"Then she must leave the hotel."
"Oh [haughtily], _that_ is as she pleases."
Ashmead went to Ina Klosking in a rage and told her all this, and said he would take her to another hotel kept by a Frenchman: these Germans were bears. But Ina Klosking just shrugged her shoulders, and said, "Take me to her."
He did so; and she said, in German, "Madam, I can quite understand your reluctance to have your piano strummed. But as your hotel is quiet and respectable, and I am unwilling to leave it, will you permit me to play to you? and then you shall decide whether I am worthy to stay or not."
The spinster drank those mellow accents, colored a little, looked keenly at the speaker, and, after a moment's reflection, said, half sullenly, "No, madam, you are polite. I must risk my poor piano. Be pleased to come with me."
She then conducted them to a large, unoccupied room on the first-floor, and unlocked the piano, a very fine one, and in perfect tune.
Ina sat down, and performed a composition then in vogue.
"You play correctly, madam," said the spinster; "but your music--what stuff! Such things are null. They vex the ear a little, but they never reach the mind."
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