The invitations went out and the acceptances came in. The English were flattered. Count Malagaski was buoyed by new hopes and the daughters were in a day-and-night flutter, for neither of them had ever come within speaking distance of the real young man of their dreams.
On the morning of the day set apart for the début of Kalora, Count Selim went to her apartments, and, with a rather shamefaced reluctance, gave his directions.
"Kalora, I have done all for you that any father could do for a beloved child and you are still thin," he began.
"Slender," she corrected.
"Thin," he repeated. "Thin as a crane--a mere shadow of a girl--and, what is more deplorable, apparently indifferent to the sorrow that you are causing those most interested in your welfare."
"I am not indifferent, father. If, merely by wishing, I could be fat, I would make myself the shape of the French balloon that floated over Morovenia....
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