The Dol­drums

Join Archer, Adélaïde and Oliver on their quest in this cool sneak peek...

Girl Power - - NEWS -  by Nicholas Gan­non

th Paris Bal­let Theater

Mrs. Lam­bert was Adélaïde’s tu­tor. Adélaïde was tu­tored at home, and the rea­son for this was bal­let. Like most girls her age, Adélaïde wanted to be a bal­le­rina. Un­like most girls her age, Adélaïde was a true prodigy of dance. At the age of six, she was ad­mit­ted and en­rolled into the Paris Bal­let Theater, and be­cause her time was spent in count­less lessons, re­hearsals, and per­for­mances, she couldn’t at­tend nor­mal school. In­stead, she was tu­tored un­til one o’clock, af­ter which she set off for the theater. It was a short walk, but Adélaïde en­joyed it. She packed her bag, slipped down the nar­row al­ley­way next to the yel­low post­box, con­tin­ued past the wooden wind­mill, tapped the head of the man who could walk through walls, and fol­lowed the street to the theater. It was an old, round build­ing. She en­tered through a small door at the back and tried her best to slip past the front desk with­out Mr. Stanis­las’s no­tice and nearly suc­ceeded but for a sud­den and un­ex­pected hic­cup.

“Ah, Fräulein Adié.” Mr. Stanis­las was the theater at­ten­dant and a most un­pleas­ant man. His rusty words al­ways left Adélaïde with a ter­ri­ble af­ter­taste.

“Good af­ter­noon,” she replied, try­ing her best to smile. Mr. Stanis­las was not paid to ex­change pleas­antries so he rarely did. In­stead, he clapped a messy stack of pa­per against his desk till the pages were uni­formly aligned all the while star­ing down his grav­ity-de­fi­ant nose at her. “Have you been up on the roof feed­ing those filthy birds again?” he asked. Adélaïde shrugged. “Maybe,” she replied. In fact, Adélaïde spent most of her breaks on the theater rooftop be­cause Adélaïde was not ter­ri­bly pop­u­lar with the other young bal­leri­nas. Mr. Stanis­las stood up and leaned against the front of his desk with folded arms. Adélaïde stayed where she was. “And how ex­actly does one maybe feed birds?” he asked. “I’ve seen peo­ple feed birds and I’ve seen peo­ple not feed birds, but I’m sorry to say I’ve never once seen some­one maybe feed birds.”

“They have to eat, too!” Adélaïde in­sisted.

“This is true, but not on my roof!” he barked. “And if you feed those crea­tures one more time, I’ll send you up with the mop. I’ll lose my job if the di­rec­tor sees that mess. Do we un­der­stand each other?”

They didn’t, but Adélaïde nod­ded and con­tin­ued down the hall, rub­bing her tongue against the roof of her mouth to rid her­self of that ter­ri­ble taste. The theater halls were lit­tered with young bal­leri­nas, stretch­ing and warm­ing up. They whis­pered and gig­gled as Adélaïde passed. Her room was num­ber sev­en­teen. She stepped in­side to change.

Bal­let of Adélaïde L. Bel­mont

It was not long be­fore Adélaïde rose above the other pe­tite rats (as the young bal­leri­nas are called at the Paris Bal­let Theater) to the top of her class. Her ex­cep­tional tal­ent was well noted by the

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