And indeed the artist subsequently produced a drawing of that high narrow instep, beneath which he had written, with a courtly flourish: "Pourquoi chausser une aile?"
Now there were frequent disputes between Lina and De Beauvais.
"Why are you drinking water? Don't be so absurd! You must have some champagne at once."
"How can I? I'm dancing to-morrow—how can I drink wine?"
"Lina, I never see you now. While you're dancing you live the life of a nun, and it would appear that you are always dancing. And in the Jockey Club to-day they said that you were angling for De Morny's scalp!"
"That accusation is so ridiculous that I refuse even to reply to it."
One night, after the ballet, he came into the apartment a little drunk, to find her weeping on a sofa.
"Lina, my precious, what is it? Are you ill?"
"Oh, no, no, no! I'm only tired. And, when one has had to smile all the evening, this is sometimes an admirable way of reposing oneself!"
"I can only think," he said, "that you must be demented."
Their constant bickerings, the society of his cynical and dissipated friends, had between them the effect of irritating her temper and developing a mocking sharpness of tongue that Nordstrom would have teased out of her in less than five minutes. But Nordstrom amused himself, these days, with an imposing lady most suitably named Madame Juno, and Lina soon lost even the faculty of knowing that she was wounding people less sensitive than herself. And when she made fun, as De Beauvais often told her, she was cruel.
A cousin of his, Gaston de Boussac, came to Paris