She repeated harshly: "Didn't you hear what I said? I shall fulfil my contracts."
Later, when the doctor had been, only to disclose that Rosing's death was due to heart failure, she sat listlessly alone in another sitting-room with Heinrich and Weiss pressing quantities of unwanted food upon her. Then it was, in the midst of pretending to eat, that she remembered the real Rosing, not Rosing her husband, weary, querulous, inadequate, but the Rosing of Bruges, Rosing her master, her savior, the Rosing who had first discovered her genius, who had taught her all he knew, who had cared for her, fed her, gambled on her immature talent, who had put his whole heart and soul into this strange business of making her a dancer.
She thought of the salon at Bruges—its ikons, its swarming candles, its rosy fire, and of Rosing himself standing in the salon, the tassel of his bonnet-grec most violently agitated as he scraped away on his fiddle at some tinkling, elusive air of Rossini or Verdi.
Thinking of these things, evoking these tunes, somehow caused her throat to become most violently constricted; she put her head on the table and wept, mourning her husband, as though her heart would break.
But that she herself, by her passion for overwork, her insistence upon a savage routine, her determination to wrest every cent, every peso, from wild and barbarous lands, had in any way contributed to his death, never once occurred to her. Atalanta-like, she had outstripped him in their race, being, like Atalanta herself, young and fleet of foot and tireless, while he, unable to keep up, had fallen by the way.
But even while she wept she found some consolation in the thought, which constantly recurred to her: "At least he lived to see me famous. He lived to see me a prima ballerina."