"Did you want to see Nurdo?"
"Yes. My—my partner. The juggler."
"Ah, the juggler! No, Mademoiselle, I came here entirely to see you and to offer you my congratulations."
She looked at him with so much astonishment that he explained :
"I am an old man now, Mademoiselle, and there are not many pleasures left to me. Therefore, when the circus comes here I invariably visit it. It is as much a treat to me as it would be to my grandson, if I had one. The clowns make me laugh, and then I feel ten years younger. But to-night I forgot all about the clowns, for I saw you dance, and I feit that I must visit you and congratulate you on your talent. If I had flowers, I would lay them at your feet, as is the custom of my country. Perhaps you will permit me to send you a bouquet to-morrow?"
She thanked him, still looking dazed.
"But forgive me; am I keeping you from your supper?"
"Oh, please don't worry about that. I can eat it any time—now, if you won't think me inhospitable not to offer you some, but the fact is, there is nothing very— very nice. Only some bread and butter and cold sausage."
She was hungry enough after saying this to sit straight down on the little stool and attack her supper with a hearty appetite. She reflected as she ate, that the swell was not so terrifying after all, and she smiled at him shyly over her mug of coffee. Perhaps, she thought, he had nothing more to say to her, but had sincerely called to congratulate her on her dancing. Her heart warmed to him. She said, to make conversation:
"So you are Russian? We have a Russian rider with us at the moment—a Cossack. Perhaps you saw him this evening?"