She stared at him, radiant, speechless. He had thought her plain before, but now, if she could always look like that, there was a fire, a sweetness, in her face that might or might not signify deeply emotional qualities. He was anxious to try her further.
"And the juggler, Mademoiselle Lina? The poor juggler ? If you desert him in this peremptory way will you really have no regrets?"
She said, her eyes fixed full on him: "Nurdo? I told you I had finished with Nurdo. I will never think of him again. I am going to be a dancer."
And she looked then, like some ardent novice in a convent.
"This," he thought, "is excellent. She is probably more spiritual than sexual. She will never run off, this one, for the first handsome young man she sees. And she is fifteen. I have caught her young enough, if she has really been trained since she was a baby."
He rubbed his hands.
"Now teil me something of this teaching at the London school."
While she talked he slipped his hands into his pockets and remembered the letter from the old dancer in Petrograd. One sentence flashed across his mind, "When will a great star flame once more in our country?" He thought, half dazed by his own idea:
"W hy not? Again, why not? She is not English; she's half Jewish. If she has the talent I hope for, she shall learn Russian—I shall teach her! She shall put these Italian women in the background once and for all—yes, and the Austrian, too! And she shall be my creation, the creation, the life-work, of Stanislas Rosing! They'11 remember me then, when I produce this young star from nowhere! Russian—I'll make her Russian, just as I'll make her dance! And she shall dance, if I kill her in