The calm lasted but a short time, and a stiff wind from the west-north- west began to blow, with the result that the sea became very rough, and I was very ill.
At midnight the storm had become dangerous. The captain told me that if we persisted in going in the wind's eye we should be wrecked, and that the only thing to be done was to return to Ancona.
In less than three hours we made the harbour, and the officer of the guard having recognized me kindly allowed me to land.
While I was talking to the officer the sailors took my trunks, and carried them to my old lodgings without waiting to ask my leave.
I was vexed. I wanted to avoid Leah, and I had intended to sleep at the nearest inn. However, there was no help for it. When I arrived the Jew got up, and said he was delighted to see me again.
It was past three o'clock in the morning, and I felt very ill, so I said I would not get up till late, and that I would dine in my bed without any foie gras. I slept ten hours, and when I awoke I felt hungry and rang my bell.
The maid answered and said that she would have the honour of waiting on me, as Leah had a violent headache.
I made no answer, thanking Providence for delivering me from this impudent and dangerous woman.
Having found my dinner rather spare I told the cook to get me a good supper.
The weather was dreadful. The Venetian consul had heard of my return, and not having seen me concluded I was ill, and paid me a two hours' visit. He assured me the storm would last for a week at least. I was very sorry to hear it; in the first place, because I did not want to see any more of Leah, and in the second, because I had not got any money. Luckily I had got valuable effects, so this second consideration did not trouble me much.
As I did not see Leah at supper-time I imagined that she was feigning illness to avoid meeting me, and I felt very much obliged to her on this account. As it appeared, however, I was entirely mistaken in my conjectures.
The next day she came to ask for chocolate in her usual way, but she no longer bore upon her features her old tranquillity of expression.
"I will take coffee, mademoiselle," I observed; "and as I do not want foie gras any longer, I will take dinner by myself. Consequently, you may tell your father that I shall only pay seven pauls a day. In future I shall only drink Orvieto wine."
"You have still four bottles of Scopolo and Cyprus"
"I never take back a present; the wine belongs to you. I shall be obliged by your leaving me alone as much as possible, as your conduct is enough to irritate Socrates, and I am not Socrates. Besides, the very sight of you is disagreeable to me. Your body may be beautiful, but knowing that the soul within is a monster it charms me no longer. You may be very sure that the sailors brought my luggage here without my orders, or else you would never have seen me here again, where I dread being poisoned every day."
Leah went out without giving me any answer, and I felt certain that after my plain-spoken discourse she would take care not to trouble me again.
Experience had taught me that girls like Leah are not uncommon. I had known specimens at Spa, Genoa, London, and at Venice, but this Jewess was the worst I had ever met.
It was Saturday. When Mardocheus came back from the synagogue he asked me gaily why I had mortified his daughter, as she had declared she had done nothing to offend me.
"I have not mortified her, my dear Mardocheus, or at all events, such was not my intention; but as I have put myself on diet, I shall be eating no more foie gras, and consequently I shall dine by myself, and save three pauls a day."
"Leah is quite ready to pay me out of her private purse, and she wants to dine with you to assure you against being poisoned, as she informs me that you have expressed that fear."
"That was only a jest; I am perfectly aware that I am in the house of an honest man. I don't want your daughter to pay for herself, and to prove that I am not actuated by feelings of economy, you shall dine with me too.