Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
the determination by a laborious train of reasoning, incident to
one of her despondent moods. But her resolve melted when she saw
him before designing Providence had led him into her path.
"Why have you kept away from me, Robert?" she asked, closing
the book that lay open upon the table.
"Why are you so personal, Mrs. Pontellier? Why do you force me
to idiotic subterfuges?" he exclaimed with sudden warmth. "I
suppose there's no use telling you I've been very busy, or that
I've been sick, or that I've been to see you and not found you at
home. Please let me off with any one of these excuses."
"You are the embodiment of selfishness," she said. "You save
yourself something--I don't know what--but there is some selfish
motive, and in sparing yourself you never consider for a moment
what I think, or how I feel your neglect and indifference. I
suppose this is what you would call unwomanly; but I have got into
a habit of expressing myself. It doesn't matter to me, and you may
think me unwomanly if you like."
"No; I only think you cruel, as I said the other day. Maybe
not intentionally cruel; but you seem to be forcing me into
disclosures which can result in nothing; as if you would have me
bare a wound for the pleasure of looking at it, without the
intention or power of healing it."
"I'm spoiling your dinner, Robert; never mind what I say. You
haven't eaten a morsel."
"I only came in for a cup of coffee." His sensitive face was
all disfigured with excitement.
"Isn't this a delightful place?" she remarked. "I am so glad
it has never actually been discovered. It is so quiet, so sweet,
here. Do you notice there is scarcely a sound to be heard? It's so
out of the way; and a good walk from the car. However, I don't
mind walking. I always feel so sorry for women who don't like to
walk; they miss so much--so many rare little glimpses of life; and
we women learn so little of life on the whole.
"Catiche's coffee is always hot. I don't know how she
manages it, here in the open air. Celestine's coffee gets cold
bringing it from the kitchen to the dining-room. Three lumps!
How can you drink it so sweet? Take some of the cress with your chop;