"And the other guest?" asked Lina abruptly of De Beauvais.
"Oh, he is combing his hair, the better to create a favorable impression! He's English, and timid, and
thinks you a goddess!"
"And who shall say," Lina taunted, "that he's mistaken,
your English friend?"
"Madame," said Elise Rambert, "we interrupted you when you were playing. Won't you do us the pleasure of continuing?"
"Oh, willingly ... but I can't play—only by ear, and then so badly. But listen, I'll try again, and perhaps this will be a little better . . . this is the pas de l'ombre from The Ondine."
And it was to the eerie, enchanting strains of this music that her third guest entered the room. He arrived, this poor young man, at an unfortunate moment, for she suddenly played a wrong note, and in a fit of rage brought both hands crashing down on to the piano.
"Ah, mats écoutez," and she spun round on the stool in a sudden passion, "is it possible that I play so badly I can't even play my dance, my own dance, my shadow dance, that I've danced a hundred times, in a hundred different cities! Oh, I hate this piano, and I swear 111
sell it to-morrow!"
"But, Madame," said Elise Rambert soothingly, and maddeningly, "surely you are satisüed with what you can do? When one is a genius ought one not to be content?"
But Lina scowled at her like a second Medusa, and De Beauvais interrupted, tactfully, clearing his throat:
"Lina, my dear, before you continue, allow me to present to you Mr. Guy Chevis, the young Englishman I told you of, who is studying French is some obscure and doubtless insanitary quarter of Paris."
"I beg your pardon," said Lina, and held out her hand,