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was why the morning seemed long to him.
"You are burnt beyond recognition," he added, looking at his
wife as one looks at a valuable piece of personal property which
has suffered some damage. She held up her hands, strong, shapely
hands, and surveyed them critically, drawing up her fawn sleeves
above the wrists. Looking at them reminded her of her rings, which
she had given to her husband before leaving for the beach. She
silently reached out to him, and he, understanding, took the rings
from his vest pocket and dropped them into her open palm. She
slipped them upon her fingers; then clasping her knees, she looked
across at Robert and began to laugh. The rings sparkled upon her
fingers. He sent back an answering smile.
"What is it?" asked Pontellier, looking lazily and amused from
one to the other. It was some utter nonsense; some adventure out
there in the water, and they both tried to relate it at once. It
did not seem half so amusing when told. They realized this, and so
did Mr. Pontellier. He yawned and stretched himself. Then he got
up, saying he had half a mind to go over to Klein's hotel and play
a game of billiards.
"Come go along, Lebrun," he proposed to Robert. But Robert
admitted quite frankly that he preferred to stay where he was and
talk to Mrs. Pontellier.
"Well, send him about his business when he bores you, Edna,"
instructed her husband as he prepared to leave.
"Here, take the umbrella," she exclaimed, holding it out to
him. He accepted the sunshade, and lifting it over his head
descended the steps and walked away.
"Coming back to dinner?" his wife called after him. He halted
a moment and shrugged his shoulders. He felt in his vest pocket;
there was a ten-dollar bill there. He did not know; perhaps he
would return for the early dinner and perhaps he would not.
It all depended upon the company which he found over at Klein's
and the size of "the game." He did not say this, but she understood it,
and laughed, nodding good-by to him.
Both children wanted to follow their father when they saw him
starting out. He kissed them and promised to bring them back
bonbons and peanuts.