And speak in different tongues, and have no thought
Each of the other's being, and no heed;
And these o'er unknown seas to unknown lands
Shall cross, escaping wreck, defying death,
And all unconsciously shape every act
And lend each wandering step to this one end,--
That, one day, out of darkness, they shall meet
And read life's meaning in each other's eyes.
Chapter 2 A WARNING
Alexis Saberevski leaned forward in his chair to secure another of the cigarettes, and having lighted it with studied deliberation, resumed his former position gazing between half closed eyelids toward Princess Zara. It was quite evident that he had gone to her with a distinct purpose in view which he meant to fulfill before his departure; and it was plain to be seen that Zara appreciated the fact. While he was silent, she waited, but with a half smile upon her beautiful face, that was quizzical and somewhat whimsical, as if in her secret heart she was aware of the purpose of his errand but for reasons of her own did not wish to anticipate it. And he read her correctly, too. He believed that she understood him even better than he knew her; but viewed from his own standpoint he had a duty to perform in regard to her, and he had gone there to fulfill it.
"Zara," he said, "when I saw the announcement of your intended visit to this country--"
"Pardon me, Saberevski," she interrupted him; "but did the knowledge of my expected visit come to you through a printed announcement, or were you informed of it even before the printers had set the type?"
"I see that I must be quite frank with you," he laughed.
"Between friends frankness is always best," she retorted.
"In that case I will begin again, princess."
"It would be better-and wiser."
"When I was informed of your anticipated visit to this country I decided that I would be the first to welcome you here, and in making that decision I had a double purpose."
"One of them only, need interest us at this moment, and that is purely a personal one. You know, Zara, how I have always regarded you, and how I do so now. Your father was my best friend; your mother-it is perhaps unnecessary that I should be more explicit regarding her."
"Yes, Saberevski," said Zara in a low tone. "I know that you loved my mother, and that all your life you have remained true to your adoration of her, even though she never returned it; but go on."
"I love you, Zara, more perhaps than I admit to myself; more profoundly than it would be wise for me to tell you, or agreeable for you to hear; but in the admiration and esteem I feel for you, there is included no sentiment which could offend you."
"I know that, my friend."
"I would like to talk with you quite openly for once, Zara, in order that you may comprehend perfectly where I stand, and because I do not wish you to misconstrue any assertion I shall make, or to attribute to any one of them, another motive than I intend."
"I think you may be assured of that."
"You guessed correctly a moment ago, about my receiving intelligence concerning your visit here, before the compositors set the type of the announcement; but the intelligence was incorporated among other things that were conveyed to me in the same manner, and by the same message. It had no direct significance, and beyond the mere statement of the fact, there was no comment. I was not directed to call upon you, and in fact there was no suggestion made that bore directly upon your presence here. But, Zara, the mere statement of your intention conveyed to me very many suggestions which I have come here to-day to make known to you. I believe it to be my clear duty to do so."
"Well, my friend?"
"You know who and what I have been, and am. Always close to the person of the czar; for very many years deeply in his confidence, and possessing I believe his friendship to an extraordinary degree, it has been my pleasure as well as my duty to serve my emperor in many secret ways which our little world at St. Petersburg does not know or appreciate. The fact that I am at present an expatriate, as you have so aptly stated, is due to reasons which I need not explain, and which do not concern us just now. The f