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Chapter 18

When the Scala season was over they returned once more to Bruges, which seemed to both a sad and sleepy place after all the glittering sophistication of Milan. Lina had received an offer to dance as third ballerina during the winter season, but Rosing, much to her chagrin, refused to accept it. He repeated with a gentle obstinacy:

"We shall find something better than that."

"But what could possibly be better?"

"You must have patience."

Patience I She grew tired of the word. Now when she danced it was for Rosing alone, and the progress she made entirely failed to compensate her for the admiration of Angellini, the eager eyes of the watching maestros, and all the color, noise and excitement of the great OperaHouse. Like her mother before her she was a natural child of the ballet and would have been content to remain with the ballet, eating, sleeping and working with the ballet all her life, provided, of course, that she advanced with enough rapidity to gratify her extraordinary ambition. And in Milan she was quite sure that she would have advanced—had she not created a furore among the famous teachers!

But Bruges, with its shadows, its rain, the gray-green of its misty canals, could no longer give to her the stimulus that had come to mean happiness. Even the pleasure of directing the activities of Justine and the youthful Marie soon began to lose its savor. She was not interested in houses, meals, servants, market-days. She was interested only in dancing. And Rosing, who had himself stoked the fires burning in her heart, was quite unable to subdue