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Chapter 16

When Rosing eventually retrieved Lina he found her dressed and alone, but sobbing inconsolably in the dressing-room.

"What's the meaning of this tantrum?"

"Oh ... I was so miserable—you never came! I thought you were ashamed of me. Teil me I was not so bad! I wasn't, was I? I have danced better, but most certainly I have danced worse!"

"You have danced worse," Rosing told her briefly.

"Then," she wanted to know, tears still glistening on her cheeks, "have I—can it be that I have been chosen for the ballet?"

"That is settled—yes."

He continued, a smile lurking at the corner of his mouth: "You have made quite a success, my child. If I wished, you could dance, not as a figurante, one of a whole corps de ballet, but as a coryphée, during this next season."

"Well, why can't I?" Lina not unnaturally demanded.

"Because I don't wish you to be noticed—as yet. If you became a coryphée, you would inevitably be noticed. As a figurante I think you will remain obscure."

"But I don't want to remain obscure," Lina protested.

Rosing was in high good humor.

"Can you really not trust me, my child? When you make your début it will not be as a coryphée, I can assure you, but as a prima ballerina. There! It is a promise. And now dry your eyes and come along, for I must take you back to the hotel."

She learned many things, the next day. One was that