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Borek, just for once, I am talking of you as a man. And as a man you're stupid. You have no ideas. You meet me by chance, on a balcony, just before dawn, and you can find nothing better to talk about than your own good looks. Just imagine! To me, Varsovina!"

"What do you want me to talk about?" Borek asked crossly. He was suffering intensely from the heat, and he had not slept all night. He was, in fact, in no mood for paying compliments.

"It's of no importance!" she rebuked him majestically. "In a minute I shall go back to bed."

"Me too."

There was a silence.

"Look!" she said suddenly, "it's dawn. Look, over there, at the sky."

Borek looked, puffing at his cigarette.

The sky, that had a moment ago glowered purple dark, was now suffused with paler violet, streaked with rose, and barred with dusky gold. The stars were fainter; they were almost silver.

Borek was suddenly delighted by so much variety of


"That's beautiful!" he cried, with real enthusiasm, "that's beautiful, like a ballet, eh?"

He leaned over the balcony, throwing back his dark head, inhaling with vigor the first brief fugitive freshness of the tropical day.

Lina looked at him, but said nothing.

"Isn't it beautiful?" he continued; and caught her arm, squeezing it impulsively.

She remained motionless.

"And in a moment," he reflected, "when the sun rises, it will all be gone, and we shall only suffer again in the

same devilish heat But now, for a moment, just for a

moment, it is like heaven . .