* * * * *
“Are you mad, me–ah, it is unbelievable, me as the Mother of God!”
she exclaimed and laughed again. “Wait a moment, I will show you
another picture of myself, one that I myself have painted, and you
shall copy it.”
Her head appeared in the window, luminous like a flame under the
I hurried up the stairs, through the gallery, into the studio.
“Lead him to the bath,” Wanda commanded, while she herself hurried
A few moments passed and Wanda arrived; dressed in nothing but the
sable fur, with the whip in her hand; she descended the stairs and
stretched out on the velvet cushions as on the former occasion. I lay
at her feet and she placed one of her feet upon me; her right hand
played with the whip. “Look at me,” she said, “with your deep,
fanatical look, that’s it.”
The painter had turned terribly pale. He devoured the scene with his
beautiful dreamy blue eyes; his lips opened, but he remained dumb.
“Well, how do you like the picture?”
“Yes, that is how I want to paint you,” said the German, but it was
really not a spoken language; it was the eloquent moaning, the
weeping of a sick soul, a soul sick unto death.