you . . . don't refuse at once, before you have heard what those reasons are. . .
She said then, with complete simplicity: "Oh, I shan't refuse."
And as she looked at him affectionately her heart glowed with gratitude for all that this man had done for her. Marriage, in the circus, in the ballet, was a business affair, a matter of partnership. One bareback rider married another bareback rider because their acts would be better combined than separate. Similarly, in the ballet, when a dancer married, she married another dancer, a partner, a teacher, or a choreographist. You worked together, ate together, made a little love when there was nothing else to do, and, obviously, if you grew tired of each other or ceased to work successfully together, you parted, and there was no harm done. It was simplicity itself.
She would have been willing, long ago, for Rosing to have become her lover, not in the least because she wanted love, but because she was so grateful to him that this seemed to her not only a charming way, but the only possible way, of proving her afïection. She had never been in love with Nurdo, and had indeed no conception of what it was to care passionately for any man. She had tried to love Nurdo and had been repelled by him; but with Rosing it was different. She respected and admired him; he had invariably been kind to her and she was affectionately disposed toward him. She had never expected to marry him or any one, but now that the idea had been put into her head it seemed to her a sound one.
She therefore continued to smile, patted his hand, and repeated again with great conviction: "Of course I'll marry you. Whenever you want!"
Rosing for his part was completely dazed by the instantaneous success of his suit. He had expected her