Lina proceeded to explain that at Madame Vanessi's school the girl who could have performed thirty fouettés would most certainly have been acclaimed as a brilliant technician.
"Oh, you are impossible, my poor child," Rosing told her impatiently. "Will you never understand that a danseuse of your rare and delicate qualities is far, far above such vulgar Italian fireworks? Thirty fouettés, indeed! As well dance as you did when first I saw you in the circus!"
But he relented, as he always did, seeing that she was really crestfallen.
"In any case, n'en parions plus, n'en parions plus, n'en parions plus! I have something of more importance to relate. Teil me, how old are you now?"
"Sixteen past. I have been with you for nearly a year."
"Exactly. Now listen to me very carefully, my little Lina. In eight months' time there is to be an audition in Milan for young dancers of the classical school. Since the most famous maitres de ballets are to be present the audition will be of some importance, and I understand that the most promising pupils are to be selected by the authorities to dance in the corps de ballet during their next season. Now, my child, I am placed in a great
"But why? What is it? Why can't I go?"
"I beseech you not to interrupt me! I have not yet said that you shall not go."
"Then why is it difficult?"
"Ah, for this reason."
He thrust his hands in his pockets, walked up and down the room, and explained with great seriousness:
"I had planned for you in two or three years' time a great and eventful début. How I would arrange that is my own affair—the old fox knows how to manage such