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"That is all," she answered. "Ellen can manage the rest." She
kept the young woman occupied in the drawing-room, unwilling to be
left alone with Arobin.
"What about the dinner?" he asked; "the grand event, the coup d'etat?"
"It will be day after to-morrow. Why do you call it the `coup d'etat?'
Oh! it will be very fine; all my best of everything--crystal, silver and gold,
Sevres, flowers, music, and champagne to swim in. I'll let Leonce pay
the bills. I wonder what he'll say when he sees the bills.
"And you ask me why I call it a coup d'etat?" Arobin had
put on his coat, and he stood before her and asked if his cravat
was plumb. She told him it was, looking no higher than the tip of
"When do you go to the `pigeon house?'--with all due
acknowledgment to Ellen."
"Day after to-morrow, after the dinner. I shall sleep there."
"Ellen, will you very kindly get me a glass of water?" asked
Arobin. "The dust in the curtains, if you will pardon me for
hinting such a thing, has parched my throat to a crisp."
"While Ellen gets the water," said Edna, rising, "I will say
good-by and let you go. I must get rid of this grime, and I have
a million things to do and think of."
"When shall I see you?" asked Arobin, seeking to detain her,
the maid having left the room.
"At the dinner, of course. You are invited."
"Not before?--not to-night or to-morrow morning or tomorrow
noon or night? or the day after morning or noon? Can't you see
yourself, without my telling you, what an eternity it is?"
He had followed her into the hall and to the foot of the
stairway, looking up at her as she mounted with her face half
turned to him.
"Not an instant sooner," she said. But she laughed and looked
at him with eyes that at once gave him courage to wait and made it
torture to wait.