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<- Previous | Table of Contents | Next -> Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Of course she had; she remembered that she had. But she could not
realize why or how she should have yielded, feeling as she then

"Leonce, go to bed, " she said I mean to stay out here. I
don't wish to go in, and I don't intend to. Don't speak to me like
that again; I shall not answer you."

Mr. Pontellier had prepared for bed, but he slipped on an
extra garment. He opened a bottle of wine, of which he kept a
small and select supply in a buffet of his own. He drank a glass
of the wine and went out on the gallery and offered a glass to his
wife. She did not wish any. He drew up the rocker, hoisted his
slippered feet on the rail, and proceeded to smoke a cigar. He
smoked two cigars; then he went inside and drank another glass of
wine. Mrs. Pontellier again declined to accept a glass when it was
offered to her. Mr. Pontellier once more seated himself with
elevated feet, and after a reasonable interval of time smoked some
more cigars.

Edna began to feel like one who awakens gradually out of a
dream, a delicious, grotesque, impossible dream, to feel again the
realities pressing into her soul. The physical need for sleep
began to overtake her; the exuberance which had sustained and
exalted her spirit left her helpless and yielding to the conditions
which crowded her in.

The stillest hour of the night had come, the hour before dawn,
when the world seems to hold its breath. The moon hung low, and
had turned from silver to copper in the sleeping sky. The old owl
no longer hooted, and the water-oaks had ceased to moan as they
bent their heads.

Edna arose, cramped from lying so long and still in the
hammock. She tottered up the steps, clutching feebly at the post
before passing into the house.

"Are you coming in, Leonce?" she asked, turning her face
toward her husband.

"Yes, dear," he answered, with a glance following a misty puff
of smoke. "Just as soon as I have finished my cigar.
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