convinced that her toes were bleeding; he noticed once that she swore beneath her breath. He reflected moodily.
"Who knows whether or not she has saved money? _ If she hasn't, and is forced to retire, what a charming situation for me! I'll speak to Kessel. I'll insist at least that she look after herself during this English season! She must be mad, at her age, to work herself to death!"
Of the beauty, power and excitement that Lina's genius could still convey, he understood nothing. That was why, perhaps, he could not paint, nor write coherent music; both to Paul and to Kessel Lina was a hateful woman, but whereas to one she was also an exquisite inspiration, to the other she remained only a machine for grinding
money that he might spend.
When she had finished dancing Borek and Carlotta Rosa at once began to rehearse a pas de deux. Paul watched them casually. He detested Borek and found Rosa uninteresting, but the unspoiled freshness of her dancing seemed to him in ominous contrast to Lina's desperate, dazzling evolutions. He fidgeted in his seat, lighted a cigarette, and, turning, saw Duflos, once Varsovina's partner, dozing in a stall just behind him.
"Pierrot! Wake up! Are you not going to say bonjour
after so many months?"
The French boy started, rubbed his eyes, staring in
amazement at the hunchback.
"Paul? What are you doing here?"
"If you come to sit with me, I can easily teil you."
They began to whisper together, occasionally smother-
ing a laugh.
Borek suddenly stopped dancing and held up his hand. Rosa looked confused, and the music died away.
"What the devil is the matter now?" Lina called irritably from the wings, where Marie was engaged in massaging her feet.