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She slept but a few hours. They were troubled and feverish
hours, disturbed with dreams that were intangible, that eluded her,
leaving only an impression upon her half-awakened senses of
something unattainable. She was up and dressed in the cool of the
early morning. The air was invigorating and steadied somewhat her
faculties. However, she was not seeking refreshment or help from
any source, either external or from within. She was blindly
following whatever impulse moved her, as if she had placed herself
in alien hands for direction, and freed her soul of responsibility.
Most of the people at that early hour were still in bed and
asleep. A few, who intended to go over to the Cheniere for
mass, were moving about. The lovers, who had laid their plans the
night before, were already strolling toward the wharf. The lady in
black, with her Sunday prayer-book, velvet and gold-clasped,
and her Sunday silver beads, was following them at no great distance.
Old Monsieur Farival was up, and was more than half inclined to do
anything that suggested itself. He put on his big straw hat,
and taking his umbrella from the stand in the hall, followed
the lady in black, never overtaking her.
The little negro girl who worked Madame Lebrun's sewing-machine
was sweeping the galleries with long, absent-minded strokes
of the broom. Edna sent her up into the house to awaken Robert.
"Tell him I am going to the Cheniere. The boat is ready;
tell him to hurry."
He had soon joined her. She had never sent for him before.
She had never asked for him. She had never seemed to want him
before. She did not appear conscious that she had done anything
unusual in commanding his presence. He was apparently equally
unconscious of anything extraordinary in the situation. But his
face was suffused with a quiet glow when he met her.
They went together back to the kitchen to drink coffee. There
was no time to wait for any nicety of service. They stood outside
the window and the cook passed them their coffee and a roll, which
they drank and ate from the window-sill. Edna said it tasted good.