wirdThey were on the Sacred Way, between the Basilica of Constantine and the Atrium of Vesta. Struck to the heart by his friend’s words, words such as Marcian had never yet addressed to him, Basil stood mute and let his eyes wander: he gazed at the Forum, at the temples beyond it, at the Capitol with its desecrated sanctuary of Jupiter towering above. Here, where the citizens once thronged about their business and their pleasure, only a few idlers were in view, a few peasants with carts, and a drove of bullocks just come in from the country.The Alexandrian, masking a smile, drew near to Basil, and whispered that the lady Heliodora demanded to see him alone. A gesture of annoyance was the first reply, but, after an instant’s reflection, Basil begged his kinsman to withdraw. Heliodora then entered the shop, which was nothing more than an open recess, with a stone counter half across the entrance, and behind it a couple of wooden stools. Upon one of these the lady seated herself, and Basil, who had greeted her only with a movement of the head, stood waiting.Miss C. You are a very impudent fellow, to ask a gentle—woman if she paints. Do I look as if I painted?wird
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