thusiasm in front, expressed so vociferously as to appear tremendous, now seemed if anything to increase in intensity.
"How many more calls?" Lina wanted to know, and then, in a sudden rage: "Why don't they come up here and teil me what is happening?"
But the applause continued.
Lina turned to Marie. She said again: "What have I let them do to me?"
And then she slammed the door and sat down at her dressing-table, her head buried in her hands.
"Madame, Madame, I beseech you! In a moment every one will be up-stairs."
"Leave me alone!"
"But, Madame, it's her London début, and English audiences are proverbially kind!"
At this unfortunate moment Kessel saw fit to burst into the room. He was perspiring and jubilant, his hands shook. He was prepared to rejoice most heartily, for had not Rosa justified herself a thousand times over? And then he saw Lina crouched at her dressing-table, and in one moment he knew what was amiss. His face changed immediately.
"Lina, what an audience! My dear friend, if you could but know how impatiently they are waiting for the Snow Bird! And, Rosa . . he paused, moistened his lips, and achieved, "really, Rosa is better than we either of us supposed!"
Lina said nothing.
He continued, awkwardly: "May I bring her in? She is so anxious, so exceedingly anxious, for your approval. ..."
Lina turned round in her chair and said to him casually: "I shan't dance to-night."
"What is that you say?"