As for Lina, in one moment she awoke as though from a trance, and forgot her misery, and was alive once more, and ardent and alert. In that brief moment she forgot Guy Chevis, and Eitel Gustav, and the politicians of Brandenstein, and her pavilion in the park, and remembered only one thing,—that she was a genius, the greatest dancer of her age, and that she had demeaned herself by becoming a ducal concubine, and that she must go away at once, for ever, and no longer permit herself to be insulted by these gross and stupid men. She turned to the Grand Duke.
"Highness, will you be good enough to allow me to withdraw from this discussion?"
And without waiting for his permission, for he stared at her as though distraught, all unconscious of his Cabinet, she swept him a curtsy of exquisite dignity, and left the presence there and then, without further preamble of any kind.
And it was fortunate, perhaps, that she acted as she did, for she was at least spared the ghastly spectacle of the Grand Duke's forcible removal, in a strait-jacket, to some remote, bat-infested turret of his castle, that he was to leave only several weeks later, and then for a sanatorium on the Rhine, where he was doomed to stay until his death, after many years.
That very night, Lina was formally compelled to leave Brandenstein. She obeyed, in silence. Soldiers escorted her to the frontier. She never spoke once, until she reached Berlin. Then, at last, she spoke, but only to herself, to her own pale reflection in the mirror.
She said: "I have humiliated myself, and I have certainly humiliated that unfortunate Eitel Gustav. As for Guy, he no longer counts in my life. Nor, for the matter of that, does Eitel Gustav. But I have shamed myself, for I have genius, and I have quite forgotten it.