Cora was all eagerness and cordiality.
"And what has Anthony discovered about her?" were her first words--spoken to Edna, but directed toward him.
Edna came nobly to his assistance, gave an account of the rescue of Horatius quite as if she thought it a natural, explainable incident, which she was really very far from thinking.
"And what are his impressions?" said Cora.
Anthony found this question almost as embarrassing as the first one.
He could not share his impressions. They were mingled--that the girl was beautiful--that swimming was a sensuous and graceful motion—that wet garments clinging to lovely limbs had not been sculptured since the Greeks made statuettes--that absolute integrity is consistent with masquerading under another name than your own and stealing someone else's references. But, alas, these convictions were as impossible to share as a religious revelation. He turned for help to the most ancient methods.
"And what do you think of her, Cora?" he said, as if he really cared.
"I wrote you what I thought," said Cora, and went into it again, while he sat smoking and trying to remember whether or not he had ever read that letter of Cora's with the long description of moonlight on the sea. He rather thought he hadn't.