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Crowned Heads Meet
Bellamy, King's Spy, and Dorward, journalist, known to fame in every English-speaking
country, stood before the double window of their spacious sitting-room, looking down
upon the thoroughfare beneath. Both men were laboring under a bitter sense of failure.
Bellamy's face was dark with forebodings; Dorward was irritated and nervous. Failure
was a new thing to him - a thing which those behind the great journals which he
represented understood less, even, than he. Bellamy loved his country, and fear was
gnawing at his heart.
Below, the crowds which had been waiting patiently for many hours broke into a tumult
of welcoming voices. Down their thickly-packed lines the volume of sound arose and
grew, a faint murmur at first, swelling and growing to a thunderous roar. Myriads of hats
were suddenly torn from the heads of the excited multitude, handkerchiefs waved from
every window. It was a wonderful greeting, this.
"The Czar on his way to the railway station," Bellamy remarked.
The broad avenue was suddenly thronged with a mass of soldiery - guardsmen of the
most famous of Austrian regiments, brilliant in their white uniforms, their flashing
helmets. The small brougham with its great black horses was almost hidden within a ring
of naked steel. Dorward, an American to the backbone and a bitter democrat, thrust out
his under-lip.
"The Anointed of the Lord!" he muttered.
Far away from some other quarter came the same roar of voices, muffled yet insistent,
charged with that faint, exciting timbre which seems always to live in the cry of the
"The Emperor," declared Bellamy. "He goes to the West station."
The commotion had passed. The crowds in the street below were on the move, melting
away now with a muffled trampling of feet and a murmur of voices. The two men turned
from their window back into the room. Dorward commenced to roll a cigarette with
yellow-stained, nervous fingers, while Bellamy threw himself into an easy-chair with a
gesture of depression.
"So it is over, this long-talked-of meeting," he said, half to himself, half to Dorward. "It is
over, and Europe is left to wonder."
"They were together for scarcely more than an hour," Dorward murmured.
"Long enough," Bellamy answered. "That little room in the Palace, my friend, may yet
become famous."