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Princess Zara
written by "Beeckman, Ross"
...beheld her with something like awe, while I trembled with eagerness for her to speak again. I must admit that the story she had begun to relate had thus far made no impression upon me, and that it was only the voice of the woman I loved, and the changing expressions of its tone, and her beautiful countenance, which attracted me then. She was so wholly lovable in every attribute of her being; and now, absorbed as she was by the retrospective consideration of the tale she had begun to relate, and because her manner was entirely impersonal, she became even more compelling in her fascinations for me. I forgot, for the moment, that she was a Russian princess and a nihilist, and remembered only the one absorbing fact that she was a woman. My duties in St. Petersburg and the character I had assumed in fulfilling them, the city itself and all my surroundings, the environment of the moment and all that went with it, faded from my mental view, and left us two there, utterly alone in a world of our own, self created by my own conceit of the moment. I do not know what impulse it was that brought me to my feet with a sudden start of resolve, but I had taken three or four strides toward her, with arms outstretched to seize her lithe form in my embrace, and to crush her against me in a burst of passion which I found myself no longer able to control, when I was startled into motionlessness and silence by a sudden cry from Zara, who turned about and faced me for an instant, and who then seized me by the arm and drew me to the window, pointing into the street as she did so.   CHAPTER XII WHEN LOVE WAS BORN The streets of St. Petersburg, the city itself, nihilism, Russia, the czar had ceased to exist for me, however. Whatever she may have seen upon the street that had brought that startled cry to her lips, and had made her turn about and grasp my arm, had also brought into her countenance an expression of such overwhelming and overpowering concern for me,...

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