--I thought it was--Michael Petrovitch."
Once more the face of the other changed, but she said nothing as she came slowly forward, examining her companion the while with a critical eye. She was the Countess Dravikine, Sophia's younger sister, who, a year or two after Sophia's misalliance, had herself married remarkably well: a young diplomat of the capital, already high i