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Song of the Lark

Chapter II.7
All through the lesson Thea had felt that Harsanyi was restless and abstracted.
Before the hour was over, he pushed back his chair and said resolutely, "I am not
in the mood, Miss Kronborg. I have something on my mind, and I must talk to
you. When do you intend to go home?"
Thea turned to him in surprise. "The first of June, about. Mr. Larsen will not
need me after that, and I have not much money ahead. I shall work hard this
summer, though."
"And to-day is the first of May; May-day." Harsanyi leaned forward, his elbows
on his knees, his hands locked between them. "Yes, I must talk to you about
something. I have asked Madison Bowers to let me bring you to him on
Thursday, at your usual lesson-time. He is the best vocal teacher in Chicago, and
it is time you began to work seriously with your voice."
Thea's brow wrinkled. "You mean take lessons of Bowers?"
Harsanyi nodded, without lifting his head.
"But I can't, Mr. Harsanyi. I haven't got the time, and, besides--" she blushed
and drew her shoulders up stiffly--"besides, I can't afford to pay two teachers."
Thea felt that she had blurted this out in the worst possible way, and she turned
back to the keyboard to hide her chagrin.
"I know that. I don't mean that you shall pay two teachers. After you go to
Bowers you will not need me. I need scarcely tell you that I shan't be happy at
losing you."
Thea turned to him, hurt and angry. "But I don't want to go to Bowers. I don't
want to leave you. What's the matter? Don't I work hard enough? I'm sure you
teach people that don't try half as hard."
Harsanyi rose to his feet. "Don't misunderstand me, Miss Kronborg. You
interest me more than any pupil I have. I have been thinking for months about
what you ought to do, since that night when you first sang for me." He walked
over to the window, turned, and came toward her again. "I believe that your voice
is worth all that you can put into it. I have not come to this decision rashly. I have
studied you, and I have become more and more convinced, against my own
desires. I cannot make a singer of you, so it was my business to find a man who
could. I have even consulted Theodore Thomas about it."
"But suppose I don't want to be a singer? I want to study with you. What's the
matter? Do you really think I've no talent? Can't I be a pianist?"
Harsanyi paced up and down the long rug in front of her. "My girl, you are very
talented. You could be a pianist, a good one. But the early training of a pianist,
such a pianist as you would want to be, must be something tremendous. He must
have had no other life than music. At your age he must be the master of his
instrument. Nothing can ever take the place of that first training. You know very
well that your technique is good, but it is not remarkable. It will never overtake