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you really want me to, only one thing must be understood between us, and that is that you must never, on any account whatever, interfere with my work or with my practising. Otherwise it will be of no use, and we shall . have to part. Do you understand?"

"Perfectly," he said, laughing again. "You know, Lina, you are not the first theatrical young lady with whom I've enjoyed an intimate friendship."

"It's not at all the same," she protested, and added, as though rebuking him: "You must never forget that I'm a dancer."

"A great dancer," Nordstrom corrected courteously, and raised his glass. He asked, after a pause:

"Teil me, Lina, how easily do you fall in love?"

"I've told you," she said, "that I am going to love you. That's settled. So why bother?"

"I know what you have told me, and it's very charming of you, and I have no doubt that we shall make each other happy, but when I talked of falling in love I was referring, not to a delightful arrangement such as the one we are about to conclude, but to another, more primitive and less discriminating emotion. An emotion, my dear, that is beyond our control. Do you understand me?"

"Yes, I understand you," Lina said. "You are wondering whether or not I will be faithful to you. Well, set your mind at rest. I will be faithful. I don't know anything of the emotions you have been talking about. I don't lose my heart wildly, for no reason. I have always been too busy. When I say that I'll love you, I mean to do it, to the best of my ability. You'11 have no cause for complaint, I promise you. There! Are you content?"

Nordstrom was rich; in a few weeks Lina moved from her hotel to a luxuriously furnished apartment in the rue d'Antin. Here, in an atmosphere of Boule, Sèvres vases,

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