A Face Illumined
A knock at the door is not answered at once by the intent and preoccupied artist, but its sharp and impatient repetition secures the rather reluctant invitation,
"Come in," and even as he spoke he bent forward to give another stroke.
"Six o'clock, and working still!" cried the intruder. "You will keep the paint market active, if you achieve nothing else as an artist."
"Heigho! Ik, is that you?" said he of the palette, good-naturedly; and rising slowly he gave a lingering look at his work, then turned and greeted his friend with the quiet cordiality of long and familiar acquaintance. "What a marplot you are with your idle ways!" he added. "Sit down here and make yourself useful for once by doing nothing nothing for ten minutes. I am in just the mood and have just the light for a bit of work which perhaps I can never do as well again," and the artist returned promptly to his picture.
In greeting his friend he had revealed that he was above middle height, that he had full black eyes that were not only good for seeing, but could also, if he chose, give great emphasis to his words, and at times be even more expressive. A thick mustache covered his lip, but the rest of his face was cleanly shaven, and was strong and decided in its outlines rather than handsome.