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"Not to-night," said she in the silken voice that he had learned to associate with a most incredible obstinacy, "after the ballet, whenever you like, but not until then. I am so sorry, Pierre, but I must really be firm. After the ballet!"

After the ballet! It seemed to De Beauvais, a youth of considerable impatience, that these three words created between them a glacial barrier that he would never surmount.

He thought, desolate, as others had thought before him:

"She doesn't love me. She loves only her dancing."

And he went slowly away from the rue d'Antin, while Lina, who had already forgotten his existence, discussed with Heinrich the merits of a new, expensive maitre de ballet.

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