the Scala to dance my most exacting röles, and you are thinking that if I am careful—oh! very, very careful— you will be able to save Varsovina for a few more years, so long as she only dances three or four times a week, so long as she gives her name to some wretched, thirdrate, shabby ballet from which you, using that name, will as usual make money!"
Kessel, slightly taken aback by her perspicacity, for some such thoughts had indeed been forming in his brain, stared at her for a moment in silence, moistening his lips with his tongue. It was idle to pretend that his recovery was in any way complete enough for him to take his usual active part in this encounter; even while he gazed at her, helplessly, the ship gave a slight detestable lurch. She continued, unmoved:
"And to think that once I sacrifïced my dear Heinrich, the very soul of tact and generosity, for a creature so utterly vile and mercenary as yourself! I must have been mad! In any case, let there be no more plotting behind my back, do you understand? And we shall see, when I dance in Italy, after a few weeks' rest, whether or not I shall need to save myself! And now you had better go away and rest; you look to me exceedingly unwell."
Kessel stumbled very readily from the presence.
In another part of the ship, herded together in the little kennels that were third-class cabins, members of the corps de ballet discussed with the greatest animation all possible details of Varsovina's age and illness. They were mostly French and Italian girls with no education but with vivid imaginations; they whispered deliciously together, sucked sweets and giggled unceasingly.
Sometimes Weiss, who was exceedingly kind to them all, and who was known to them as Papa Weiss, came down to visit them on their dark dirty deck, and brought them fruit and chocolate, and wished secretly that Var-