table laid for one. She went into the bedroom, took off her hoop and skirt, wrapped herself in the very twin of the gray woolen dressing-gown at the theater, and bade Marie rub her feet.
"Lie back, then, Madame, on the sofa."
Lina obeyed, closing her eyes.
"That's nice . . . gently, now . . . yes, like that."
The feet of Varsovina were paler, that night, than white doves, and as beautiful. She opened her eyes to regard them with a real tenderness, gazing down at the delicate arched insteps, the fine-cut heels, the rosy polished nails. But from the tip of each toe there oozed a drop of blood, and she sighed.
"That's enough. Give me my Indian moccasin slippers. Supper must be ready—you needn't wait up."
She ate her supper alone before the fire,—a quaint, almost dowdy figure in the gray woolen wrap. Chicken a la Maryland, salad, cheese, a bottle of red wine. And the waiter, assiduous in his attentions, watched her closely, with an almost passionate interest, for his wife wanted to know all about Varsovina, and he knew that she would scold him unless he remembered every minute detail of the evening. And so he concentrated his attention upon this thin, tired, little woman with her waxen face and her long black hair, like a horse's tail, until she looked up suddenly and fixed him with the most brilliant, the most fiery dark eyes that he had ever seen in his life.
"What," she wanted to know, "are you staring at?"
"I beg your pardon, Madame."
"You needn't wait. Come back for the table to-morrow morning."
This was of course highly inconvenient, but in a manner of speaking he had brought it upon himself, and so there was really nothing to do but to obey. He tiptoed out of the room, and Varsovina was left alone.