all the additional charm of youth; fond of inventing pretty symbols for women, he immediately likened her to a white rosebud. He told her this, greatly pleased by his own poetic imagery, smiling, and flashing his fine teeth.
"I say this, little one, from the depths of my heart. You are beautiful."
He kissed her again, more ardently than before. She shut her eyes, turning her face away.
"Please, Lina!" he said coaxingly, "already I love you very much, yes, very much indeed. You mustn't be afraid of me. ... I will see that those others don't make you cry again . . . but you must be sympathetic to me. There! Do you find that so difficult?"
"I want to go now."
"Already? When the chestnuts are ready to eat?"
She got up, undecided, and looked at him doubtfully, shuffling one foot. She was young enough to regard roast chestnuts as a treat. And his room, unlike her own, glowed with warmth. Nor did it entirely displease her to be loved, after so much neglect, even if she found his eager kisses strangely disturbing.
She reflected. "Very well, I'll stay," she said at last, "but we must be quiet, or Mrs. Purdie will hear and be very angry."
So they sat together on the hearth-rug slitting chestnuts, and he was gentle with her, and she talked to him of her dancing, and of how much she longed to get work.
He glanced at her sidewise, frowning, as was his way when he was scheming.
"You see," she said, looking very serious, "I seem much younger than I am, that's the trouble. I am smaller than the other girls. Managers never look at me. It's very disheartening. But I can dance, really, really I can."