801. In the room the girls found several pairs of cotton tights, as well as gauze pads to be placed in vulnerable places. Once the layers of stockings and padding were in place the girls were taken one at a time to be whipped. They felt nothing but knew they were supposed to scream bloody murder. The leather strap was wielded with terrible cruelty, but did no harm. Everyone was happy with the outcome except for Vivaldi, who, completely taken in by the charade, suffered terrible pangs of guilt.
802. Many months went by before Netochka and Simmona were allowed returned to choir practice again. When they returned they seemed to Vivaldi to have completely grown up, their voices had matured, especially Netochka, and Vivaldi was able to give her difficult solo parts which she executed with confidence.
803. During this time Vivaldi had also changed. He no longer felt that the teaching of the orphan girls was a waste of his time. The memory of their rendering of his little oratorio about Agamemnon remained in his mind, and he began to compose vocal works of great majesty, especially for the girl's choir.
804. He was especially motivated to create works featuring Netochka. What was Netochka's voice like? Sometimes one hears a huge choir singing in some concert hall and among those voices in the crowd of singers one detects one individual voice that has a strangeness about it, perhaps it is a reedy quality, or an inexplicable darkness.