country, to Bougival, with Monsieur Girard, to study. And where is he, this afternoon, I should like to know?"
Paul grinned, slanting his eyes.
"With a woman, of course. It's his afternoon's holiday."
"Don't dare," she said, "to speak to me in that way of your tutor."
"Why not? Is he any the worse teacher for his loveaffairs? And don't think I'm inventing, either—I went through his drawers, the other day, when he was en vacance, and found a pile of love-letters from different women. They were amusing, too, and I should be very ready to quote from them if you would care for me to do so."
"I don't want you to do anything of the sort. I want
you to " She paused, for she really could not think
of anything she wanted Paul to do except to disappear for ever from her life, and that, of course, was quite impossible.
"Oh, good heavens!" she stormed at him in a fit of sudden despair, "how much easier everything would be for both of us if you could only show me even the slightest pretense of affection! What have I ever done to you that you should treat me—and every one else in the world— with so much rudeness and ingratitude?"
"What have you ever done?"
He studied her for a moment, his large head on one side, a malicious smile curling his lips, his deformed shoulder hunched above his ear.
"What have you ever done, maman chérie? Oh, nothing much, nothing of any great importance. You only produced me—fatherless—without even taking the trouble to stop dancing long enough to see that I was born like other people. What did you care? You were too busy adorning the ballet. You were too busy making con-