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"You know that I will."

"Then will you promise to marry me?"

There was a long silence. He feit her body stiffen in his arms.

"Lina! Did you hear what I said?"

"Oh, yes, I heard. But I agree with you: we had better not talk of serious things."

"Lina! I'm waiting for your answer."

"No one but my strange young man," she told him, trying to laugh, "would have asked me such an insane question in the first place."

"Will you marry me, Lina?"

"No, Guy! And don't be absurd, because it hurts me."

"You shall marry me!" he told her in a sudden fury. "Do you hear? You've got to. We've got to marry. We can't live without each other. We never could. Alone, we're incomplete; together we are worth something, you and I."

"Yes," she said, "I would make a fascinating Marchioness, wouldn't I? A woman who is not only famous as a dancer, but who is also notorious as a cocotte. A woman with an illegitimate child, a dead husband, several lovers and a circus upbringing! How enchanted your family would be when they heard the news of our engagement."

He retorted stubbornly: "I can't help all that. Possibly it would have been more popular had I fallen in love with some young girl chosen for me by my family. But as I haven't, it can't be helped. Without you, I shall never be worth anything at all. Never, never, never. I think, Lina, that I have been waiting for you all my life. I know that but for you I should never even have been properly alive."

"You are my dear love, and nothing else matters. But you must never talk of marrying me again. Promise me that, please!"