Himalaya: Listen. Learn. Grow.
"Whatwonderful cushions you have, " said Mr. Van Busche Taylor.
"Do youlike them?" she said, smiling. "Bakst, you know. "
And yet on thewalls were coloured reproductions of several of Strickland's best pictures, dueto the enterprise of a publisher in Berlin.
"You'relooking at my pictures, " she said, following my eyes. "Of course,the originals are out of my reach, but it's a comfort to have these. Thepublisher sent them to me himself. They're a great consolation to me. "
"They mustbe very pleasant to live with, " said Mr. Van Busche Taylor.
"Yes;they're so essentially decorative. "
"That isone of my profoundest convictions, " said Mr. Van Busche Taylor."Great art is always decorative. "
Their eyesrested on a nude woman suckling a baby, while a girl was kneeling by their sideholding out a flower to the indifferent child. Looking over them was awrinkled, scraggy hag. It was Strickland's version of the Holy Family. Isuspected that for the figures had sat his household above Taravao, and thewoman and the baby were Ata and his first son. I asked myself if Mrs.Strickland had any inkling of the facts.
Theconversation proceeded, and I marvelled at the tact with which Mr. Van BuscheTaylor avoided all subjects that might have been in the least embarrassing, andat the ingenuity with which Mrs. Strickland, without saying a word that wasuntrue, insinuated that her relations with her husband had always been perfect.At last Mr. Van Busche Taylor rose to go. Holding his hostess' hand, he madeher a graceful, though perhaps too elaborate, speech of thanks, and left us.