Finally after several hours, when the distance was becoming over-spread with a darker violet, so magically beautiful in the south, the mother reminded us it was time to depart. We arose and walked down towards the hotel with the easy, elastic steps that characterize carefree children. We sat down in the hotel under the handsome veranda.
Hardly had we been seated when we heard below the sounds of quarreling and oaths. Our Greek was wrangling with the hotel- keeper, and for the entertainment of it we listened.
The amusement did not last long. “If I didn’t have other guests,” growled the hotel-keeper and ascended the steps towards us.
“I beg you to tell me, sir,” asked the young Pole of the approaching hotel-keeper, “who is that gentleman? What’s his name?”
“Eh—who knows what the fellow’s name is?” grumbled the hotel- keeper, and he gazed venomously downwards. “We call him the Vam-pire.”
“Fine trade! He sketches only corpses. Just as soon as someone in Constantinople or here in the neighborhood dies, that very day he has a picture of the dead one completed. That fellow paints them before-hand—and he never makes a mistake—just like a vulture!”
The old Polish woman shrieked affrightedly. In her arms lay her daughter pale as chalk. She had fainted.
In one bound the lover had leaped down the steps. With one hand he seized the Greek and with the other reached for the portfolio.
We ran down after him. Both men were rolling in the sand. The contents of the portfolio were scattered all about. On one sheet, sketched with a crayon, was the head of the young Polish girl, her eyes closed and a wreath of myrtle on her brow.