When the tour was over, Lina returned to Paris for a few weeks' rest. She had made money, and although her future plans were uncertain, she was still hoarding money. Furthermore she was independent, and had decided, for the moment at least, to remain so.
She traveled down to Fontainebleau to see Paul. As usual, the sight of this strange, ugly child made her feel curiously guilty, a little sorrowful, and intensely hostile toward Nordstrom, whose image had so completely vanished from her life. But there was something else, now, about Paul that filled her with a definite alarm. She
asked the nurse:
"Why does he always hold his head on one side?"
"One of his shoulders is higher than the other, Madame. I thought that he would grow out of it, but he never has."
"Then you have been extremely careless," she retorted coldly, "not to mention this to me before. I shall send at once for my own doctor."
But her doctor, a fashionable and famous physician, looked at her with sympathy after he had examined the child.
"There's nothing whatever to be done. His back is crooked. The spine must have been weak at birth, and as no one noticed it then, it has grown worse all the time."
"But you must cure him! Surely he is young enough for something to be done?"
"That, Madame, is precisely what he is not. I think that we can prevent the back from becoming any weaker, but the boy will always be slightly deformed, and in my opinion it is better to teil you so quite frankly."