I vow I was more excited than by any duel I ever fought. I would not dance any contre-danse or galop. The gleaming white columns, the polished oaken floors in which the innumerable tapers were reflected all together swam before my eyes, and I was in a pitch of madness almost when the fourth waltz at length came. "WILL YOU DANCE WITH YOUR SWORD ON?" said the sweetest voice in the world.
"At any rate they don't extend it to " I pulled up on the word. He had the upper hand, but I could at least play the game out with decency. "Come," said I, "contre-danse will begin presently. Find yourself a partner, and I promise you shall be our vis-
And to dance admirably is a gift indispensable to a lady. Alas! I fear that those little feet of yours I hope they are small have never been taught to move in a coranto or a contre-danse, and that you will have to learn the alphabet of dancing at an age when most women are finished performers.
The Royalties arrived in a gorgeous train, and yet neither Gritzko nor Count Varishkine. It might mean nothing, but it was curious all the same. The opening contre-danse was in full swing, and still they never came, and by the time of the second valse after it Tamara was a prey to a vague fear. While the Princess' uneasiness grew more than vague. Tamara could not enjoy herself.
Tamara was valsing with Jack Courtray, and they stopped to look at the world. "Are they not a wonderful people, Jack? Could anything be more decorous and dignified than they are tonight? And yet if you watch, in the contre-danse their eyes have the same excited look as when we wildly capered after supper in Prince Milaslávski's house." "Which reminds me why is he not here?" asked Jack.
If it is really so I cannot say, I have not been here long enough to judge." "It sounds a kind of Utopia," and Lord Courtray laughed. And just then the Prince came into the room again, and over to them and they got up and the two men went off together to examine the foils. Presently the band arrived and more guests, and soon the contre-danse was begun.
"And to the club and to the reception at Madame Sueboffs, and soon we shall have enough people for a contre-danse and some real fun." That it was almost three o'clock in the morning never seemed to have struck anyone! "Now, tell me everything, Tamara," Lord Courtray said, as they sat down on one of the big divans. "Give me a few wrinkles. I can see one wants to comprehend these tent ropes."