"I am sorry, Paul," she said decisively, "but you must really dismiss this idea from your mind, and the sooner the better. I've not given you an expensive education in order that you shall spend the rest of your life fetching and carrying for Kessel, who already, by the way, has an extremely competent secretary of his own. Nor could I allow you to idle about the theater under the impression that one day, when you feit inclined, you would try to design costumes for one of my ballets. You see, Paul, such a state of affairs would not in the first place lead you anywhere, and in the second, it would not be suitable. As my son, you would start such work under a handicap. On all sides I should be accused of favoring you, if you made any success at all. Nor are you strong enough for a life of constant travel "
"Don't trouble," he interrupted, "to make any more excuses, mama. I know your real reason for refusing. I am too old, aren't I, to drag about at your heels all over the world? Too old, and too ugly. In fact, in no way a particularly desirable offspring for the Mountain Sprite to exhibit to her admirers. I expected you to say no. Very well, since I am financially dependent on you, I must obviously, at the moment, accept defeat. But don't imagine, that when I leave Louvain I have any intention of becoming an avocat. Not I. I shall paint, or compose, or do both, and one day, I repeat, I shall write a ballet."
She was cold with anger when he left her. The fact that he had correctly guessed the real motives for her refusal in no way consoled her. At that moment she hated him. She hated him so much that she passionately desired to hurt him as he had so often succeeded in hurting her, to lash him with her tongue, worst of all, to taunt him with his own deformity. Not only did she hate him, but she realized then, for the first time in her life, that she was afraid of him, had always been afraid of him, because