She had made me reasonable in a few words:
"I don't love you." There was no reply to this, and I felt I had no claim on her.
Rather it was she who might complain of me; what right had I to spy over her? I could not accuse her of deceiving me; she was free to do what she liked with herself. My best course was clearly to be silent.
I dressed myself hastily, and went to the Exchange, where I heard that a vessel was sailing for Fiume the same day.
Fiume is just opposite Ancona on the other side of the gulf. From Fiume to Trieste the distance is forty miles, and I decided to go by that route.
I went aboard the ship and took the best place, said good-bye to the consul, paid Mardocheus, and packed my trunks.
Leah heard that I was going the same day, and came and told me that she could not give me back my lace and my silk stockings that day, but that I could have them by the next day.
"Your father," I replied coolly, "will hand them all over to the Venetian consul, who will send them to me at Trieste."
Just as I was sitting down to dinner, the captain of the boat came for my luggage with a sailor. I told him he could have my trunk, and that I would bring the rest aboard whenever he liked to go.
"I intend setting out an hour before dusk."
"I shall be ready."
When Mardocheus heard where I was going he begged me to take charge of a small box and a letter he wanted to send to a friend.
"I shall be delighted to do you this small service."
At dinner Leah sat down with me and chattered as usual, without troubling herself about my monosyllabic answers.
I supposed she wished me to credit her with calm confidence and philosophy, while I looked upon it all as brazen impudence.
I hated and despised her. She had inflamed my passions, told me to my face she did not love me, and seemed to claim my respect through it all. Possibly she expected me to be grateful for her remark that she believed me incapable of betraying her to her father.
As she drank my Scopolo she said there were several bottles left, as well as some Muscat.
"I make you a present of it all," I replied, "it will prime you up for your nocturnal orgies."
She smiled and said I had had a gratuitous sight of a spectacle which was worth money, and that if I were not going so suddenly she would gladly have given me another opportunity.
This piece of impudence made me want to break the wine bottle on her head. She must have known what I was going to do from the way I took it up, but she did not waver for a moment. This coolness of hers prevented my committing a crime.
I contented myself with saying that she was the most impudent slut I had ever met, and I poured the wine into my glass with a shaking hand, as if that were the purpose for which I had taken up the bottle.
After this scene I got up and went into the next room; nevertheless, in half an hour she came to take coffee with me.
This persistence of hers disgusted me, but I calmed myself by the reflection that her conduct must be dictated by vengeance.
"I should like to help you to pack," said she.
"And I should like to be left alone," I replied; and taking her by the arm I led her out of the room and locked the door after her.
We were both of us in the right. Leah had deceived and humiliated me, and I had reason to detest her, while I had discovered her for a monster of hypocrisy and immodesty, and this was good cause for her to dislike me.
Towards evening two sailors came after the rest of the luggage, and thanking my hostess I told Leah to put up my linen, and to give it to her father, who had taken the box of which I was to be the bearer down to the vessel.
We set sail with a fair wind, and I thought never to set face on Leah again. But fate had ordered otherwise.
We had gone twenty miles with a good wind in our quarter, by which we were borne gently from wave to wave, when all of a sudden there fell a dead calm.
These rapid changes are common enough in the Adriatic, especially in the part we were in.