"But," Paulina continued, anxious to make this puzzling relationship clear in her own mind, "I am quite sure that I don't love Nurdo. Not, at least, in the way that he used to love me. I think if he had been my brother I might have loved him very much, but not as things are. Do you really understand? And I can't leave him. For one reason, he wouldn't let me go."
"I see," the visitor repeated again, and rose from his chair, picking up his hat and gloves. He remarked, on
his way to the door:
"My poor little girl, you must permit an old man to give you a word of advice bef ore he goes. It is this: if you wish ever to become a serious dancer you must be content to live for many years like a nun. No more jugglers, no more complicated and altruistic relationships with black-eyed gentlemen who require looking af ter. A dancer lives, not for that purpose, but for her art. Uniquely and solely for her art. When she has developed into a prima ballerina then, perhaps, a few kisses, a few flirtations, a few supper-parties are permitted, always providing that they do not interfere with her art. But nothing serious. Above all, nothing, or nobody, that needs looking after. A dancer must look after herself.
Paulina asked humbly: "Shall I never be a dancer if
I stay with the circus?"
"With the circus and the juggler? Jamais de la viel And it is a pity, for I think you have promise."
She followed him to the door. "Who are you?" ^
"Ah!" He turned back, one foot on the ladder, "I had forgotten. Here is my card. You will see that I live in Bruges. If ever you repent of your acrobatics and want sincerely to forsake them, you must write to me, and I will try to help you, for I think that you may be worth
helping. Good night." .
He was gone. She examined the card, which mformed