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CHAPTER II THE CARLTON (PALL MALL) The Princesse Lointaine, a very charming lady who was born in Boston, U.S., and who married a member of the "White" nobility of Italy, passing through London to Rome, had been gracious enough to dine with me, the dinner had been a gastronomic dream of delight, the band was playing a Hungarian march, but not loudly enough to interfere with conversation, and snugly tucked away in the depths of two freat green armchairs in the palm room the rincess and myself were enjoying, in that luxurious silencea calm rippled now and again by little zephyrs of conversationwhich comes to good friends after a good dinner, the view of the cream and pink of the great saloon, and the blue light on the palms beyond. The Princess, I knew, felt that evening that she had done her duty both towards men and women. She had telegraphed to me on her arrival in London, and when I went to call on her had asked me, saying kindly that I was her gastronomic guide, which were the restaurantsto dine at, and on my running over the list, she told me that the Carlton had risen on the site of the old Opera House during the years that she had been away from England and asked me for particulars concerning it. I told her that MM. Ritz, Echenard, and Escoffier were the powers that controlled itthe three names have European celebrityand that His Majesty, while still the Prince of Wales, had given his sign-manual to the restaurant by dining there in the public room. Would Madame la Princesse do me the honour to name a night on which she would dine ? Madame did so ; and when she arrived at the Carlton I saw that she had paid her tribute of respect to the company sheexpected to meet by wearing a superb dress of old black lace over some white material, and by having put on the t...