"My little Lina, in a few weeks we shall leave for Milan."
"Do you really think I am ready to dance?"
"I think so, yes."
"I can hardly believe that we are really going!"
Rosing seemed abstracted. He said at length:
"You must remember, my child, that the methods of the Italian school differ considerably from my own. Individual grace of movement means little enough with them, and they are more concerned with correctness of attitudes and deportment. Therefore, if they do not hail you immediately as a great dancer, don't break your heart— they can teach you much all the same, and you will be the better for it."
He had chosen with rare cunning for her first public appearance, the dance of the fairy from the ballet Source.
They worked together, day and night, at every movement, every pirouette, every attitude, every smile.
On the evening before their departure Martens, Vanderkerk and Silvercroys came round to drink her health and wish her luck. Lina was grave, composed, but rather dazed; in spite of Rosing's confidence she was secretly apprehensive of failure.
In the morning they went away.
When they arrived in Milan she exclaimed suddenly, eagerly: "I have been here before, with the circus. How strange it is to come back a dancer!"
She went early to bed at the quiet hotel where Rosing had engaged rooms. She was so nervous, so fearfully excited in the morning that she complained of feeling sick and could not eat her breakfast. But here Rosing was implacable.
"No coffee, no audition. Remember you will go without your dinner."
He never allowed her to eat or drink before she danced,