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For on that day, so many years ago, something vital and ardent, something that was intensely a part of herself, had snapped, breaking irrevocably, so that never again could it be brought to life. And that was why, although these incidents belonged to a past grown utterly remote, this dreary, unprofitable reflection upon them invariably exhausted her, sapping even her prodigious and stubborn strength.

She yawned, tossing away her cigarette. A rehearsal was called for ten o'clock the next morning, and sleep, during this last American tour, had become for Varsovina a curiously elusive and exasperating phantom.

"Bed ... I must go to bed."

And yawning again, pushing away the locks of hair from her eyes, shuffling so wearily in her moccasin slippers that none would have recognized the greatest dancer in the world, she wandered into the next room, there to piaster her face with cold cream, seated at a dressing-table on which two half-burned candles smoked and guttered.

But her bed was a lonely bed, and she was a lonely woman, and she thought, as at last she sank down upon the smooth coolness of the sheets, that her goaded body seemed that night as though it must break in two from very weariness, rebelling finally and for ever against the strain that she had put upon it.