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Chapter 20

In New York, for the first time, Varsovina's spectacular good fortune deserted her. She danced, it is true, with great success; but on the very week of her d├ębut, a few hours after the dancers had gone home, the great theater was burned to the ground, and it seemed as though Monsieur Rosing and his wife must say farewell to those muchcoveted American dollars. And yet, to return to Europe with no contracts was unthinkable. In any case, if the glorious New York season was really to be wasted, there still remained the ten months' tour.

But this, unfortunately, was not to be the case. The American promoter of the tour chose, with singular lack of tact, this particular and inauspicious moment to become bankrupt. What was to be done? Rosing tore his hair.

And then the circus, that had succored Lina before, came once more to her aid.

Hiram P. Adams, America's most famous showman, took little time to realize that the new Russian dancer, properly advertised, might prove a big drawing-card. Abandoning forthwith his three circuses and his thirty traveling fairs, he arrived at Rosing's hotel to put forward his proposition.

Rosing at first recoiled in horror. His Varsovina, his pride, his prodigy, his glorious artist, managed by a circus proprietor! Hadn't she had enough to do with circuses in her life? And then, by degrees, he saw reason. Here, at last, after so many disappointments, were dollars, and Rosing, who respected dancing and little else in life, knew only too well that American money was not