"Madame, I entreat "
"What have I let them do to me?" Lina repeated in a louder voice. She sprang suddenly to her feet.
"Hush!" Marie exclaimed, and both women became suddenly motionless. The overture to Paquerette had begun.
Lina stood silent, one hand clenching the back of a chair. Marie was nervous, and crumpled her apron. They remained thus for a long time.
"Now," Lina whispered suddenly, "listen—it's the pas de deux!"
"Je sais! Mais voyons, je le sais biert!"
It was odd to hear, from so far away, those strains of soft, alluring familiar music. But soon the music crept into the room and wove itself about the room, about the two women who listened to it so attentively. The air was alive, throbbing, glowing, with Paquerette's music.
"The entrechats now," Lina said in a low voice, and then: "Now it's her arabesque. How long can she hold it?"
"Ca y est!" Marie breathed, inclining her head toward the door.
"Be quiet, I teil you!"
But soon, after Borek's pas seul, after the final dance together, there was no longer any need to be quiet, for the ballet was over.
As the last chord died away there was a moment of intense silence. This silence was almost immediately succeeded by a clamor of hearty applause.
"Ah-ha," said Lina to this, closing her eyes as though in relief, "they like it, they like Rosa. She has done well. A la bonne heure!"
The applause continued to rage. Lina advanced toward the door and stood listening upon the threshold. The en-