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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin


attentive car to her utterances, hoping thereby to secure the
elusive but ever-desired "tip." Arobin caught the contagion of
excitement which drew him to Edna like a magnet. Mrs. Highcamp
remained, as usual, unmoved, with her indifferent stare and
uplifted eyebrows.

Edna stayed and dined with Mrs. Highcamp upon being urged to
do so. Arobin also remained and sent away his drag.

The dinner was quiet and uninteresting, save for the cheerful
efforts of Arobin to enliven things. Mrs. Highcamp deplored the
absence of her daughter from the races, and tried to convey to her
what she had missed by going to the "Dante reading" instead of
joining them. The girl held a geranium leaf up to her nose and
said nothing, but looked knowing and noncommittal. Mr. Highcamp
was a plain, bald-headed man, who only talked under compulsion.
He was unresponsive. Mrs. Highcamp was full of delicate courtesy
and consideration toward her husband. She addressed most of her
conversation to him at table. They sat in the library after dinner
and read the evening papers together under the droplight; while the
younger people went into the drawing-room near by and talked. Miss
Highcamp played some selections from Grieg upon the piano. She
seemed to have apprehended all of the composer's coldness and none
of his poetry. While Edna listened she could not help wondering if
she had lost her taste for music.

When the time came for her to go home, Mr. Highcamp grunted a
lame offer to escort her, looking down at his slippered feet with
tactless concern. It was Arobin who took her home. The car ride
was long, and it was late when they reached Esplanade Street.
Arobin asked permission to enter for a second to light his
cigarette--his match safe was empty. He filled his match safe, but
did not light his cigarette until he left her, after she had
expressed her willingness to go to the races with him again.

Edna was neither tired nor sleepy. She was hungry again, for
the Highcamp dinner, though of excellent quality, had lacked
abundance. She rummaged in the larder and brought forth a slice of
Gruyere and some crackers. She opened a bottle of beer which she
found in the icebox. Edna felt extremely restless and excited.

She vacantly hummed a fantastic tune as she poked at the wood
embers on the hearth and munched a cracker.

She wanted something to happen--something, anything; she did
not know what. She regretted that she had not made Arobin stay a
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PinkMonkey.com Digital Library-The Awakening by Kate Chopin



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