habitants of San Pablo as an entirely suitable scene for all nocturnal dispute; its cobbles echoed, night and day, with the clatter of mules' feet and a jingle of bells from their harness; newspaper boys screamed there, as did sellers of water, and pedlers of nuts and sweets; beggars lamented, prostitutes squealed, and men, women and children all expectorated constantly and violently, apparently without one single moment's cessation.
San Pablo was furthermore perpetually bathed in a fiery and relentless heat. A damp, clinging, steamy heat, this, rising in a miasma from the jungles that surrounded this little, stagnant, sluttish town. And, with the heat, an invariable accompaniment of persistent and bloodthirsty mosquitoes. At night they droned so discontentedly about the nets that even had the nights been cooler it would still have been impossible to sleep.
Weiss, who was no longer young, frankly admitted that he looked upon San Pablo as an inferno.
"Never againl Not even for Varsovina. Never, never again!"
Borek, restless, sweating, wakeful, paced his balcony at night naked to the waist, smoked innumerable cigarettes and swore beneath his breath.
Rosa, an Italian from the north, soon began to wilt in this wet sticky heat, and occasionally wept, and grew whiter, more languid, every day.
The corps de ballet moaned, complained, and abused everybody in turn when they thought that no one was listening.
Only Lina, pale, composed, unruffled, seemed to flourish in the breathless furnace of the South American tour. San Pablo, to her comrades the ultimate horror, apparently affected her not at all.
After a first rehearsal at the little Opera-House, Rosa said to her, gasping: