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either to recoil, outraged, or perhaps to stammer a blushing and maidenly refusal. He had prepared every type of argument, sensible, amorous, persuasive and hectoring, for her final subjugation, and this coolness, this little dignified air of businesslike sagacity, this blithe acceptance of what she appeared to regard as an excellent arrangement for both of them, really astonished him beyond all powers of speech. There was a pause, during the course of which he stared at her in silence: finally he inquired:

"You mean . . . you're quite sure, you're really serious, about marrying me?"

"Of course I am," she repeated firmly.

"But it is fantastic," Rosing declared helplessly.

"You don't look very pleased about it," Lina observed.

"Pleased? If I am pleased!! I am in Paradise!"

But he continued to regard her in a very peculiar fashion. He was too cynical, too suspicious, to take into account her gratitude; these girls were all alike, they came to their teachers raw, ignorant, and then, once they were trained they spread their wings, their gauzy wings of coryphées, and flew away, never to be seen again. He was determined that his Lina, his freak, his prodigy, his pride, should not escape him in this fashion. He thought, studying as though for the first time her small pale demure face with its luminous dark eyes:

"She is a passionnée, this Lina. Une vraie petite passionnée, and she will undoubtedly lead me a dance in no way connected with the ballet, but there is unfortunately no other way of controlling her, and she must above all be controlled. . . . And she is charming, and if I were not so old how dearly I should love her!"

He suggested that they should leave the restaurant, return to Angellini's and acquaint the old ballerina of their betrothal.