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THE DANCER AT THE TABARIN
. BY MARY ROBERTS RINEHART
Illustrated by T. A. Johnstone.
(Copyright, 1913, by the Newspaper Enterprise Association.)
It was New Year'sJ2ve at the Bal
Tabarin in Vienna. "
In the center of the long room the
girl from Budapest was dancing. She
was a tall girl, lithe and supple, and
she danced to a clamor of little bells
bells around her waist, bells con
cealed that tinkled as she swayed,
and protested shrilly when she leap
ed. Her sensuous dancing pleased
the crowd; as she ceased, smiling,
with a flash of dark eyes and white
teeth, a tipsy officer in uniform pre
sented her with a glass of cham
pagne. The wild Hungarian music rioted.
The musicians, in red coats, with
swarthy faces, played furiously. With
the near approach of midnight a
frenzy seized the crowd. The merri
ment of the carnival was giving place
to something less innocent. A man
in, a Ipge drank from a woman's
Behind the bar, at the top of the
steps leading from the boxes to the
main floor, an English barmaid was
sharpening a lead pencil.
, A thin young American girl in a
dancing dress stood beside her, lean
ing both elbows on the bar and sur
veying the scene with frank curiosity.
"Look at the diamond collar on
that woman over there with the
bandeau!" she said. "Seems to be
diamond collars are taking the place
of necklaces this winter."
Tm glad you spoke of that, Tilly."
The barmaid yawned and stuck her
pencil in her hair. "IH have some of
my stuff made over."
Tilly's eyes had gone back again to,
the woman with the bandeau.
"I wonder," she reflected; "how I'd
look with a black velvet collar like
that and a -paste buckle on it. I'm
so infernally thin!"
Tilly said "infernally." There is
strong reason to believe that she
would have said "damnably" had it
occurred to her. The world had not
been kind to Tilly in her ninetee
years, and, although she was st
sound and fine, there were scratches
on her social veneer. Stranded
Europe by the failure of a to
company, in which she had belongs!
to the chorus, Tilly had refused witj
loathing the means many of the girl
had chosen to get back, and hai
drifted into the cabarets as the besl
of a bad job.
For three months now she hac
been a part of the night life of the
city, a dancer at the Tabarin, a faJ
miliar figure to rounders, an enigl
ma to the. other girls of the cabaret I
For Tilly showed a curious-willing-1
ness to live on her forty kronen , a I
week .salary, a hitherto unknown
tendency to mind her own business,
and an aloofness that was helped by
her ignorance of the language.
Tonight, on this Silvesterabend',
Tilly's eyes, as she stared over the
revelers, were somewhat clouded.
For her contract at the Tabarin ex-
pired that night, and she, had every
reason to believe that It would not
Tilly's innocence was not igno
rance. She knew why she was to be
dismissed. Her graceful dancing,
totally lacking in fire or sensuality,
made no appeal to the -satiated habit
ues of the Bal Tabarin; her aloofness
irritated them. A man one night had
held Tilly tight and tried to kiss her,
whereat Tilly had fiitten his hand un
til it bled.
Weininger, the proprietor, had
stormed in German, arid Tilly, gath
ering something of his meaning, and
desperately alone, had done her best
She had shortened her Bhabby skirts
and, even after a battle royal, con
sented to dance in her bare feet. The
result was curious, incongruous