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than gossamer, and a pair of minute green satin shoes adorned with paste buckles. She murmured, half to herself:

"The ermine wrap . . . and then some flowers . . . which flowers, je me demande?"

There was no answer, and she repeated in a louder voice: "Which flowers? Some white carnations from Monsieur Guy's basket, or would Madame prefer this spray of gardenias?"

There was still no answer, and she turned round inquiringly. Lina, who had wiped her face, sat once more at her dressing-table. She was engaged in scrutinizing herself in the mirror.


This, inexplicably, sounded like a cry of anguish.


Another long silence.

"Madame, you must really hurry!" But Lina continued to stare as though distraught at her own reflection.

"Madame! Maïs dépêchez-vous!"

As she took not the slightest notice, Marie went across to her and put a hand on her shoulder.

"What's the matter? What's upsetting you?"

The silence was shattered then, for she shuddered beneath this friendly comforting touch, and put both hands before her eyes, and cried out, like a child that is frightened of the dark.

"Marie! Marie!"

"But what is it? For the love of heaven, what's the matter now?"

The answer came at last, in a low voice that was almost a whisper.

"Look at me. Just look,—in the mirror."

"But I do not understand!" Marie lamented.

"Look then, when I teil you."