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Ckapter 4

They were in the cab, which was old and shaky and smelled of stale straw. They drove for a long time in silence, and the fog forced them to drive very slowly indeed. At last Nurdo lighted a cigar, which cast over his face a red glow, and Paulina spoke, for the sake of saying something.

"I had almost forgotten," she said in a very small voice, "what you look like."

As he made no reply she continued: "You see, I have not seen you for nearly three years, and then only for such a short time, and partly in the dark. It seems very strange to be running away with you—very strange indeed."

"And you belong to me now," he said, after a pause.

She reflected. "Will you be kinder to me than the others were?"

"Naturally. Kave I not already told you that I love you? Why else should I take you with me?"

"Because you want me to dance."

"Oh, that! Yes, certainly I want you to dance, but I could find a hundred other girls to do that. No. I take you because you are sweet, and I want to make love to you."

"But I am a very good dancer," she objected.

He patted her hand. "I am sure. We will see tomorrow. But if you were Taglioni, dancing while I performed, people would look, not at you, but at Nurdo."

"I don't think so."

"You have not seen my act, little Lina."

She was too tired to argue. Try as she would, her eyes refused to remain open, and then her head nodded