chapter
7 Pages

VALE

THE ATMOSPHERE OF THE HÔTEL MAJESTIC IN THE Paseo de Gracia had all the decorum of a first-class hotel In the heart of London. Noiselessly both waiters and guests went about on their lawful occasions. Ministers and Consuls were clutching their glimmering attaché cases in which they seemed to be carrying the salvation of the world. Ladies “en grand décolleté” were performing complicated ceremonies with lipstick and powder. In the hall, where the telephone boxes were not for a moment unoccupied, a small army of journalists had pitched their tents; they were perpetually in conversation with various important personalities, from whom they were seeking information as to the exact course of events in the interior. My worn-out field attire looked shabby beside all these gilded uniforms of generals, and the lounge suit, for which I had been measured that morning, would not be ready for twenty-four hours.