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VikicitatiCHAPTER XI

Graham knew that he expected disappointment from her confident hands,

even as she rippled them over the keys in little chords and runs with which he could not quarrel but which he had heard too often before from technically brilliant but musically mediocre performers. But whatever he might have fancied she would play, he was all unprepared for Rachmaninoff's sheerly masculine Prelude, which he had heard only men

play when decently played.

She took hold of the piano, with the first two ringing bars,

masterfully, like a man; she seemed to lift it, and its sounding wires, with her two hands, with the strength and certitude of maleness. And then, as only he had heard men do it, she sank, or leaped--he could scarcely say which--to the sureness and pureness and ineffable softness of the _Andante_ following.