The Seeds of Enchantment
And in that moment not alone Beamish but every single man throughout the big windowless tiffin-room, ceased talking abruptly, as though stricken with aphasia. They sat, forty or fifty Europeans, motionless and staring, manners forgotten. Only the imperturbable Orientals still moved, silent on embroidered slippers, among the hushed tables. For suddenly, unexpectedly, each man saw the inmost vision of his heart, the dream-girl of swamp and jungle-cabin, visibly materialized before his astounded eyes.
She came among them, moving quietly, rhythmically: a tall, stately presence, golden-haired, rose-complexioned as the women of the West, violet-eyed, white-handed, lowbreasted, long of limb: a dream and a temptation.
The magical moment passed; men breathed again, words returned to their lips. After all, it was only a woman, an ordinary European woman: "a devilish good-looking one, though." They left it at that, and resumed interrupted conver