excitedly to a comrade that Rosa, in comparison, seemed like some young peasant romping at a fair.
And in front all was still. Not a sound, not a cough. Not even the rustling of a program.
The moment came for the Prince to slay the Snow Bird. Borek, bounding in the air like some splendid animal, unleashed with a superb gesture the fatal arrow. And Lina, mortally wounded, fluttered, bewildered, dying, less tangible than a snowflake, expressed with every nerve in her body the futility of killing something wild, free and lovely. The death of the Snow Bird at once became a tragedy none the less poignant for all its tinsel glamour. Danced by Lina it symbolized the wanton, thoughtless murder of all beauty, joy and innocence. The Snow Bird was dead, and would never, now, escape from the cold winds of the north. As the Prince ran toward his prey he was stricken with remorse, but it was too late, for he had slain this creature that had never harmed him, and then the snow began to fall, and he knew that his grief was of no avail, and that it was time for him to return homeward to his castle beyond the forest.
Lina was trembling. The curtain rang down while wild applause swelled into a terrific crescendo, and Borek
helped her to her feet.
In the wings, as was her custom, she leaned on Marie's arm, panting, the sweat running into her eyes, while Mane dabbed her face with powder.
"Some water. . .
Marie had a glass all ready and brimming.
She emerged to take her call. Not once, but marry, many times. She was an expert at taking calls. Every gesture, every smile, every curtsy, was the very perfection of modest grace. They handed flowers to her—a mass of flowers, a bank of flowers—red roses, lilies, pink carnations, a life-size Snow Bird fashioned of white