"Ideas," she said. "Oh, as for ideas--" "Well?" I hazarded, "as for ideas?" We went through the old gateway and I cast a glance over my shoulder. The noon sun was shining over the masonry, over the little saints' effigies, over the little fretted canopies, the grime and the white streaks of bird-dropping. "There," I said, pointing toward it, "doesn't that suggest something to you?" She made a motion with her head-half negative, half contemptuous. "But," I stuttered, "the associations -- the ideas -- the historical ideas--" She said nothing. "You Americans," I began, but her smile stopped me. It was as if she were amused at the utterances of an old lady shocked by the habits of the daughters of the day. It was the smile of a person who is confident of superseding one fatally.