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that Avice Crichton couldn’t act to toffee. This fact took a great weight off her mind. When the curtain fell, Tom said that he wished Julia go behind and congratulate Avice. Julia was so amazed, that at first, she didn’t know if she should burst into laughter or get angry. But she got over her amazement. She was determined to go through with it. Though Avice didn’t seem to be nervous and was self-assured, Julia wasn’t taken in by her grand manners. It even amused her. Julia saw that Avice was anxious to get this part. 3. Tom was head over ears in love with Avice. As soon as he could, he brought the conversation to her. It irked him to see Julia home. Julia knew that she must put an end to their affair, she must get over it. The theatre was her only refuge. She felt

relief, when it was time to go there. Merely to be inside a theatre rested her. In ordinary life she had to stifle her passion and her anguish, but on the stage she let herself go. She had never put more of herself into a part. 4. Although Michael himself might not be a good actor, but he knew good acting from bad. So he saw at once that Julia was acting like hell, she was exaggerating and over-acting. Her performance was rotten. Michael blamed only himself. Julia needed a good rest. He ought to have insisted on her taking holiday long ago. He said they would revive some play. He was even prepared to suffer losses. The only thing, that mattered, was Julia’s health. Once again Julia was struck by his magnanimity. Michael was the only man she could rely on. He would never let her

down. 5. She decided to go and stay with her mother. Madame de Lambert, as Michael insisted on calling her, was an old lady well over seventy. Julia had a feeling that in the course of her brilliant career, she had a trifle neglected her mother. Now she could make up for it. Her mother and aunt led drab monotonous lives and it would be a great joy for them to have her on a long visit. And for Julia it was an opportunity to cut herself off completely for a time from her old life and regain serenity. Julia, to her great amazement, soon discovered that to them her celebrity was an embarrassment rather than an asset. They didn’t even offer to take her with them to pay calls. Julia was taken aback, when they said that it would be better if she didn’t tell anyone that she was an

actress. But her sense of humour prevailed and she felt inclined to laugh. They made much fuss of her not because she was a great actress, but because she was in poor health and needed a rest. Portion VIII. 1. Julia often had to listen to women’s stories about how men followed them in the street, how they tried to catch their eye, and how it was difficult to get rid of them. It seemed very flattering to Julia. She often wondered why she’d never been followed. It wasn’t as if she had no sex appeal. And what if not ? Julia decided to put the matter to the test. She had to be sure. Julia took much pains to look neither too plain nor too respectable. A slight smile hovered her lips. Several times Julia caught her breath catching a man’s eye and expecting him to start

following her, but they all passed by without paying any attention to her. It was humiliating. It flashed through her mind that she had chosen the wrong street. But there was nothing to do. 2. Julia almost lost all hope of being picked up. Suddenly she noticed a young man looking at her and never taking his eyes off her. She slandered her pace feeling him behind. It was beginning to look like an adventure. Julia looked forward to getting into conversation with the young man. It was interesting what he would offer. Julia looked at him doubtfully. Judging by his appearance, it was quite clear that he couldn’t afford to invite her to a restaurant. She looked him in the face encouraging him to start speaking. But then suddenly he called her by her name. She was so astonished, that

she nearly jumped out of her skin. 3. Julia looked forward to the beginning of the rehearsals. Though Julia had been on the stage for many years, every time she tried a new part she didn’t feel like a leading lady, but as if she was a girl playing her first part. She was glad to meet with other members of the cast. Most of them she knew very well. Only with actors she felt at ease. She was one of them. This atmosphere of make-believe was the only one where she could breathe. Besides, the rehearsals distracted her mind from disturbing thoughts. She felt that soon she would be able to get over her sorrow. Now Tom was his own master. She didn’t care two straws for him. 4. Julia greeted Avice. They talked about indifferent things, but Julia watched her out of the corners of her