"We are going outside, Marchese. Madre wants air."
The Marchesino, accustomed only to the habits and customs of Neapolitan women, looked frankly as if he thought Hermione mad.
"Poor Madre must have a breath of air."
"I will open the window, Signora!"
"And the rain all over her, and the thunder close above her, and the sea in her face, the sea--the sea!"
She put her face to the glass. Gaspare, who was standing up in the stern, with his hands holding fast to the rail that edged the cabin roof, bent down till his brown face was on a level with hers, and his big eyes were staring inquiringly into her eyes.
On the other side of the glass Gaspare made violently negative gestures. One word only came to those inside the cabin through the uproar of the elements.
"Signorina," said the Marchesino, "you cannot mean it. But you will be washed off. And the water--you will be drowned. It cannot be."