The entrance of La Sylphine aroused the woman from the stupor into which she had fallen. She opened her spectral eyes and looked eagerly around. "My Sunbeam! is it thou?" "It is I, mother at last. I could come no sooner. The ballet was very long to-night." "And my Sunbeam was bravoed, and encored, and crowned with flowers, was she not?" "Yes, mother; but never mind that. How are you tonight?"
The best danseuse in the kingdom, and the prettiest, and invested with a magic halo of romance, La Sylphine shone like a meteor among lesser stars, and brought down thunders of applause every time she appeared. The little feet twinkled and flashed; the long, dark waves of hair floated in a shining banner behind her to the tiny waist; the pale, upraised face the eyes ablaze like black stars!
La Sylphine had smiled and dipped and kissed hands to thundering bravos for the last time that night, and now, behind the scenes, was rapidly exchanging the spangles and gossamer of fairydom for the shabby and faded merino shawl and dingy straw hat of every-day life. "You danced better than ever to-night, Miss Monti," a tall demon in tail and horns said, sauntering up to her.
Foremost among all the fairies and nymphs, noted for the shortness of her filmy skirts, the supple beauty of her shapely limbs, her incomparable dancing, and her dark, bright beauty, flashed La Sylphine before the foot-lights.
Oh, surely La Sylphine was the loveliest thing, that hot June night, the gas-light shone on! The fairy spectacle was over the green drop-curtain fell.