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At half past twelve Lina went up-stairs to her dressingroom. Here a fire burned brightly, sheaves of red and yellow roses were clustered in every possible corner, and Marie, rather grizzled about the head, stood waiting for her mistress with a chemise in her hand.

"Give me my dressing-gown."

"Madame is not dressing?"

"No. I shall stay here. Send for some sandwiches, or some fruit, and then teil Duval that I want a score of Barbe-Bleue up here, to run over while I eat my lunch. But give me the dressing-gown first. Can't you see I'm shivering?"

She wrapped herself, not in the very splendid garment of wine-colored brocade trimmed with Russian sable in which she invariably received guests at the end of the evening, but in a shabby gray woolen affair that looked rather as though a caretaker had left it behind because she no longer wanted it, and lay down upon the sofa. Marie glanced at her critically. How well she knew that thin, pointed, white face, with its vivid mouth, its luminous dark eyes, its bitter weary lines! She thought with a sigh:

"We are no longer either of us as young as we were— it is many years since Bruges. . .

But she said nothing. She was wise, after so long a time in the service of Varsovina.

She came back with a ham sandwich, an apple and the score of the ballet Barbe-Bleue.

"What disgusting food," Lina said, looking at the plate as though it contained some medical curiosity or other.

"But naturally! Madame has plenty of time to go back to the hotel for lunch."

"Let me see—is this town called Baltimore?"

"Yes, Madame."

"It's a disgusting town."