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eyes. Michael was disappointed after the first rehearsal. It seemed she wasn’t capable of taking directions. He was ready to dismiss her at once. But Julia couldn’t let it happen. Tom would think that Avice was dismissed because Julia was jealous of him. Julia had enough influence on Michael to make him keep Avice in the cast. She suggested that Michael should go through the part with Avice in private. In that case she’d be able to give a good performance. Besides, it was an iron cast part. It was impossible to spoil it. But at the bottom of her heart Julia always remembered that she would have to get even with Avice. She’d never make a success. She’d fail and Julia would see to it. And it would make up for her anguish. Portion IX. 1. Julia couldn’t dismiss from her

mind the curious conversation she had had with Roger. She felt uneasy because he accused her of lacking in personality, he said that Julia didn’t exist apart from her roles. She had a talk with Charles about Roger. But he didn’t share her feelings. He seemed to sympathise more with Roger than with her. In some way he took Roger seriously. Charles told Julia that she had nothing to worry about, things would straighten out for Roger after a while. She should just leave him alone. Having heard it, Julia felt ill at ease. Roger was thankful to her, because she had always let him lead his own life. It seemed strange that such different people thought alike. 2. The first night was special in Julia’s life. In by-gone years she had been extremely nervous before it. Since early

morning she began to feel slightly sick and towards evening she was so worked up, that she was about losing her presence of mind. But now, after having passed through that ordeal so many times, she had learnt to check her nervousness. But still, by the time the play was to be begun, she started feeling ill at ease, grew irritable. Those, who knew her well enough, took care to keep out of her way. The necessity to speak to people irritated her, she wished everyone would leave her alone. But at the bottom of her heart, Julia had a notion that their new play would be a hit. She looked forward to the moment she would face the hall, packed with people and would demonstrate again her power over the public. 3. Michael was the only one, who guessed that Julia had let Avice down. His eyes

were shining with complacency. He thought that Julia had played such a trick because she was jealous of Avice to him. He couldn’t but feel flattered. As Julia knew her husband inside and out, she had a notion what he was thinking about. She laughed up her sleeve at his mistake. One couldn’t cure him of his complacency. It would be better to let him think what he wanted. She really was inclined to laugh, though she checked herself, she couldn’t conceal a slight smile. She had settled a score with Avice. She deserved it because she had a trial to stay in her way. 4. Now Julia was free from the bonds, which had burdened her so much. She had got over her pain and was relishing her freedom. She had been such a fool to take Tom and their affair seriously. But that had been

amusing, and it could come in useful for a new part. Roger had said that her acting was a make-believe. But that make-believe was the only reality for her. She was an artist, who used people’s feelings and her own as a material for the art and beauty creation.