The Illustrious Prince HTML version

13. East And West
After the supper there were obligations which the Prince, whose sense of etiquette was
always strong, could not avoid. He took Penelope back to her aunt, reminding her that the
next dance but one belonged to him. Miss Morse, who was an invalid and was making
one of her very rare appearances in Society, watched him curiously as he disappeared.
"I wonder what they'd think of your new admirer in New York, Penelope," she remarked.
"I imagine," Penelope answered, "that they would envy me very much."
Miss Morse, who was a New Englander of the old-fashioned type, opened her lips, but
something in her niece's face restrained her.
"Well, at any rate," she said, "I hope we don't go to war with them. The Admiral wrote
me, a few weeks ago, that he saw no hope for anything else."
"It would be a terrible complication," the Duchess sighed, "especially considering our
own alliance with Japan. I don't think we need consider it seriously, however. Over in
America you people have too much common sense."
"The Government have, very likely," Miss Morse admitted, "but it isn't always the
Government who decide things or who even rule the country. We have an omnipotent
Press, you know. All that's wanted is a weak President, and Heaven knows where we
should be!"
"Of course," the Duchess remarked, "Prince Maiyo is half an Englishman. His mother
was a Stretton-Wynne. One of the first intermarriages, I should think. Lord Stretton-
Wynne was Ambassador to Japan."
"I think," said Penelope, "that if you could look into Prince Maiyo's heart you would not
find him half an Englishman. I think that he is more than seven-eighths a Japanese."
"I have heard it whispered," the Duchess remarked, leaning forward, "that he is over here
on an exceedingly serious mission. One thing is quite certain. No one from his country, or
from any other country, for that matter, has ever been so entirely popular amongst us. He
has the most delightful manners of any man I ever knew of any race."
Sir Charles came up, with gloomy face, to claim a dance. After it was over, he led
Penelope back to her aunt almost in silence.
"You are dancing again with the Prince?" he asked.
"Certainly," she answered. "Here he comes."