Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
she might arouse him with her caresses.
Still, she remembered Adele's voice whispering, "Think of the
children; think of them." She meant to think of them; that
determination had driven into her soul like a death wound--but not
to-night. To-morrow would be time to think of everything.
Robert was not waiting for her in the little parlor. He was
nowhere at hand. The house was empty. But he had scrawled on a
piece of paper that lay in the lamplight:
"I love you. Good-by--because I love you."
Edna grew faint when she read the words. She went and sat on
the sofa. Then she stretched herself out there, never uttering a
sound. She did not sleep. She did not go to bed. The lamp
sputtered and went out. She was still awake in the morning, when
Celestine unlocked the kitchen door and came in to light the fire.
Victor, with hammer and nails and scraps of scantling, was
patching a corner of one of the galleries. Mariequita sat near by,
dangling her legs, watching him work, and handing him nails from
the tool-box. The sun was beating down upon them. The girl had
covered her head with her apron folded into a square pad. They had
been talking for an hour or more. She was never tired of hearing
Victor describe the dinner at Mrs. Pontellier's. He exaggerated
every detail, making it appear a veritable Lucullean feast. The
flowers were in tubs, he said. The champagne was quaffed from huge
golden goblets. Venus rising from the foam could have presented no
more entrancing a spectacle than Mrs. Pontellier, blazing with
beauty and diamonds at the head of the board, while the other women
were all of them youthful houris, possessed of incomparable charms.
She got it into her head that Victor was in love with Mrs.
Pontellier, and he gave her evasive answers, framed so as to
confirm her belief. She grew sullen and cried a little,
threatening to go off and leave him to his fine ladies. There were
a dozen men crazy about her at the Cheniere; and since it was
the fashion to be in love with married people, why, she could run