Katarina, had danced before her, Paulina danced in front of a great mirror that reflected her mistily, as a capering waif with thin arms and tired eyes. She had danced thus for eight years, and saw no possibility of escape. It was true that her father spoke vaguely of a summer tour, but now, af ter the disaster of his entanglement with Mrs. Purdie, the future seemed unutterably black.
Paulina was fond of her father but without really liking him very much. He was parsimonious and cowardly and always grumbling, but he was a familiar figure in her ever-shifting world, and sometimes, when he was kindly disposed, he would buy her sugar-plums, or even an occasional story-book. He admired what he called a fine figure of a woman and therefore considered his daughter plain; for this he pitied her. It was certainly true that the theatrical managers who from time to time visited Madame Vanessi's Academy ignored her completely, and even the firework-proprietor who had wanted her to pose at Vauxhall said that it was just as well she had refused— she hadn't the figure for tights.
No. He liked Paulina well enough, but he despised her for being inconspicuous in a world where showiness of face and figure were the most important assets of her sex.
And she, who feit for him a queer amused undemonstrative affection, resented his infatuation for Mrs. Purdie with a bitterness of which he would not have supposed her capable. There had been several women in Alfred's life, but to Paulina Mrs. Purdie was a monster, and that her father should desire to marry the fat landlady seemed to her atrocious, disloyal and cruel—all the things, in fact, that it actually was not.
She thought, desolate: "He won't want me any more or notice if I go. She will mend his clothes now, and go to the pawn-shops for him, and send away the people that