with physical exhaustion she must still concentrate, weary as she was, upon verbs and grammar-books that seemed to her dryer than dust, more difficult than the most elaborate pirouettes.
Sometimes she wept. "I can't! I can'tl I shall never learn this detestable language."
But Rosing was inexorable.
Spring melted into summer, with interminable days of fretful, dragging heat. From the stagnant canals arose foul and noisome smells; while in the house, during the daytime, blinds and shutters were drawn, so that the rooms swam in a dead green twilight, and it was as though they lived at the bottom of an aquarium.
Lina danced through that breathless summer with white cheeks and a body that always, even at night, seemed to be bathed in perspiration.
Martens, calling at the house, said roughly to Rosing: "You're killing her."
Rosing was furious. "I am not a brute, Martens, and I know by this time of what a dancer is capable."
Martens said no more, but spoke to Doctor Silvercroys.
The result was that she was given a week's holiday and sent off with Justine to a fishing village just over the Belgian border. Here she was happy, content to remain listless for the first three days. She lay on the beach delighted to relax her strained and weary limbs, while a breeze scented with seaweed ruffled her hair, and the rusty sails of fishing boats, drifting far away into the distance, brought to her a peace, a deep feeling of content, that she had never before experienced.
When she returned to Bruges she was well once more, energetic and agile and ambitious.
In the autumn, when mists crept down from lowering skies to cloud the town and dead leaves danced, rustling, in every alley, Rosing said to her: