Henry remembered about the ball, and made up his mind to go and stand in the road: he might catch a glimpse of her somehow. He told his mother he should not be home to supper; and to get rid of the time before the ball, he went to the theater: thence, at ten o'clock, to "Woodbine Villa," and soon found himself one of a motley group. Men, women, and children were there to see the company arrive; and as, among working-people, the idle and the curious are seldom well-to-do, they were rather a scurvy lot, and each satin or muslin belle, brave with flowers and sparkling with gems, had to pass through a little avenue of human beings in soiled fustian, dislocated bonnets, rags, and unwashed faces.
Henry got away from this class of spectators, and took up his station right across the road. He leaned against the lamp-post, and watched the drawing-room windows for Grace.
The windows were large, and, being French, came down to the balcony. Little saw many a lady's head and white shoulders, but not the one he sought.
Presently a bedroom window was opened, and a fair face looked out into the night for a moment. It was Jael Dence.
She had assisted Miss Carden to dress, and had then, at her request, prepared the room, and decked it with flowers, to receive a few of the young lady's more favored friends. This done, she opened the window, and Henry Little saw her.
Nor was it long before she saw him; for the light of the lamp was full on him.
But he was now looking intently in at the drawing-room windows, and with a ghastly expression.
The fact is, that in the short interval between his seeing Jael and her seeing him, the quadrilles had been succeeded by a waltz, and Grace Carden's head and shoulders were now flitting at intervals, past the window in close proximity to the head of her partner. What with her snowy, glossy shoulders, her lovely face, and her exquisite head and brow encircled with a coronet of pearls, her beauty seemed half-regal, half-angelic; yet that very beauty, after the first thrill of joy which the sudden appearance of a beloved one always causes, was now passing cold iron through her lover's heart. For why? A man's arm was round the supple waist, a man's hand held that delicate palm, a man's head seemed wedded to that lovely head, so close were the two together. And the encircling arm, the passing hand, the head that came and went, and rose and sank, with her, like twin cherries on a stalk, were the arm, the hand, and the head of Mr. Frederick Coventry.