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her the livelong day. She was not tired, and she felt that he was
not. She regretted that he had gone. It was so much more natural
to have him stay when he was not absolutely required to leave her.
As Edna waited for her husband she sang low a little song that
Robert had sung as they crossed the bay. It began with "Ah!
Si tu savais," and every verse ended with "si tu savais."
Robert's voice was not pretentious. It was musical and true.
The voice, the notes, the whole refrain haunted her memory.
When Edna entered the dining-room one evening a little late,
as was her habit, an unusually animated conversation seemed to be
going on. Several persons were talking at once, and Victor's voice
was predominating, even over that of his mother. Edna had returned
late from her bath, had dressed in some haste, and her face was
flushed. Her head, set off by her dainty white gown, suggested a
rich, rare blossom. She took her seat at table between old
Monsieur Farival and Madame Ratignolle.
As she seated herself and was about to begin to eat her soup,
which had been served when she entered the room, several persons
informed her simultaneously that Robert was going to Mexico.
She laid her spoon down and looked about her bewildered.
He had been with her, reading to her all the morning,
and had never even mentioned such a place as Mexico.
She had not seen him during the afternoon; she had heard
some one say he was at the house, upstairs with his mother.
This she had thought nothing of, though she was surprised
when he did not join her later in the afternoon,
when she went down to the beach.
She looked across at him, where he sat beside Madame Lebrun,
who presided. Edna's face was a blank picture of bewilderment,
which she never thought of disguising. He lifted his eyebrows with
the pretext of a smile as he returned her glance. He looked
embarrassed and uneasy. "When is he going?" she asked of everybody
in general, as if Robert were not there to answer for himself.