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"Yes," she said, "as a kept lady, hidden away in a discreet little house somewhere near St. John's Wood. You would visit me once a week, and keep your brougham waiting outside my door. And I would grow fat, and forget that I had ever been a dancer. Sooner or later, in a few years, you would find that I was more tedious even than your wife. And then you would pension me off, and all this—all this beauty and passion and glamour, would be dead, as though it had never existed. I couldn't endure that. Really, really, I couldn't."

"But, we're not going to part! Why, to-night, have you got this extraordinary obsession?"

"It's not only to-night," she said. "I have been thinking of it for a long time. How can you stay with me for ever? One day your uncle will die, and then you'11 be a grand gentleman, who will have to marry a grand wife, and then we shall have to go our separate ways. You know that as well as I do."

"If I thought as you do," he said, "I'd scarcely want to go on living. But I don't, thank heaven. How can two people meet as we did, by chance, and love each other in the way we do, if they weren't meant by fate to stay together all the days of their life? Of course we shall never part; it would have been too cruel, otherwise, ever to have met. Do you believe in God, Lina?"

"Well," she said, "I scarcely know. I suppose that I do; for I burn a candle every night beneath my ikon."

"1 do," he said defiantly, "and I know that we were intended for each other, you and I, ever since first we were born. We were put into the world simply to find each other. Whether we marry or not, that doesn't matter. What does matter is the fact that without each other we are incomplete, and that God would never have created us in the beginning, if we were not intended to be together as long as we live."